Scientific Method of Water Testing

As two budding scientific minds, one in chemical engineering and the other in neurobiology, Taylor and Kyle, two of the most strikingly handsome employees at Eastgate Pools and Spas, man the water test station a good majority of the time. Being such bright gents, they have developed a scientific method for testing the water of the exquisite customers of Eastgate Pools and Spas.

1. The first step for every water test is to ask the customer how they are doing and if there are any issues with their pools. This way, Taylor and Kyle can have a good idea of what to look for when the results are run.

2. The next step is to do background research into the issues that the customers express. They inquire as to what they see in the pool, what treatments the customers have tried already, and what has worked for them in the past. By doing this, the “Tall Twins” can further customize a treatment for any customer’s specific needs.

3. Based on the information provided by the customers, our water tester extraordinaires generate a hypothesis of what could possibly be plaguing the poor pool owners.

4. At this point, water testing can commence. The mighty water magicians used their water changing capsules to determine the exact amount of each specific chemical in the water. After crushing the capsules, our heroes insert the vials into the water reader of truth.

5. The water reader of truth reveals its findings to our suave, urbane, young gentlemen, and the results can be analyzed. From here, our two masterminds can resolve any chemical issues that may be pestering the pools of our beloved customers.

6. Finally, the results can be communicated with their clients and a step-by-step process can be personally created for each matter of concern.

Knowing that they have once again saved the day, Harry’s tenderfoot prodigies, their fame only continues to increase. They stay humble; realizing the ground beneath their feet is revered as hallowed. They stay focused, because they know it is their job and above all else, their responsibility, to help the great customers of Eastgate sleep comfortably at night, knowing their pools are under the watchful eye of Kyle and Taylor.

 

By: Kyle Idoine and Taylor Haack

Chemicals for the pool. Boring, boring , BORING! Right?

Maybe, but the quality of the chemicals you put in your pool may be the difference between a yucky green, algae infested pool and one that looks like crystal clear drinking water.  I’ve preached this in the store for nearly twenty years.  All chemicals are not created equal!  Seldom do box stores or groceries have the same chlorine strength as what we have.  If chlorine tablets they sell are 10% less but you need to use 50% more, is it a value or a disaster waiting to happen?  And if their algaecide comes in a gallon jug…just move over to the detergent aisle and pick up some liquid dish soap.  It’s just about the same chemical composition and the foam in the pool will remove any doubt.

 

Sorry, but when I start carrying steaks, burgers, lumber, or bathroom faucets, I’ll agree that it’s okay to get chemicals at a lumber yard or supermarket.  –Max

Tag You’re It!

Next time you are in the store and looking at anything from chemicals to accessories or even toys, you will see a few new tags on closeout items and sale items. If you’re in need of a new automatic cleaner for this upcoming new season or simply a toy for that special someone, stop in and check out the savings.  You will see new pink closeout tags and yellow sale tags. You’ll want to keep a close eye for the pink closeout tags (typically you’ll save the most), and the savings are continued to the yellow sale tags.  We have savings to suit the needs of almost anyone. So, hop in that beautiful car of yours and come down to experience the savings firsthand.

Some Do’s and Don’t’s of Pool Ownership:

  1. Don’t take the skimmer or vac head off the vac pole.  Kids sometimes will drop the pole in the pool and the ‘bare’ end can punch a hole in your liner.
  2. Don’t curl up automatic vacuum hose.  It will develop a memory and your auto vac will not work properly.
  3. Do shock your pool weekly, regardless of your chlorine level.  Shocking keeps your chlorine in a free, working state and failure to shock weekly will ultimately result in your water getting algae.
  4. Do use our Power Magic shock.  It is a bagged chlorine shock that has sodium tetraborates in it.  This is a proven algae fighter.
  5. Don’t use big box store or grocery store liquid shock.  It is usually weaker and frequently old, which further reduces its effectiveness.
  6. Do keep all gates closed and locked when nobody is home.  If you have an above ground pool, keep the safety ladder in the ‘up’ locked position when not in use.
  7. Don’t ever dive head first into a pool that you are not familiar with.  Make sure the pool is rated as a diving pool and know where the shallow end is and where it is safe to dive.
  8. Don’t let anyone swim in your pool wearing a swimsuit that has been used in another pool that has algae.  This is the most common way that algae can move through neighborhood pools.
  9. Don’t just add chemicals arbitrarily because you think the pool needs them. Some things stay in the water from year to year.  Let us test your water for FREE and we can guide you through the process.
  10. Do have a safe, fun filled summer with everything you need for your pool easily found here at Eastgate Pools & Spas.  And did I mention that hot tubs go hand-in-hand with swimming pools?

–Max

A FREE Pool Chemistry lesson!

Most people don’t really understand chlorine and quite frankly, unless you are a chemist, it probably isn’t real interesting.  But here are some tips that can help you keep your pool clean, clear, and algae free:

As water temperature goes UP, so does your pool’s chlorine demand.  Why?  Very simply, as water heats up, chlorine gasses off quicker.  Here is the rule you should follow.  For every 10 degrees your water heats up, you need 25% more chlorine.  So if you open your pool and the water is 60 degrees, when it heats up to 70 degrees, you need to increase your chlorine being added by 25%.  When it heats up to 80 degrees, that’s another 25% required from when it was only 70 degrees.  Now the kicker:  Chlorine gasses off almost entirely at approximately 91-92 degrees.  In other words, you may find it almost impossible to keep chlorine in the water when the pool gets really hot.  For the same reason, this is why chlorine is such a bad idea as a sanitizer in a hot tub where the water is almost always at or over 100 degrees.

A couple things you can do to keep your pool clean and clear are very simple.

  1. Block algae before you have it by using sodium tetraborates and phosphate removers.  CO2 and phosphates are things that algae must have to live.  Block them or eliminate them and algae can’t survive.
  2. Test for proper levels of cyanuric acid, also know as chlorine stabilizer.  This holds chlorine in the water and minimizes the affects of sun and heat on chlorine life.
  3. Consider a system that minimizes the likelihood of algae in your pool.  For in-ground pools, we recommend chlorine generators where the pool will make its own chlorine.  Just remember to turn it ‘up’ as the season goes on.  On above ground pool, check out our Simple Salt Hybrid Water Treatment System.  It is state-of-the-art for above ground pools and relies on sodium tetraborates and copper transference in the water to keep your pool clean and clear.
  4. If you want to stay with ‘traditional’ chlorine programs, go to better chlorine.  Using stuff from a grocery or chain store?  Probably not as strong, not as fresh, and not as effective.  Next time you are here, ask about our Tri-Tech tabs and our Power Magic bagged shock.  Both contain sodium tetraborates and go way past what those other chlorine forms do.
  5. Let us test your water.  It is a FREE service.  Just get us the water fresh from the pool.  In other words, if you are going to go to the mall or the Harley store next door, come see us first so we can get an honest representation of what is happening in your pool.

Okay—this is the longest blog in company history, but as the water heats up, I think these tips can go along way towards keeping your pool experience A+.  –Max

No Chlorine?

Are you having a hard time maintaining your chlorine level in your pool? It could be many things. The first easy check is to test your stabilizer level (cyanuric acid). This product helps protect the chlorine from the effects of the sun’s light, which eats away the chlorine level in the pool.

The things that I see most often is the start of an algae problem or one that lingers around for a long time. Chlorine goes looking to oxidize organics and if there is any algae in the pool that algae will consume your chlorine. The problem is, unless the algae is effectively dealt with the problem doesn’t go away. Each treatment for algae can be different. That’s why it’s important to talk to a pool professional and eradicate the algae outbreak. Even if you don’t see it, it may still be there. I hear all the time pool owners say they put a shock or two in their pool every day and the chlorine still won’t hold. Treat the pool for sufficiently for algae and the problem, in most cases, will go away.

H2O Dectective Series: The Case Of The Haze

It was a cold day in December. A day right after Christmas and the store was quiet.  The change from  Christmas music to the standard Muzek 1980′s hit parade was an unexpected welcome to the employees swapping jokes around the front counter.

The day was cold, but not cold enough to turn the slight moisture falling from the sky into snow. A man of about 50 walked through the sliding doors and removed his over sized hat and walked toward the front counter. “I need to speak to the water expert.” he exclaimed as he reached into his coat pocket to remove his water sample.

“I can help you.”  Said a voice reaching out over the counter. Harold Osborne II was an old hand in the pool and spa business. He had been in the business his whole life and had literally forgotten more then what most in the business would ever learn. Harold didn’t take any particular pride in this point. He understood that he gained this knowledge from a lifetime of retail sales and at the end of the day, he had become a solid retail sales associate in a niche market and that was about it.

“What kind of problems are you having Mr. Hamilton?”, asked Harold as he noticed the customers name on the test bottle.

“My spa was crystal clear and I adjusted my chemicals and it turned cloudy instantly.”

Harold led him back to the water test station and did the standard run up of chemical tests that every customer expects. The tests were not really needed, as Jeff had a good hunch what the problem was before running the tests.

The tests came back and everything was in the exact range they were supposed to be in. Harold asked, “Let me guess, did you add PH increaser to your hot tub right before it went cloudy?”

“Well, yes I did.” mentioned Mr. Hamilton.

“That’s just what I expected. The problem with the water is the PH was increased too quickly. Tap water from the faucet has a lot of calcium and other dissolved solids that are in the water. When you increase your PH too quickly, it takes the calcium out of this dissolved state and makes it a solid again and that’s what the haze is from.”

“What do I have to do to fix it? Is it time to drain the spa? I just drained it a few weeks ago.” Complained Mr. Hamilton.

“You shouldn’t have to drain the spa. Add about 10 ounces of Stain and Scale Remover and that should convert the calcium back into a liquid and by doing so, remove the haze from the water after a day or so. After doing this, it’s a good idea to follow up with the weekly maintenance dose of the Stain and Scale Remover. It’s a good product and will prevent you from having excessive build of calcium in your plumbing and on your heater.” Harold was starting to get in his preaching mode. This is what he was good at and often went on far too long, to the point of boring the customers with information beyond their general need.

Harold went and showed the customer the Stain and Scale Remover on the shelf and the customer left. Another problem solved. But, Harold knew that there would always be another case to solve.  Not many problems were too difficult for Harold, but he was looking forward to the challenge.

Chlorine Tablets Make Great Christmas Presents!

Imagine the joy that special someone will feel when he (or she) unwraps that beautiful package to find . . . Chlorine tablet! For the pool owner, it’s usually the number one expense for the pool every year, so why not get a gift that’s not only lovelt, but practical! And right now, Eastgate Pools has all remaining buckets of chlorine tablets on sale.

So whether it’s birthday or anniversary time, the recipient will be impressed with your thoughtfullness and will appreciate the gift that keeps on giving (until the bucket is empty).

And for Christmas? Add some alkalinity and pH controls and you’ve got shopping covered. Stop in today and we’ll help you complete that list.

- Max

I Saw The Exact Same Thing At Walmart For One Dollar Less!

I would like to have a dollar for every time I have heard that, or that Kroger’s has liquid chlorine for 50 cents less per case. Lincoln proclaimed that “All men are created equal” and if this were the same for pool and spa chemicals then I would follow people to Walmart to get my chemicals as well. After working in the pool and spa industry for almost 15 years now I know that all chemicals are not created equal, and do have a definite shelf life. I also realize that the person who just put that gallon of algae remover on the shelf knows nothing more about that product than what is on the label. This is where we as pool experts working in a pool and spa retail store have the highest ability to accurately answer your questions. I though cannot answer questions about another product that was not purchased here. As I said previously all chemicals are not created equal and this comes down to concentrations, fillers, and composition. With the wide variety of chemical manufacturers on the market, and the different blends sold by these manufacturers it is impossible to know everything about every other company’s product. I think sometimes that customers feel we are not being helpful when they call in about usage of another product and we are not able to give them answers. Keep in mind this is kind of like calling a Ford mechanic and asking questions about a Chevy part, I understand that they are both car parts but there are enough differences that a question answered incorrectly could cause major problems, and be a source of much dismay.

I Need How Many Pounds Of What?

This can be a common question this time of year, and is being asked quite a bit this year especially. The actual chemical is cyanuric acid, but it is known by many names, chlorine stabilizer or conditioner are the 2 most common. For those of you with a chlorine generator this is a annual addition to the pool at start up, but this year with all of the rain everybody is getting in on the fun. The only purpose for this chemical is to save you money, and now you are wondering how. What this chemical does is keeps chlorine active in the water longer, thereby reducing the amount of chlorine you need to use, and saving you money. The biggest thing to remember about chlorine stabilizer is that most home test kits, and strips do not test for stabilizer so for this you will need to bring a water sample in and we will get you squared away with the correct amount for your pool.