Fire & Ash and Your Swimming Pool: Clean-Up Tips!

I have been through about 5 major fires now with one in 2012 that burned right up to my service accounts in Glendora California. The others are what I would call perimeter fires that burned in the 10-mile radius of my service accounts and which dropped ash everywhere. A fire clean up can be challenging and time-consuming as well as frustrating, but it can be done with the right equipment. The recent footage is from a fire that was 10 miles out of my service area but dropped ash everywhere in large quantities.

00:00 Intro
00:50 Vacuum Systems
01:30 Clean-Up Pumps
02:42 Cleaning the Filter
03:24 Robotic Pool Cleaners
03:54 Cleaning an attached spa
04:44 Chemistry

Once you are able to get back into the backyard to assess the pool, don’t be surprised to find a dark black mess where your pool was once located. All of the ash and debris will make your pool look unrecognizable. The first step is to get the system up and running and that means removing all of the leaf debris on the surface so that you can get the pool pump up and running. The next step is getting all of the ash out of the pool and cleaning the pool filter. If you do pool service this may be a three-week process.

Here is some of the cleanup equipment that is featured in the video along with the Fire Pump for using your pool to put out a fire.

Portable Fire Pump Cart (Gas Powered): Use your Pool Water as a First Line of Defense in a Fire!:
Riptide SL Vacuum System: New Plug & Switch, Steering Knuckle, New Bags, and More!:
The Bottom Feeder: Professional Grade Cordless Vacuum System Overview and Use Video:
PORTAVAC: Portable Filtration System by Advantage Manufacturing – Overview:
How to make a Portable Clean-Up Pump to Vacuum out a Pool:
How to Easily Prime A Portable Clean-Up Pump: Installing a Check Valve:

To order the 57 Micron Bag for your Vacuum System seen in this video:

Week one, you want to focus on getting the surface cleared. I set a 25 minute limit per pool so in some cases just doing the surface will eat up the entire 25 minutes. In week two you will want to remove all of the debris on the bottom of the pool. If you have a Vacuum System like the Riptide or Bottom Feeder this will come in really handy. Don’t worry about the ash as it will pass right through the vacuum system bag and you will need to manually vacuum that up. After the first week, the gardener should have had a chance to blow the deck or wash it down so all the ash that is in the pool should be the total from the complete yard. Otherwise, if you vacuum out the ash and the gardener comes after you, don’t be surprised to find the pool full of ash again. So it is a good idea to wait until all the ash is cleaned up on the deck before you vacuum the pool out.

Week three is the time you will clean up the ah from the pool. This could happen in week two if you were able to remove all of the debris from the pool in week one. But give yourself three weeks for this type of clean up process. I highly suggest you use a portable filtration system or a cleanup pump versus the customer’s filtration system. The only time I would use a customer’s filter would be if it is a sand filter or a D.E. filter and it was a “waste” setting on the multi-port valve. Otherwise, the ash is sure to clog up the filter and overload it.

After the pool is entirely cleaned up you will have to take the filter apart and clean it. Sometimes you will need to replace the filter elements, new cartridges, or new DE grids. If it is a sand filter you may need to change the sand out if you notice poor filter efficiency.

You may also notice chemistry issues with the pool after you have it all cleaned up. You may see more algae blooms and the chlorine may have a hard time holding at a good constant level. This is due to all of the nitrates, phosphates, and impurities that entered the water with the ah from the fire. It may take a lot of effort to get the chemistry back in order and you may need to shock the pool several times before it starts to hold chlorine again.

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#ashcleanup, #ashinyourpool #fireandapool, #ashpool

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