Some things I Learned this Pool Season

I like doing different tests out on my pool route and of course trying out things my podcast guest suggests out in the field. Here are some of the results of trying different things out on my pool route and I think this podcast will cover a lot of territories.

Chapter Marks:
00:00 Intro
01:05 White Flakes in pool
08:52 Phosphate remover overdose
10:27 Brush every pool
13:45 Boric Acid Powder
17:09 Testing for metals
19:15 Raise your rates
22:26 New truck
25:23 Recap

The white flakes from a saltwater system are very problematic and there are various theories of why it happens. Bob Lowry thinks it is the heat of the cell. Harold Evans thinks it is an LSI imbalance at the cell and I take the minority theory that it is related to phosphates in the water reacting with the salt cell. Neither buys my theory and that is okay. In testing Bob’s theory doesn’t seem to work – having a cooling down period for the salt cell. I think Harold Evans is onto something with the LSI imbalance and more field testing needs to be done on my part.

But for me adding a small amount of phosphate remover each week really seems to help in reducing the white flake blowback. Just 4-8 oz of the Natural Chemistry PhosFree each week seems to reduce the flakes. Lowering your salt cell output of course can really help and no salt system should be running at 100% output if you can help it.

Can you add too much phosphate remover to a pool? The answer is yes. I overdosed a pool and boy what a mess that was. Multiple filter cleanings and very cloudy water for two weeks were the results. And yes, the phosphate level also dropped.

I will be the first to admit that I got very lazy with brushing my pools. They looked good and the automatic cleaner seemed to be doing just fine. But Rudy Stankowitz swears by it in his algae prevention book so I started brushing every pool regardless of how good they looked. Surprisingly he was right, or not surprisingly. Brushing every pool seemed to really help with preventing algae. I would say brushing is essential.

I started adding borates to my pools with Boric Acid Powder and I really like this product. It is easy to use and you simply broadcast in the pool, hopefully when it is not too windy. This is a great way to add borates to a pool.

Here are the proven benefits of having a Borate level of 30-50 ppm:
Lower Chlorine usage: The Borate helps reduce chlorine usage by eliminating Carbon Dioxide and also by keeping the pH stable. Chlorine lasts longer when the pH is right at 7.6-7.8. When the chlorine is in the ideal range the killing element in chlorine the HOCI is at the most balanced percentage so the chlorine in a pool with a pH of 7.4 is 30% more effective than in a pool with a pH of 8.0. This is a big factor in creating the safest swim environment and the borates will keep the pH much more stable and in turn, make the chlorine much more effective.

pH is stable:
The pH won’t change much in a pool with Borate in it. So, if you have a Salt Water Pool this is a must since the pH tends to rise dramatically. In fact, in a Salt Water Pool the pH can rise to over 8.4 very rapidly. You will find yourself putting tons of acid in each week just to keep the pH below 7.8. With borates in the pool, the pH will be stable and easy to control. It is a must for a pool with a Salt Water Generator. It also will keep your salt cell from building up calcium rapidly since it sequesters the Calcium in the water. This means the salt cell will remain clean and your salt system will run much more efficiently.

Less Algae growth:
Boric Acid is a known Biostat. This prevents the algae cell from forming and multiplying. Thus, a pool with a Borate level between 30-50 ppm will prevent algae growth. Since borate prevents the algae cell from growing, algae blooms will be a thing of the past. No more algaecides or shocking the pool, algae just won’t grow in your pool any longer.

A few other things I cover is that I started testing for metals more in my pools and I raised the rates on my clients to hedge against the really high industry inflation. Last, I purchased a newer truck, a Honda Ridgeline and so far it is an awesome truck.

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