5 Easy Tips to Swim Safely in Your Pool This Summer

Boy Swim Safely in Pool

Your pool can be an amazing way for your entire family to have fun this summer. However, pools have a lot of hidden dangers that you need to be aware of. There is a right and a wrong way to swim safely. Without the proper precautions, a fun afternoon at the pool can turn into a nightmare. Drowning is a leading cause of death in children, but adults are also susceptible. According to the CDC, there are an average of 11 deaths due to drowning every day in the United States.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect you and your family from the risk of drowning. Follow this guide for the most important safety tips so your whole family can swim safely this summer.

1)     Never Swim Alone

The first rule of swimming is to always have a buddy. You are statistically more likely to drown if you’re in a pool by yourself. Children should always be supervised by an adult while in a pool or while near water. Supervising adults should be designated “water watchers,” which means that they should not be distracted while supervising others who are swimming. Do not text, read, or play games while watching swimmers. Water watchers should also have a phone nearby to call for help in case of a drowning emergency.

Even if you are at a public pool with lifeguards, an adult should supervise children while swimming. Lifeguards cannot see everything. If one lifeguard takes a break or is distracted, other lifeguards may not be able to see the entire pool area.

2)     Secure Your Pool

Many drowning accidents with children happen when children were not expected to be near a pool in the first place. If your pool is not properly secured when not in use, children or pets may be more likely to wander too close and fall in. By the time an adult notices they may be missing, it is often too late. Securing your pool properly when not in use is the key to making sure this doesn’t happen.

Make sure your inground pool is surrounded on all four sides by a fence or other barrier that is self-latching and out of reach of children. Four-sided isolation fences that separate the pool from the yard reduce a child’s risk of drowning 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing.

Above-ground pools should have lockable covers or have the steps or ladders locked or removed so a child cannot climb in when they aren’t supervised.

You can also install door and gate alarms that will alert you when someone crosses into the pool area. There are even alarms that you can place in the pool that will sound when motion is detected in the water.

3)     Teach Proper Pool Etiquette

All adults and children in the family should be taught proper pool etiquette, starting with swimming lessons. Every member of the family should be able to enter the water safely, stay afloat, change position, swim for a distance, and then get out of the water safely. If you have small children or family who are not strong swimmers, they should wear lifejackets while near the water to keep them safe from drowning. There are many free and reduced-cost options for swimming lessons from local YMCA branches or Park and Recreation Departments, so check around and enroll your family ASAP.

Learning to swim, however, is only half of pool etiquette. You should never run near a pool; you could slip and fall in or injure yourself. Stay away from pool drains to avoid parts of your bathing suit, hair, or jewelry being sucked into the drain. Adults should always swim sober; do not ingest alcohol before or during swimming. Don’t bring glass bottles into the pool area either. They could break and cause a hazard. Make sure everyone swimming knows the pool rules, and as a pool-owner you should be prepared to remove any guests that may not be following the rules to keep everyone else safe.

4)     Keep Up with Maintenance

As a pool owner, it is your responsibility to make sure to keep up with regular pool maintenance. Letting any kind of maintenance slide could create a problem or pose danger to swimmers. Make sure that all your drain covers are working properly to avoid clothing or hair from being sucked into a drain. You should also ensure that any adult supervising your pool knows where the safety release system is in the case of a drain emergency.

You should stay on top of the chemical maintenance of your pool, as well. When used properly, chlorine kills bacteria and parasites in the water to keep you healthy. However, if the chemicals used to clean your pool are mishandled or misused, you could be at a risk for waterborne illness. And never leave chemicals unattended; keep your pool chemicals in a locked cabinet out of reach of children where they cannot be accidentally ingested.

5)     Create Layers of Protection

Adhering to all the above tips simultaneously creates what is called “layers of protection” in water safety. Just one prevention strategy often isn’t enough but combining them all together is what is the most effective in preventing drowning or other water-related injury. Preventing access to the pool when not in use, supervising, keeping up with maintenance, following pool rules and making sure all swimmers know the basics of swimming are a multi-layered strategy that works to keep people safe.

Have Fun and Stay Safe

Having a pool in your backyard is a big responsibility, but when safety procedures are followed properly, swimming can be fun for the whole family. Pools can be daunting to maintain by yourself, so if you’re ever in doubt or have any questions, you can call your friendly, local experts at Cincinnati Pool and Patio for help with water maintenance, safety equipment, and pool openings and closings. We can even inspect your pool to make sure everything is working properly; there could be something you’re missing that an expert would catch!

With all this in mind, have fun, be safe, and happy swimming!

How To Get Ready For National Pool Opening Day

national pool opening day

National Pool Opening Day

There is a national holiday for each date on the calendar and also for every subject under the sun, but National Pool Opening Day is a holiday we can all rally round.

Schedule Your Pool Opening Today

As a pool owner, you understand there’s a lot of things that go into opening your pool. National Pool Opening Day is an amazing reminder to prepare for the summer season!

Test the Water First

Once you peel the winter cap and realize the challenge before you, begin by assessing your pool chemical levels. A good water test kit is important for testing your pool’s chemical balance.

When stocking up for summertime on pool shock and pills, don’t forget to purchase water balance chemicals for pH, alk, and calcium. You might also need an algaecide to control algae. And a water clarifier to remove finer particles out of the water.

Pool equipment

Examine the pool gear, mainly the filter and pump, but also other pool equipment like pool valves, chlorinators, heaters, cleaners, skimmers, ladders, slides and diving boards.

Start looking for any soil, mulch, trees or nearby plants that may get in the way of your equipment. Pool equipment does better in a sunny, dry location and not buried in bushes.

Pool cleaners have wearable components, and generally, require more frequent repairs than other pool equipment. Inspect closely for the cleaner parts that contact the surface, or debris totes or hose components that are worn.

Pool filters, either sand, DE or cartridge will need the filter press replaced at a single point. Sand lasts about 5 decades, DE grids for ten decades, and filter capsules 2-3 years for a good-sized filter. You can prolong the life and improve filtration by using a Pool Filter Cleaner before and after opening your pool.

Pool pumps have electric motors that will fail at some point in time, usually at spring startup, or at the hottest aspect of the summer. When your motor will not turn or trips the breaker, it might be a loose cable, triggered GFCI or it might be an engine that is fried. Pumping problems may be air leaking to the pump, or a clogged impeller, or the water level.

Pool Accessories

Pool Ladders, Slides & Diving Boards possess a lot of bolts that need to be checked for tightness. Notably the step treads, which can loosen over time.

Chlorinators are normally easy to care for, but the chlorinator lid o-ring needs to be lubed often to protect the o-ring from the chlorine.

Pool Heaters

If you have a pool heater, the best spring maintenance you can do is clean out the base of the device to remove any leaves, cobwebs, and anthills. Make sure the air vents and drain holes aren’t blocked in the cabinet. If leaves have collected inside a heat pump, or in addition to a gasoline heater exchanger, remove the heater top to wash out them.

Above-Ground Pools

Above ground, pools will join the hoses or pipes from the wall skimmer to the pool filter and then to the pool pump, and back to the pool return. Open the filter air bleeder, open the lines to be flooded by the valves and fill the pump with water. After being sure that the return and suction valves are available plugs the pump into a grounded electrical socket, and the pool skimmer and wall return aren’t plugged.

Inground Pools

Inground pools equipment reassembly is a bit more complicated, but it begins the same way, by screwing the drain wires back to the pump, heater, filter. Together with the water level up, pool plugs can be pulled out of the skimmer and wall contributes to flooding the lines. Contrary to Above ground pools, inground pumps sit above the water level. Fill the pump with water from a hose or hose, and seal. Open the filter air bleeder, open the return and suction valves, and then turn on the pump. Start-Up with a multiport valve on the ‘Waste’ place is a fantastic way to flush out the skimmer and drain, and it has much less resistance too, great for pumps that have difficulty ‘grabbing prime’.

 

National Pool Opening Day is the last Saturday in April. Make it your annual tradition to join us in welcoming spring by opening your pool! In case the final Saturday is too soon to start your pool, then join in by cleaning off your pool cover and prepping it to open when it’s warm enough. If you open the pool in May, it is the ideal time to examine your pool water.

If you need help opening your pool, contact us today!

How To Prepare For Your New Pool

pool opening

How To Prepare For Your Pool

Have you been dreaming about constructing your new pool but never had the time to make it happen? Now is the perfect time to start planning!

Here are a few questions you need to start thinking about to enjoy your backyard oasis!

What can I afford?

As with any large purchase or project, it is always a good idea to have a budget in mind. There are many components to include in your budget preparations – installation, decking, landscaping. Having a roundabout number in mind is a great step to take before visiting a dealer to get the process started.

How often will I use this pool?

Determining how you will use your pool can help determine what size you need, what special features you may want to add, and the overall feel of your space. Will you be using it mainly with your significant other, or will you frequently have family members and friends over for parties and get-togethers? Do you plan to play games, or is it simply for rest? These are easy things to think about to ensure that you have exactly what you want in your backyard space.

Do you have any questions about options, sizing, or if being a pool owner is right for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us here!

How To Properly Store Pool Chemicals

pool chemicals

Pool Chemicals

Having a regular supply of the necessary pool chemicals is essential to keep your swimming pool in good condition. However, to keep the chemicals themselves in good working order, it’s important to store them correctly. Here are some frequently asked questions about where and how to store pool chemicals.

What Kinds of Storage Containers Are Best?

Pool chemical storage is safest when the chemicals are stored in their containers. The product packaging provides safe storage.

The safest option for storing chemicals is to put the sealed containers into hard plastic bins with tight-fitting lids. Ideally, use several bins so that you can separate liquids and solids, and so that reactants such as chlorine and muriatic acid can be stored separately.

Where Should I Store Pool Chemicals?

The best place to store chemicals is in a cool and dry location. Your storage area should be well-ventilated.

Can Pool Chemicals Freeze?

In most cases, pool chemicals are more sensitive to heat than to cold. Some kinds of chemicals can withstand freezing, but it’s generally best to avoid exposing chemicals to extremely cold temperatures, as some may lose strength after cold storage.

Are Pool Chemicals Heat-Sensitive?

Some chemicals do react with heat, so it’s safest to store chemicals away from all heat sources, including sunlight. Pool chemicals should be in a cool and shaded area.

Check Your Products for More Information

While these are some good general rules to follow for safely storing chemicals, hazards can vary according to the different products you use. Most pool chemicals come with a Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) that provides details of hazards and safe handling practices, so check these to make sure you’re staying safe.

Gave any questions about storing your chemicals? Contact us here!

Pool Closings Part 1: Above Ground Edition

above ground

With summer gone, it’s time for above ground pool owners to close down their pools. Winter brings frigid temperatures and ice can cause thousands of dollars of damage to pools that aren’t prepared correctly. That makes properly closing down your pool an essential part of pool maintenance. Here are our key steps to prepare your pool for fall weather and beyond.

Above Ground Pools

You’ll need to remove and store pumps and filters. Insert plugs into the pool filter water intake and outflow openings (usually in the pool’s sidewall). Disconnect all hoses from the pool and let it drain. Disconnect and drain all water heaters, filters, skimmers, automatic chlorinator, or salt chlorinator, and then store these in a warm, dry place like your basement.

Lastly, inflate and deploy the pool pillows and cover the pool. Be sure the cover is secure so that it won’t blow away and that there is enough support from the pillow underneath so that ice meltwater will drain easily from the cover. Otherwise, ice and meltwater can stretch and tear the cover and contaminate your pool water.

Closing down your pool may sound like daunting maintenance job, but it’s something that can be finished in the span of a week but A mistake could cost you thousands.

If you don’t feel confident enough to do the job correctly yourself, give us a call! We offer above ground pool closing services.

Tips on How To Properly Balance Your Swimming Pool

enzymes, pool

Balance Your Pool

With your swimming pool, it’s important to ensure that your water is properly balanced. This will help your pool stay clean and stay in the best shape for many years to come. This will also to ensure that your family and anyone else who swims in your pool is safe. Here are our best tips on how to balance your pool.

Balancing

Before you add chemicals into your pool, you should turn on your pump. This will circulate the chemicals you add throughout the whole pool.

When working with chemicals, you can only add a certain amount of each chemical per 10,000 gallons of water at one time. The amount depends on the chemical and your pool size.

If you need to add more than the maximum amount, add it slowly. You should add the max, then wait 6 hours before adding any more.

Alkalinity

Total alkalinity refers to the amount of alkaline in the water.

Adding alkaline material into your water first is the best method. It will act as a buffer for your pH scale.

pH

This is the acidity of the water. Ideally, you will want your water between 7.4-7.6.

Keeping your PH balanced will ensure the structure of your pool and equipment are not damaged from low or high levels.

Do you have questions about which chemicals you need for your pool, or how to balance your pool properly? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

How To Keep Your Pool Healthy in Summer

pool

How To Keep Your Pool Healthy in Summer

The Dog Days of Summer. The hottest time of the year and the busiest time of the year for pool owners. It’s also the time of year when your pool water is exposed to higher bather loads, intense temperatures, and prolonged sunlight. Here is our list of things you should do to keep your pool healthy in summer.

Run The Filter More

July and August are the time when you need the most filtering of the season. Set that pool filter timer a few extra hours longer each day. What you spend on electricity you will save in chemicals which can really add up. Your water is warm enough to shut off the pool heater and the combination of warm water, bright sunshine, and frequent rainstorms, all call for more filtering time each day.

Add More Chlorine

Warmer water, more swimmers and longer sunlight hours mean that your chlorine will deplete or burn-up faster. Add extra 3″ tabs to your chlorinator, and/or turn the dial higher to maintain chlorine levels. Pool shock frequency may also rise during the hottest parts of the summer, to fight algae, bacteria, chloramines, and cloudy water.

Keep Calm & Stay Stable

Sunlight is an enemy of all pool chemicals on some levels. Long hours of daily sunlight means that stabilizer levels are even more important, to prevent degradation of chlorine when you need it most. Keep your stabilizer level between 20-50 ppm, and reduce or dilute if over 100 ppm.

More important than stabilizer, however, is to consistently test your pool water balance during July and August. Your pool water is ever-changing, but never more than during the hottest summer months, when pH, Alkalinity, and stabilizer levels can rise and cause water balance problems.

Stay Cool, Beat the Heat

Hot temperatures, long sunlight exposure, and more pool parties mean more friends and family with more sunblock and oil. This can lead to a ring around your waterline, more organic solids dissolved in your water, and cloudy or hazy pool water.

Enzymes are natural oil-eaters that also clean the pool filter of trapped oils and greasy gunk, and reduce chlorine demand by removing organics from the pool and pool system.

Have any questions on keeping your pool in tip-top shape? Contact us here!

4 Precautions to Take To Keep Your Pool Safe

keep your pool safe

Keep Your Pool Safe

Pool Safety is an important topic to discuss when considering getting a pool for your home. Here is our list of important precautions to take to keep your pool safe this summer.

Supervise at all times

When the little ones head to the pool, be sure to apply sunscreen and remind them not to run. The most important pool safety factor is supervision. Someone with CPR/first-aid knowledge is also important in case of emergencies. Training can be obtained via classes at your local hospital, YMCA or through the Red Cross, to name a few options.

When the pool isn’t in use, a pool safety cover can be used to prevent any accidents from occurring.

Know the facts about flotation devices

Flotation devices can help kids mobility in the pool and give parents peace of mind, but they don’t ensure safety, so be sure to remain watchful. Some swim experts even discourage the use of “floaties,” noting that they may give children false confidence. Water wings and other floatation devices can be dangerous.

Ramp up pool party security

When it comes to pool parties, hiring a lifeguard can add a layer of safety. A lifeguard can make up for that reduced caution. To find one for hire, inquire at your local community pool or call a private lifeguard company.

Be aware of dry/secondary drowning

Lately, there’s been a push in awareness of dry drowning and secondary drowning. Dry drowning happens when water a child has breathed in causes their vocal cords to spasm and close up. Secondary drowning occurs after swimming or bathing from water inhaled into the lungs, causing trouble breathing.

Have any questions about pools or pool safety? Contact us here!

How To Conserve Pool Water

conserve pool water

Conserve Pool Water

Swimming pools can be water wasters, but they don’t have to be. With some simple practices like turning down the heat, and prohibiting cannonballs, your pool doesn’t need to be a water hog.

Reducing your swimming pool water needs is easy, but it can cost a few dollars. With some simple steps, you can conserve pool water and be able to tell anyone who asks how your pool actually saves water!

Backwash Less

Many pool owners backwash too often, every week for example. Let your pressure gauge be your guide – backwash when the pressure is 9-10 lbs above the clean pressure. Bumping a DE Filter (backwashing only for 10 seconds) will extend the time between backwashing. Using a Sand Filter Cleaner will help to extend sand filter cycles or time between backwashes.

Use Pool Covers

Any type of pool cover will reduce evaporation, heat loss and will save pool water. Even mesh safety covers reduce evaporation water loss by nearly 50%. Solar blankets are an easy way to both add heat to the pool (up to 10° for a sunny pool), and also reduce evaporation by over 80%. The best way to stop pool evaporative water loss is to use an automatic pool cover.

Sun Shades

Adding some shade to your pool can drastically reduce the sun’s evaporative effects. Shade can come from installing a Pergola or pool house on one end, planting fast-growing evergreens, or installing Sun Sail type shades to keep your water from evaporating so fast. Especially in the sunny south, shading the pool for at least a portion of the day is one way to conserve pool water.

Wind Blocks

The wind is the largest heat thief of your pool, and when it takes heat off the surface, it takes some water along with it. Hedges, fences, windscreens and such can make a big difference if you have prevailing winds, mostly coming from one direction. You can’t completely shield your pool from wind, but every little bit will help to prevent pool water loss.

Have any questions about how to save money on your pool? Contact us here!

Everything You Should Know About Saltwater Pools

swimming pool

Saltwater Pools

Getting a pool always comes with the big question, saltwater or chlorine?

Today we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of specifically using saltwater in your pools versus only chlorine.

Saltwater Pools use the Exact Same Chlorine

Saltwater systems make chlorine, the exact same chlorine that is released from pool chlorine products. In a saltwater pool, when H2O + NaOCl are run through the salt cell, the electric charge breaks apart molecules to create chlorine (Cl) and a few other byproducts, which are generally reabsorbed. The chlorine that is instantly created, hypochlorous acid, is the same exact chlorine that is released from chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, or granular chlorine.

Saltwater Pools do have Benefits

  • You can’t taste the salt, but it can make the water feel softer
  • Less storage and handling of hazardous chlorine products
  • Breakpoint chlorination inside the cell reduces chloramines constantly
  • Easily raise or lower chlorine levels, and view status on a digital display

Saltwater Pools are not Maintenance Free Pools

  • You still have to monitor the system, and test for salt, chlorine and stabilizer levels
  • You still have to maintain good water balance; saltwater pool pH and Alkalinity rises rapidly
  • Salt cells need cleaning to remove scale, although some systems do it automatically
  • Salt cells last about 5 yrs; salt system parts like boards, sensors and switches may last longer

You may Still Need to Use Chlorine Products

  • To raise the chlorine level very fast for shock treatments
  • To maintain chlorine level during pump, filter or salt system equipment problems
  • To clear the water during opening or closing the pool, or for treating various water problems

Saltwater can attack Soft & Shiny Surfaces

  • Galvanic corrosion can oxidize chrome surfaces in the pool, although sacrificial anodes can be used
  • Salt residue can slowly corrode soft coping stones or stone decks, although sealers can be used

Have any more questions about saltwater pools? Contact us here!