Winterizing Your Pool – Part 2

clock September 14, 2017 16:29 by author medallionpools |

 

pentair superflo pump

We wanted to give you a few basic tips on how to winterize your vinyl liner inground swimming pool. Please note that this is generic information, not intended as a complete winterizing guide. Every pool is different so please be sure to follow specific instructions in your owner’s manual. If you have any questions pertaining to how to winterize your swimming pool, or other equipment, the company you purchased from should be more than happy to help.

Pool winterizing resources are available in several parts. This second installment deals mainly with the area around the pump and filter.

pentair drain plugoring lubricant

1. Remove all drain plugs from the pool equipment. Do not reinstall your drain plugs until spring. This includes your pump, filter, heater, chlorinator, and any other equipment within the plumbing system. Consult your owner’s manuals for their locations. Lubricate all plugs and o-rings with o-ring lubrican

 2. Open the strainer basket cover. Clean the basket and replace. Put your drain plugs and o-rings in the basket. Lubricate the o-ring on your strainer housing with o-ring lubricant and replace the lid.

 3. Once all of your equipment has been properly winterized according to the manufacturer’s specifications, make sure all plumbing lines are appropriately winterized based on the requirements of your geographic location.

pentair sd80 filter

  1. Place the multi-port valve in a neutral position for the winter. This is either between any two grooves, or the “winterize” position if one is indicated on your multi-port valve.

  2. If you have a Nature2 Express, remove the cartridge.

  3. If you have an automatic chlorinator, drain it, remove the tablets (be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe chemical handling), thoroughly rinse with fresh water and replace the lid, but leave it loose enough to allow any gases to escape.

  4. If you have a salt water pool, disconnect the cell part of the salt system, unplug it from the power center and bring it indoors for the winter. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on cleaning it for the winter.

  5. If you have an automatic cleaner that uses hoses to attach to your skimmer (such as a Baracuda), take all of the hoses apart and store them straight. Do not coil hoses or they will not work next spring.

Related: Swimming pool equipment maintenance tips

Note:

  • Filters, pumps and heaters can take up to 30 days to completely drain. Do not wait until freezing weather is predicted to drain your filter, pump and heater. If you wait, it will be too late.

  • Winterizing procedures on pumps, filters and heaters vary. Always refer to owner’s manual for your particular make and model.

  • Some pumps, filters and heaters may have more plugs and drain valves. See your owner’s manual for complete details.


Every area of the country is different and may require additional steps and precautions. Please contact us or check with your local pool store for location-specific winterizing tips.



Vinyl Liner Maintenance

clock August 11, 2017 13:23 by author medallionpools |

 

The vinyl liner in your pool very durable, designed to give you many years of enjoyment. Proper water chemistry is critical to the life of your liner. While the title of this article is Vinyl Liner Maintenance, the bad maintenance practices outlined here will also cause problems for concrete and fiberglass pools.

Related: Vinyl pools vs. Fiberglass pools

When using granular chlorine, if you pour a cup in one location, it could fall to the bottom and bleach the liner. That bleach area will start to become very thin and develop holes. Your liner will then start to lose water. Broadcast it slowly around your pool and brush off any that falls to the bottom. Be sure to follow all safety instructions found on the label.

If you use chlorine tablets and do not use a chlorine feeder and put them in your skimmer basket, your liner might bleach just below the skimmer and become very thin, then start to leak. You should use a chlorine feeder for these tablets. Tablets will tend to lower the pH and Alkalinity levels of your pool water. Your liner will lose its elasticity if levels remain low. The liner may also become brittle and could split.

You should have your local pool dealer check your swimming pool water on a regular basis so you can maintain proper levels. Test strips are also available for you to use if you are not close to a pool store. We have stories of customers who still have their original liner from over 25 years ago. You may also be able to do this with proper care and water chemistry.

Contact us, or reach out to your local Medallion pool dealer for more information.



Zinc Anode

clock June 15, 2017 07:00 by author medallionpools |

The in-line zinc anode is attached to the bonding wire, thereby protecting all metal parts (heaters, lights, rails, etc.) from galvanic corrosion. Zinc anodes will sacrifice themselves and corrode before all other metals in the pool. Zinc anodes need to be replaced approximately every 4-5 years on average.  Many factors can affect how quickly it will need to be replaced.  We have encountered some pools where the zinc anode had to be replaced every year.

Any time you have different metals (copper, stainless steel, etc.) in a salt water pool, you create a battery. Some amount of current flows between the metals. The electrons that make up the current are supplied by one of the metals, giving up bits of itself in the form of metal ions to the pool water. This is called galvanic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion causes plaster discoloration and metal erosion. The best way to inhibit the effect of galvanic corrosion is to use a zinc anode. Zinc is a metal that gives up its metal ions faster than other metals in the pool. In other words, the zinc anode will erode instead of other metals (pool light, rails, heater, light niche, ladder, etc.). The zinc ions will not discolor the pool plaster. The zinc anode should be replaced after half of it has eroded.

Galvanic corrosion can also occur pools that do not use salt water. Any stray electrical current around the pool area can cause it. Also, many localities are now requiring that the pool water be bonded. The inline zinc anode also performs this function.

This article is courtesy of the Pool Tool Company (www.pooltool.com). Here is a link to their zinc anode brochure (http://pooltool.com/images/catalog/brochurePrint.zip )



Basic Pool Maintenance

clock May 26, 2017 07:00 by author medallionpools |

Pool maintenance relies on some basic steps that are simple, but effective. You should pay close attention to these steps to help keep your pool looking and performing at its best.

Circulation

The water in your pool must be circulating for the products to work properly. This makes it harder for bacteria and algae to grow. The more water that goes through the filter will make it work more efficiently and effectively. APSP standards call for your filter system to be able to turn your pool water over within 12 hours. It is recommended that your water be filtered for at least 10 hours or more at any given time, preferably, during the day. Some conditions may require you to run your pump longer.

Filtration

The filter is used to keep your water clear and it removes debris. To do this, it is recommended that (for sand and DE filters) the filter be backwashed when the pressure of the water in the filter gets above its normal pressure (see your manufacturer’s handbook). However, backwashing alone doesn’t remove oils or stains, nor can you backwash a cartridge filter. Every filter should be cleaned with a chemical filter cleaner as part of a maintenance program. See the instructions on the particular filter cleaner you are using for proper use. With proper cleaning and care, the sand in most sand filters should be changed every 3-5 years.

Cleaning

Leading pool chemical manufacturers recommend that your pool should be cleaned weekly. You can do this by using a manual vacuuming system or by adding an automatic pool cleaner.

Testing

Another way to keep your pool at its best is remembering to test the water. You should test your pool water at least once a week. The tests are for pH, active sanitizer (available chlorine, bromine, Baquacil, etc.), total alkalinity, calcium hardness, salt (when applicable), stabilizer (when applicable), etc. You can also periodically bring a water sample to your local pool store if they offer water analysis services (usually for a small fee to cover their expenses). They will be able to give you a computer printout of your results with recommendations for treatment. You should also bring in a water sample prior to closing your pool. These tips will help you keep a proper balance and also decrease the risks of any future problems.



Air Leaks

clock May 11, 2017 01:30 by author medallionpools |

Are you noticing bubbles now starting to blow into your pool through the return fitting? Have you noticed the strainer basket (housed in the pump area with a lid on top) is no longer filling up with water like it used to? Have you noticed your skimmer is making a sound like sipping on a Slurpee?

If so, these are all signs that you have a possible air leak or the water level in your pool is too low. With low water level, the skimmer will pull in water and air and cause a noise or air bubbles. Your pump may even lose its prime. Try to maintain your pool water level at least half way up your skimmer.

If the pool does have enough water, then you might be getting an air leak thru the lid on your pump’s strainer basket. That lid has an o-ring. That o-ring needs to be removed and cleaned. Move it all around checking for any cracks or breaks in the o-ring. Replace the o-ring if you find these cracks or tears. Remember every time you open the lid on the strainer basket to clean the basket, you are letting air into your system.

When you put the o-ring back in place, you should coat it with O-Ring Lube (not Vaseline or other petroleum based produces). Vaseline and other petroleum based lubricants will cause the o-ring to deteriorate and break down. You may have a filter with a multiport value. On the side of that value is a bleeder valve designed to release air. Open it slightly to see if you can remove the air and let the water fill up completely in the pump’s strainer basket. Most of the time the problem is low water level in the pool or a worn out o-ring on pump lid.

Other items to check that do not occur as often are; a cracked pump lid, a cracked pump housing, the seal around the pump’s drain plug, a leaking plumbing joint, a crack in the pipe, a crack in the skimmer, etc.