Winterizing Your Pool – Part 1

clock September 14, 2016 10:00 by author medallionpools |

swimming pool skimmer plug

We wanted to give you a few basic tips on how to winterize your vinyl liner swimming pool. Please note that this is just a generic information list and not intended as a complete winterizing guide. Every pool is different so please be sure to follow all the instructions found in your owner’s manuals. If you have any questions regarding your particular installation the company you purchased the pool or equipment from should be more than happy to help you. As always, when using any chemicals be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions. They are there for a reason.

This article is being done in several parts. The first part deals mainly with the area around the pool itself.

  1. Vacuum your pool thoroughly. Remember, the cleaner your pool is when you close it, the easier it will be to open it.
  2. Clean your filter with a chemical filter cleaner compatible with your pool sanitizer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the instructions on the cleaner’s label for the proper procedure.
  3. It is highly advised that you purchase a winterizing chemical kit compatible with the sanitizer you are using in your pool. Whatever chemical system you are using, you must make sure that your water is chemically balanced. Do not leave chlorine on the liner - it will bleach it. Then add the appropriate amount of algaecide to your pool according to the instructions on the container.
  4. Remove the ladder, rails, diving board, slide, and any other deck items around your pool.
  5. swimming pool skimmer gizzmo

  6. Bring the water level up to at least your normal summertime water level. For in-wall skimmers it is highly recommended that you purchase a Skimmer Plug and a Gizzmo to protect your skimmer from freezing.
  7. Install the Skimmer Plug and (using the Waste setting on your multiport valve) suck the water out of your skimmer. This should only take a few seconds.
  8. Install the Gizzmo in the skimmer and then fill the bottom portion of your skimmer half way with a non-toxic antifreeze solution. Keep checking this during the winter.
  9. If you have a dry niche light (such as the Lumi-O) it is not unusual for your light boxes to fill with water over the winter months. It is a good idea to remove your bulb from your light and coat the light socket with WD-40. It is also not unusual for the light boxes to fill with water even during the summer months. This is considered an act of God and the amount of frequency upon which it happens depends on the amount of rain you have and the speed in which your ground can absorb water. If this is your case then you should also coat your light socket with WD-40 during the summer months as well. If you have water in your boxes in the summer months you can put a cover pump in your light box periodically and remove the water.
  10. swimming pool with water tube cover

  11. Cover the pool. If you are using a safety cover, refer to owner’s manual for the proper installation procedure. If you are using a winter cover that requires water tubes, use the following instructions:
    • Concrete blocks to hold down the cover are NOT recommended. USE ONLY WATERTUBES.
    • Do not stretch the cover. Let it sit loosely around the coping.
    • Fill the water tubes only halfway to allow for freezing.
    • It is completely normal for poly covers to leak water through the top. These covers will not always seal 100%. It is even better for your cover if you keep a thin layer of water on it.

Please check with your local pool store for their winterizing advice for your location. Every area of the country is different and may require additional steps and precautions.



Chlorine vs. Salt

clock August 25, 2016 07:00 by author medallionpools |

Now that you have made that decision to purchase a swimming pool, which sanitizer will you use? In addition to Chlorine or Salt, you have other choices but we will discuss those two here. Please remember that when using salt there is still Chlorine in your water, you are just generating it in a different manner. If you are allergic to Chlorine you cannot use a salt system.

If you decide to use Chlorine, you could use granular chlorine or chlorine tablets. Granular chlorine should go in the pool each day. Chlorine tablets are available in 3” and 1” sizes and you should put them into an automatic chlorinator. Chlorine tablets will tend to lower the pH level of your pool water and granular will tend to raise it.

With a salt system, you would use eight 40 lb. bags of salt per 10,000 gallons of pool water as an initial startup dosage when you first install it. You would add the salt directly into the pool and brushing off any that lays on the pool floor. If you do install a Chlorine Generator (salt system) you should also install a Zinc Anode. This will help prevent and/or lessen the impact of any galvanic reactions.

For those of you that have a spa, either of these sanitizers could also be used. They both are effective and your local Medallion pool dealer can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.



What is Synergy?

clock August 23, 2016 09:30 by author medallionpools |

Synergy may be a new name for you in sanitizers. It has been around for several years and was previously known as Simplicity, but most people either go with the granular chlorine, tablet chlorine, or have switched to the salt system (an extremely easy to use system that you can read more about by clicking here). While all of those are good, the Synergy System is a 3 step process to start then it is a very simple 2 step process, once a week treatment. Almost all customers that have tried the Synergy System are highly satisfied. They like the ease of use, water clarity, cost effectiveness and the all in a box packaging.

There is a large reduction of problems with the Synergy System. Your water is less cloudy and it reduces algae. You also use very little PH and Alkalinity as compared to other sanitizing systems. This System means a lot less work for you.

When you start the season you will add Initiator directly to your skimmer. IMPORTANT: If you have been on Baquacil or any other chemical that does not have a chlorine base in it you must get all of that chemical out of your pool first. It takes one 12.5 lb bottle per 10,000 gallons of water in your pool. This should last you for a typical swimming season of approximately 4 months. If you keep your pool open longer you may have to add it again. A large box of Synergy is made for pools of approximately 20,000 gallons and should last up to 10 weeks. After 2 weeks which gives the Initiator time to circulate in you pool, you should take a sample of water to your pool store to have it tested for the proper dosage of initiator. You need to have a 1.0-1.5 ppm sanitizer (free chlorine) level. If everything is correct then it’s time to start the Synergy System.

The large box contains 2 large containers of Synergy Tablets, 10 - 1 lb. bottles of Synergy Clear and test strips. You simply put the tablets in a floater or an automatic chlorinator once a week. Then you pour the clear into the pool at a rate of ½ a bottle per 10,000 gallons of water in your pool. That’s it. It’s only once a week. The Synergy System is easier on your liner, clothes and hair. The Synergy System also helps to eliminate most of the irritating chloramines and other contaminants that bother the swimmer’s eyes and nose and the water feels very soft on your skin. Then relax and enjoy your pool with sparkling clear water, less maintenance and less maintenance chemicals.



What Is Total Alkalinity And How Does It Affect A Pool Or Spa?

clock August 11, 2016 07:00 by author medallionpools |

GLB Alkalinity Up

Total Alkalinity is the measure of all of the alkaline substances that can be found in your pool or spa. Your main focus when dealing with Total Alkalinity is to measure your calcium carbonate, keeping your calcium carbonate in a safe range will help with the up keep of your pool and much more. Your Total Alkalinity should be keep between 80ppm (parts per million) and 120 ppm. When your Total Alkalinity is in this range it will prevent rapid pH changes in your pool or spa as well. It really helps to stabilize the pH.

If your Total Alkalinity is low there are many things that this could do to your pool or spa. With it being low it can corrode metal parts that are in the pool or spa, for example your steps, hand rails, pumps, etc. It can also stain the pools walls and floors, and make the water green. On top of all that it will also cause your eyes to burn and can cause your pH to bounce seemingly at random.

If your Total Alkalinity is to high it really makes it difficult to adjust the pH levels in the pool or spa. With the Total Alkalinity being to high it can also make your water cloudy and cause the chlorine to lose its effectiveness as a disinfectant. This could also cause your filter and heating elements to get clogged up. So keep in mind that it is very important to keep your Total Alkalinity in the correct range and it will make it a lot easier for you to be able to keep up with the up keep of your pool or spa.



What is pH and how does it affect a pool or spa?

clock August 10, 2016 10:00 by author medallionpools |

pH scale

pH is the measure of the acidity of the water. The lower the pH the more acidic it is and the higher the pH the more basic it is. Maintaining pH, or potential Hydrogen, is simple and easy when you understand just a few basics. pH ranges from 0-14 with 7 being neutral.

Your pool or spa’s pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Your eyes pH is between 7.3 and 7.4, so the closer you are to 7.4 the less burning sensation you will have in your eyes. If your pool or spa’s pH is below 7 then the water becomes more corrosive and will start to wear away your metal components. For example your pump, your heater, and it also removes the plasticizers from the vinyl liner & pits the concrete, etc.

If you pool or spa’s pH is to high then it will start to build up scale. Scale can begin to form on the warmest parts of the pool, so the heater is the first victim. Scale acts as an insulator on the heat exchanger. That can run up the cost of operating your pool because you have to use more natural gas or electricity. And finally the higher the pH is in your pool or spa the less effective your chlorine will be, and the less sanitized it will be.