Pool blog postings

Pool Postings

Earliest: July 9, 2013Latest: December 9, 2018Total: 29
June 8, 2016

Liquid vs Crystal Shock

What is the best Shock type to buy? When is the best time to use the liquid version and when is the best time to use the power version?

Pool Chemicals

What is Super Shock?

Shock is a sanitizing chemical of water. Shock contains highly concentrated Sodium hypochlorite solutions.

Liquid vs Crystal Super Shock

There is very little difference between the two varieties. When using the Crystal Shock, most manufacturers recommend to delude in a bucket of pool water rather than pouring it directly into the pool.

Using the liquid form just makes it easier to shock the pool, Simply just pour it directly into the pool.

Liquid shock is harder to find, although most pool places do carry it. You'll find the Crystal Shock at most box hardware stores.

Best Time to use Liquid Shock

The best time to use the liquid shock is opening the pool. You won't have crystals falling to the bottom of the pool, only to be picked up by a floor vacuum.

Penalty for Over Shocking

If you over shock the pool, you get a couple of penalties:

Pool Liner Discoloration

If you put in too much Shock you will bleach the pool liner. Very soon you'll have a ring around the pool. The only way to fix this is to replace the liner!

High PH levels

The pool may look cloudy because your PH levels are off the charts. You will need to fix this by adding a "pH Decreaser" to reduce the acid levels. Once you have control of that, the pool should look much better.

Lesson Learned

Make sure to wear proper clothing when applying any type of mega shock to the pool. You could encounter unexpected backsplash which will stain your clothes. Tip: Wear light color clothing, don't forget about the shoes!

Make sure to evenly spread the shock around the pool. I find pouring near the filter. Outtake helps spread it around better.

Once Shock is added to the pool, you must wait 2-3 hours before anyone goes in the pool.

Always apply shock in the morning or early evening. Adding during the middle of the day will only burn off some of the Sodium hypochlorites. Thus losing strength and power of the shock treatment.

If you're getting the Crystal shock at the hardware store, pick up a store 5-gallon bucket to mix the shock. The bucket and cover is a good container to store the crystal shock packets.

You can always use the sand filter backwash to easily get water into the bucket.

June 1, 2016

Above Ground Pool Supply Essentials

Pool Essentials

Here's my suggested list of five pool supply essentials that every above ground pool user should have at their disposal at all time. Not having any of these could mean an unscheduled trip to the pool store. That is if they are open.

  • Pool Patch Kit with Glue
  • Extra Hose with Clamp
  • Shock
  • Plumber Tape
  • Pool Water Test Strips

Pool Patch with Glue

A Pool accident can happen at any time. You never know when something will inadvertently hit the pool. We have had a tree branch and a rock from a lawnmower break the liner - within a few days of each other. Chances are when something happens, you won't have much time to run to the store.

Extra Hose with Clamps

Having an extra hose is extremely valuable when one of the hoses suddenly breaks. This is more likely to happen early in the season when hoses have worn out after many years of use. Extra hose clamps are good in case the old clamps rust out and you can't tighten them any more. Make sure to have at least one available for each length you have.

Just remember to store your hoses inside so the cold weather doesn't shorten the lifespan of the hose.

Extra Super Shock

You never know when you may need to super shock the pool. You don't want AFR or accident to ruin a great swimming weekend.

Remember that liquid super shock does hold its strength for more than one year. Don't over stock on liquid Super Shock - even if it's a good sale!

Plumber Tape

This is handy to have when opening up the pool and you want to make sure that water does leak from the pipes. You can find these a bit cheaper at the big box hardware stores.

Pool Water Test Strips

Always make sure that the pool is well balanced before anyone swims in it. The pool might look super clear, but there might be a chemical imbalance that could cause someone to be sick. It only takes a minute to get a quick read on how safe the pool is.

The Pool Water Test Strips is a quick and easy way to find out if the pool is ready to be used.

It doesn't hurt to have just enough amount of chemicals to balance the pool. It helps to know how many gallons are in your pool.

Always be Prepared

I also keep a spare screwdriver and pliers in the shed. That way if I need to tighten, or loosen any pipe connectors I don't have to go looking for the right tools.

Have all of these will make sure you're ready for a perfect pool summer. Try to think of other supplies that you may need and share your emergency kit ideas!

July 10, 2015

Liquid Pool Shock Shelf Life

Watch out if you're buying a lot of liquid pool shock to stock up this summer season. You should only be buying enough that you will need for this season. Liquid shock does not store very well as it looses its strength as time goes on.

Plan how much shock you need for the rest of the summer. Don't be fooled to stock up when the local pool place has an end of season clearance. Get only what you absolutely need!

In addition, don't put too much shock when you close the pool because it will only discolor the liner. This will cause a weird looking ring around the pool. The only way to fix it would be to replace the liner. Thus putting too much shock could be an expensive mistake.

So what do you do with any extra shock inventory? You can still keep it - as stores perfectly fine in the pool shed for the winter. Just keep in mind, that when you use it next spring, it won't be that strong strength. You won't hurt the pool by putting it in, but your not getting your money's worth as it won't be that strong.

The next time when you shock the pool with several liquid pool shock containers, and you don't see and change in PH levels or the pool is still green, you were probably using old liquid shock containers.

May 27, 2015

Lessons of a Pool Owner

My personal list of lessons learned from managing an above ground pool in New England.

Make a note of anything that you'll need to buy in the fall (Missing pieces, broken pillow)

When you plan ahead, you will save time and money. Some pool shops will have special deals throughout the spring on leftover fall inventory. Also if you don't need it right away, you can order online and select the cheapest shipping option.

You could save on buying pool covers to make room for the new inventory or in some cases on fairly used one on Craigs list.

Some common things you may need: Pool Cover, Cover clips, ropes, better chemicals, side brush, bigger leaf rake and a new pillow.

Keep everything together.

When you put the winter supplies away, keep things together so that it will make it easy to close the pool in the Fall. It would be very handy to know where the pool cover clamp is. Oh, and storing the cover clips in a grocery plastic bag makes it easy to find in the Fall. I hang the bag on a nail in the back of the shed. Same place every year.

Make sure to spend extra time cleaning the cover and allowing it to dry before folding. This will ensure that your cover has a long life. 30 years above ground covers don't exist, if you have it for more than 5 years you are batting above average.

Test the pool chemicals before turning on the pool filter

The first thing to do when getting the cover off the pool is to test the chemicals. This is your base. Add any water and the run the filter and test the chemical level again. It should be different because of the chlorine and water movement. That's what you should bring to get tested at the pool store.

Check the sand filter drain before starting the filter

This is key. Before starting the sand filter double check all the end points and make sure they are tight. You don't want it too tight, but it needs to be secure.

Don't run the filter unattended for the first few hours!

You never know what can happen. You may have a worn out hose or the water pressure may pop out the filter drain. You should be near the filter to respond to any unexpected action that happens.

In 2011, we encountered a situation where a hose had a tiny hole in it because of how it was stored. The hole didn't show up until about 20 minutes after running the filter. The water slowly shot out of the house until it got bigger. Lucky that I was around to turn off the filter and then stop the water while I replaced the hose.

Take inventory of what chemicals you have in stock before going to the pool store.

When you get the pool water tested, you should know what you have in the shed and more importantly how much you have. Don't forget to check the dates too ! Do you have any Aligicide, PH Up or down?

Knowing what you have on hand can help make sure don't waist chemicals that you do have on hand. Also make note if you need to stock up on other supplies. Most patch kits rubber cement only last one season. Do you have and extra hoses? How about clamps? You don't want to be caught off guard if an accident happens.

Know your pool!

How many gallons is your pool? Don't go by what the package says because you may have more or less water than you think. Measure how much water is in the pool and the times it by the width.

This will be extremely useful as you'll know how much chemicals to put in. You may find that your not putting in enough and that's why it takes forever to balance the pool.

Keep a Pool log

Having a log of what you do to the pool will help future similar situations. It's also useful tracking all the chemical expenses. So if it seems that chlorine appears to be more expensive in August, you'll know how much you paid. In addition you'll know exactly how much chemicals you use in a season so you can make wise decisions on when to buy things in bulk.

You don't need to be fancy with a logging. You can use any notebook and a pen. You can even have an envelope and record things in the off-season for future reference. Key thing to record are the dates and why you took action.

Some example logging:

July 4 - Added 3 cups of PH down after a heavy rain storm
July 6 - Spent an hour cleaning the side of the pool for the party
August 3 - Removed dead bird from pool

We found the local pool places are not very helpful in the middle of the summer. Usually the summer help isn't always that knowledge. So keeping ahead of the game is certainly key, otherwise you may pay for some bad advice.

July 20, 2014

Green Pool Fix

Here's how we have been able to convert an ugly green pool into a nice clear pool that everyone wants to swim in. It doesn't take a lot of work, just time and patience.

Note: We have a 14,645 gallon (52996 Liters) size pool.

Shopping List:

  • 4 gallons of Liquid Shock
  • Algicide (16 oz)
  • First Aid pool cleaner

Day One:

  • Turn on the Pool Pump and Filter
  • Run the Filter backwash for about a minute.
  • Dump the 4 gallons of Liquid shock into the pool. Make sure to pour each gallon in a different part of the pool. Be careful when you do this as some of the backslash may stain your clothes.
  • Put in 7oz of Algicide in the pool. Make sure to spread the amount all over the pool. I like to make sure that the center of the pool gets plenty of Algicide since when the pool runs most of the allergy will move towards the center.
  • Run the Pump and Filter for at least 10 hours

Day Two:

The pool should be less green with some white, now it's time to clear it up.

  • You should run the Filter Backwash for a couple of minutes.
  • Put in 1/2 the bottle of First Aid in the pool, again making sure to spread the amount all over the pool.

Day Three

Pool should be less white today. If not, add a bit more of the First Aid and then follow the next steps.

  • You should run the filter's backwash for a couple of minutes.
  • Run an automatic pool cleaner for several hours. This is important to run to completely remove all the dead allergies that have floated to the bottom of the pool. You won't get the pool completely clean until they are gone.
  • We love to use Diver Dave. Diver Dave is a highly efficient automatic pool cleaner that crawls around the flat bottom of your above ground pool eating up most everything in sight.
  • After running the automatic pool cleaner for several hours, you should run the filter's backwash for a couple of minutes.
  • Run the Pump and Filter over night

Day Four and Five

Run the filter's backwash for a couple of minutes.

  • Continue to run the filter for 8 hours, you may need to add some additional Algicide or First Aid depending on how bad the pool looks.
July 16, 2014
Pool Emergency Kit

Pool Emergency Kit

One of the most essential tool that any above ground pool owner should have is a container on Vinyl Cement and some extra vinyl strips.

You never know when something might puncture your pool, such as a branch from a tree or having a rock bullet through the pool wall from a lawn mower. Chances are that your local pool shop may not be open when it happens, and if so, would they have any of the patch equipment available?

I recently found that Lowes or Home Depot doesn't carry any Vinyl Cement, or any type of adhesive that would work under water. Home Depot does carry some pool supplies, including a patch kit, but again they may not have it in stock, plus you would be paying a premium price.

At Central Pools in Framingham, you can get the Vinyl Cement for about $10 and they have extra vinyl patches samples that you can take for free. Leslie's Pools only carries small patch kits and they don't have the Vinyl Cement container.

I would recommend keeping these inside the house instead of in a garage or shed. I had an old patch kit but the vinyl cement had dried up. Just keep them so you know where they are in an emergency.

Another essential thing to have on hand is an extra pool hose. This can come in handy if your pool hose should suddenly spring a leak. We have encountered some leaks with our hoses and have had to replace them. This can happen when you use the same hose over many years.

Pool Emergency Kit ideas

  • Vinyl Cement
  • Vinyl (Large size)
  • Pool Hose
  • Thread seal tape ( PTFE or Plumbers Tape)

If there's anything else you think should be in the kit, please drop me a note and tell me!

July 17, 2013
 Inline Chlorinator

Inline Chlorinator

An above ground pool needs a really good Inline Chlorinator to automatically inject chlorine into the pool every time the filter runs. This is simple way to to remove contaminants from the water held in the pool. Some people like to use a floating Chlorinator, but I think an Inline is the best way to properly mix chlorine into the entire pool.

Last year we had a problem with our old Inline Chlorinator as their was a crack in the main body and it was leaking. I had to rush to Leslies Pool and pick one up. Usually when your in an emergency situation, you don't really do much comparison shopping, as I picked the only Inline Chlorinator that they had in stock - Super Clear Inline Chlorinator.

This turned out to be much better than the old one that we had, which had to be at least 5 years old. I really like how easy it is to open the top and put in Clorine. The old one would get stuck and would take great efforts to remove the top. I would use such great force that I would get blisters just trying to open it. Now it is very simple to open as I just push a lever and twist off with ease.

Using the Inline Chlorinator

When setting up an Inline Chlorinator to an above ground pool, make sure to have a valve to cut off the water flow. You'll need this to stop any back flow that may happen, usually when shutting down the pool, or fixing a leaky hose.

The Inline Chlorinator is an easy way to get chlorine in a pool opening up for the season. The Super Clear model allows you to adjust the amount of Chlorine and this complements any Shock strategy. Just remember to double check the Chlorine levels and don't forget to turn down the Chlorine levels.

It really doesn't matter what size chlorine tablets you use. I have used both the "giant" size and the regular size. They both work just as well. I usually buy whatever is on sale, or has the best value for the number of chlorine tablets in the container.

Winterizing the Inline Chlorinator

We stored the Inline Chlorinator in the basement of our house. Before putting it downstairs, I made sure that the water was fully drained out of the container, I then rinsed the container out really well and left outside to dry. Once it was done, I put the top back on. I did this since I didn't want any of the Chlorine smell in the house and our cats to get into it. You should never leave the Chlorinator outside during the winter.

July 10, 2013

Bulk Water Delivery

There are many companies that offer Bulk Water services to the Framingham area. Most people need this service for filling up a pool. If you have bulk water needs you should contact all the companies for pricing and availability.                                                                
Nala Industries Inc. (508) 529-7665
Dalton Water Company (781) 843-0529
Puraqua Pool Service Incorporated (781) 893-6300
RCL Trucking (508) 726-2001

We recently use Nala Industries Inc. for our water deliver, they were able to provide service within 24 hours of calling and they were really helpful to get the water in the pool as quickly as possible.

Tip: Make sure to measure how far it is from the street to your pool. Since they will have a large truck, in most cases, they won't be able to go down a driveway. If you measure the distance before the truck arrives, they will be able to get the correct hose size.

July 9, 2013

24 foot Round Pool

24 Round Pool

There is approximately 14,645 gallons in a 24 foot round pool.

Conventional Calculations (Method #1)

Let's suppose that this above ground pool is a perfect cylinder shape of 24 ft. diameter by 52 inches (or 4 1/3 feet) deep. The formula to find the volume of any type of cylinder is V=pir(square)h. We could use 3.14 to represent Pi (pi), r(square) is 144 and the height of 52 inches, which is 4 and 1/3 feet. So then just multiply 3.14 (pi) times 144 times 4 and a third. The answer is approximately 1958 cubic feet. Since there are 7.48 gallons of liquid per cubic foot, 7.48 times 1,958 is approximately 14,645 gallons.

Another way to Calculated (Method #2)

Diameter X Diameter X average depth X 5.9 = Volume in gallons

The 24 foot Round Above Ground Pool will most likely have walls that measure 52" but only hold 48" or four feet of water. It has a flat bottom with a slight angle in the middle but usually not much to impact the calculations.

To Calculate, 24' x 24' = 576 square feet of water. You then multiply the depth of 4', which equals 2,304. The 2,304 figure is multiplied by 5.9 and you come up with 13,593 gallons of water. If we assume that earlier calculations where we have 52 inches deep, it comes out to 14,613.12.


You can clearly see how important it is to know the depth of your round pool. In our situation, the pool depth is 47", which makes our pool volume 13,287. I have 8" of water in the pool which means that the pool now contains 2,276 gallons and we are awaiting 9,000 gallons of water from NALA. When completed, our pool will have 11,276 gallons, and we will top it off so that we can use the pool this weekend.

Some other useful facts:

  • Approximately 281 Gallons for every inch of water
  • Garden hose flow = 500 gallons/hours.
  • Filling a 24 Round Pool using a Garden hose will take approximately 30 hours.
  • Most bulk water deliver services hold 9,000 gallons and cost between $390 and $450 per delivery.