Pools and Spas Q & A Forum - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Pools and Spas Q & A Forum

Email Your Questions Here: Ask the Expert

QUESTION: My above ground pool gets bugs in it so much we can hardly swim in it. When my family and I went on a weekend trip and came back on a Monday the pool was full of bugs. What should I do? I cleaned it out and the next morning it was full again.

ANSWER: Our chemical line, BioGuard, consists of an easy Once-A-Week 3-Step Water Care System. Step 3 is a product called Back Up Algaecide. Besides preventing algae in the pool, it has an added benefit of killing water bugs, which are then picked up by the pool vacuum. For the initial dose, 1 quart treats 25,0000 gallons, and then 1 ounce per 5,000 gallons is used for weekly maintenance. (Occasionally, if the bug problem is severe, two initial treatments may be required.) For a free computerized water analysis, and to learn more about Steps 1 (Sanitize - usually chlorine) and 2 (Oxidize - shock) of BioGuard's easy water care system, please bring a water sample (in a clean quart container) to the Sabine Pools location nearest you. 3213 Common St., Lake Charles 433-1193; 106A N. Cities Service Hwy., Sulphur 625-3452; 1221 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 984-9884; 4244 W. Congress, Lafayette 984-9881.

QUESTION: I am a recent pool owner and have only had my pool for a week. It is an above ground pool and we have only used it once. The day after swimming in it, the water turned orange. My brother shocked it and put chlorine tablets but the water is still orange. What can be causing this problem?

ANSWER: What a good set of questions about caring for Above Ground Pools! First, regardless of the size of your pool, you've got to have good filtration and circulation of the pool water. Always keep your pump running during daylight hours and, to prevent cloudiness, make sure you keep the sanitizer level between 1 and 3 pm . Test your water and add sanitizer as needed (usually chlorine) after a rain. Make sure you prevent algae, too, with Back Up algaecide. Plus, as a bonus, Back Up also kills water bugs. Next, pools in southwest Louisiana should not be covered on a daily basis once the weather warms up to 80 degrees. Your friend was correct in telling you that germs/bacteria can build up, because sanitizer levels are depleted rapidly, allowing bacteria and algae to get started. Finally, please understand that it is not expensive or complicated to keep your pool water sparking blue and clear. We use an easy once-a-week 3-step water care program, and it is actually less expensive to maintain good water than it is to troubleshoot after you have problems. Start by bringing a water sample (in a clean quart jar) to the store nearest you, and we'll get you fixed up, so you can keep those Bad Boys of yours swimming and happy all summer long! Sabine Pools & Spas, 3213 Common St., Lake Charles 433-1193; 106A N. Cities Service Hwy., Sulphur 625-3452; 1221 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 984-9884; 4244 W. Congress, Lafayette 984-9881. SabinePools.com

Question: Do salt pools kill germs like a chorine pools do? What are the risks of getting illness compared to a chorine pool?

Answer: "Salt pool" is a common phrase used to describe pools with a chlorine generator. BUT, keep in mind that not all "salt pools" are chlorine pools. The essential element is the chlorine generator itself, and yes, a pool with a chlorine generator is just as sanitary and bacteria-free as the more traditional chlorine pool. Sabine Pools installs a chlorine generator called Mineral Springs. Maintenance is simplified, because you never have to touch chlorine tablets again. At start up, a large amount of a product called Beginnings, a combination of minerals, balancers, salts, and water softeners, is added. Weekly maintenance is simplified, because you put in one 4-pound bag of a product called Renewal per 20,000 gallons of water and then balance the water. Mineral systems provide very clear, sparkling, blue pool water without using chlorine, and yes, they are quite suitable for our area. Please contact the Sabine location near you for more information on Mineral Springs. Our main construction headquarters are at 3213 Common St. in Lake Charles (433-1193) and 1221 Kaliste Saloom Rd. in Lafayette (984-9884), and we have additional locations in Sulphur on Cities Service Hwy and in Lafayette on West Congress. Bring a quart of fresh pool water in a clean container to any store for a free computerized water analysis.

Question: What am I supposed to do to keep my above ground pool water clear when it rains? It seems like whenever I get the pool clean it will rain and the water becomes cloudy again. I was also told that I should not keep my pool cover on my above ground pool as much as I do because it will cause germs/bacteria to build up in the water. Is this correct? I have a hard time keeping leaves, grass clippings, and bugs out of the water if I keep the cover off. If I were to bring in a water sample and get it tested with you, do you have an all-in-one product that I can use to correct my water or is that just wishful thinking? Any helpful hints on keeping those darn above ground pools clean with BAD BOYS wanting to be in the pool everyday

Answer: What a good set of questions about caring for Above Ground Pools! First, regardless of the size of your pool, you've got to have good filtration and circulation of the pool water. Always keep your pump running during daylight hours and, to prevent cloudiness, make sure you keep the sanitizer level between 1 and 3 pm . Test your water and add sanitizer as needed (usually chlorine) after a rain. Make sure you prevent algae, too, with Back Up algaecide. Plus, as a bonus, Back Up also kills water bugs. Next, pools in southwest Louisiana should not be covered on a daily basis once the weather warms up to 80 degrees. Your friend was correct in telling you that germs/bacteria can build up, because sanitizer levels are depleted rapidly, allowing bacteria and algae to get started. Finally, please understand that it is not expensive or complicated to keep your pool water sparking blue and clear. We use an easy once-a-week 3-step water care program, and it is actually less expensive to maintain good water than it is to troubleshoot after you have problems. Come to our next Free Pool School , and you'll see how easy it is, plus get a discount! It's 7 pm on July 14 in Lake Charles on Common St. and July 13 on Congress St. in Lafayette . In the meantime, our Sulphur location would be convenient for you to bring a water sample (clean quart jar), and we'll get you fixed up, so you can keep those Bad Boys of yours swimming and happy all summer long! Sabine Pools & Spas, 3213 Common St., Lake Charles 433-1193; 106A N. Cities Service Hwy., Sulphur 625-3452; 1221 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 984-9884; 4244 W. Congress, Lafayette 984-9881. www.SabinePools.com

Question: I am considering installing a pool and would like to know the pros and cons of a salt-water pool system, and would this system be suitable for this area?

Answer: Mineral systems provide very clear, sparkling, blue pool water without using chlorine, and yes, they are quite suitable for our area. They are easily installed on a new pool or can be retrofitted onto an existing “Inground or AboveGround” pool. Another pro, besides beautiful water and no chlorine application, is less time spent on pool water care. It's a perfect system for folks who travel a lot or who just want the simplest water care system. Initial costs include the unit itself (Mineral Springs), plus the first mineral treatment (Beginnings). Sabine Pools provides professional installation of the unit as well as the Beginnings application and start up. After that, you reap the benefit of simple weekly mineral application (Renewal) to maintain silky, soft, and gentle pool water. Please contact the Sabine location near you for design and materials choices for your new pool and for more information on Mineral Springs specs for that pool. Our main construction headquarters are at 3213 Common St. in Lake Charles (433-1193) and 1221 Kaliste Saloom Rd. in Lafayette (984-9884) with additional locations in Sulphur on Cities Service Hwy and in Lafayette on West Congress.

Question: How do I get all the green pollen out of my in ground pool?

Answer: A “Skim Mor" skimmer screen will help tremendously. "Skim Mor" is a specially treated material that attracts oils, lotions, cosmetics, pollen and other small debris that usually just pass through the filer. The "Skim Mor" is easy to use. Just slip it onto the skimmer basket. Pollen not only wreaks havoc on your allergies and your car, it also depletes sanitizer levels in your pool water, so it's not just a cosmetic water problem. One word of caution: Make sure the green you are seeing isn't algae. Bring a water sample (1 quart of water in a clean plastic container) to your local Sabine Pools & Spas for a free and accurate water analysis.

 Question:: Can you tell me if it is possible for crawfish to get under your above ground pool and cut holes in the liner? we have seen a few around our pool and found one floating on top of the pool.

Answer: Typically the only time the crawfish holes occur is on new installation, that is, when the Above Ground Pool is first set up. The crawfish hole is already there, and when the pool is installed on top of its house, it tries to get out and creates a bigger and bigger hole. Once the repair is done under the pool, the problem is over, but the homeowner needs to be mindful of crawfish holes around the perimeter. And, yes, crawfish can tear a pool liner. Either the crawfish itself claws through and tears it, or, if a hole is not filled and is left with air under the liner, the liner will stretch and tear. If you see crawfish holes under an Above Ground Pool, you can remove the liner and fill the holes with a product called vermiculite. Vermiculite can be purchased by the bag for around $15.00 if you are a “do-it-yourselfer”. Purchase enough vermiculite to fill in any other crawfish holes in the area of the swimming pool. Sabine Pools and Spas’ Service Department can also make the repair. If the liner must be removed to fill crawfish holes or to repair a tear, and the liner is more than a year old, it will probably shrink when the pool water is removed and may need to be replaced.

QUESTION: We are planning on replacing the liner in our pool next spring. My question is- do we have to continue with chemicals all winter? Do we have to keep the pump running? Can we drain the pool now and wait until next spring before putting in a new liner?

ANSWER: The short answer is Yes, Yes, & No. Either keep your pool in good condition over the winter, or schedule a winter liner-change and get it over with before next year's swim season starts. As to the chemicals and the pump: In all likelihood, you won't save any money by letting the pool go. However, a winter without chemicals or filtration could cost a lot in the long run. First, chemical cost is minimal compared to summer & pump run times can be reduced as the temperatures drop. Plus, if the pool isn't in good shape when the crew arrives to remove the old liner and install the new one, you'll end up with additional work that you hadn't counted on. Plus, maintaining the water clarity over the winter helps maintain your equipment's integrity & avoid corrosion. It really is much less expensive to properly winterize and close the pool than to take chances. Also, you never want to leave any pool empty for an extended length of time. In an in-ground pool, you run the risk of ruining the vermiculite bottom underneath the liner. Also, in extreme cases, water can get behind the old liner, whittle away at the vermiculite bottom, and then the wall (polymer, wood, or steel) of the pool can slide down. The cost of repairs can exceed the cost of a new pool. For an above ground pool, you run the risk of a strong wind blowing the walls down. If this occurs, the cost to replace them can easily be 2/3rds of the original purchase price. One thing to keep in mind: Getting a new liner is not a quick job. Please don't wait until it's time to swim to order the liner. It has to be sized and ordered to spec, plus our renovation crews get extremely busy once Spring arrives. Thanks for your interest. I hope the answer helps. Please email or call us if we can be of more assistance.

QUESTION: We have a concrete pool that is about 8-years old. We would like to change the color of the concrete. The color now is white, and the ceramic is blue/terracota. A friend of ours painted his pool himself. How could we do this? And what are some prices to have this done? What kind of paint do you use?

ANSWER: People frequently do paint their pools as an alternative to more permanent re-plastering. Many commercial pools are actually painted each year to keep up appearances between re-plastering. However, for residential pools, re-plastering is recommended, because paint looks great the first year but starts to deteriorate in the second year. If you choose painting over re-plastering, the next decision is whether to hire a pool company or to Do It Yourself. Either way, it's important to consult the pool company as to the How To's and tips on what color to use to compliment your pool. Paint color also influences the pool water's appearance and clarity. The rubber-based paint that's used for pools has to be ordered for your specific pool's size and comes pre-mixed in the color you choose from a brochure. Do It Yourself-ers order the paint at about $50 a gallon. To hire the pool company's renovation team to paint, you would need a bid based on your pool specs. Thank your interest. I hope the answer helps. Please call or come see us for more information.

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