Wednesday, September 16, 2009

 

LA Pool Guys on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

LA Pool Guys had the opportunity to spend the day with Conan O'Brien of The Tonight Show. We attempted to show him the in's and out's of Los Angeles pool service but found out quickly that he has his own unique way...enjoy!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

 

Pool Service Los Angeles

LA Pool Guys Los Angeles Pool Service Commercial

video

Pool Service Los Angeles Commercial also on YouTube "Same As Above"


Thursday, May 14, 2009

 

Phosphate in swimming pool water - the root of algae problems

Phosphate is fast becoming recognized as the major cause of algae in swimming pools. This summer has seen some of the highest recorded phosphate levels in swimming pools across Australia and New Zealand.

Some of this high level of phosphate has been attributed to summer drought related dust fallout, and an increase in the phosphate levels of several common fertilizers. For many years phosphate and nitrate runoff from farms has been blamed for the deterioration of our many lakes and waterways, now the problem has crossed into our swimming pools.

For pool owners, the biggest concerns from high phosphate levels are rapid chlorine consumption and stubborn, repeat algae problems. In order to maintain healthy water quality, it is important to remove phosphate from the pools water. Once it has been removed, regular maintenance can prevent the level from becoming a problem again and also aid in better chlorine performance and efficiency, reduced chlorine consumption, and no algae problems.

Phosphate and nutrients are required by all living organisms, including algae, to survive and flourish. It is commonly accepted that increasing the chlorine level and reducing the phosphate in swimming pool water results in less algae problems.

But how are they related, and what can be done to remove phosphate from swimming pool water? Phosphate is introduced to pool water from a variety of sources including runoff from lawns and gardens, pool fill water such as bores, dust, suntan oils and leaves. With time, all of these sources will cause a build-up and increase in the concentration of phosphate in the pools water. Algae spores are continually being introduced to the pool attached to dust and leaves. They only require nutrients and water to quickly multiply and become a threat to the pools water quality due to rapid consumption/destruction of available chlorine.

For decades chlorine has been used not just as a pool sanitizer, but it is also effective as a short lived algae killer. Traditional treatment has included "shock" dosing the pool with three to five times its regular daily chlorine dose; this is effective at killing off almost all visible algae. While this effectively kills the algae, it does not do anything to address the condition that allowed the algae to flourish in the first place. When the chlorine level returns to normal to algae will begin growing again. Therefore preventing the algae from recurring requires that the chlorine concentration is maintained at the higher level, the water is removed from the pool, or water conditions are changed to become less favourable for algae growth.

Traditionally, phosphate levels have been ignored, while attempting to remove dead algae by filtration. Given wet algae weighs 1000 times more than the phosphate needed to feed it, this is not the most effective way to do this. Also as the algae are trapped in the filter, it releases a certain amount of trapped phosphate back into the water. The most effective traditional treatment is "super chlorination" or ten times the normal daily dose, effectively bleaching the algae white and killing it. This is followed by a "floc" with aluminium salts, before vacuuming the settled dead algae to waste. Up until recently, none of the traditional treatments for algae targeted the real cause of the algae problem.

While chlorine was effective as a treatment for visible algae, prevention was not addressed. In swimming pools there are two effective chemical treatments for removing phosphate from swimming pools: lanthanum compounds and aluminium compounds. In sewage and effluent treatment ponds, iron compounds are used effectively, however these are undesirable in swimming pools due to the staining they cause. Aluminium compounds are more effective in pools with a high level of phosphate build-up, in the range of greater than 1000ppb (parts per billion); however they require vacuuming to waste after treatment. They will effectively remove phosphate down to 500ppb, but cannot remove phosphate below 100ppb which is required for effective algae control. Aluminium compounds are relatively cheap, and therefore suitable for removal of a large percentage of phosphate accumulated in the pools water. Lanthanum products are a potent and specific phosphate remover. They are best suited to maintaining low levels of phosphate in pools where performance and convenience are important. They are easier to use and apply than aluminium products and do not require vacuuming to waste after their application. However they are more expensive and best suited for pools with less than 2000ppb accumulated phosphate. One of the main advantages of lanthanum is that its ability to form lanthanum phosphate is not affected by the pools water balance. A small amount of lanthanum compound will cause the phosphate level to drop below 100ppm, while concentrations of below 10ppb are easy to maintain. Lanthanum compounds work by lodging in the pools filter media or cartridge, slowly dissolving to lightly coat the filter media. As phosphate rich water passes over the lanthanum crystals, they chemically attach themselves to the phosphate - forming lanthanum phosphate. Lanthanum phosphate is not suitable as a nutrient, and binds into larger particles so it can be removed by the pools filter medium. Large quantities of lanthanum can be stored in the filter without clouding the pools water. To conclude, phosphate removal is the secret to maintaining algae free, quality swimming pool water, while allowing other chemicals to work at their optimal level. Additional algae insurance, is the use of a preventative, "long life" copper based algaecide to be used in conjunction with regular testing for phosphate. While phosphate will accumulate in a pool naturally, there are steps pool owners can take to prevent excessively high levels. - Do not allow runoff from gardens and lawns to enter the pool - Remove leaves from the pool regularly and promptly - Apply a lanthanum compound phosphate remover regularly - Have the pools water tested by a professional.
Mike Brunt is a director of Aqua Clear Products and has been involved in the New Zealand pool industry for 15 years with specialist skills in filtration, heating and water chemistry. for more information see www.aquaclear.co.nz for all your pool equipment needs More information on treating pool alage

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

 

Pool Stains

Stains on your pool plaster can greatly reduce the aesthetic of your pool. There are several chemicals available that claim to rid your pool of stains, however we find that these are generally used to prevent stains, especially in areas with high concentrations of metal in the water.

Here are a couple of links to products that are designed for stains.

http://www.intheswim.com/Pool-Chemicals/Pool-Stain-Removal-and-Stain-Prevention-Chemicals/The-Sapphire-Stuff-by-Jacks-Magic/

http://www.saveonpoolsupplies.com/shopping/product.aspx?productid=56&e5=Y&e6=swimming_stain&pp=Y&keyword=swimming_stain


Sequestering agents and or “stain out” are very commonly used right after the initial plaster job to aid in the balancing of the pool and protect the shell against staining.

These products are pretty pricey, as you can see these products can run from $15-$30 for 1 qt as a result they are mainly used when the pool is initially installed or plastered.

The prices for these products online are usually pretty competitive and sometimes better then retail and can be purchased and administered per the directions on the bottle. These chemicals can be purchased and administered, however in my experience I haven’t found them to do much once there is a stain. Once staining occurs the most effective solution in my experience is to perform an acid wash. You can spend all the money you like on a barrage of chemicals with no guarantee as to whether they will achieve the desired result. Over time you will inevitably need to acid wash and replaster due to the nature of chemicals coming into contact with pool equipment and plaster, and each pool is different with respect to this issue.

Here is a little more information on the above:

Sequestering agents. A sequestering agent is a chemical that combines with metal ions to help keep them in solution and prevent them from falling on the pool’s surface and leaving a stain, according to NSPI.
These products, which can also be used to control scale buildup, are used mostly for prevention. They won’t remove old, existing stains (that’s a job for a dedicated stain remover), but they will work on potential stains and keep them from becoming visible.
Source water can sometimes be rife with metals, so the use of a preventive sequestering agent is critical, say service professionals.
“In some of our rural areas, our customers have well water with naturally occurring metals,” says Suzanne Heim, marketing director at Classic Pool & Spa, a retailing/service company in Gladstone, Ore. “So we have to do a lot of metal control.”
Eastergard notes that metals often are a problem even if they’re not in the source water. For example, iron can find its way into a pool if there is a notable amount of construction in the area or if old pipes are being dug up for renovation. He points out that a sequestering agent will keep the staining at bay, which is important because iron can wreak havoc on a pool’s surface when certain chemicals are added to the water.
“If you get iron in your water and then shock it, it will turn the steps yellow-brown,” Eastergard says. “Then the customer thinks they’re dirty and you’re not cleaning the pool. This stuff just plates onto the shell material, and it can plate onto the plastic fittings.”

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

 

Swimming Pool Draining Procedure

Swimming Pool Draining Procedure
The storm drain system and sewer system are two completely separate drainage systems. The storm drain system flows directly to the Los Angeles River, which eventually discharges the water into Long Beach Harbor without any treatment. The sewer system takes all household wastewater from toilets, showers and sinks and routes it through your plumbing system into the Los Angeles-Glendale Water Reclamation Plant. Once there, it receives three levels of filtration treatment before being discharged into the Los Angeles River.

Therefore, the preferred method of draining your swimming pool is to the sewer system because the water will be treated before it is discharged into the Los Angeles River. Oftentimes, homes are equipped with a sewer clean-out which can be utilized for draining your pool.

If the sewer system is not accessible, then pool owners should dechlorinate their pool water by allowing the water to sit in the sun and not add any chlorine for 10 or more days and verify the following prior to being discharged to the street:
• The residual chlorine can not exceed 0.1 mg/L (ppm)
• The pH is between 6.5 & 8.5
• The water is free of any unusual coloration
• There is no discharge of filter media
• There is no discharge of acid cleaning waste
• Any pipe connection to the storm drain system has permits from the city or county having jurisdiction

Compliance with these guidelines can be verified using a pool testing kit. In addition, if time does not permit allowing the water to sit 10 days in the sunlight, you may purchase dechlorinating chemicals from local pool supply companies.
By ensuring compliance with these criteria, you will make a significant contribution toward keeping pollutants out of Los Angeles County’s creeks, streams and receiving waters and help to protect organisms that are sensitive to pool chemicals.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

 

Solar Heating for Pool & Spa

Solar Heating FAQs

(For more information and to set up an appointment, visit our recommendation for Solar Heating - Suntrek Solar Systems and make sure to tell them LA Pool Guys recommended you!)

http://www.suntreksolar.com/default.asp

How does a solar pool heater work?
A solar pool heating system uses your pool’s existing filter pump to circulate water through the system. A diverter valve diverts the water so that it flows through the many small passages of the solar collector where it is warmed by the sun. This warm water then flows back to the pool until the pool has reached your desired temperature.

Can these collectors also be used to heat a spa?
Yes. Simply set your spa circulation cycle at the end of the day and set the thermostat for 104 degrees.
What about the environment?
Gas heaters pollute the air directly with carbon dioxide and other emissions. Heat pumps pollute indirectly as a result of pollution released during electricity production. In contrast, solar requires no fossil fuels. It is a clean, abundant energy source that will never contribute to pollution or the depletion of natural resources.
What special maintenance is required on a solar pool heater?
Under normal circumstances, no special maintenance is required during the swimming season. Our quality electronic controls allow you to "set and forget" the solar heater. It is recommended, however, that you shut off and drain collectors during the winter. This process takes just a few minutes.
Do the solar collectors have to face south?
The solar collectors should be installed where they can be fully exposed to the sun for a most of the day. Depending on the angle of the mounting surface, east, west and flat facing systems can function equally as well if sized properly for the pool.
Do the solar collectors have to be mounted on the roof?
The solar collectors are generally mounted on the roof however, the collectors can also be ground mounted or installed on a patio cover.
How do I control the temperature of my solar heated pool?
If you choose a manual system, a diverter valve allows you to turn your solar system on or off. Another option is an automatic heating system, which works like the thermostat you use for home heating & cooling. Simply set the electronic controller to your desired water temperature. If the temperature of pool or spa is lower than desired, the controller turns the motorized valve to allow the pool or spa water to flow through the hot solar collectors. When the pool or spa water reaches the same temperature as the collectors, the controller turns the valve again so the pool or spa water will no longer flow through the system.
Will I need a pool cover?
With a properly sized solar pool heater, a pool cover is not required to keep the pool at a comfortable temperature during the warm swimming season. However, a pool cover does help retain heat at night and prevent evaporation loss.
What size solar heating system will I need to heat my pool?
There are many factors. The most important factors are the size of your pool and orientation of the solar collectors. Other factors include how long you want to extend your swimming season, the wind across the pool, and whether you use a pool cover. The general rule of thumb is 80% surface area of the pool.
How much would a solar pool heater cost for my pool?
Solar pool heating system prices for a residential pool can range anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000. The location and size of the pool, location of the solar collectors, desired temperature and season, and type of pool equipment determine system size and costs. Because of all the variables, it is impossible to give an accurate estimate without careful inspection of the site. To set up an appointment for a free analysis and estimate contact us at 800-292-7648.
How much will my solar heater cost to operate?
Since the sun energy is free, there are no operating costs to heat your pool.
How long will the solar equipment last?
Our collectors can be expected to last between 20 to 25 years. Our Solar collectors are covered by a 15 year warranty.

Monday, October 20, 2008

 

Foul Weather

During periods of foul weather (rainfall, strong winds, etc.) we are often forced to alter our normal maintenance procedures. While we do service your water system during these periods, we may not vacuum if we cannot see the bottom of the pool due to heavy rain or winds. We will not take the chance on clogging your plumbing or your equipment with unseen objects that may be at the bottom. Chemical and all other service functions will be performed to the extent that they are possible or necessary.

Once the Foul Weather has subsided we will clean up any resulting mess in your water system. In the instance of heavy amounts of debris, we will take the majority of the debris from the water with a device called a Leaf Bagger. This is a water-powered device that will remove leaves and debris from your system without clogging your plumbing. After this is done, there may still be a large amount of small debris suspended in the water. We will vacuum this up on our next scheduled visit (assuming that the debris has settled to the bottom).

It generally takes at least double the amount of chemicals as well as twice as much labor to clean up the mess resulting from Foul Weather conditions. Except for extreme cases we do not charge extra for this. If you are willing to have the mess cleaned up during our regular weekly trips, we are willing to do it as a part of your regular service. Customers who desire quicker clean up without additional expense should arm themselves with a Leaf Rake, Skimmer Net and Telescoping Pole. We can deliver these to you or you can pick them up at the nearest pool supply house.

At times you may need the pool cleaned up sooner that your next scheduled visit. For this situation, you may call us to schedule an Extra Service Day. It may take one, two, or three extra trips. All you have to do is call.

As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding scheduling, performance or other services we offer please feel free to call our service center at 213.999.7665. Saturday Sunday and evenings, you can leave a message on our voice mail and we will respond as soon as possible. We are dedicated to being your #1 pool service company!

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