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What are TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) and Phosphates?

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LA Pool Guys perform an annual preventative maintenance water testing service that address outside agents that affect water quality issues that cannot be resolved through routine pool maintenance. Poor water quality affects the service technicians ability to maintain proper water chemistry. High TDS and/or Posphate Readings are a result of solid and organic materials introduced the water that contributes to cloudy water, algae growth, staining corrosion etc., High TDS & Phosphate levels cannot be prevented by standard weekly chlorine and acid balancing, they can only be corrected through drain (TDS), & or treatment (Phosphate), or mobile drainless treatment services.

What are Total Dissolved Solids?

TDS are all products dissolved in the water. All dissolved matter added to pool/spa water contributes to TDS, including salt, bather waste, algaecides, metal and stain control chemicals, clarifiers, de-foamers, enzymes, wind-borne debris, and water balance chemicals. This includes chemicals, debris entering the pool from the environment and swimmer waste products. When TDS levels increase

Chlorine effectiveness is reduced
Algae growth increases
Water becomes cloudy
Scaling increases
Galvanic Corrosion will occur
Staining of plaster increases

TDS will cause the water to look dull or “tired” and may exhibit a bad or salty taste. Hot water facilities such as spas or pools in hot weather climates develop high TDS as a result of evaporation, excessive bather load, and
chemical use.

It is commonly recommended that the TDS levels should not exceed 1,500 ppm In a non salt generating system. In the case of a salt system the TDS should not exceed 1,500 ppm higher than the recommended ppm of salt needed to operate the salt chlorine generation system. For salt systems you should consider draining your pool around 4500ppm.

TDS Levels (High): 

Greater than 1500 ppm above fill water TDS level = full or partial drain

1500 ppm is the lowest level of TDS for a recommended drain. LA Pool Guys notification and recommendation starts once your water passes this threshold.

Salt System Greater than 4500 ppm = full or partial drain

What are Phosphates? 

Below is a great excerpt from an article written in by poolcenter.com regarding phosphates in swimming pools

Phosphates Accumulate in Pools….

What’s true for lakes is also true for swimming pools. Phosphate is a natural component of most swimmer wastes. It is also present in rain water. Phosphate is persistent and does not break down naturally. Landscaper’s fertilizers, which may blow into the pool, have high phosphate content. For all of these reasons, pools can quickly build up high phosphate levels.This creates an abundant and tasty food source for all strains of algae, and can make controlling their growth difficult. Remove the food, and you have a strong weapon against algae.

When Phosphates are Present, Algae Grows….

Phosphate is the main ingredient in fertilizer. Phosphate is plant food, and algae are plants. If you have had persistant trouble with algae, every year – and it always seems to come back, you may have a phosphate problem in your pool. When excess phosphate is present in a swimming pool, the symptoms often include the following:

    • Cloudy, Green Water
    • Slippery and Slimy Surfaces
    • Mustard and Green Colored Debris
    • Excessive Chemical Consumption
    • Poor Water Quality

Remove the Phosphates and Solve the Problem….

The maximum level of phosphate in pool water should be 0.1 ppm. Once the phosphate climbs above this level, the water quality begins to decrease and slime deposits can begin.

Phosphate Levels: 

greater than 500 ppb to 5,000 ppb = Treatment.

Above 5,000 ppb (parts per billion) would be considered excessive and may need draining

A Phosphate treatment can significantly improve the clarity of your water, and keep algae at bay through the season since phosphates are a major contributor to algae growth.

Before Phosphate Treatment

After Phosphate Treatment

If a drain is required due to High TDS Levels  it will also remove phosphates and postpone the need for a phosphate treatment. This is why LA Pool Guys uses tests for both TDS & Phosphate simultaneously.  Both TDS and phospahtes are contributors to algae growth and several other water quality/balance issues.

Acid Wash

If it is time to drain your pool due to water quality, you might want to consider doing an acid wash at the same time. This is one way to take care of several water quality issues and pool aesthetics at the same time at a fraction of the cost of a re-plaster. No all pools can be acid washed due to plaster quality and results may vary depending on the staining of your pool. 

BEFORE & AFTER

Acid Wash BeforeAcid Wash After

Drought Concerns & Drainless Treatment:

LA Pool Guys can also recommend a company who has a mobile filtering truck that can remove TDS & Phophates without draining. This is a technology that has been created to combat water usage do to high drought conditions in our area. The cost to do a drainless treatment can be significantly higher, however all water usage penalties in your area should be taken into consideration in making your decision.

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Southern California Homes Looking for LA Pool Guys swimming pool service tips

LA Pool Guys was interviewed about professional pool services on Southern California Homes, a top website for Los Angeles County and Orange County houses: “5 Tips on Swimming Pool Cleaning and Repair.”

LA Pool Guys - Los Angeles Pool Serivce

LA Pool Guys Pool Service company Tips

LA Pool Guys interview with Souther California Homes

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

LA Pool Guys is the leading swimming pool, spa, and fountain service and repair company in Los Angeles County and Orange County, Long Beach, Pasadena and surrounding areas. LA Pool Guys has been providing its professional swimming pool, spa, and fountain services since 2001. We specialize in commercial and residential swimming pool service, and we offer full-service weekly pool service plans to ensure proper professionals pool service maintenance and chemical balance.

Why do swimming pools need regular maintenance?

To sum it up, a pool without proper filtration equipment and chemical balance a swimming pool is basically a bath tub. No one would ever get in a bathtub after 30 people have been in it! Swimming pools need regular maintenance for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • Proper chemical balance needs to be maintained to ensure longer equipment life
  • To avoid skin/eye irritation
  • Extended plaster life
  • Pool filtration systems do a lot of the work, but it takes chemistry to maintain a balance water system
  • Proper sanitation will eliminate dangerous pathogens and microorganisms from infecting pool users
  • Improper balance leads to cloudy water

What are the main things that should be done during a standard swimming pool service and how often should they be done

  • The Los Angeles Health Department has a checklist of the items that it requires pool service technicians to fill out each time they provide pool service at a commercial property in Los Angeles County. This checklist includes basic chemical motoring (chlorine, acid, alkalinity, PH, calcium, stabilizer once a month, pressure, clarity and chemicals added).
  • Although this is not required for residential swimming pools, LA Pool Guys has adopted this log sheet system for all of our swimming pools, spas and fountains that we service commercial or residential in Los Angeles and Orange County.
  • Other duties each visit include vacuuming, backwashing and cleaning the pool filter as needed, emptying all of the pump and skimmer baskets, brushing the pool walls and tile and skimming the water surface. Phosphate, algae treatments and TDS (total dissolved solids) tests result in pool and spa draining or special treatments and are all part of LA Pool Guys customer care preventative maintenance program. Phosphate levels and TDS levels are tested twice per year for our entire portfolio and more often as needed by certain swimming pools.

How can people figure out the proper chemical balance for their swimming pools

People can go down to their local pool supply store and either take a water sample in, or purchase a test kit or test strips. Test strips are very simple to read, but if you want a more extensive water analysis you should consider bringing a water sample in.

What are some of the most common repairs that are needed in the Los Angeles area?

Los Angeles is one of the best climates in the world for swimming pools. As a result people can use their pools without worry of them being closed for part of the year or “winterization.” When our busy season starts, pool heaters are first on the list of common equipment repairs. Lights, pumps, motors and filters and re-plasters are all right up there as well.

Is there anything that homeowners can do to help reduce the need for or frequency of swimming pool repairs?

  • Proper pool chemical balance
  • Swimming pool preventative maintenance
  • Filter cleanings & backwashes (when filter pressure shows a change in pressure 5 lbs. or more)
  • Never run the pool pump when the water is below the halfway point on the tile line
  • Empty swimming pool pump baskets and skimmer baskets consistently

What’s the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

LA Pool Guys’ info is:
P: (213) 999-7665
W: www.lapoolguys.com
E: lapool@lapoolguys.com