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Why Technicians Should Never Use Test Strips on Your Swimming Pool!

Posted on Mar 18, 2016

Test20Strip

How do I know which one to use?
Well, there is no doubt there are plenty of options when buying a pool test kit and every company that sells a kit will usually tell you how accurate it is and that it is just fine for what you need.

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Well, if there is any one single test kit I would ever avoid using it is the test strips that give you results in less that 30 seconds. Sure, it is nice to watch the colors change and then compare them to a color chart on the back of a bottle but they are cheap for a reason and not really designed to be used in a swimming pool at an Apartment community or Hotel. How accurate do you think it really is when it is the cheapest one available?

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As in most things, you get what you pay for and anything that tests water quality and can impact the health of swimmers should not be the cheapest thing you can find for sale.

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The test strips that are sold rely on the user to match the color of a small square about the size of a match head and are subject to misinterpretation or “best guessing” and I have never seen one close to being  accurate when compared side by side with a higher quality test kit such as a reagent test kits or a digital tester. (They are challenging for me to read too)

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If you want accurate readings that help you make correct chemical changes and have a clear pool get rid of every test strip kit on your property and buy either a reagent test kit or a digital one, whichever you prefer. They are not expensive and will absolutely be more accurate.

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Pool Test Kit

In any business, better measurements/metrics lead to better performance and most often it will lead to significant savings and cost you less money in the long run. If you want to make a small change that will make your pool last longer and be safer get a good test kit now.

CPO Class Training

Sincerely,
Mark Cukro

www.serviceteamtraining.com

PS: Be sure to sign up for the newsletter!

 

Mark Cukro is an Instructor with the National Swimming Pool Foundation and teaches the National Certified Pool Operator Course and has been taking care of pools for 25 years.

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How do I keep my pool water crystal clear and prevent it from turning green or cloudy?

Posted on Apr 8, 2014

Pool Maintenance

Taking Care of the Pool Correctly!

Summer will be here before you know it and we have to be sure our residents and their guest have a great time in a pool that is safe and clean. There are three areas of consideration for keeping pool water clean, disinfected, and algae free.

First, is maintaining proper disinfectant levels. Every pool, even the best kept ones have germs and bacteria but keeping the chlorine above 1 ppm will eliminate them. Algae are plant forms and they require nutrients in order to survive. Once chlorine levels are low and the environment is right algae can appear almost overnight. This is what is commonly referred to as “Algae Bloom” which can turn a pool completely green resulting in pool closure for at least several days to a week in some cases.

Maintaining proper sanitation levels, brushing the walls and floor of the pool, adding a small dosage of algaecide is the best way to prevent algae from turning your pool green. It is the most effective and inexpensive way to keep the water clear.

Second, is the circulation system; Pools are designed to have water flow through the entire system at a specific rate in order to assure proper filtration and circulation of chemicals and disinfectant.  One of the most common mistakes I see in the field is putting chlorine sticks or tablets in the skimmer baskets. Most chlorine sticks and tablets are very acidic and when put in the skimmers they quickly begin to erode the pump impeller which reduces the water flow and significantly contributes to a pool becoming cloudy or developing algae.  So, keep the skimmer and line basket clear of debris and don’t add harmful chemicals through the skimmers.

 

The third area of consideration is the filtration system.  While there are many different types of filters, the most common filter in this industry is a sand filter. Sand doesn’t go bad by itself but it can be ruined by what has been added to the pool.  For example, many pool operators add a blue clarifier or flocculant to get the water clear.  A high rate sand filter clarifier is not recommended and can cause the sand in the filter to “gum up” and become ineffective at filtering. So, while the water is passing through the filter it is not actually being filtered effectively. This can result in a cloudy or green pool. Algae is small enough in size that much of it will flow between the grains of sand in many filters and just keep circulating. There are a few products that one can put in a filter that will help trap the dead algae so it can be backwashed out of the filter and you can be on your way to enjoying a clearer pool.

 

Why doesn’t shocking a pool get rid of the algae? Shocking a pool will only kill the algae at best. Once the algae have been killed it must now be removed from the pool. So, it may take at least several days to get the water back to being clear.

So the best way to have a crystal clear pool is prevention.

  • Keep the chemical levels within the ideal ranges.
  • Check the flow meter to be sure the pool is circulating water at a proper flow      rate.
  • Brush the walls and floor weekly.
  • Keep a preventative amount of algaecide in the pool. Most often added weekly.
  • Keep the circulation of the water at the proper turnover rate. Do not add      harmful chemicals through the skimmers and keep the skimmers and line basket free of debris.
  • Keep the sand clean and do not add chemicals such as flocculants that are not      recommended for the type of filter at your pool. There are many that may      be used so be sure to use the right ones.

 

Often times, people will not even notice a pool until it turns green or is closed. So, prevent the pool from turning green and avoid expensive repairs by following one or all of the steps above. Send your associates to pool class.

People that train get better results that people that don’t and if you have an experienced staff they may just pickup a few tips that will prolong the life of your pool or make pool care easier and less expensive.

For more information please contact…..

Mark Cukro is an instructor with the National Swimming Pool Foundation, President of Plus One Consulting, Inc., and founder of serviceteamtraining.com. He can be reached at mark@serviceteamtraining.com or 704-363-6236. Book a class or a seminar now!

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Stop pool problems before they start with preventative maintenance.

Posted on Mar 26, 2012

Pool MaintenanceBy MARK CUKRO, Plus One Consulting

The best way to keep a crystal-clear pool is prevention:

  • Keep chemical levels within ideal ranges.
  • Check the flow meter to be sure the pool is circulating water at a proper flow rate.
  • Brush the walls and floor weekly.
  • Keep a preventative amount of algaecide in the pool, most often added weekly.
  • Keep circulation of the water at the proper turnover rate. Do not add harmful chemicals through the skimmers, and keep the skimmers and line basket free of debris.
  • Keep the sand clean and do not add chemicals such as flocculants that are not recommended for the type of filter at your pool. Many are available, so be sure to use the right ones.

See full article here.

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