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Thread: Tips and Tricks

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Tips and Tricks

    Went over to a friend of a friend's house today to help him with his pool. He was seriously pool-stored and ended up with CYA over 100 in his first season. Showed him how to test and how to vacuum and explained the chemistry. Hopefully have him set up so I can help him over the phone for a while. I showed him a couple of things that are handy, and neither he or the friend who connected us knew about them:

    The first is the use of polarized sunglasses when cleaning the pool. Boaters and fishermen know for sure how good they are at cutting the glare off the water, but they are great for being able to see the bottom of the pool when there's a little chop on the water.

    The other thing is how I skim the pool. After the net has some stuff in it, I lower the net right next to the skimmer with the dirty side toward the pool's skimmer door. The water flow pulls the crud off and into the skimmer.

    Both seemed obvious to me, but those guys were all but in awe of me when I left. 8)
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    It's all in the technique, isn't it?

    I don't think I have any tips that everyone doesn't already do.
    Buggs

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    How about making a tips sticky for all us newbies? I don't know a thing and need all the tips I can get!...LOL
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
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    Nice topic. I think we all have developed techniques through trial and error and maybe it would be a good idea to collect them in a sticky.

    Here's my contribution, has to do with vacuuming. I used to have a terrible time seeing the dirty spots because the water return cause so much turbulence. It finally occurred to me to point the eye way down. Now I have a smooth surface to help me see what I'm doing.

    Anna
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Rather than hauling several containers of bleach around the pool, opening each, etc. I calculate the amount I need, pour it into a 5 gallon bucket and take just one container to the pool. Maybe some of you already do this, but I think this saves a little time and bottle gathering too.
    20x40 30,000 gal IG Liner, Pentair II Sand

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    vacuum at night you can see every last speck of dirt

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    Quote Originally Posted by poolio
    vacuum at night you can see every last speck of dirt
    but only if you have a pool light!!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
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    mbar's Avatar
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    When starting to vacuum, put the bottom of the vacuum up to the return to fill the hose, with the vacuum cap in the skimmer. As soon as the air bubbles stop and water runs out, put the cap on the skimmer to start to vacuum. When finished, lift of the vacuum head to let air in and suck all water out, holding on to the cap - as soon as you can feel the cap move, remove it - you will have hardly any water left in the hose .

    When the water in your pool is not up to the skimmer yet, and you want the pump on filter, you can use the vacuum head and pole to use the water from the pool to go into the skimmer. You can also drain your pool this way too 8)

    When testing your pool water take the sample from the place that gets the least circulation - like near the ladder, this way you be sure that all the water in the pool has the right amount of chemicals. Get your sample from about 8" down.

    Here is my favorite - if you need to clean the scum line - get in and enjoy the water while you do it
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    A friend taught me this one: Never take a water sample with your cell phone in your pocket. One little misstep and you'll be buying a new phone.
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    If you don't mind somewhat of a "trailer park" look, tie your skimmer net to the ladder so that it's perpendicular to the pool wall. You'd be surprised how much junk it collects. This is especially useful to me when nearby cottonwood trees behind my property start shedding those dreaded "cotton balls".
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    If you use liquid chlorine in 5 gallon containers, keep the container in the garage. They're very heavy when full! Get a syphon from an auto supply store and transfer the bleach to a 1 gal bleach bottle as needed. Be sure you label the bottle with its contents.

    To test the effectiveness of your eyeball setting when checking for water circulation and skimmer effectiveness, drop a couple of ping pong balls in the pool, sit back and relax. This is a terrific time waster . . . uh, I meant, serious pool maintenance work
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    When you are done swimming, pull the solar cover back on from INSIDE the pool dead center. It rolls out nicely and no running from side to side to tuck it to the edges.

    The really soft bristled rv brushes with the water attachment and telescoping poles work great for cleaning and jetting **** off and around the pool side of your drop in steps and the cove/wall area. No worries about damage to the liner with the super soft bristles.

    Sheppards hooks (for plants) are great hose and equipment hangers.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    To test the effectiveness of your eyeball setting when checking for water circulation and skimmer effectiveness, drop a couple of ping pong balls in the pool, sit back and relax. This is a terrific time waster . . . uh, I meant, serious pool maintenance work
    Ping-pong ball races are cheap entertainment on calm days. Have the kids drop a ball someplace away from the skimmer and see who can get theirs to go in the skimmer first.
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    To see how your water circulates around the inside of your pool:

    Put a lead fishing weight in an empty two liter bottle. Add enough water to the bottle until it is neutrally buoyant. Gently push it into the deepest part of the pool and watch how it moves with the underwater current.
    20K IG Fiberglass, 3/4 hp Sand, Hayward ColorLogic

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    mbar's Avatar
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    OOOOOH, how I love this thread There are so many great idea and time savers Hooray for us
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    Wear a face mask and snorkel, get in the pool to vacuum.

    People leave you alone, no matter how long you stretch the "work" out

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangeball
    Wear a face mask and snorkel, get in the pool to vacuum.

    People leave you alone, no matter how long you stretch the "work" out
    That is how I do it, and as a bonus, nobody can come in until it is done. I generally do it at night with the light on too.

    Taking the cover off and putting it on while in the water is another trick I learned, filling the hose with the return jet is good too, I don't think I will try to empty the hose with the skimmer though, I am afraid of cavatating the pump.
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

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    If you vacuum with a vac plate pop the vac plate off the skimmer after you finish but leave it in the skimmer. Take the vac out of the pool and disconnect the hose. Raise the end of the hose up and let the water drain down and keep moving down the hose until all the water has drained into the skimmer. No dirty water back in the pool or on the deck!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Another one is for if you have a bunch of dirt on top of your solar cover. Just turn the pump on and use a garden hose to rinse the dirt across the cover into the skimmer. Way better than dumping it into the pool when you take the cover off.
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    Collect water for testing in a squirt bottle and then dispense into the various tests from there. A squirt bottle with a very narrow hole is ideal, something like a hair color applicator bottle, but even a mustard/ketchup dispensor bottle will make things simpler.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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