Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is water balancing, and why is it so important to properly running a pool? This refers to water that is neither scale forming (typically chalky calcium carbonate deposits) or corrosive (especially seen in copper heat exchangers and gunite/plaster erosion). More specifically, high pH water can cause scale and low pH can cause corrosion. As part of our pool maintenance programs, each pool is tested and treated so that neither one of these scenarios occurs....we target an optimal pH level of about 7.5 (similar to human tears).
When the water is in balance, it is properly saturated with equal amounts of acids and alkalis. When the water becomes either too acidic or too basic, problems begin. These problems may be as simple as skin or eye irritation, or as dangerous as skin blistering and damage to the pool equipment. The primary factors in proper water maintenance are keeping the water in chemical balance and maintaining an appropriate amount of chlorine in the water.
How do I get my water crystal clear? Cloudy pool or spa water is typically caused by a lack of sanitizer, such as chlorine. But there can be other variables to consider even with proper chlorination, including: contaminants from swimmers like sunblock or lotions, dirt, silt, organic matter from birds/animals, algae, bacteria and minerals/metals. These issues are dealt with through a combination of filtration and chemical treatment. Classic sand filter problems include debris in the sand bed, uneven dispersion of the sand bed in the filter, channeling of the sand media caused by rocks or oily mud balls, eroded sand granules that can no longer grab small particles (most sand media should be replaced every 3-5 yrs), and leaks on the suction side of the equipment that allows air to enter the filter tank.
What is the best way to deal with algae? Algae needs the following conditions to thrive: sunlight, lack of sanitizer (typically caused by high bather load, warm water, rough surfaces on pool walls/floor, poor water circulation, and nutrients like nitrates and phosphates. Addressing these variables is the best way to limit algae growth: regular brushing (especially in the hard-to-reach places), optimizing water circulation by keeping skimmers clean and regular filter backwashing, and regular chlorine treatments.
Metals (or why is my pool water brown or green?). In many areas of the Hamptons, pools filled with well water often contain dissolved metals or minerals like iron, copper and manganese. The typical result is staining and/or the formation of scale on the pool surface and tile and cloudy or discolored water. Metal control chemicals, metal filter traps, flocking agents and stain removers are the most common treatment.
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"Penguin Pools did a great job handling my family's pool last summer. The service people were friendly, knowledgeable and always on time. They kept the pool sparkling clean all summer long. When our old filter finally broke down near the start of a weekend last July, Penguin was able to replace it with a new one in just 3 days, in time for a swim party that Saturday. I'd recommend them to anyone."
Fabiene C, Westhampton
Serving the Hamptons since 1985