Pool Service Wellington
DIY Pool Stain Removal
A Step By Step Guide To Removing Your Pool Stains
“There are two types of pools: those that are stained and those that are going to stain.” This is a well-known saying in the pool profession. Stains and discoloration on a pool’s surface come in many different forms and come from a variety of different sources, most of which you have little to no control over. Maintaining properly balanced water is the best way to prevent or postpone staining because unbalanced water can act as catalyst for stains and discoloration. When those annoying spots do inevitably pop on your pool’s surface, it is important to be able to identify the discoloration, start the removal process, and prevent any future staining.
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Organic stains are very common in pools. When a stain is a brownish green in color, it typically means it is related to something organic. The most common cause of organic staining is something like a leaf, algae, or a dead worm that lies on the surface of the pool. The organic matter and tannins cause the surface of the pool to stain and discolor. Sometimes these stains can be removed by simply shocking the pool with chlorine and scrubbing the stain with a stiff brush. If this method does not lighten or remove the stain, a natural ascorbic acid based product or diphosphonic acid based pool stain remover can be used. Ascorbic acid is found in citrus juice. The vitamin C is what helps remove the stain. Using these products will help remove more stubborn stains but may require some tough scrubbing or even draining the pool so you have better access to the discolored area. Building a homemade scrubber that uses muriatic acid is a great way to remove stubborn “old” stains that are scattered around the surface of the pool. However, using muriatic acid in a device like this can cause the plaster in the spot you are working on to bleach and become lighter than the rest of the surface. If the pool surface is older and the organic materials in the water have caused the majority of the surface to discolor, an acid wash can be a good option. This involves draining your pool and using acid to remove a small layer of the surface, which bleaches the plaster, and results in fresh, clean looking surface. This method is expensive and can only be done a few times throughout the lifetime of the surface. To prevent future organic stains, the most effective thing you can do is keep the pool free of debris and critters by vacuuming, brushing, and netting the pool regularly. If a pool stain is not of the organic variety, it is most likely caused by metals in the water.
The following are some common sources of metals and minerals that may eventually end up in your pool water:
- Metallic equipment parts such as heat exchangers, brass valves, and copper or galvanized plumbing.
- Water added to your pool to make up for loss due to evaporation, leaking, backwashing filters, or splashing.City water often has added metals and minerals for sanitation purposes.
- Well water added to a pool is full of metals such as copper, iron, manganese, and magnesium.
- Pool chemicals such as algaecides contain copper and silver, and pool salt can even contain small amounts of iron.
- Lawn chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides all contain metals and will most likely end up in your pool one way or another.
The two most common types of metal staining are iron and copper stains. Iron comes from well water, pool equipment, and almost any pool chemical that is used to treat the water. Iron stains will be brown in color. They are purely esthetic and will not compromise the surface if left untreated. In some cases iron and calcium can form a compound that is referred to as iron scale. In this situation, the stain is covered by scaling so treatment must be applied to the calcium scaling as well the iron to remove the discoloration. This type of stain is textured and will get worse over time if left untreated. Copper staining can come from city water, algaecides, and heat exchangers with copper piping that wear down over time and eventually feed copper into the pool. The color of the stain may be blue, green, black, brown, or even purple. A blue or green color typically indicates that the copper is still in sulfate form and will need to be oxidized before it can be treated. Copper stains are probably the toughest to remove but are completely esthetic and will not harm the surface of the pool if left untreated.
As metals accumulate in a pool the risk of metals coming out of solution becomes greater. Once the metals come out of solution they can “plate out” on the surface of the pool leaving stains and discoloration. Metals can come out of solution when the pool is shocked because the chlorine oxidizes the metals. Oxidized iron becomes rust, hence the reddish brown color of an iron stain. Metals can also come out of solution when the pH, alkalinity, or calcium hardness levels in the water are too low. In this situation the water becomes aggressive and the metals are more susceptible to oxidation. Metals can only be tested when they are in solution. Once they oxidize and “plate out” on a pool’s surface the metal test will show nothing. When a metal stain has occurred that particular metal may not show up when the water is tested.
To help prevent metals from staining your pool surface it is important to properly balance the water, keeping the pH between 7.4 and 7.6, the alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm, and the calcium hardness around 300 ppm. Using a product like Jack’s Magic Pink Stuff or Blue Stuff when initially filling the pool or adding make up water to the pool can help remove metals present and prevent staining. When attempting to remove existing stains, it is important to first properly balance the water to prevent the occurrence of more staining. For light copper and iron stains, BioGaurd Pool Magnet works well on “fresh” stains. For heavier staining, Jack’s Magic Blue Stuff is an effective additive which can also be used in higher chlorine levels, so treating metal in water that also has algae issues can be done at the same time. Products like these are sequestering agents that suspend the metals in solution to prevent them from “plating out” on the surface. As with stains caused by something organic, using an ascorbic or diphosphonic acid based product can help remove metal stains. When treating metal stains and discoloration with products such as these, the results may not be immediate and you may not see the stain lighten or be removed for several days or several weeks. The device discussed earlier that uses scrub pads and muriatic acid can also be effective on metal stains and shows instant results.
Pool stains can be a major annoyance for a pool owner. Whether they are caused by organic materials or metals, stains can be hard to identify and remove. All of the removal methods discussed above can be effective. Which one you choose will depend on the source of the stain, the severity of the stain, and the cost of products involved. The muriatic acid stain scrubbing device is something that can easily be made at home in less than an hour, it is inexpensive, and is a great way to spot clean stains on the surface of your pool. Instructions on building and using this device can be found below.
Building And Using Your Own Stain Removal Device
Building your own, homemade stain removal device is easy and takes less than an hour to construct. This is a great tool to remove stains and discoloration on your white plaster pool. Do not use this method of stain removal for dyed plaster or vinyl pools as it could bleach dyed materials or remove liner patterns. To construct the device, you will need the following items that can be found at a local home improvement store:
- 2 square scrubbing pads
- 1 sure seat wax ring cap (normally used for toilet installation)
- 1 metal hose clamp that will fit a 1 ½ inch PVC pipe
- 1 12 foot section of 1 ½ inch PVC piping
- 1 6 inch section of 3 inch PVC piping
- 1 3 inch x 1 ½ inch PVC reducer
- 1 3 inch x 3 inch x 1 ½ inch PVC reducing wye
- 1 3 inch cap
- 1 1 ½ inch coupling
- 1 can PVC glue
- 1 can PVC primer
- 4 small screws
Next, follow these easy steps to assemble the device:
- Cut the 6 in. section of 3 in. PVC in half
- With your primer and glue, use one of the 3 in. sections of 3 in. PVC to connect the 3 in. cap to the top of the 3in. x 3in. x 1 ½ in. reducing wye (make sure reducing section of the wye is angled with open end pointing up)
- With the other section of 3 in. PVC, use primer and glue to connect the reducing wye to the 3 in. x 1 ½ in. reducer
- Use screws to attach two scrubbing pads to the bottom of the sure seat wax ring cap
- Place the metal hose clamp around the hole in the rubber seal on the wax ring cap, insert the end of the device with the 1 ½ in. reducer into the rubber seal on the wax ring cap, and tighten the hose clamp to secure
- Insert the 12 ft. section of 1 ½ in. PVC into the angled section of the reducing wye (depending on the depth of your pool, you may need to extend the 12 ft. section of PVC by adding more 1 ½ in. piping, use the 1 ½ in. coupling for this)
Your stain device is ready to use!
Now you can grab your device, a bottle of muriatic acid, and you are ready for stain removal. Here are some steps and tips for the removal process:
- Place the device in the pool with the scrub pads covering the stained/discolored area
- Carefully poor a small amount of acid down the 1 ½ in. pipe (the fumes from this product can be harmful so use caution)
- The acid is more dense than water so it will settle down through the wax ring cap and disperse throughout the scrubbing pads
- Using a bit of pressure, move the device back and forth to scrub the desired area
- You should see the stain lighten fairly quickly
- Be cautious of the amount of acid being used and the force with which you are scrubbing, because this device can bleach the area too much, and if the rest of the surface is old and lightly stained, you will notice a difference where the plaster was bleached by the acid
- Use a little more acid if necessary, and keep scrubbing the stain until it is completely removed.
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Sparkling Clear Pool Care is a local pool service company. We understand the Wellington community and provide pool service designed to meet the exacting needs of the Wellington homeowner. In most Wellington communities we have multiple homes that we provide pool service maintenance each week. Sparkling Clear Pool Care and our predecessor companies have served the vibrant, growing Wellington community for nearly 10 years and plan to continue our weekly pool service for generations to come.
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We at Sparkling Clear Pool Care have learned a lot about providing indivualized pool service to the Wellington home owners though years of interaction with The village of Wellington and the Wellington residents themselves. We are willing to accommodate service day and time as well as prearrange phone calls while in route to a specific pool maintenance stop so our pool service customer can bring the dogs in from the yard.
In most Wellington communities we have multiple homes that we provide pool service maintenance each week. In fact there are certain customers that have requested twice a week pool service maintenance so often our trucks are present the Wellington communities a couple times per week. Though our referral program which allows our customers to collect a free month of service by referring a friend or neighbor we have become close to the customers themselves, their property mangers, security guards and families.
We at Sparkling Clear take pride in our work and are proud to be part of the Wellington community. We are sponsors of Big Dog Ranch Rescue and animal lovers. We feel that if you start weekly pool service you will be more than pleased. Give us a call today 561-232-8867
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Why Cleaning Your Pool Filter Is Important
Filtration is one of the most important aspects of keeping a pool clean. Filters come in different size and styles. When choosing a pool service company it is important that you choose a company that has the knowledge install the correct filter as well as the work ethic to properly maintain it.
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Filtration along with flow and chemical balance are three most important factors in weekly pool service making sure the pool remains pristine from week to week. All the water that circulates through the pump will be filtered before returning to the pool. We at Sparkling Clear Pool Care offer a Unicel and Pletco version of the most commonly used filters and both are very similar in price and performance.
Filters come in different size and styles. Currently almost all residential swimming pools have cartridge filters they are the most cost effective while still providing high quality water.
The size of the filter will almost always directly reflect the size of the pool. Filter size is measured by square feet, for example a Pentair Clean and Clear 100 is a 100 SQ FT filter.
When making a choice on your pool service company the knowledge of filters and other equipment is essential.
We pride our selves on understanding filtration and flow. During each visit we check for flow and evaluate filter pressure then every other pool service visit we remove the filter cartridge and clean the filter.
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Which kind of pool cleaner do you need?
The word “pool cleaner” can make someone think of two very different things. A pool cleaner could be a little robot vacuum that moves around in your pool and cleans the surface. A pool cleaner could also be a person who cleans the pool, maintains the equipment, and balances the chemicals (i.e. a pool professional). So which pool cleaner do you need? There are a lot of different pool cleaner vacuums that operate automatically when your filtration system is flowing or independently of the pool’s system, and a lot of these vacuums do a great job. However, there are definite advantages of having a pool professional that can do much more to make sure your pool stays Sparkling Clear. In an ideal situation, someone would have an automatic pool cleaner running with their system in addition to a human pool cleaner who services the pool once per week to ensure the pool is functioning properly, the water is appropriately chlorinated, all chemicals are in balance, and looking perfect.
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Pool owners who want an automatic pool cleaner have a few options. There are robots that run independently of the pool’s filtration system. These electric cleaners are plugged into an electric socket near the pool. Some of these robot pool cleaners can clean the walls, collect debris off the floor of the pool, and even scrub the tile line. The Dolphin pool cleaner product line is manufactured by Maytronics and contains good examples of robotic pool cleaners. These cleaners can do a great job, but they can be expensive to purchase and maintain. They also use more energy since they are not running off of the pool’s equipment. They must also be removed from the pool and stored between each use. Pool cleaners that operate by connecting to the pool’s system can run off discharge flow through a return line in the pool. They could also use suction flow by hooking into a skimmer line or a special cleaner line that is plumbed into the pool’s pump. The pool cleaners that run off a return line can be expensive. Plus, they really need a supplemental booster pump, like the Polaris 380, in order to do an effective job. Pool cleaners that hook into the suction side of a pool’s system are the most popular option. These cleaners are rather inexpensive, they can do a good job of cleaning the pool, and they are durable and easily maintained.
One popular example of a suction pool cleaner is the Hayward Navigator. This cleaner has an impeller inside that rotates using suction flow created by the pool’s pump. This impeller runs pistons that move little rubber feet on the bottom of the cleaner. This enables the pool cleaner to crawl around the pool. Zodiac is another popular manufacturer of suction pool cleaners. They make some cleaners, like the G3, that have round rubber disks which move across and clean the surface while a diaphragm in the cleaner clicks back and forth to propel the cleaner around the pool. Zodiac’s MX8 pool cleaner has tractor-like treads that move the cleaner through the water and circular, rubber pads on the bottom of the cleaner that sweep the surface.
All of these suction pool cleaners can effectively clean debris off the bottom of a pool, but they can also get clogged with larger debris because the suction hole on the bottom of the cleaners is typically not larger than one to three inches in diameter. Suction pool cleaners can also do a good job of cleaning the walls of a pool by climbing up the walls and sucking fine debris in through the cleaner port. This can become an issue, however, if the cleaner climbs too far up the wall and out of the water. When the cleaner does this it allows air in the suction side of the pool’s pump, which causes the pump to lose prime and run inefficiently. Suction cleaners can definitely do a lot to keep the surface of a pool clean, but there are many other aspects of pool maintenance that can only be handled by a professional human pool cleaner.
An automatic pool cleaner cannot check the chemical balance of a pool. A good human pool professional will check chlorine, pH, and stabilizer levels once a week to make sure the chemical contents of the pool are at optimal levels. Alkalinity and calcium hardness are chemical aspects of a pool that do not fluctuate as much and can be measured periodically throughout the year to ensure everything stays balanced. Also, automatic pool cleaners cannot maintain the pool’s equipment. Important maintenance, like making sure the pump basket is free of debris and cleaning the filter regularly, is done by a pool professional at least twice a month to ensure there is proper flow in the system. The ideal situation for a lot of pool owners would be to have an automatic pool cleaner running when the system is on, as well as a pool professional to service the pool once per week..
Having both an automatic pool cleaner and a pool professional is especially ideal if someone has a pool that is not enclosed in a screened porch and there are a lot of plants and trees surrounding the pool. When the pool professional services the pool they will brush the tiles, brush the walls, use an independent electric vacuum, like a Hammerhead, to clean the bottom, and use a net to skim the top of the pool. In doing this, the pool cleaner will ensure all areas that the automatic cleaner might have missed are being properly cleaned. The chemicals will be tested and adjusted to maintain a proper balance. The pool cleaner will also make sure the automatic cleaner’s moving parts and suction ports are free of debris. They will also check that the equipment is working properly and the filtration system has proper flow because in order for an automatic cleaner to work at maximum efficiency, the entire system must have adequate flow. This will include cleaning the filter and making sure all valves, like a Jandy valve, are set to optimize flow through the automatic cleaner. After the pool professional leaves, the automatic pool cleaner will help keep the pool clean and debris free until next week’s visit.
When someone thinks they need a pool cleaner, it is smart to think about everything a pool needs. An automatic pool cleaner can certainly help prevent a lot of dirt and debris from building in the pool. A pool professional will balance chemicals and ensure nothing is missed by the automatic cleaner. They will vacuum, brush, and skim every inch of the pool. The pool professional will also keep an eye on the pool’s filtration system and the automatic cleaner itself, making sure everything continues to work properly. A hard working, professional, human pool professional will do an excellent job of keeping a pool clean and working properly. An automatic cleaner will help the owner of the pool to keep it tidy in between their pool professional’s weekly visits. A pool that has a well-functioning automatic cleaner to supplement the work of a properly trained human pool professional will certainly be a Sparkling Clear pool that someone can enjoy year around.
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We never require contracts……our customers stay with us because:
“Our pool has never looked better!”
“I trust Sparkling Clear with the water my kids swim in!”
“Excellent service. Very reliable and responsive!”