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Friday, October 2, 2015

Hurricane & Storm Prepareness


 Hampstead Pool, Spa & Patio Inc.
Storm Preparation Guidelines©
Before the Storm…..
Get ready for wind:
            1.) Store all patio furniture, pool equipment, toys and grills safely.  Turn tables upside down and against the house if there is nowhere to store them. DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE POOL.
            2.)  Skimmer and Auto Leveler lids can get caught in wind and be a dangerous projectile.  Also water that will “rock” in the pool can dislodge the skimmer lid.  Either remove them from the pool or screw them down. 
Get ready for water…lots of water..

            1.)  Before oncoming storm up to 24 hours, treat pool with a triple shock of chlorine or oxidizer and an initial dose of algaecide.  Do not be concerned with water balance as this will change with the rain water added to pool.  Many times power will be off for days and this will help to prevent the water from turning green as quickly especially if a lot of debris enters the pool.
            2.) Turn off the power and the power breaker.  Be sure the main breaker is off.  This helps when power is restored and normal electrical appliances come back on by not creating such a large demand on the power grid.
            3.) DO NOT DRAIN ANY WATER OUT OF THE POOL BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE STORM. Before storm have water at the normal or low level on skimmer, no lower. Water in the pool helps to keep the pool from lifting due to underground water.  The extreme pressure caused from additional ground water will most likely enable a partially empty or completely empty swimming pool structure to lift out of the ground or a liner to “float”.
The rain that occurs will take time to travel in the ground below the deepest level of the pool, therefore do not drain water in pool down to normal level for at least 24 hours.  NEVER DRAIN POOL WITHOUT EXPRESS APPROVAL FROM HAMPSTEAD POOL, your pool company or pool manufacturer NOT EVEN FOR CLEAN UP AFTER STORM.

 After the Storm         Hurricane Swimming Pool-small
1.)    Remove any large debris from pool carefully.  The use of a leaf rake or a water assisted leaf catcher makes removing leaves easier.  Clean out skimmer baskets and pump baskets.  Watch out for critters that may be taking refuge.
Pentair Leaf Rake   Pentair Leaf Eater
2.) Turn power back on.  After 12 hours test the pool water with test strip.  If there is no chlorine in pool, add enough for a double shock.  Depending on amount of rain during storm another initial dose of algaecide may be required.  Get pool professionally tested for water balance correction.
3.) If the pool pump has been flooded from the bottom side it is recommended to get the motor serviced as they are not protected from splash up or water immersion (exception are variable speed motors as they are a sealed system).
4.)  VINYL LINER pools may have a floating bottom.  This should recede once the underground water has receded.   Call office for further information.  If any FIBERGLASS or CONCRETE pools show the bottom of pool lifting such as a bubble or hairline crack, the well point needs to be hooked up immediately and the office contacted at first sign of such.

Maintenance Customers:

If your pool is on Hampstead Pool’s regular maintenance list of customers we will get there as soon as possible.  We usually do a first visit to access the damage, then an initial clean up and then a final clean.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Into Summer

Ready, Get Set, Swim

         Easy spring swimming pool start up can be achieved with a yearly maintenance and inspection checklist.  This checklist should systematically include areas in and around the pool and items used for the pool during the season.  Having an early “to do” list will allow you to be enjoying your pool instead of working on it.

The Poolscape

          Most pool environments not only include the pool itself but the surrounding areas also known as the poolscape.  The deck and patio areas need to be inspected for repair and cleaning.  An early warm spring day is perfect for pressure washing and cleaning the walkway / patio areas and patio furniture. If there is an outdoor kitchen now is the time to be sure it is in good working order.  Easter dinner prepared outside by the pool even if it is too cold to swim can be a memorable experience if you are ready.  This is a good time to add on that fire pit or the outside shower you have been wanting.  Be sure to check your fence gates that they are self-closing and latching.


          De-winterize the pool equipment once the threat of freezing has passed to confirm that all your circulation equipment is working properly. The cover can remain on the pool until you are ready to swim.  However if you need equipment serviced you can schedule and repair before the spring rush which could delay a successful and prompt opening.   Consider upgrading the pool equipment especially if it is aging to an energy efficient system.  Many states offer rebates on newer equipment in addition to the money you save over time which can actually pay for the upgrade.  Your pool professional can help consult on what your needs are and proper sizing of equipment. 

Give the filter a thorough cleaning as per the manufacturer recommendations.  If you have chlorine generator be sure to clean and inspect the cell. The colder water may give error codes but these should subside as the water warms.  Consult your owner’s manual to see what temperature you unit works properly at. Order any mineral cartridges for mineralizers.  

Inventory and Pool Chemicals

          At this time take an inventory of your cleaning equipment and chemical supply.  Brushes, hoses and nets left outside in the sunlight become brittle and may need to be replaced.  Safety pool alarms need the batteries changed.  If your winter pool cover was damaged over the winter have a plan to either replace or repair when you remove it.  Safety covers that need repair will need the hardware removed before sending in for repair.  It is much easier to remove the hardware now.  Make a list of your chemical supply and note how much you have.  This will be handy when you visit your local pool supply store.  You can also mark each container with the level of product and take pictures to show your pool professional.

Clean the bathtub ring at the pools water edge and also inside the skimmer throats and basket area.  Brush under ladder steps and behind ladders.  A thorough brushing of the pool will help lift any bio-film that may have developed during the winter.  The last item to check off is the pool water quality.  Have your pool water professionally checked so that you have the peace of mind that the water is safely sanitized for swimmers and properly balanced to protect your investment and give you many hours of enjoyment. Jump in, have fun!

Wendy L. Purser

NC Contractor, NSPF Certification Instructor, CPO, CPI, APSP CBP,

Aquatic Engineering Technologist AS