SWIMMING POOL CARE & MAINTENANCE--By John & Dad & Ideas for Swimming Pools by Sunset Books RFN 1/83 DFO1610
"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." (1Cor.4:2)
WITH MANY AREAS HAVING GAFMS & THE OPENING OF NEW COMBOS & COOPERATIVE HOMES, IT IS VERY POSSIBLE THAT MANY FAMILY MEMBERS WILL HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MAINTAINING A SWIMMING POOL, whether it is just for a few days during an AFM, or if you rent a house that has a pool. Whichever situation you find yourself in, the blessing of the pool will largely depend on how faithfully, carefully, prayerfully & diligently you look after it.
DAD HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY THANKFUL WHENEVER HE LIVED IN A HOUSE THAT HAD A POOL, especially in the hot weather of the tropics. He thanks the Lord for it every day, as we all do, as it is an ideal way to "get out", especially for Family members who do not have a public ministry. However, he has never ceased to instruct us in all the many operations necessary to the proper maintenance of it, showing us by personal example every aspect of the job. As we were all greenhorns at first, we would like to pass on what we have learned from Dad to you, in the hopes that it will help you look after your pool, & make it a blessing to many!
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A HOUSE THAT HAS A POOL, YOU MIGHT CHECK SOME OF THE FOLLOWING POINTS CONCERNING THE POOL: Are there any structural faults, major cracks etc. in the pool? Does the pool filter pump & piping look like it is in good condition? What is the condition of the pool, is it clean? Are there pool accessories such as a vacuum head & hose, leaf skimmer etc.? These are usually quite expensive, but nonetheless necessary, so it's nice to have them already supplied.
LOOK AROUND THE PUMP to see if there is much rust on the pipes etc. If it is on the verge of giving out, it could be nothing but trouble for you. Try & find out how old the pool is, & make sure the filter pump is working well.
WHEN YOU FIND WHAT YOU FEEL IS THE RIGHT HOUSE, COME TO A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING WITH THE LANDLORD, putting it in the lease if necessary, exactly who is responsible for any major repairs on the pool or pump. It should be the landlord, so that you only pay for repairs of damages that you may cause. The lease should also mention that the pool will be handed over to you in good running order. Sometimes the landlord might have a contract with a pool maintenance company to maintain it, their fee being included in the rent. If this is the case then you won't have too many worries apart from generally overseeing their work. However, usually the pool maintenance is the tenant's responsibility, & we have found from experience that it is generally best to maintain it ourselves, as under Dad's supervision we do a better job, & it affords us more privacy, as outsiders are not constantly coming on the property. As well, paying someone else to look after your pool is quite expensive & ups the rent.
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR POOL
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE LANDLORD OR SOMEONE HE RECOMMENDS INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERY DETAIL OF HOW THE POOL MACHINERY WORKS. Every pool is different, so it is very important to find out exactly how yours works from someone who knows how. Don't be like Joe the Mechanic!
ONE SOLUTION IS TO CONTACT A REPUTABLE POOL MAINTENANCE FIRM (preferably the one that built the pool, or the company that was maintaining it for the previous tenants) & ask them to send someone out to explain to you in detail exactly how the pump etc. works. (You will of course have to pay for this service unless you can provision it.) Be very nice to the 'pool man' when he comes, & explain that you want him to instruct you in every detail of the operation of the pump etc., as you will be looking after it yourself from now on. Tell him you want to maintain it so that the water is drinkable. (That should be your standard.) You should have already chosen whichever male Family members are going to be responsible for the upkeep (preferably someone with some mechanical know-how), & they should be present for this time of instruction.
IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO LISTEN ATTENTIVELY & TAKE VERY GOOD NOTES, & make sure you understand it all. Dad always had us take our notebooks & write it all down, drawing diagrams as necessary. This will inspire the pool man (as perhaps would also a little tip on his first visit), as he sees that you really are serious. He should show you how much chlorine to put in, how often, how to vacuum, how to backflush, etc., everything! Ask him to teach you everything he knows about pool maintenance! Ask lots of questions!
IF YOU ARE REALLY NEW AT IT, YOU MIGHT MAKE A DEAL THAT HE COME FOR A WEEK OR 2, DURING WHICH TIME HE TRAINS YOU, so that you get some on-the-job training with his supervision. In one house we moved into, the pool was a disaster, green & more like a cesspool! We made a deal with a pool company to send a man for an hour or so every day for a week to get it in order. By the end of the week, not only was the pool totally transformed, but we had learned everything there was to know about how it operated. So really pump the fellow for everything, & write it down.
ONE GOOD THING TO DO IS NUMBER THE VARIOUS VALVES, & make a diagram describing which valves need to be open for each operation. Our pump has 5 valves, so for example, for BACKFLUSH it would read: Valve 1--open. Valve 2--closed. Valve 3--closed. Valve 4--open. Valve 5--closed. This makes it simple to do each operation. Keep this chart by your pump if possible, so you can refer to it regularly.
APART FROM LEARNING EVERY STEP INVOLVED IN RUNNING THE PUMP, YOU CAN ALSO FIND OUT FROM THE POOL MAN WHAT KIND OF CHEMICALS ARE AVAILABLE LOCALLY, HOW THEY SHOULD BE USED etc., as these can vary from country to country. Pump the man for everything you can, & give him a good tip at the end when he turns it over to you. When he has finished, you should be thoroughly familiar with every aspect of the running of your pool. You might end up buying your chemicals from him, or needing his help in the future, so stay on good terms with him.
POOLS AT AREA FELLOWSHIP MEETINGS
IF YOU ARE RENTING A CAMPGROUND OR SOME SORT OF RESORT FOR AN AFM THAT HAS A POOL, you probably won't have to take care of the maintenance, as you will just be there for a few days. However, it is of vital importance that you check beforehand the condition of the pool to make sure that it is spotless & the water very clean. In many third World countries, even in nice resorts, the pools are haphazardly maintained. Contaminated pools can be very dangerous & cause serious diseases such as typhus, typhoid, cholera etc. if not maintained properly.
ONCE WHILE TEMPORARILY STAYING IN AN APARTMENT-HOTEL, DAD INSISTED THAT THE MANAGEMENT CLEAN UP THEIR POOL if he was to stay any longer. He pointed out the problem areas & how to correct them to one of our Staff, who then explained it to the management. They immediately called a pool company & had their pool cleaned up & properly chemicalled. But if Dad had not had the experience of maintaining his own pool & obeying what the Lord showed him, one of us could've gotten very sick. So don't take it for granted that the pool is OK, but inspect it yourself, ask a few questions & ask if the water is drinkable. A pool that has not been properly maintained could be a disaster at an AFM & make everyone sick!
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE: PRAYER!
THE FIRST & FOREMOST PREREQUISITE THAT DAD CONSTANTLY EMPHASISES, WHETHER IT BE HANDLING CHEMICALS, RUNNING THE PUMP, ETC., IS PRAYER & SAFETY FIRST! He never tires of cautioning us to pray before we do anything, take all the proper precautions & as little risk as possible. It is very important to keep a sober attitude & remember that "nothing short of right is right!"
PRAYER IS VITALLY IMPORTANT BEFORE SWIMMING, VACUUMING, CHEMICALLING OR DOING ANY OTHER ACTIVITIES OR WORK AROUND THE POOL. One little mistake can result in very serious problems, especially when adding chemicals to the pool. Dad says, "You are handling DEATH!" & he speaks from experience! At the house they lived in Tenerife there was a small pool. Dad had instructed a staff member how to prepare the chemicals, cautioning him never to mix 2 different chemicals at the same time. However, the staff member, to save time, mixed 2 of the chemicals together, which gave off a deadly gas, resulting in an immediate evacuation of the house! The boy was poisoned so badly from the fumes that he had inhaled that he had to spend 3 days in the hospital, very sick! Don't cut corners or compromise, as it might literally put you in your grave! Remember, prayer & safety first!
KEEPING YOUR POOL CLEAN
FILTRATION, CHEMICAL TREATMENT & REGULAR CLEANING ARE THE 3 METHODS OF KEEPING YOUR POOL WATER CLEAN, CLEAR & FREE OF BACTERIA. The following is a brief explanation of what is involved in each method. Some of this information was taken from a book that we found helpful.
1.THE FILTRATION SYSTEM
THE FILTRATION SYSTEM IS THE PRIMARY METHOD FOR REMOVING SOLID MATERIAL that clouds the water; it also disperses the pool chemicals throughout the water so they can do their job. The filtration system enables you to use the initial water supply over & over again, adding just a little water necessary to backwash, or backflush (cleaning the filter by reversing the waterflow) the filter & compensate for evaporation & splashout. A good filter will enable you to use the same water for years. Some in Tenerife had the same water for seven years!
THE FILTRATION SYSTEM IS COMPOSED OF 4 ELEMENTS: THE FILTER, A PUMP & MOTOR, AN AUTOMATIC SURFACE SKIMMER, & CIRCULATING PIPING. The water passes through the filter which removes unwanted debris, dirt, & decaying leaves. The filter, along with chemical treatment & cleaning, assures you of sparkling clean water.
THERE ARE 3 KINDS OF FILTERS:
1) A HIGH-RATE SAND FILTER,
2) D.E. FILTER,
3) CARTRIDGE FILTER.
The sand filter (most popular) & the DE filters are cleaned by backwashing or backflushing the water through the filter to clean out dirt particles. The cartridge filter is cleaned by removing the cartridge & cleaning it with a garden hose. Find out which kind your pool has.
THE COMBINATION PUMP & MOTOR DRAWS WATER FROM THE POOL, FORCES IT THROUGH THE FILTER & RETURNS IT TO THE POOL. Self-priming pumps have a lint & hair filter on the intake side of the pump to catch large particles of foreign matter before they enter & clog the pump.
SURFACE SKIMMERS ARE SQUARE HOLES LOCATED AT WATER LEVEL ON THE SIDE OF THE POOL. They are connected to the pump intake, & suck dirt, oils, lotions, floating algae & leaves off the surface of the water into the filtration system. The water passes through the skimmer hole where a basket catches large leaves, etc., while smaller matter passes on through the filtration system to be filtered out at the filter.
A SURFACE SKIMMER IS IMPORTANT, as suction from the main drain outlet at the deepest point in the pool is not strong enough to pull these materials on the surface down, A surface skimmer will be most effective when located on the downwind side of the pool, as the wind helps the pump to push debris toward the opening.
THE PLUMBING & PIPING SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO CIRCULATE ALL THE WATER FROM THE POOL THROUGH THE FILTRATION SYSTEM. Normally, water is drawn from the pool through the main drain & surface skimmer, passes through suction lines to the pump, through the filter & heater (if there is one), & then returns to the pool via return lines.
THE MAIN DRAIN, LOCATED AT THE DEEPEST PART OF THE POOL, SERVES AS A COLLECTING POINT FOR DEBRIS & DRAWS OFF DIRT THAT SETTLES IN THE BOTTOM. It also allows for a complete draining of the pool if this is ever necessary. Another water intake can be the vacuum line for the cleaner, though in most pools this connection is part of the surface skimmer.
NEVER RUN THE FILTRATION SYSTEM LESS THAN 4 TO 5 HOURS A DAY. When a lot of people are using the pool you'll need to increase the filtering time to keep water clear. (In our house, when we use the pool a lot & if the weather is hot, we run the pump 12-14 hours a day.) If you ever have to empty & refill a pool, run the filter continuously until the water is clear. In properly filtered & chemically treated water you can clearly see the main drain in the deep end of the pool.
SOME POOLS HAVE AN EXTRA VALVE in the pump house which, when open, allows fresh water in to fill &/or add water to the pool. Usually you will find that you need to add water daily, because of evaporation. We found that we could not only add water, but HOT water, heated by the sun! Another of Dad's ingenious ideas!
WE CALL THEM OUR "SOLAR HEATERS!" They consist of a normal dark-coloured (to best absorb the sun's heat, Dad says black or red is best) garden hose, about 30 meters long, (100 feet) coiled like a snake on the pavement by the pool, on a spot where it gets the most direct sunlight all day. Hook it up to a garden faucet, & turn the water on so that just a trickle, about the diameter of a pencil is coming out of the end of the hose, which should be dropped to the bottom of the pool. (more hoses can be added to make the water hotter)
THE HOSE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO RUN IN THIS MANNER DURING THE HOTTEST HOURS OF THE DAY. You will find that the hose will get quite hot due to the sun, & that by the time the small trickle of water has passed slowly through 30 meters of this hot coiled hose, it will be quite hot when it goes into the pool, thus not only maintaining the water level, but also keeping the water temperature up, as the only water added to the pool is hot! We turn it on in the morning when the hose is completely in the sun & then turn it off in the evening when the hose is in the shade. Before turning it off, we fill the hose by running it full-blast for a moment or two into the pool, so it's full of hot water when we turn it on in the morning. When off, leave the open end of the hose higher than the rest of the hose, so the water won't drain out into the pool until hot the next day.
2. POOL WATER CHEMISTRY
TREATING YOUR POOL WATER WITH CHEMICALS MAINTAINS THE CHEMICAL BALANCE, DISINFECTS THE WATER & KEEPS IT SPARKLING CLEAN. The cost of maintaining a pool is largely determined by the cost of these chemicals, which depends on a number of widely varied factors: The pool size, the water temperature, the amount of time the pool is used, the number of people using it, etc.
POOL WATER TEST KITS
THESE ARE SMALL KITS WHICH YOU CAN BUY AT ANY POOL SUPPLY STORE. They enable you to easily test the cleanliness & purity of your pool water on a daily basis. Proper water testing is your major guarantee against the development of serious problems. Consider test kits a guide to the well-being of your pool. They provide the information necessary to determine the chemical requirements of the water.
TEST KITS USUALLY CONTAIN 2 SMALL VIALS, SOME TEST REAGENTS & INSTRUCTIONS. They are very common & you should be able to get them at any pool maintenance shop, or from a similar maintenance company. Some places they even sell'm & the chemicals at some hardware stores. They can instruct you precisely how to use it. The best time to test water is in the early evening. Avoid surface water when you fill the tube. Take a sample from a depth of at least 12 inches.
AGAIN, WE CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH THE TREMENDOUS DANGER INVOLVED IN WORKING WITH POOL CHEMICALS! One little grain of chlorine in a child's mouth could kill him!
THE 3 MAIN CHEMICALS YOU WILL NEED TO TREAT YOUR POOL ARE:
2) ACID, &
3) COPPER SULPHATE.
CHLORINE KILLS THE HARMFUL BACTERIA that can make you sick with Typhus, Typhoid & Cholera, etc. Chlorine is sold in different forms. The best to use are the hard "cakes" which go in the surface skimmer trap. The water is skimmed off the pool into the trap, gets filtered through the chlorine, passes through the pump, etc., & then is emptied back into the pool eventually as chlorinated water. Chlorine cakes are the safest form of chlorine as, although they must be handled very carefully, once they are in place there is a minimum of danger, as they are out of reach of the swimmers, & do not need to be replaced very often, thus eliminating the need to add chlorine every few days.
LIQUID CHLORINE. THE NEXT BEST FORM is liquid chlorine because it is easily mixed & dissolved. But if neither cakes or liquid are available, then you will have to use granular or powdered chlorine. This should be your last choice, as there is always the danger that when you put it in the pool, it won't dissolve completely, & if it doesn't, you have globules of poison floating around in your pool!
ACID & COPPER SULPHATE KEEP YOUR POOL CLEAR & CLEAN & FREE OF ALGAE. Acid particularly is very dangerous & should be handled with extreme care! Depending on what the water is like where you live, you might not need acid. This happened with us once. Your test tube will tell you.
POOLS MUST BE CHEMICALED REGULARLY AT LEAST ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK to keep the chemical content at a constant level, not too much & not too little. If too much it will sting your eyes, irritate your skin & smell very strong. If too little, the water will become cloudy, hazy, green &/or algae will start growing on the side & bottom. One time a Home put too much chlorine in the pool, & when one of the girls swam the next day, her eyes were so irritated that she was temporarily blinded for one day!
TIPS ON HOW TO CHEMICAL YOUR POOL
ADDING CHEMICALS TO THE POOL IS PROBABLY THE MOST DANGEROUS PART OF MAINTAINING a pool, so be sure to start with good prayer, asking the Lord to help you do a good job & not in any way endanger yourselves or others. Dad always has 2 of the men do it together because of the potential danger involved.
IT'S BEST TO WORK OUT A REGULAR SCHEDULE FOR ADDING CHEMICALS TO THE POOL. Some people add a little every day, others every two days etc. After experimenting, we found that we only need to do it twice a week.--Sunday & Wednesday nights. Of course, we have to give it a good dose, but it has worked out quite well this way.
WE USUALLY CHEMICAL THE POOL IN THE EVENING, for 3 reasons. (Dad asked us to be sure to have it done by 10 p.m. at the latest, so the noise does not annoy the neighbours). First of all, it is convenient as we don't swim much after dark. Secondly, bright sunlight tends to destroy the effect of the chlorine rapidly, so this gives it a good 12 hours or so to circulate & do its job before the sun is hot. Thirdly, the chemicals have a chance to dissipate throughout the night, so that there is little chance of there being dangerous concentrations present when people swim the next day. This is especially important if you use granular chlorine.
BEFORE YOU CHEMICAL, WARN EVERYONE IN THE HOUSE, & CLOSE ANY WINDOWS THAT ARE CLOSE TO THE POOL, to avoid fumes going in the house. Then, take any toys, rubber rings etc. out of the pool, so they won't get chemicals on them.
DAD HAS EMPHASISED REPEATEDLY HOW DANGEROUS THE FUMES FROM THE CHEMICALS CAN BE, so if there is no breeze we hook up an electric fan to an extension cord & aim it right at the spot where we will be mixing the chemicals, making sure that we stay upwind of the chemicals.
WHEN CHEMICALLING, ALWAYS WEAR RUBBER GLOVES TO PROTECT YOUR HANDS, GLASSES TO PROTECT YOUR EYES, & A HANDKERCHIEF OR MASK OF SOME SORT OVER YOUR MOUTH & NOSE. Don't wear good clothes, as drops of chemicals can easily burn holes in them after a while. Chemicals should be mixed in a plastic bucket (labelled & used only for that purpose) & stirred with a wooden or plastic stirring stick (at least a meter long, not used for anything else) before adding to the pool. The plastic bucket should be rinsed thoroughly before & after each use.
TO MIX THE CHLORINE (Of course, if you are using the cakes, you won't need to do this, as they chlorinate the water automatically.) place the bucket at the deep end of the pool right at the edge. Fill it about 1/2 to 2/3 full of water & then pour in your chlorine. The reason you do it at the deep end & put the bucket right next to the edge of the pool is because if anything goes wrong you can simply give it a kick & send it right into the deep water. Make sure you pour in the water first, then the chlorine, & stir thoroughly. Stand between the fan & the bucket so that the fumes do not blow toward you but away from you. It's very important to get the right amount of chlorine & acid according to the volume of pool water. But be sure to mix'm separately!
TO FIGURE THE VOLUME OF WATER IN YOUR POOL, multiply the length times the width times the MEAN OR AVERAGE DEPTH. (For example, if a pool is 1 meter in the shallow end & 3 meters in the deep end, the mean depth is 2 meters.) This will give you the number of cubic meters of water that your pool contains. There are 1,000 liters of water in 1 cubic meter. Whoever sells you the chemicals should be able to tell you approximately how much is needed if you can tell him the size of your pool. For an average pool of about 100 cubic metres (5 x 10 x 2) you'll need about a one-litre can of granulated chlorine 2-3 times a week. Then you can experiment & determine what seems to be the best amount. Obviously, if you add chemicals only twice a week, you will need to put more in each time than if you add it every second night. But use no more than two cans a week for a 100-cubic-metre pool. (If using liquid chlorine, follow instructions on the container. You can even use bottled bleach like Clorox in a pinch! The amount is told on the bottle, the same as for drinking water! Use also about 1/2-3/4 litre of acid twice a week in an average 100-cubic-metre pool.)
HOLD YOUR BREATH WHEN YOU POUR THE CHLORINE INTO THE BUCKET so as not to inhale the poisonous fumes. Don't put your head right over the bucket. Let the chlorine sit for a minute or so, & then stir it until it is dissolved. (If you are using liquid chlorine, you won't need to stir it for very long.) After the chlorine has been mixed thoroughly, pour it slowly into different areas of the deep end of the pool, never in the shallow end where children play & also not near the surface skimmer, as a heavy dose of chemicals can be hard on your filtration system & pump.
RINSE THE BUCKET OUT THOROUGHLY with clear water from the shallow end & then repeat the process for the acid. The fumes can be very dangerous, so be very careful! A handful of Copper sulphate (about 1/2 cup) should be soaked in water for several hours, then ground into tiny particles with mortar & pestle & thrown, along with the water it was soaking in, into the middle of the deep end.
NEVER EVER MIX ANY POOL CHEMICALS TOGETHER! Pool chemicals cause a deadly toxic fume if mixed together! Mix each chemical separately in a pail of water, rinsing the pail thoroughly before mixing the new batch.
AFTER THE CHEMICALS HAVE BEEN ADDED, STIR THE POOL FOR 10-15 MINUTES WITH A PADDLE, SHOVEL OR POOL SKIMMER. Walk around the pool in one direction, dragging your shovel or paddle in the water, creating a circular current which mixes the chemicals. When you have finished the stirring & put all the chemicals away, rinse the cement or tile all around the pool to wash off any chemicals that might have spilled over the bucket while stirring. Keep the filtration system operating all night to ensure proper mixing. Always take a shower from head to toe after using chemicals. No one should swim for at least 8 hours after chemicals are added!
KEEP ALL POOL CHEMICALS & CLEANING AGENTS SEALED & STORED IN A LOCKED COOL DRY AREA OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN (possibly the pool pump house). The keys should only be available to the adults familiar with the use of these chemicals. Read the labels of the chemicals both when you buy them & when you use them. Labels sometimes look similar. Adding the wrong chemical or wrong amounts can lead to harmful conditions.
IF YOU WERE EVER TO SPILL ANY CHEMICAL ON YOU OR ON YOUR SKIN, submerge yourself in water immediately. Put your arm in the pool, or if it really got you, dive in the pool, as that would dilute it & keep it from eating your skin & burning you severely. Needless to say, children should not be anywhere near the pool area when chemicalling is going on, another advantage to doing it in the evening or at night.
WHOEVER IS IN CHARGE OF THE POOL SHOULD KEEP A RECORD OF THE MAINTENANCE DONE, especially noting how much of each chemical was added on which date. This will help you in experimenting how much of each chemical you need.
3. POOL MAINTENANCE
MAINTENANCE OF YOUR SWIMMING POOL BEGINS AS SOON AS YOU FILL IT WITH WATER, & CONTINUES YEAR-ROUND. Very few pieces of equipment are required to maintain a pool: A pool vacuum cleaner head & hose, leaf skimmer, & brushes are the basic units. Lightweight aluminium handles that fit all 3 are available at lengths ranging from 3-5 meters. One handle is enough for most pool owners. Look after this equipment carefully, as it is usually quite expensive & surprisingly fragile.
ONCE DAD HAS INSTRUCTED US HOW TO KEEP THE POOL IN TIP-TOP SHAPE, THAT'S HOW HE EXPECTS US TO KEEP IT. Once you get it in good condition, its not so hard to keep it that way, providing you work at it a little each day. Although we have one man on the staff who oversees the maintenance, all the men help in some way, so it is not too much of a burden on any one person. It also helps all appreciate the blessing more! But however you decide to go about it, keep your pool clean & safe to swim in at all times. It is very depressing for everyone to have to look at a sloppily maintained pool, so start off with a high standard & keep it that way, & you'll find your pool will be a great blessing to all!
FOLLOWING IS AN OUTLINE OF ALL THE OPERATIONS INVOLVED IN POOL MAINTENANCE:
8-Step Maintenance Plan:
There's no set pattern for pool clean-up. You work out a procedure that best suits your particular situation, but here's an 8-Step Maintenance Procedure:
1) USE THE LEAF SKIMMER TO SKIM THE SURFACE WATER of debris before it can sink. Dad has asked that one of the early risers skim the pool first thing in the morning, & we keep an eye on it throughout the day, skimming it when needed. It only takes a few minutes & is a job anyone can do, even older children that can swim. A pool with a lot of junk on the surface is very depressing & unsanitary.
2) CLEAN THE TILE & WALLS AS NECESSARY, The scum that forms on water-line tile is a combination of oil & dust & smog settling on the water from the air, & usually can be cleaned off with a soapy sponge. This is a job that anyone can do in 5-10 minutes. Keep a sponge handy & encourage volunteers! Never use steel wool to clean tile because the iron particles can stain or scratch the plaster. A stainless steel brush can be used periodically on plaster or cement bottoms to dislodge algae, stubborn dirt & calcium deposits. Brush the sides of the pool all the way down to the floor so the refuse can be picked up with the vacuum cleaner. Whenever possible, brush toward the main drains so some of the dirt will be pulled into the filter system as you work. Start at the shallow end & work toward the deep end. Overlap your stroke so the entire surface receives a good scrubbing. Some pools will need very little, if any scrubbing, especially if the walls & bottom of the pool are all tile.
3) REMOVE DEBRIS & CLEAN STRAINER BASKETS IN THE SKIMMER & PUMP so there will be maximum suction for vacuuming. Check the surface skimmer trap at least once or twice a day & remove any leaves, etc. You can do this while the pump is on. But to remove debris from the pump basket, you must first shut off the pump & shut the valves to prevent water from coming out or air getting in when you remove the basket cover. Remove the cover, lift out the basket & clean it. After the clean basket is replaced, make sure the cover is fastened securely & the proper valves are open. Turn the pump back on. If it does not pump water immediately shut the pump off. The pump may lose its prime when the basket is clean or when there's an air leak under the basket cover or elsewhere in the system. Running the pump dry or with air entering the system can cause it to overheat & cause serious damage to both pump & motor. To prime the pump, remove the basket cover, fill the pump to brimming with water, replace cover quickly & start the pump again.
4) VACUUM THE POOL AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK, or more often if wind & rain have brought in an extra heavy dose of debris. Take care to eliminate any chance of air being pumped through the lines by making sure the hose is totally submerged & full of water before it's attached to vacuum filter line. Don't lift the vacuum head out of the water while it's in operation. For maximum suction the only line open to the pump should be the vacuum inlet. The water level of the pool should be well above the vacuum inlet so no air can reach the fitting & enter the lines. The vacuum head should be about 1/8 inch above the pool floor. Work the vacuum slowly back & forth & overlap each stroke to avoid missing any parts. "If you hurry you'll miss things!"
ALWAYS VACUUM IN THE MORNING BEFORE ANYBODY SWIMS & HAS A CHANCE TO STIR UP THE DIRT & DEBRIS that has settled all night on the bottom of the pool. It's best to vacuum the morning before chemicalling so that you don't backflush freshly chemicalled water. Never skim, vacuum or brush during a lightning storm, as the pool & vacuum pole both attract the lightning. Vacuuming time is good Temple Time, & a chance to listen to the Word on your micro headphones!
5) BACKWASH OR BACKFLUSH REGULARLY & THOROUGHLY, ESPECIALLY AFTER VACUUMING. To determine when to backwash, look for an increase in pressure registered by the guage on the pump (we don't allow our pressure to get higher than 15 or 16--normal is about 5-10), or a decrease in waterflow through the filtration system.
TO BACKFLUSH A SAND FILTER, first turn the pump off (always do this when changing the valve or valves), then turn the valve to backwash position. This reverses the flow of water through the filter, raises a sand bed & cleans it. The reversed flow carries the dirt & debris out through the wasteline into the city sewers. Turn the pump on & allow to run for 2 or 3 minutes which will have disposed of anywhere from 200-1,000 liters of dirty water. Shut the pump off & turn the valve to the rinse position, allowing the water to flow through the filter bed in the normal direction & into the wasteline. Turn the pump back on & run it for 15-20 seconds. This resets the sand bed & prevents any dirt from re-entering the pool when you start filtering again. Shut the pump off again, then turn the valve to filter--the normal position for routing water through the filter & back into the pool.
6) TEST THE WATER REGULARLY!
7) ADD CHEMICALS--the type & amount will depend on the test results, past experience & anticipated use.
8) KEEP THE PAVEMENT AROUND THE POOL CLEAN & hose it down as necessary. Have a footwash for swimmers before they enter the pool, a small plastic tub full of water & a capful of bleach, changed daily.
THE SUN IS YOUR BEST POOL HEATER, so try to prevent trees from making too much shade on the pool. Cut down tree limbs over the pool to prevent too much skimming from leaves falling into the pool. We connected a saw blade on the end of our long skimmer handle to reach high limbs & branches which need to be cut regularly, or buy a regular pruning saw with long handle. It's good also to cut down fruits that overhang where people walk or children play so they don't fall & hurt someone.
INSPECT THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL DAILY with goggles for twigs, sticks & things that can hurt people's feet.
NEVER WASH HAIR IN THE POOL! Hair is the worst thing for filters & drains, as it never disintegrates. Dad said that they have found coffins thousands of years old in Egypt where the body had decayed but the woman's hair was still there!--One woman's hair had continued to grow after she was dead until it filled the coffin!
A FEW POOL DO'S & DON'TS:
--Tie towels around the LADDER STEPS if they are slippery, or rough foot treads or rubber or plastic mats.
--There shouldn't be any swimming or pool maintenance during thunderstorms. Your skimmer pole could act as a lighting rod.
--GLASS is the most difficult material to see & clean up. Use only unbreakable plastic glasses & plates at poolside.
--Electrical appliances need to be kept away from where splashing may occur.
--BROKEN DRAIN COVERS in the pool can trap swimmers in the suction. Don't allow anyone to swim in a pool with a damaged drain cover until it's repaired.
--SWIMMERS & FRIENDS who use the pool should HELP WITH CLEAN-UP & simple maintenance such as skimming, washing the sides, etc.
--A FENCE is very important to have around your pool to keep unsupervised children away from the pool.
--DISCOURAGE SWIMMERS FROM TAKING EXTENDED SWIMS UNDERWATER. Hyperventilation can occur when the swimmer takes several deep breathes before a long swim, then the oxygen overdose forces carbon dioxide out of the lungs & blood, which causes them to suddenly blackout underwater & drown if not brought to the surface & given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
--SICK PEOPLE SHOULD STAY OUT OF THE POOL since bacteria & infections can spread quickly in the water. No one with a cold, earache, infected cuts, open sores & any other ailments should go into the water.
--NEVER SWIM ALONE. We are only allowed to rinse off in the shallow end of the pool alone. But swimming in the deep end must be done with another person.
--PRAY BEFORE SWIMMING, especially with children.
--No running or foolishness around the pool!! No throwing or pushing people in or dunking!--No rough play.
--Goggles, etc., should be stored out of the sun.
--Be sure that your activities in the pool in no way annoy your neighbours.
OUR SWIMMING POOL HAS BEEN A GREAT BLESSING to us, mainly due to Dad's diligence to instruct us as to its upkeep, safety & to make sure we keep at it. Dad said that the municipal inspector of the pools in Tenerife told him once that they maintained the pools there so that the water was clean enough to drink, & that some of the large hotels had not changed the water in their pools in seven years! A good standard for us all to aim for, with good cleaning & proper chemicalling.
WE ALL ARE VERY THANKFUL FOR THIS TIME THAT WE HAVE A HOUSE WITH A POOL! Dad especially enjoys it, & as he said, "One reason why I enjoy swimming underwater is because it's like flying! Gravitation no longer has any effect on you. You are weightless like in space. Another reason I like swimming is because it's slow, like slow motion. There's no hurrying in Heaven, no haste, nobody's in a rush." It's also the best possible exercise.
We hope these tips will be a blessing to you & that you have safe, healthy & happy swimming. GBAKY safe in your pool!--In Jesus' name, amen. WLY!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family