Rick’s Remedies: pH – The Ruler

Did you know that pH (potential of Hydrogen) is the most significant component of your pool’s balance? That is why we should think of it as “THE RULER”. pH ranges from 0 to 14 with 0 being very acidic and 14 being very alkaline. Most people are aware that acid is very caustic but don’t think of alkaline to be equally offensive. The ideal pH for pool water is generally between 7.2-7.8 to maintain a comfortable swimming environment!

In pool water the activity of chlorine (ratio of free chlorine to the hypochlorite ion) is directly linked to pH. If pH is too high chlorine will be underactive and not able to do its job, and pool surfaces tend to form a rough scale. On the other hand, if pH is too low the chlorine becomes overactive and burns itself out making it difficult to maintain a chlorine reading. Also, low pH water is corrosive and may cause your heater, pump, etc. to rust. So, keep ‘THE RULER” in the proper range so your pool looks good, smells good and feels good.

Stay tuned for Alkalinity “THE SOOTHER”

What’s That Smell?

“Ewwww, what’s that smell?!”  Have you ever found yourself asking this question poolside?  If so, rest assured you are not alone.  Just like any other body of water, a pool is susceptible to various problems. Typically, it’s nothing too serious and can be fixed with some chemical adjustment.   It is important to note, anytime you feel your water chemistry may be off, take a sample into your pool supply store and let them give you a true water analysis.

So, what is that smell?  Most likely it is chloramines.  What are chloramines?  Chloramines are created when the chlorine in your pool meets contaminants that contain ammonia and/or nitrogen.  Both can be found in things like urine and sweat, even saliva or rain.  The biggest misconception about the “smell of chlorine” is that it is indicative of a well sanitized pool, when actually, the opposite is true.

Buckle your seat belt, we are about to have a crash course in basic water chemistry!  Chloramines form by replacing the hydrogen or ammonia atoms with chlorine atoms in certain compounds (urine, sweat, rain, saliva, etc).  As the free chlorine is captured in other compounds, it is no longer available to serve its principle function as a disinfectant.  The end result?  A pool high in chloramines with less sanitary water.

How can you tell if you pool is high in chloramines?  Outside of smell, you may find that your bathers complain of irritated skin and eyes and even difficulty breathing.  The water may also appear cloudy.  The best way to solve this problem is to do a super shock on your water.  This will initiate something called breakpoint chlorination, which is necessary to eliminate the chloramines. During this process, chlorine is burning up the chloramines through oxidation and removing them from the water.

To be sure this problem isn’t a recurring one, it is important to keep your water balanced.  In addition to maintaining your chlorine levels, be sure your pH and alkalinity are within the recommended parameters as well.  Finding a reputable and knowledgeable dealer can be the difference between an enjoyable pool season and a miserable one.  If you need help finding someone in your area, visit us online www.apiwater.com and let us send you to one of our many authorized retail locations.  Until we meet again, stay safe and enjoy your pool!

Hurricane Preparation

Thus far, 2020 has been…an adventure, to say the least.  And now, for those of us who live on the Eastern and Gulf coasts, it is time to prepare for what is predicted to be a humdinger of a hurricane season.  Experts are predicting as many as 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 MAJOR hurricanes.  While we are hoping they are wrong, it is wise to prepare.  For those of you who are pool owners, we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers on how to best prepare your pool and patio this hurricane season.

Q:  I’ve heard that I should place my patio furniture inside my pool during a storm and/or hurricane.

A:  We advise against this for a couple of reasons.  The items could damage your pools liner and/or finish and can also cause staining.  It is best to store these items in a shed or garage until the storm passes.


Q:  Should I drain my above ground pool prior to heavy rains or storms?

A:  No.  Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the weight needed to hold the sides and bottom in place during the storm.  Your pool won’t blow away.  On average, filled above ground pool weighs 10,000lbs!


Q: Do I need to do anything to my pools water chemistry before the storm?

A:  Yes.  It is strongly advisable to super chlorinate your pool water.  Shock your pool in your typical manner.


Q:  How do I prepare my deck and patio?  What about my screen?

A:  Remove any panels or doors that may be loose or not as secure.  You can also create a vent in your screen frame which will allow relief from high winds and help avoid some damage.


Q:  What about my chemicals?  How should I store them?

A:  While is always advisable to store chemicals in a well ventilated, dry environment, it is even more important to do so during hurricane season.  Be sure they are in a high, dry and safe area.  Some chemicals can create toxic gasses or even fire when they come into contact with others.


Q:  Should I turn off my electrical and automatic systems?

A:  Without question, yes! Lightening and electrical equipment are not friends.  You will want to be sure all equipment is turned off at the circuit breaker prior to the storm.


Q:  When the storm is over, do I need to test my water?

A:  Yes.  The debris that landed in your pool and heavy rain can throw off your levels.


It goes without saying, your safety and that of your family is first.  So do as much pre-storm planning as possible.  Removing patio furniture and umbrellas, pool toys, and any loose limbs that are in or around the pool and patio area can save you time and money when the storm finally passes.  Be sure to stock up on hurricane essentials such as flashlights, water, and candles.  I’d say toilet paper, but don’t want this blog to be the reason for the next national shortage!

These are just a few of the most common questions asked regarding pool care during this time of year.  If you have a question that we didn’t answer, feel free to text or call us at (877)274-7261.  You can also email us at [email protected]

For more hurricane preparedness information, check out this information from our friends at chooseenergy.com   https://www.chooseenergy.com/news/article/hurricane-preparedness-guide/

Until we meet again, stay safe and enjoy your pool!

Pool Party Planning

If you have a pool, odds are you have hosted a party or two in your family’s backyard oasis.  As you may well know, there are several factors to take into consideration before inviting family and friends over to enjoy an afternoon or evening in and around the water.  We have compiled a short list to make your party prep EZ!

Clean Up

The more you do in the days leading up to your party, the more you will be able to enjoy your guests.  A wise person once said, “a man who fails to prepare, prepares to fail”.  Don’t be THAT guy!

  • Call your pool maintenance team several days ahead of your gathering and let them know your plans. They can take the necessary steps to ensure everyone is able to enjoy a well balanced and clean swimming environment.  If you do your own pool maintenance, take a water sample to your pool chemical provider several days before the event.  They will test your water and guide you on what is needed to get your levels to a satisfactory status.
  • Inspect your patio furniture to be sure it is in good repair. There is nothing worse that Uncle Larry plopping down in a chaise lounge and ending up on his back!
  • Wipe down surfaces with antibacterial cleaner to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Safety Issues

Nothing ruins a party like an accident.  Double check your accommodations and be sure they are safe and suitable for your guests.

  • Be sure to remove all items that could contribute to someone tripping and falling into the pool and put into place safeguards that will restrict unsupervised access to the pool by children and pets.
  • Assign a “water watcher”. Ask party gatherers to take 20 minutes shifts watching the pool when young children are present.  This person should be sober and undistracted as they dutifully see to it that the children in attendance are safe while swimming.  If no one is up for the task, hire someone who can perform this vital function for you.
  • If your party will run into evening hours, be sure to have adequate lighting to guide party-goers’ paths as they navigate around the pool area.
  • Consider laying down rubber mats to help with the grip of wet, slippery feet to avoid slip and falls.
  • Implement a “no glass by the pool” policy. Broken glass is dangerous and very difficult to remove from a pool.

Comfort & Conversation

  • Set up cozy conversation friendly areas poolside. Not all guests are water lovers, so be sure to take their preferences and needs into consideration.
  • Shaded seating is important on hot summer days. Open your patio umbrellas and consider a shade awning with seating beneath to provide some relief from warm summer rays.
  • Inevitably, someone will forget their towel or sunscreen. A basket with poolside toys and essentials is a great way to make your guests feel welcome and at ease while visiting.
  • Consider having coolers and other containers full of cold water. Staying hydrated is important.  While we realize there is water in the form of the ice in your mixed drink, nothing replaces the benefits of H2O!

Back-Up Plan

No one wants to think about it, but it COULD happen…A summer rain shower can put a DAMPer (pun intended) on your poolside plans.  While there is no fool proof way to avoid this, you can be prepared!

  • Keep an eye on the forecast in the days leading up to your event. If rain is likely, you may consider rescheduling for another time
  • If the show must go on, tents and awnings are a great way to keep the party outdoors and somewhat dry as you enjoy your company
  • Keep the pizza delivery guy on speed dial! BBQ’s aren’t nearly as successful on rainy days.  A menu change may be necessary
  • Pull out the board games. If Marco Polo isn’t an option, maybe Monopoly is!

After Party

Last, but certainly not least is after party clean up.  Again, reach out to your pool service provider for maintenance and cleaning.  If you are a DIY’er, head to your pool supply store with a water sample for testing.

If you are need of a pool service professional or a pool supply store, visit our website or download our app, myAPiWater.  A member of our Customer Experience Team will reach out to you with options in your area.

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