ABC Blog

There’s Black Algae in My Pool: What Can I Do?

black algae in a pool

Having a pool at home is an amazing way to enjoy your backyard, entertain guests and cool off. Unfortunately, the environment around swimming pools also provides a breeding ground for the kinds of guests you don’t want, such as algae. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to get rid of algae and keep it from coming back to your pool in the future.

One of the most frustrating invaders in swimming pools is black algae. This type of algae is also known as blue-green algae. Despite its name, black algae is actually a type of bacteria that looks like black or dark blue-green mold. Not only can black algae make your pool look dirty and uninviting, but it can also be dangerous for anyone who gets in your pool. Swimming in or accidentally drinking pool water that’s infected with black algae can lead to serious health issues like liver damage.

The … Read Full Post »

What Is My Pool’s Evaporation Rate?

a pool with low water levels which leads a homeowner to wonder what their pool evaporation rate is

Pools generally lose about a quarter of an inch of water every day due to evaporation. That said, the evaporation rate depends on several circumstances in your local environment. This means that even under typical conditions, your pool could lose thousands of gallons of water each year from evaporation.

The easiest thing to do is check an evaporation rate map for your area, such as the one made by the National Weather Service. However, if you want to estimate the specific evaporation rate in your pool, you can also measure it.

Using a tape measure or ruler, measure the distance between the surface of your pool water and the top of the pool deck. Wait a week to let the water evaporate and then measure this same distance between the water and pool deck again.

Subtract the first measurement from this second measurement to get a value for how much the water level … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Pool Pumps Last?

a pool at a home with two deck chairs and a retaining wall

A pool pump can last anywhere from around 8 years to as long as 15 years or more. The lifespan of this vital piece of equipment typically depends on things like the type of pump you buy and whether you regularly maintain the pump.

One of the primary signs that there might be a problem with your pool pump is if the water looks cloudy or if algae or grime is building up on the surface of your pool. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire pump is bad or that you must replace the whole thing. In some cases, you might need to replace just one part of the pump, such as the motor or the filter. In most cases, pool owners are better off calling in a pro to make these fixes, as someone with the experience and tools to get the job done right can usually quickly … Read Full Post »

Landscape Lighting Around Your Pool: Expert Tips

A yard where a homeowner has recently updated their landscape lighting around the pool

Well-placed lights around your pool area can enhance the beauty of your backyard and help you get the most out of your investment, day or night. In addition, installing landscape lighting can illuminate walkways to help your swimmers find their way from your back door to your pool more safely. Some common options include lights next to a patio, pergola, seating area, walls or perimeter. Additionally, lighting on water features, trees, plants, garden beds, decorations or statues can help create a welcoming atmosphere and accent certain areas of your property.

If you’re considering adding to the aesthetics and function of your pool area through lighting, you’ll want to keep some other considerations in mind. For instance, if you choose lighting that’s too bright or harsh, then you can inadvertently ruin the casual and serene atmosphere you’re probably trying to achieve. In some situations, low-voltage LED lighting can effectively provide the extra … Read Full Post »

I Have Cloudy Pool Water: What Is Going On?

A swimming pool with cloudy pool water

It can be quite alarming when you head outside, ready to take a dip in your pool, only to notice that your pool water is cloudy. What went wrong, and what can you do to fix it? Can you still swim in cloudy pool water? And, perhaps most importantly, how can you keep your water crystal clear going forward?

Quite simply, cloudiness means that your pool is dirty. Whether it’s because of organic matter or bacteria, you’ll want to resolve the problem before getting in, as it’s generally not hygienic nor safe to swim in a pool that is murky. The first step to clearing up your cloudy pool is figuring out the cause of the problem. A pool professional will likely tell you that there are a few reasons that this would be happening.

Unbalanced Chlorine Levels

Chlorine is the main chemical in a pool to keep the water safe. This sanitizer … Read Full Post »

Pool Pump Won’t Prime: What Is Going On?

A blue pool with a pump that isn't priming

Pool pumps are supposed to make it easier for you to keep your pool beautiful, clean and ready to enjoy with family and friends. However, when a pool pump won’t prime correctly, it can spell disaster at the worst possible time.

Priming is the process of creating a vacuum effect so the pump can pull water out of the pool, pass it through the filter and push the filtered water back into the pool. When this process fails, pool water can quickly become dirty, cloudy and overrun with algae and bacteria.

Some common issues that can prevent a pool pump from priming correctly include:

  • Air in the pool pump
  • A dirty pool pump impeller
  • Low water pressure
  • Pool pump leaks

When your pool pump won’t prime, the best way to save time and money is to call a swimming pool repair expert. A professional can identify and fix most of these problems quickly and help prevent future … Read Full Post »

My Hot Tub Is Not Heating Up: What Is Going On?

A hot tub that is not heating up correctly

Hot tub owners often look forward to the end of the day when they can unwind and relax as they step into the warm water. If you turned your hot tub on hours ago and it still feels lukewarm, you are likely left wondering why your hot tub is not heating up. What might be going on with your hot tub and how can you fix it?

There are a few reasons why your hot tub may not be working properly: clogged parts, broken switches, a malfunctioning thermostat, a broken pump or a faulty heating element.

Clogged Pipes Or Filters

Dirt, debris and leaves can make their way into your hot tub either because of the wind or sometimes on the bottoms of your feet. The filters throughout the hot tub help to keep the water clean and the experience enjoyable. But, if too much dirt enters the filters, there won’t be any … Read Full Post »

Pool Pump Humming But Not Working: What Should I Do?

Pool Pump Humming But Not Working

The pump is the heart of your pool. This important part creates the pressure that moves your pool water through the filters, chlorinators and all the other components of your pool’s circulation system. Recently you’ve started to worry because your previously crystal clear swimming pool is turning a muddy greenish color and you’re not sure why.

You know the pump is on because you can hear it. Did you make a mistake in your calculations for how long you need to run it? Is it the time of day? The wrong pump? What could be the reason for your pool pump humming but not working?

Unfortunately, several things could be the culprit. Some of the most common reasons are that:

  • You might have a bad capacitor.
  • Debris might be blocking the impeller and consequently disabling the pool pump.
  • There might be problems with the motor shaft.

What do all of these issues mean? Quite simply, your … Read Full Post »

How To Vacuum A Pool Using A Skimmer

How to vacuum a pool using skimmer

Most pool owners keep their chemicals balanced and use a hand skimmer when necessary to fish out leaves, twigs and other yard waste. But sometimes, big storms can bring all sorts of dirt and debris that can end up in a pool.

After one of these major weather events, or even after an infestation of algae, you may hope that your skimmer system can get your pool water clean again. But what if a few days go by, and it isn’t happening? Does this mean it’s time to manually vacuum your pool?

If you want to clean the bottom of your pool using your skimmer, you’ll need to gather the following materials:

  • A vacuum head—otherwise known as a vac head.
  • A telescopic pole that is long enough to reach even the deepest parts of your pool.
  • A vacuum hose that also can reach every part of your swimming pool.

You may want to use a skimmer … Read Full Post »

Is There A Best Time To Run A Pool Pump In Summer?

You finally did it—you got a pool installed in your backyard. And you were incredibly glad you did, since it’s a nice way to cool off at the end of a long day. Then, your power bill came and your jaw dropped. You had run the pool pump all day, every day, and now you’re wondering: When is the best time to run a pool pump in the summer?

Like some questions, the answer isn’t entirely straightforward. Depending on your situation, you could choose to run your pump at night only, you may decide to switch to a different sized component to save money or you could find that running your pump all day long is preferible.

Homeowners want to do what’s right and keep their pools pristine, but they often don’t quite realize what they’re getting into, or ways to cut costs while still maintaining your pool. Let’s explore how to … Read Full Post »