Category: Water Care

Categories Water Care

Pool Water Testing is Essential to Pool Health

At Recreational Concepts, we offer weekly complimentary water testing for those who use our line of chemical products; a $5 fee is applied to those who do not use our products but wish to have the test completed.  We recommend that pool owners ideally test at home on a weekly basis and stop in to have our professionals test once a month. 

How to collect a good water sample-

If you’re new to all of this, make sure you have the basic information available for your local pool store:  Pool size (gallons), type (concrete, fiberglass, liner), sanitizer (salt system and type, automatic chlorinator, etc.), and history of chemicals added to the pool in the last 48 hours.

When you bring your sample in, we test for the following chemicals: free and total chlorine or bromine, pH, stabilizer, alkalinity, calcium hardness, salt, metal levels, and phosphates. Maintaining proper levels keeps swimmers comfortable and your pool happy. Customers bothered by pool water, usually have been swimming in an unbalanced pool. Chlorine is not normally the cause of irritation.

Container Tips-

Use a clean container-with a spill proof lid. Never use containers that may have remnants of the previous product inside like empty chemical bottles or pickle jars, as the chemical, vinegar and salt will never fully be washed out and may skew your sample.  About 8 oz of water will be sufficient for in-store testing.

How to take the sample-

If possible, it is always preferred to take a sample from 18″ below the surface, or at least elbow deep.  Do not take directly from the surface.  The water below the surface is a better representation of the water as a whole, with less contaminants present that could affect your test results.

Collect water away from return jets.  As most swimming pools are equipped with salt systems or automatic chlorinators, the water coming directly from the return jet will have higher salt and chlorine levels (and potentially higher pH levels).

If your pool has different depths, take the water sample in the deep end as it will be less effected by the water temperature.

Sample Timing-

Don’t take a water sample if you’ve added chemicals to your pool in the last 12-48 hours.

Ensure the pool has been circulating non-stop for approx. 48 hours. (chemicals like calcium, stabilizer and salt can settle to the bottom of the pool.)

If it is raining, do not test your water.  Rain is very low in both pH and alkalinity.  When it’s raining, the top layer of your pool water- the origin of your water sample- will not accurately reflect the pool as a whole until the rainwater has mixed in completely with the rest of the water. If it just rained or will threaten to rain in the very near future, wait at least 8 hours before conducting a test or gathering a sample for testing.

The fresher the sample the better.  Taking the sample in the morning and going to work, running errands, etc. is not ideal.  If the sample sits in your cubicle all day or in your car the sample could become tainted.  Additionally- If you take a sample in the morning and it rains, the sample is no longer accurately reflecting the current state of your pool.

Categories Exterior Pools Water Care

For Clean, Pure and Silky Pool Water, Just Add Salt

The ins and outs of Saltwater Pools

Chlorine is hazardous to transport, handle, store, and can irritate the skin and the eyes. Homeowners must measure and add the chorine to their pool on a regular basis.  National shortages in chlorine supply can also have an effect on price volatility.  So why not make your own chlorine?  You can with a saltwater pool!  The salt molecule (sodium chloride, NaCl) In the pool water is split apart by a chlorine generator that is installed in the pool plumbing to make the cleanest form of chlorine possible.


Saltwater Systems vs. Traditional Chlorinated Pools

If you don’t know much about saltwater pools, the facts may surprise you. For one, they aren’t anywhere close to being as salty as seawater. In fact, they have only about one-tenth of the salinity. Second, they are not completely chlorine-free. Instead, the system uses a process called electrolysis to create chlorine, which disinfects the water.


Saltwater Pool Advantages

Instead of dumping enough chlorine in your pool to last for an entire week, the salt generator makes its own chlorine, continuously, allowing for lower overall chlorine levels making saltwater pools much gentler on the eyes and skin.

Research indicates that saltwater systems may be safer than chlorine pools, which force owners to store and handle unsafe chemicals. Likewise, studies suggest that regular exposure to heavily chlorinated swimming pools could pose health risks.

Saltwater pools produce softer-feeling water, which many find desirable.

Because the salt cells in a saltwater system only produce chlorine as needed, the pools require far less maintenance when compared to traditional chlorinated swimming pools.

No more bleached-out bathing suits is also another perk of saltwater pools.


Disadvantages of Saltwater Pools

Saltwater pools require a larger initial investment, making them more expensive than traditional pools.

Salt is corrosive and can cause damage to certain materials. Special attention should be given when selecting types of heaters, fixtures, underwater lighting, liners and even some types of masonry work around the pool. Bonding all metal and installing a zinc anode helps prevent this corrosion.


What is a Salt Chlorine Generator?

The primary piece of machinery in a saltwater pool is the salt chlorine generator. Using electrolysis, the generator breaks dissolved salt into hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite, two sanitizing agents used in chlorine-based swimming pools. The continuous process also prevents the buildup of chloramines.

With the IntelliChlor® Salt Chlorine Generator from Pentair, ordinary table salt is converted into all the pure chlorine your pool needs safely, effectively and automatically.  After the chlorine has disinfected your pool, it reverts back into salt and the cycle repeats.

Find more information about the Pentair Intellichlor® Salt Generator here-

Categories Exterior Pools Water Care

Neutralize Harmful Bacteria While Using Less Chlorine

Harness the instant neutralizing power of ultraviolet light to “zap” unhealthy microorganisms like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E. coli and other harmful waterborne pathogens in your pool in a matter of seconds. Ultraviolet light increases the effectiveness of your chlorine, along with reducing the overall amount of chlorine used on a weekly basis.  Once UV light gets installed at the equipment pad of your pool, there is nothing else for you to do…it runs automatically!

Top Benefits of UV Water Disinfection Sanitizer Supplementation with Pentair’s Bioshield

  • Neutralizes harmful bacteria and pathogens instantly
  • Reduces chlorine usage which helps eliminate itchy skin, burning red eyes and chemical odors
  • Energy-efficient, high-output UV lamps provide up to 12,000 hours of continuous operation
  • Easy to maintain and can be installed in new or existing pools
  • Low operating costs—uses about the same energy of a 60-W light bulb

How does it work?

UV sanitation systems eliminate chlorine-resistant microorganisms, which are common causes of pool closures. These systems produce UV radiation inside a light chamber via powerful lamps, which emit germicidal UV-C light that is used to disinfect pool and spa water. Pools and spas equipped with these systems consume fewer chemicals and allow sanitizers to be more effective, saving pool owners money. UV-C causes permanent damage to microorganisms almost instantly as the water circulates through the light chamber. By disrupting the microorganism’s DNA. Protozoans, viruses and bacteria are unable to replicate and remain inert.

For more information on the Pentair UV Disinfection Sanitizer-