Blooms, blooms and more blooms. Everywhere you look there are blooms of every color and shape. Even though these blooms help beautify our wonderful city and roads, they can be quite the nuisance around a pool.
The worst of these blooming trees is our friend the Live Oak. Live Oaks are the type of tree featured on many logos because of their beauty and impressive size. Their imposing presence can provide plenty of shade for backyard comfort, but will also unleash the “11th plaque” upon you and your pool.
The Live Oak is probably the worst, but there are many trees typical to backyard landscaping that cause homeowners and their pools a lot of headaches. If you have owned your pool for a complete year, then you probably remember last year’s bloom. It was probably one the worst in recent memory. This is a yearly occurrence, the only difference is the intensity.
The amount of debris that these trees will drop can very easily overwhelm any pool. There are pool salesmen out there that will tell you that your pool will care for itself if you buy this, that and the other. I would call them all, “liars.” Many pool salesmen have never cleaned a pool and some don’t even know how the equipment works or how to maintain it. So, if you have a self-cleaning pool in Austin, Tx, you are one of a privileged few.
Pool professionals call this time of year, “the bloom.” We wait for it all winter long. Pool work being somewhat seasonal, it helps get the swim season up and running. If you have a lot of blooming trees incorporated in your backyard landscaping, here are some things you should incorporate into your daily routine to avoid costly repairs and having to drain your pool.
The things that you need to remember are all common sense things. You should remember that pool skimmers and cleaner bags have a set capacity. Once the capacity is reached then no more debris fits in it. So one of the most important things you should remember is to empty any receptacle meant to capture debris from the pool daily. If your pool has a huge canopy of trees above it, then you should remember to empty them twice a day.
Not emptying out your skimmers baskets daily will lead to the pump pulling air into the system, which will cause your pump to lose prime and burn up your seal, melt your impellar, or burn up your pump. When the amount of debris in the skimmer creates a seal in the skimmer and the skimmer is the only suction line to your pump you can expect all of the above to happen.
Not emptying your polaris bag or equivalent will lead to lost productivity in cleaning since ,once the bag is full, no more will go in. By emptying the bag daily you can ,at minimum, have that much less to deal with. If you do it every day, you would potentially have seven times less to deal with. If you don’t empty it at all then what will happen is the bag will fill up to capacity and then slump over and drag on the plaster until someone empties it. Dragging on plaster for even one day with a full load can potentially wear a hole in the bag. A typical polaris bag can cost up to $45.00. So, now not only is the pool full of debris, you now have to buy a new bag.
The next thing you need to remember is to empty out your pump basket. So many times when emptying your skimmer basket, debris gets around the basket when you pull it out of the skimmer. When the pool is overrun with blooms, it’s not a bad idea to turn the pump off before emptying the skimmers. This will at least not allow for the escaped material to go into the plumbing where a possible clog may form. Having the pump off will allow for you to remove the debris out of the skimmer before it can get into the plumbing. The blooms will fall apart in the skimmer under pressure from the pump. You will get a basket full of debris even with the utmost care. By remembering to empty your pump basket, you will prevent the pump from burning up a seal and allow for the pump to properly circulate your pool.
The blooms will also find there way into your filter. The blooms are delicate creatures and fall apart very quickly after drop and saturation in water. They will get past your skimmer basket and pump basket and then proceed to clog your filter. Remember to keep your eye on the pressure guage located somewhere on your filter. When your pressure gauge reads ten pounds above clean pressure, you should take the time to backwash the filter. This will make sure that pressure doesn’t build up to the point something may break. It will also keep the pool circulating properly, to ensure it does all it can to help clean the pool.
In the worst of scenarios, if your pool has such a thick canopy of trees that are blooming all over the place. Turn the equipment OFF. I sometimes turn equipment off when the situation is hopeless. When there is so much debris that only a full time employee can deal with it, turn the equipment off. If the pool is going to look bad regardless of all you do then it only makes sense. The pool will require a strong willed person to clean the pool as often as he or she can and at the same time protect the plumbing and equipment from becoming clogged or damaged. If you are in this situation, remember to shock the pool as often as you clean it to keep it from going green. Then we would be talking about something else. The pool may turn brown or black, this is the “tea” effect. Shock it, it will go away. Once the heavy drop has slowed up, then you can turn your equipment back on. You could potentially save a lot of money this way.
Regardless of circumstance, spring pool maintenance is only matched by fall maintenance. It is the time of year where all the needed ingredients for a swamp meet and have the best chance to upset your well-being. Being ready and proactive will get you through this tough season and hopefully get you into a long and happy swim season.