Category Archives: Swimming Pool Cleaning

Solving the problems of Scale build up in swimming pools

The build up of scale on the side of a pool or on the surface of your pool cover is a problem that many pool owners face. This article will give some advice on how to deal with it.

Scale or Limescale on your pool starts life as limestone in the rocks that our rain falls upon. The rain dissolves the limestone and it ends up in our drinking water and swimming pool water. Limestone is calcium carbonate, chemical symbol CaCO3. A mix of calcium, carbon and oxygen. Because we never see it in its pure form it is often forgotten that calcium is a metal.

When water evaporates, as it does all the time from the surface of your pool cover, it is the water (H2O) that evaporates leaving behind the calcium carbonate behind as a white, scaley deposit. The easiest way to deal with with the scale deposits is to put an acid on it and the acid will react with the scale and remove it. Typically in swimming pools the acid is phosphoric acid which turns the calcium carbonate into calcium phosphate (as found in your bones) which stays in the water and does not form a scale. Products like Spa No Scale contain phosphoric acid. The problem with using a chemical like that in a pool is that the phosphate formed by the reaction with the carbonate is food for algae. So you solve the scale problem but can cause an algae problem.

No More Scale will prevent limescale build up on your pool cover and pool walls

Another way to deal with the problem of limescale deposits is to prevent it from depositing. Lo-Chlor make a chemical they call No More Scale which does just this. Instead of reacting with calcium carbonate to form a different chemical it sequesters it. Seqestering is a complicated reaction but involves a chemical that bonds to a metal and prevents it from coming out of solution ie being deposited on your pool walls. Calcium is a metal, remember. So No More Scale bonds to the limescale and stops it from being left behind when the water evaporates from your pool. It doesn’t just work on the calcium in limescale it works on all metals so it will help with Iron stains as well.

We recommend that you dose your pool with No More Scale once a year in the spring to prevent scale build up on your pool cover.

The Zodiac MX8 swimming pool cleaner. A suction cleaner that does the walls

New to the UK market in 2012 is the Zodiac MX8 swimming pool cleaner. It was launched in the US last year and has been getting some great reviews.

zodiac mx8 pool cleaner

The New Zodiac MX8 Swimming Pool Cleaner

The Zodiac MX8 is unique among suction pool cleaners. The first thing you notice is the “tank tracks” at either end of  the unit it moves slowly along on these tracks and when it gets to the wall it just keeps going right on up the wall.

A look at the underside reveals two big circular intakes. These form a cyclone in the water to suck up the debris on the floor.

Side View

With the lid open

mx8 pool cleaner

Underside of the MX8

The internal drive system also means it keeps turning and moving and so it covers all of the floor of your pool (not just the deep end) and it should never get stuck in a corner or on the steps.

It has fewer parts that can wear out than other cleaners and a swivel head so the hose does not get tangled.

With a 2 year warranty we are quite impressed by this little machine.

The Tiger bites back

The launch of the Dolphin Supreme range has proved very successful for Maytronics so much so that it prompted its  competitor Hayward, the manufacturer of the Tiger Shark automatic swimming pool cleaner, to lower its price and chuck in some freebies.

The price of the cleaner was reduced from £1,226.00 to £1,150.00 and included a free caddy for carrying the cleaner around in and also a free set of filters. The filters are £70.00 so this was quite a generous offer.

The Tiger Shark works in much the same way as the Dolphin Supreme M4. An electric cleaner that work independantly of the pool’s filtration system. It has two paper filters to catch the finest of dirt. The Dolphin used to have a bag but has no gone over to paper filters also.

Tiger Shark Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner

Tiger Shark Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner

The offer expired on 31st July 2011 but call us and we may still be able to get a good deal for you.

Why algae grows in your pool in the summer

This is an article about algae in swimming pools and it has got graphs in it. I am sometimes accused of being a bit nerdy, I don’t know why!

Algae need light to grow, strong sunshine is algae’s best friend. Just when we are getting our pools ready for the warm summer days the daylight hours start to increase, just what the alage need. It is worth taking a look at just how the light in the UK varies throught the year.

Below is a  graph on which the blue line is daylight hours.  Note how all through June and well in to July we get 16 hours of daylight per day compared with 8 hours in winter. Twice as much daylight in summer as in winter.

The Blue line is daylight hours, the Red line sunset time, the orange line sunrise time

The next graph shows the altitude of the sun. Note how in summer when the days are 16 hours long the sun is up to 60 degrees above the horizon but in winter is barely gets above 20 degrees. The lower the altitude the more atmosphere it has to penetrate, the lower the strength of the light. The opposite in summer lots of light and lots of strength.

The higher the sun the stronger the light

That is why algae grows so much more in the summer than it does in the winter. Light = food for algea, give something twice the amount of food and it will grow twice as much.

Maytronics introduce a new range of automatic pool cleaners

Maytronics, the manufacturer of the Dolphin range of automatic pool cleaners have introduced two new cleaners for 2011 to replace the Dolphin Magic and the Dolphin Dynamic Plus. The new pool cleaners are called the M4 and the M5. Externally they look exactly the same but internally there are some significant differences.

First we’ll look at how the M4, full name the Dolphin Supreme M4, has improved upon the Dolphin Magic and then we’ll look at how the M5 differs from the M4.

The Dolphin Supreme M4 and M5 look alike but differ internally

The most obvious change is in the colour from the orange case of the Dolphin Magic to a more understated blue for the M4 but the Dolphin Dynamic Plus was blue before so now it is not so easy to tell them apart.

Maytronics have introduced a third roller brush to the new models. This is to give extra scrubbing power to get algea of the floor of the pool and also means that the problem that some cleaners have of getting stuck on a raised main drain is eliminated.

The Dolphin Magic had a bag to collect the debris in and so could not pick up the fine dust in the way that the Tiger Shark can. That has changed with the M4 because it now has paper filters like the Tiger Shark in two versions, fine and ultrafine but it can also have a filter bag if you prefer. Bags are easier to clean but paper filter can collect finer dirt.

When you want to take the bag or filter out to clean it on all other automatic swimming pool cleaners you have turn them on their side because the filters come out from underneath the machine. On the M4 the filters come out from the top, quite a handy little improvement.

Like all top end automatic swimming pool cleaners the Dolphin Supreme M4 will climb the walls and clean the scumline by default.

The Dolphin Supreme M5 differs from the M4 mainly because it has a wireless remote control. If the cleaner has missed a bit you can send it in to the area and make it clean up. In rectangular pools this is rarely necessary but is a very useful feature if you have free-form or kidney shaped swimming pool. As well as this the M5 tells you when the filter needs cleaning by means of a light on the transformer and the wall climbing mode can be switched off if required.

In the league table of automatic swimming pool cleaners the Dolphin Supreme M4 and M5 are clearly on top. There is no better pool cleaner but they are not cheap. At £1,420.00 and £1,995.00 they are the most expensive pool cleaners but they are definitely the best.