Great American

Dark, slippery spots

Q. The deck has dark spots that are slippery. What am I doing wrong?

A. You've got 'bird baths', standing water that allows mildew to grow. Pour a little liquid chlorine on the spots and broom it around. That will kill the mildew for the time being. If you can drill a small hole ( a 1/8" will do ) through the slab with a masonry bit, you'll get rid of the small amount of water that causes mildew spots. Slant the hole toward traffic or sitting areas and it will be almost invisible.

Filter types

Q. You said the D.E. filter is better, my builder tells me that the cartridge filter is better. Who's lying ?

A. Nobody in the pool business lies. 'Better' is a relative term and both statements are true. The cartridge is easier to take care of and cheaper to install, so it's definitely better for the contractor. The D.E.requires occasional trips to the pool store, a little instruction and costs more, but it filters bacteria, algae spores and other material out of the water that goes right through the cartridge. The D.E. filter is better for you and your pool.

Air Bubbles and solar heaters

Q. I'm getting air bubbles in the pool. It started when the solar heater was installed. The solar man says air can't get into the solar because it's on the pressure side of the pump. There were no air problems until then.

A. Your pump is probably undersized for a solar system. If original and typical, it was the smallest pump capable of filtering your pool as it was contracted and built. Solar systems require at least one step- up in pump size to push water to your roof. The increase in pressure causes an equal increase in vacuum. There's not enough room to do the explanation justice, but the solar system is the cause of your air leak. You can try greasing the filter basket "O" ring and if your suction- side piping is 1.5" you can up- size the suction piping to 2" between the valves and the pump, but you'll probably have to get a larger pump to get rid of the air.

Q. I've got three bids here for solar heat. All the companies are legitimate, but one bid is 25% lower than the others. It almost seem "too good a deal". The one system is smaller, but the salesman says his system is adequate. The other two salesmen say the cheaper system is too small. Whom do I believe?

A. You're right in being suspicious of the low bid. The biggest mistake made with solar is buying an under-sized system. Adequate for whom? You'll notice that none of the salesmen can guarantee a certain rise in temperature. They'll 'suggest', but a 'guarantee' lies just beyond our ability to control the weather. Cheaper prices sometimes guarantee a sale and have little effect on the temperature of the water. While you're figuring expenses, don't forget the larger pump you'll need to get the water to the roof and maintain your present flow rate.

Leaking pool lights

Q. The pool light bulb was just changed. It works, but now it's half- full of water. Do I need a whole new light ?

A. Turn the light breaker off, water and electricity is a bad mix. When you change a bulb, you need to change the lens gasket. Pull the light apart again and remove the rubber seal from the glass lens. Take it down to your pool store for an exact fit. If the light's still working, you haven't done any permanent damage.

Gas heater broken

Q. I've got a gas heater on my pool. It will cost almost as much to repair the old one as it would to buy a new one. What do you recommend ?

A. You've got an old pool, gas hasn't been used to heat a pool since the Nixon administration. I'm assuming we are talking about a pool and not a spa, where gas is still a viable choice. Look at the heat pumps. That's what I chose and haven't regretted it.

Pool School Problems

Q. Why can't I open the PDF file? Acrobat reader just gives me error messages.

A. Pool School is saved in Acrobat version 3. Earlier versions of Acrobat Reader will not work, which is one of the reasons why we've provided both Windows and Mac versions of the reader with the book. Newer versions can be downloaded from Adobe

Q. Why do two versions of the CD show up?

A. You are using a third party CD-ROM driver such as FWB's "Toolkit" that can simultaneously mount all Mac/ISO volumes it can read, and have it set to mount all of them. Otherwise you will only see the Mac or ISO/Windows volume. Both "versions" have the full set of PDF files.

Q. What versions of Reader are included?

A. As noted above, there are two "volumes" on this CD. On the ISO 9660 volume readable by Windows and other machines, the 16 bit and 32 bit versions of Reader are included. The Macintosh volume contains the Mac version of Acrobat Reader.

Q. The readme file comes out as one big line and has some strange characters where the apostrophes should be on my windows machine. What gives?

A. This is a problem where the text file was saved as a soft-wrapped document. You can still make it readable by selecting "wordwrapping" in the readme files menu when you open it up, and all the text will fit onto your screen. This has been fixed, though you may need to word-wrap it still to minimize scrolling from side to side.

Alternate Sanitizers

Q. You claim most alternate sanitizers are a rip- off. But, every pool store I walk into sells them.

A. The most endearing feature of alternate sanitizers is their amazing profit margin. Hawaiian vacations are a common and popular sales incentive for dealers who make their quota. Do they work? Well, they don't 'not work'. In our society, something has to be proven to 'not work' to be fraudulent; "FTC vs Caribbean Clear Ozonator".

In a recent televised back alley chase, WKMG (CBS) consumer reporter Wayne Havrelly attempted to get 'the other side of the story' from fleet- footed Water Magic Ionizer dealer James (JimBob) Walker of Brevard county. JimBob deftly avoided an oncamera interview by clearing a 6' board fence.

Most sanitizer dealers treat you like royalty the first year (replacing cells, shocking the pool. Be alert for two phrases: 'Additional Sanitizer Required' and any promise over the One Year Limited Warranty. After that, the FTC loses jurisdiction and you're on your own. You'll get 'The Shrug', maybe a quick peck on the cheek.

Explore all these problems in more detail on our Pool School PRO CD

  1. FAQ index.
  2. Our first page of FAQ's.
  3. Our second page of FAQ's.
  4. `Our Fourth Page of FAQ's.
  5. `Our Fifth page of FAQ's.
  6. `Our LatestFAQ's.
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