How Often to Use Pool Shock

Having your own custom pool allows you to enjoy time with your family and friends and helps you beat the heat during scorching Tucson summers. In order to get the most use out of your swimming pool, you need to perform proper maintenance. Although features such as an in-floor cleaning system can keep your water clean for longer, adding pool chemicals is important to kill bacteria and keep your pool safe for swimming. Pool shock is a strong chemical that you will need to add to your pool every so often.

Some tips for how and when to use pool shock: 

What Pool Shock Is and How It Works

Pool shock is a powerful granular form of chlorine that is stronger than the chlorine tabs you normally use in your pool. There are a few different chemical compounds that you can use. Calcium hypochlorite (cal hypo) is the most economical option. Sodium dichlor costs slightly more but does not create calcium build-up. In some cases, you may want to use non-chlorine shock, such as potassium monopersulfate.

There are two types of chlorine in your pool. The first is free chlorine, which has not reacted with bacteria. The second is combined chlorine or chloramines. This builds up as free chlorine reacts with bacteria. This creates an unpleasant chemical smell. Too many chloramines can also result in unsanitary water. Pool shock works by adding a high concentration of chlorine, which breaks the bonds in chloramines. Non-chlorine shock also breaks chloramine bonds but does this using oxygen instead of chlorine.

Why Do You Need To Use Pool Shock?

A pool is an easy place for bacteria to grow and accumulate. While you may think grabbing the pool net and scooping up leaves and debris from your pool is enough to keep it sanitary, the truth is that is only part of the cleaning process. Bacteria that you cannot see can do more damage to your water and if left unchecked, can lead to algae growths that will make it impossible to enjoy your pool. Shocking your pool regularly is a lot easier than you may think and it is essential to keep your pool pristine.

How To Shock Your Pool

In most cases, you should shock when the sun has set. The sun’s harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause the chlorine in pool shock to dissolve. This makes the process less effective.

Before beginning the shocking process, make sure you are wearing the necessary protective gear. Pool shock contains strong chemicals and can damage your skin and eyes if you are not careful. Gloves, eyewear, and clothing that covers your skin are all essential.

Next, you will want to check your pool’s pH level to determine the appropriate amount of pool shock to add. For most types of shock, you will need to dilute it before adding it to your pool. This is done by mixing the powder with water.

To ensure you evenly distribute the shock, follow and pour along the edges of your pool. Once this is complete, you should not swim until your pool filter has completely cycled the water. This usually takes 2-4 hours. Before you swim, you should test the chlorine level. If it is under 5 parts per million (ppm) it is safe to swim.

When to Shock Your Pool

You should create a schedule to shock your pool regularly. This depends on how often you use your pool and how many people typically swim. As a general rule, shocking every week or every other week at a minimum is a good goal. In addition to this schedule, you should consider shocking your swimming pool after pool parties, big storms, or if you notice algae.

Get The Most Out of Your Pool By Using Pool Shock

Having a pool is a luxury in the Arizona heat. In order to enjoy swimming as much as possible, it is important to stay on top of maintenance. At Pools by Design, we install innovative features such as an A&A in-floor cleaning system. When we build your new pool we will make sure to give you all the information you need about upkeep.

Turn your backyard into a vacation destination with Pools by Design. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

How Often Should You Add Chlorine to Your Pool?

Maintaining swimming pools can be a complicated task and there are many factors you need to consider to keep your pool running smoothly. A pool is a big investment and you want to make sure it looks great and works well so that you can get the most use out of it. Unless you opted to install a salt water pool system, one step you need to take to keep your pool clean is adding chlorine regularly. However, it can be difficult to determine exactly how to keep this chemical element at the right concentration in your inground pool.

How often should you add chlorine to your pool?

Understanding How Chlorine Works

Before determining how often you need to add this chemical to your pool, it is important that you understand how chlorine works as it relates to pool sanitation. The chemical element naturally occurs as chlorine gas, so when you add it to your pool you are adding a stabilized version of elemental chlorine. When it enters your pool, it will react with water to form hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and other chemical compounds.

The chlorine compounds then react with bacteria in your pool. This process can be complicated. The simple explanation is that the compounds destroy the lipids (fats) in bacteria cell walls. This kills the bacteria, which leaves your pool clean and safe for you to swim in without worrying about harmful germs.

Too Much Chlorine

You may think that since chlorine kills bacteria that can harm you or your family, it is best to add as much as possible. However, too much of this compound in your pool can be just as harmful as letting bacteria thrive. For example, if you add too much of this pool chemical, chlorine gas can start to form at the surface of your pool. This not only smells bad but can actively hurt you by making it difficult to breathe.

The Right Level of Pool Chemicals

Since adding chemicals to your pool is a chemical reaction, it must be done with the utmost care to stay in the right range where chlorine kills bacteria without harming you. Ideally, you should have 3 ppm (parts per million) of chlorine in your pool. This means that for every million molecules in your pool water, 3 of them should be chlorine. Although this seems like a small amount, this chemical is powerful enough that this small concentration is enough to keep your pool clean.

You can test your pool water using chemical test strips, which you can purchase at any pool supply store. These can show you the ppm values of any number of important pool chemicals. They also help you manage pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Each chemical level can be managed by adding different compounds to your pool.

Under normal circumstances, you should add a tablet of chlorine every 3-7 days, depending on the results of your water tests. Tablets are often the best option, as they are easier to handle and measure. Make sure to store them in a cool and dry place. Do not keep them for too long as they become less effective over time.

Build the Pool of your Dreams with Pools by Design

Chlorine or Salt Water Systems

At Pools by Design we will help you design the pool of your dreams. We will be sure to go over pool maintenance so that your new pool will always look its best.

We look forward to working with you to create a swimming pool that you and your family will love.

The Different Types of Pool Fountains

One of the benefits of building a custom pool is that you can turn your dream pool design into reality. Beyond the basic size and shape of your pool, your vision likely includes water features to enhance the look and feel of your swimming pool. Fountains are one of the many ways you can customize your pool design. With so many different types you choose from, you can find a pool fountain that fits exactly what you want.

Here are some of the different types of pool fountains:

Floating

Floating fountains rest on the surface of your pool and spray water from your pool’s return system or pump. When you create this type of fountain, you can choose exactly how simple or how complicated you want it to be. It can include a series of spouts for a multi-tiered effect, or it can spray water from the sides. You can also include a clear hose if you don’t want the water return to be visible. These are usually anchored in place or weighed down so they don’t float away.

Spillover

Spillovers let water flow from a higher place to a lower one. The most common spillover is from your hot tub to your pool, but there are many different options. You can also include a wall with a rain curtain as a type of spillover fountain. These are more tranquil than other options and can be an excellent choice to create a resort-like atmosphere. Watching the water fall gently into your custom pool is a great way to relax.

Poolside

Poolside fountains attach to the edge of your pool and shoot water across your pool. These are a great option for families. Your kids will love swimming under the water on hot summer days and you will too. You can customize this option by deciding whether you want a mist, a steady stream of water, or a coordinated spray. This type works great with classic pool design and can add an extra fun touch to your swimming pool.

Light-Up

If you want something more flashy for parties, you can add LED lights to your fountains. You can have these set up so that you can display different colors at different times. If you prefer, you can even have a remote control that allows you to cycle through colors and create a personal light show. The lights can create colored blasts of water that shoot across or pool or hot tub and create a unique experience for your family and for any guests.

Outside of Your Pool

At Pools by Design, we work with you to customize your entire backyard, not just your pool! You can include fountains around your pool as part of your landscaping. This helps enhance the overall appearance of your backyard. You can choose the design that best fits your pool and backyard. Some homeowners prefer modern fountains that play with unique shapes and design elements. You might also prefer a more classic design. Whatever you are looking for, Pools by Design will help you.

Design your custom backyard oasis with Pools by Design.

Customize pool fountains and other water features

Let Pools by Design help you create the backyard of your dreams.

From overall pool design to details such as pool fountains and landscaping, we are here to help you. Call us today for a free estimate.

3 Steps For Designing Your Perfect Pool

Owning a pool and spa is one of the most luxurious investments that you can make. This addition will make you the envy of your friends and family and will turn your parties into events that won’t soon be forgotten. Imagine being able to come home after a long workday to lounge and relax poolside. If you want to bring this to reality you need to call Pools by Design. We can transform your backyard into an oasis that will take your home to the next level.

If you are looking to create a custom pool, these 3 steps will help you start the process:

1. Type of Pool Design

There is more than one type of swimming pool, and if you are starting the design process your first step should be deciding which type is best suited to your home. Here are a few of the different options you have:

  • Traditional. You don’t have to go over-the-top for your design to be stunning. Traditional designs can add a classic elegance to your backyard. This design is refreshing without being overwhelming.
  • Infinity Edge. Infinity edges feature water that appears to run right off the edge of your pool. This design is one of the most luxurious options. An infinity pool will make your backyard feel like a five-star resort.
  • Contemporary. These designs feature bold angles and modern aesthetic choices. Like an infinity edge, this design is more extravagant and will make your backyard into a work of art.

2. Pool Features

Once you pick a design for your pool, the next step is deciding which features you want to install. As with any other investment, there are benefits and trade-offs to each feature you choose. While there can be more cost upfront for multiple features, oftentimes these features reduce the long-term costs for pool supplies and maintenance.

One great option to consider is an in-floor system. This circulates water throughout your pool and keeps your tile cleaner for longer. This feature also increases your energy efficiency, which creates long-term savings. Another option is a salt-water pool. This type of system creates chlorine without the need to purchase costly supplies.

3. A Qualified Team

With an investment this important, you need to choose the right company to design and build your brand-new new pool or spa. Many companies will skimp on essential elements. This may be cheaper upfront, but it will cost you more over time if you do not pick the most qualified team for the job.

Your design team needs to have experience and skill. At Pools by Design, we consider ourselves more than just builders. We are artists. We will turn your dreams into reality. This is not demonstrated just in the design process, but also in all phases of construction. We only use the best building materials. Higher quality materials will ensure that your investment lasts longer and will not require costly repairs.

Pool Builders

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In Tucson, Arizona, your top choice for a new pool should be Pools by Design! We make you our #1 priority throughout the entire design process and will help you choose the type of design, features, and materials to fit your vision. Every step of the way, you can count on us.

Call us today and let us make your dream pool a reality!

Choosing the Right Type of Pool Salt

Once you’ve made the decision to build a salt water swimming pool, you need to make sure to properly maintain it. Pool maintenance ensures that your pool stays cleaner and lasts longer. For standard chlorinated pools, you need to add chlorine and other chemicals on a regular basis. For salt water pools, you need to add pool salt to keep your salt chlorine generator running properly.

You probably already know that you can’t simply add table salt into your pool. Although pool and table salt are the same chemical compound (sodium chloride or NaCl), proper pool salt has several properties that make it better suited to use in pools. However, there is more than one type of salt. It can be confusing to choose which type you need for your salt water system.

Here is a basic guide to the types of pool salt you can choose:

Solar Salt

Since each of these options is the same chemical compound, the main difference between them is how the salt is collected and refined. Companies produce solar salt by diverting sea water into holding, where the sun eventually evaporates the water. Since there are bacteria in this salt, it stays in the sun longer so that the heat and the high salt level kills this bacteria.

Even after this process, solar salt often contains organic impurities. This includes microscopic dead shrimp, dead bacteria, and more. These make your pool filter work harder to keep things running smoothly. Overall, pool experts do not recommend solar salt for use in your swimming pool.

Mechanically Evaporated Salt

Mechanically evaporated salt is similar to solar salt in that it comes from seawater. Instead of the sun evaporating water, however, an artificial heat source purifies the salt and kills bacteria. As a result, there are often fewer organic contaminants in mechanically evaporated salt than in solar salt.

However, mechanically evaporated pool salt still has its downsides. This type of salt often has minerals in it and is not of very high purity. If you have a concrete pool, you may even see staining from the minerals in this salt. These minerals, especially calcium, can even damage your pool chlorinator.

Mined Salt

Mined salt is the final type of pool salt, and most experts recommend it over the other varieties. This salt does not come from seawater but instead comes directly from salt mines. As a result, it is purer and causes fewer problems for your pool.

This type of salt is very high quality, with between 95% and 99% sodium chlorine. However, there are still some concerns with mined salt. You need to make sure you add it to your pool properly by adding it to the deep end and making sure it does not sit on any pool surfaces. Mined salt can also cost a bit more, but it is a better option in the long run and is worth the slightly higher cost.

Build a Custom Pool

Enjoy the health benefits of pool salt compared to chlorine.

At Pools by Design, we can help you create a new salt water pool system that you will enjoy for years to come. We will help you decide what type of salt works best for you. From the very start of the design process, we make sure you understand how pool maintenance will work for your new custom pool.

Call us today and start designing your custom pool.

A Guide to Customizing Your Hot Tub

A custom hot tub is a great asset for any home. It gives you a place to relax and unwind after a long work day, and it is a truly amazing experience to lounge in your very own spa on cold desert nights. Building a spa in your backyard also raises the value of your property. Overall, it is a great investment for you to make. At Pools by Design, we specialize in custom pools and hot tubs. We love helping you design something that you can enjoy for years to come.

If you are building a custom hot tub, here is a guide to starting the process:

Big Picture Spa Design

The first step is building a custom spa is to consider the big picture. Your pool and hot tub need to fit in with the overall layout of your backyard and should match the architecture of your home. For example, if your house has a modern architectural style, a contemporary pool and spa may be a good fit. In other cases, you may want a traditional style.

You should also consider how the pool and the hot tub will interact. Some people prefer to have a standalone spa close by their pool, whereas others prefer a hot tub that is within the pool or spills over into it. At Pools by Design, we will work with you to come up with an overall design that will exceed your expectations.

Building Materials for Your Hot Tub

You should always make sure that your spa is made of the highest quality building materials. At Pools by Design, we always ensure that our materials are built to last. This way all you have to focus on is the look and feel you want for your new hot tub. You can choose the pool finish for the walls and floors, the material that will surround you jacuzzi, and much more. Our team will help guide you through the process of choosing the best materials to fit your dream spa.

Jacuzzi Water Features

Water features can help take your hot tub to the next level. Pools by Design offers a variety of options for you to include in your new custom spa. You can include massaging jets, a spillover into your main pool, or even a fountain. Water features let you tailor your new hot tub to your specific desires. If your main goal is relaxation, then jets can help you feel like you are in a resort far away from all your concerns. Or, if you want to entertain and show off a luxurious pool, you can add fountains or spillovers for visual effect. We listen to your ideas and help you turn your vision into reality.

Fine Details for Your Custom Spa

The final step in customizing your hot tub is choosing all the small details. These elements help create the overall ambiance of your new spa. One choice you can make is the lighting. You can put in one simple LED light to illuminate your spa, or you can add multi-colored, remote-controlled lights for a truly outstanding experience. At Pools by Design, we also help you refine the landscaping and patio design around your hot tub so that every detail of your experience is perfect.

Ready to customize your very own jacuzzi?

Create a custom hot tub with Pools by Design.

If you want to create a new spa that will make you the envy of your friends and family, call Pools by Design!

Our customer service is top-notch, and we go above and beyond to make a custom pool and spa that you will enjoy for years to come.

How Pool Designs Benefit From Rain Curtains

Pool designs often use water features to improve the overall look and feel of a custom pool. If you are creating an inground pool, you have a lot of decisions to make. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to consider all of your options for pool features. Luckily, when you work with Pools by Design we will help you go over all of your options in detail so you can make an informed decision. Every home is unique, and so is every pool!

One option that works with just about any type of pool is the inclusion of rain curtains. Rain curtains are sheets of water that fall into your pool or hot tub, generally from a slit in a wall. These can be broad sheets of water or can include multiple streams of water to mimic rain falling. Pools including rain curtains often look more elegant and high-end.

Here are just a few of the ways rain curtains can help improve pool designs:

Connection Between Hot Tub and Pool

If you build a custom pool and spa, you want to make sure these two elements connect. Otherwise, your backyard can look disjointed and awkward. Pool designs should take this into account and include water features or design elements to connect your hot tub and your pool.

A rain curtain can spill from your spa into your pool, similar to a spillover spa or infinity pool design. You can also have your spa elevated above your pool and include a rain curtain that falls from a wall on the edge of your spa. Either of these options helps create a connection between your jacuzzi and your pool.  

Design Accents

Rain curtains also help you accent various areas of your pool design. People’s eyes are more likely to be drawn to wherever you place this water feature. As a result, you can include rain curtains strategically to draw attention to the entrance of your pool, to your spa, or to any element of your swimming pool design.

You can also make a rain curtain a focal point by including a tiled wall for it to fall from. This wall can include mosaic tiles, natural tile design, or anything else you desire. This makes the rain curtain the center of your pool and makes it a topic of conversation when your friends and family visit.

Fun and Relaxation

Aside from their aesthetic appeal, rain curtains are fun elements to include in your pool area. Kids can swim underneath them, which can be a lot of fun when they have friends over for pool parties. Most pools do not have rain curtains, so they are a unique element of your pool design that people are sure to enjoy.

These design elements are also incredibly relaxing. Watching the water flow into your pool can be therapeutic, and not many people get to enjoy that experience in their own backyard. It can also feel very relaxing to swim or float underneath this water feature.

Pools by Design offers rain curtains and other water features.

Pool Designs

We can create pool designs of all varieties, from classic to contemporary. Call us today and let us know how you picture your dream pool.

We will work with you to include all the water features, including rain curtains, that will turn this dream into a reality.

How Much Do Salt Water Pools Cost?

If you are building a custom pool, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of salt water pools. You may have heard about how salt water systems are generally more gentle on your skin and eyes, or you may be interested in the money you’ll save by not purchasing chlorine. However, you may also know that a salt water pool costs more to build and install than a traditional chlorine pool.

In order to make the best decision, you should know all the factors that impact the cost of a salt water pool.

Pool Building

One thing to keep in mind is that the construction of a pool with a salt water system is actually going to be the exact same to start as the construction of any other pool. You don’t need to build the pool in differently in order to accommodate the salt water system. This is good news for two main reasons. For one, you can still build any sort of pool you want, from contemporary to classic to infinity edge. In addition, you don’t pay more for the construction costs.

Salt Chlorine Generator vs. Standard Chlorine

If the pool isn’t constructed differently, then why do you pay more for salt water pools? The main difference is in the cost of pool equipment and technology. A salt water pool requires a salt chlorine generator to create chlorine, which is the main difference between upfront costs.

Traditional Chlorine Pool

For a traditional pool, you may need a standard chlorinator to mix the water and chemicals. You may also use pumps for this purpose. In general, though, there’s no special equipment to mix chlorine in traditional pools. You may only need a chlorine float and chlorine tablets to get started.

While these methods are cheaper upfront, keep in mind that you will need to continue to buy chlorine tablets or liquid to keep the chlorine level where it needs to be. This means that while the original equipment costs are not as high, you can end up paying more each month by adding chlorine to the pool.

Salt

The main cost associated with salt water pools is the addition of a salt chlorine generator. This machine takes the salt in your pool and runs through a generator where it undergoes electrolysis. This is a chemical reaction that produces the chlorine that sanitizes your pool.

These machines can vary in cost, but generally, the installation and equipment will cost between $1,500 and $2,000. You will also need to replace the generator regularly, about every 5-7 years. This means that in the end, you pay one or two thousand dollars more upfront for a salt water pool compared to a standard chlorinated pool. This does not take into account the savings from not purchasing chemicals, however.

Is a Salt Water Pool Worth It?

In the end, it’s up to you whether the extra cost up front is worth it to construct a pool with a salt water system. Many pool owners report that salt water feels better on their skin and that they prefer not smelling like chlorine after swimming. However, plenty of pool owners are happy with their chlorinated systems.

Salt Water Pools

Whatever type of pool you want, Pools by Design can build it! We work with you to determine exactly what swimming pool fits your needs and desires.

Call us today and let us know how we can turn your dream swimming pool into reality.