How to Maintain Your Pool Filter

Regular pool maintenance is important to keep your swimming pool sparkling clean and running smoothly. One of the key elements in pool maintenance is your pool filter. Your filtration system removes contaminants and debris from your pool by working with your pool pump. This is accomplished by water running through the filter and circulating back into your pool. Because this is such an integral part of keeping your pool clean, it is important that you keep it properly maintained. This ensures your pool is always clean and running the best it can.

Here are some tips for maintaining your pool filter: 

Type of Pool Filter Systems

There are three main types of filters and each one has a different maintenance process.

Sand Filters

A pool sand filter uses a layer of sand to keep your water clean. When water goes through the sand, debris and contaminants are filtered out. This is a common type of filter choice as it is cost-effective and efficient.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters

DE pool filters use a fine powder to maintain the cleanliness of your pool water. This powder is the crushed exoskeletons of fossilized diatoms. It works well because it is so porous and water can flow through it easily.

Cartridge Filters

This type of system includes pool filter cartridges that capture debris as it flows through a mesh filter surface. These are the simplest to clean and maintain, as you can easily remove the cartridges for maintenance.

Create a Gorgeous Custom Pool with Pools by Design.

We help you choose the right pool filter and more.

When you build a swimming pool with Pools by Design, we will work with you to determine how you want your pool to look and how you want it to function. We will go over your different options for pool filters and will make sure you know how to maintain your pool long-term.

We look forward to turning your dream swimming pool into a reality.

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.

How a Pool Vacuum Factors into Pool Maintenance

Once you design and build your own custom swimming pool, you need to keep it clean and functioning. Regular pool maintenance is important to ensure your pool looks its best and keeps working for years to come. Using a pool vacuum is one step in maintaining your inground pool. Whether you vacuum manually or use a robotic cleaner, you need to vacuum regularly.

Here are some facts about how a pool vacuum factors into maintenance:

What a Pool Vacuum Does

A vacuum removes dirt and debris from the bottom of your pool. Your pool’s filtration system works hard to remove as much of these undesirable materials as possible, but regular vacuuming of the floor and walls helps your pool filter run more efficiently. You should also skim the top of your pool regularly to remove any leaves or other foreign objects.

Pool vacuums also keep your swimming pool looking its best. No one wants to look in their custom pool and see a collection of leaves and branches on the pool floor. When you vacuum regularly, you will see the difference. Removing dirt and debris also helps reduce algae growth, so when your friends and family come over you know that your pool will look its best.

How to Vacuum Your Pool: Manual vs. Robotic

When it comes to pool vacuums, you have two primary choices. You can either do the work manually or you can invest in an automated vacuum cleaner. Some pool owners also find that a combination of both options works best for their maintenance schedule.

Manual Pool Vacuuming

In order to vacuum your pool manually, you will need some supplies. You need to have a pool vacuum head, which is the part of the vacuum that sucks up debris from the bottom of your pool. You also need a telescopic pole, which you attach to the vacuum head so that you can reach the bottom of your pool. These then connect to a vacuum hose, which you hook up to a return jet in your pool. This replaces the air in the hose and vacuum head with water. Once this is done, you remove the hose carefully and attach it either to a vacuum plate or to your pool skimmer. You then work your way across the pool floor. This does take some time and effort to do correctly.

Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

If you don’t have time in your busy schedule to vacuum your pool manually, you can invest in a robotic cleaner. You have a few different options for these automatic pool cleaners.

The first is a suction-side pool cleaner, which hooks up to your skimmer and moves around your pool. It is less expensive, but not as effective as other models. Your next option is a pressure-side cleaner. This attaches to your pool water return jets and includes a filter bag which holds any debris. Finally, you can choose a robotic pool cleaner that runs on electricity. This is the easiest to maintain and reduces stress on the filtration system. However, this is the most expensive option. 

Pool Vacuum

Whether you vacuum your pool manually or choose an automated pool vacuum cleaner, you want to keep your pool looking its best. When you create a custom pool with Pools by Design, we will help you decide how to maintain your pool and will give you helpful tips to keep it running for years to come.

We look forward to helping you design and build the pool of your dreams.

Choosing the Right Type of Pool Pump

When you design your custom swimming pool, you may be tempted to focus solely on the pool’s appearance. While it is important that you love the aesthetic appeal of your new inground pool, you also want it to work its best for years to come. This is why you need to make the best decisions possible when selecting the internal elements. These functional choices are just as important as creating the overall design. Picking the best type of pool pump will help ensure that your new swimming pool is sparkling clean and ready for you to enjoy.

Here are some things to keep in mind to help you choose the right type of pool pump:

How Your Pool Pump Works

Before you decide which type of pool pump to install, it’s important to understand how these devices work and why they are important to the overall function of your pool. Your pump and motor circulate water throughout your pool and push water through your pool’s filter, keeping the water in your swimming pool clean.

Essentially, your pump and your filter need to work together because if your pool pump is not moving water, your filter cannot keep your pool clean. You should also keep in mind that you want all the water volume in your pool to circulate through the pool pump and pool filter system at least once a day. As a result, you need to pick a pump that has enough power to circulate your pool’s volume of water.

Types of Pool Pumps

There are three main types of pool pumps for you to consider:

  • Single Speed Pool Pumps

Originally, all pools ran off single speed pumps. This is a pump that can only run at one speed. In the state of Arizona, it is prohibited to install a new single speed pump, so the only reason you would have this type of pool pump is if it was installed in an old pool.

  • Dual Speed

As the name implies, this type of pump can run at two different speeds. This is a better option than the single-speed variety, as it lets you choose to run at either high speed or low speed. High speed uses more energy but circulates your water through the filter faster. Low speed is more energy-efficient, but you may need to run it for a longer time.

  • Variable Speed Pumps

This is the newest type of pool pump. In most cases, we recommend that you install a variable speed pump. This type of pump works by changing the speed beyond the simple high-speed and low-speed options of a dual speed pump. These are more expensive to install initially, but it is an investment that pays off by saving you money on energy bills and increasing the longevity of your pool.

Pool Pump

At Pools by Design, we will help you choose the type of pool pump system that works best with your new custom swimming pool.

From the visual design to the inner workings of your inground pool, we are here to help turn your dreams into reality. Call us today for a free estimate.

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.

Top 3 Maintenance Tips for Your Pool

Owning a pool or spa can improve your quality of life dramatically. Rather than having to go to a crowded public swimming pool, you can relax, exercise, and host events all in the comfort of your own backyard. However, maintaining your pool and spa can be a tricky task. If you don’t perform proper and consistent maintenance, before long, you will start to see problems. Anything from murky water to algae growth can occur if you don’t keep on top of your maintenance.

To keep things running smoothly, here are 3 tips to follow for your pool and spa:

1. Install Features to Improve Pool Maintenance

This tip comes into play at the very start of the design process. If you are creating a custom pool or hot tub, you can install features that will reduce the maintenance required. Although this costs more upfront, automated maintenance features can be worth the expense since they reduce your long-term costs.

One feature to consider is an in-floor system for circulation and filtration. This automatically circulates water. Another option to reduce maintenance is a salt-water system. These reduce the cost of supplies such as chlorine. Hiring a qualified builder also increases long-term functionality. Lastly, using quality materials in all stages of construction is also important, as this will help ensure your new pool will last for years to come.

2. Create a Pool Cleaning Schedule

Cleaning your swimming pool and hot tub is a process that requires you to complete multiple tasks at specific times. With skimming, scrubbing, vacuuming, and more to keep track of, it is easy to fall behind. The best way to keep your pool sparkling clean is to create a cleaning schedule that you can follow.

You can use whatever organization method works best for you, from a whiteboard to an application on your phone. These are a few of the tasks you should have on your to-do list:

  • Daily: Checking each part of your pool for normal function. If you see floating debris or you see the water level is getting low, you will notice this  right away if you are doing daily checks.
  • Weekly: Fully clean your pool and spa. This includes skimming, scrubbing the walls and floor, vacuuming if you don’t have an automated system, and adding any chemicals that are needed.
  • Monthly: Add shock treatment if your chlorine level is getting low and also make sure to clean out your pool filter.

3. Stay on Top of Repairs

When something goes wrong, you may be tempted to put it off or to assume that the problem will fix itself. However, the sooner you deal with repairs, the better. A small problem can quickly become a huge concern. Dealing with any required repairs early is going to save you money in the long run.

Performing daily checks will help you see if anything needs attention. For example, if you notice issues with your water level and suspect a leak, you want to call a repair company as soon as possible to determine where the leak may be. This will keep your water level more consistent, and repairing the leak may be easier than you think.

Pools by Design

Make Pool Maintenance easy with a high-quality design.

One of the best ways to make maintenance a breeze is to invest from the start in a custom pool made from the best materials. We create your dream pool and spa with your desired maintenance schedule in mind. Our top-of-the-line features and quality construction materials will make your life easier.

Call us today and tell us how we can take your backyard to the next level with a custom pool!

Top 3 Things to Look For When Building a Pool

Building a pool is a huge investment, but it can really pay off. Imagine lounging by your very own backyard pool, or swimming with your family on hot southern Arizona summer days. In order to get the pool of your dreams, though, you’ll need to have a good understanding of the process. This is an amenity you will enjoy for years to come, so you want to make sure that everything is absolutely perfect.

Here are the top 3 things to look for when you build a pool:

1. Expertly Designed

Your design can be anything from a simple traditional concept to an intricate contemporary design. Whatever you desire, the look is essential. A pleasing design may look simple, but it is not easy to create a gorgeous pool area. You want to make sure that you hire expert designers who will work hard to make your design harmonious.

Luckily, at Pools by Design, our design team will use our extensive experience to create a beautiful result that meets all your design requirements. Not only will our expert designers work with your outdoor living space, but we will also match the design of your swimming pool to the overall feel of your house. Your friends and family will be astounded by just how good your pool will look!

2. Built by Skilled Artisans

Not only do you want your backyard oasis to be well-designed, but you want to make sure it is well-built. Since this is such an investment, you should ensure that your pool builders create it to last for a long time. Construction is a key component of the process of creating your brand new pool. It’s important that you hire the best builders possible.

Our skilled artisans know how important a well-built pool is to you. Every one of your pool features is built with attention to detail and the utmost care. When our artisans and our designers work together, they will do such a great job that you won’t have to worry about any portion of the process. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure that you are completely satisfied.

3. Highest Quality and Value

Along with construction and design, you want to pay close attention to quality and value. Ideally, you want the perfect balance where you have the highest quality for the best value and are not overpaying or skimping on what you need. Having the best features built with the best materials will save you money in the long run as well.

We design our pools to guarantee that your investment is worthwhile. For example, you can install an in-floor cleaning system for energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. We strive to give you the best value so that you can have your dream pool without breaking the bank and without unexpected long-term costs.

Pools by Design

Your Tucson Pool Builder

Pools by Design has these three qualities and much more. Our customers highly recommend our top-notch customer service and our expert artisans and designers. If you are looking to build your new backyard pool, give us a call today at 520.797.6675!

We will work with you to ensure that every single aspect of your brand new swimming pool is absolutely perfect.

3 Different Types of Swimming Pools

As the temperatures increase and we enter summer, swimming pools are an ideal way to stay cool. Pools not only help bring close friends and families together during the heat. They also add additional value to your home. Building a pool can enhance your home’s landscape design and create the aesthetic you have always dreamed of. Whether your goal is to add value or just for looks, building a pool will be a great decision. At Pools by Design, we understand how it can be challenging to choose between different kinds of pools. Therefore, we will help you through the process of finding the perfect swimming pool for you.

Here are three types of swimming pools to consider:

Patio Swimming Pools

Patio pools are a great way to enhance the landscape of your home. Their design incorporates the surrounding area of your background. You can build patio pools in many different shapes and use a wide variety of materials. The types of pools to consider are fiberglass pools, concrete pools, and vinyl liner pools. Many patio pools or inground pools are usually shaped like rectangles with cuts or rounded corners.

Before you begin the process of building your inground pool, it is crucial to adhere to the city codes and regulations. Designing an in-ground pool requires you to consider the depth of the pool and its overall usage. For instance, is the pool for swimming laps or just for splashing around? Swimming pools can serve a wide variety of purposes. It is critical to find one that fits your lifestyle. Patio pools and ground swimming pools can help change the aesthetics of your home. At Pools by Design, we will guide you through steps of finding your dream backyard oasis.

Custom Swimming Pools

When we imagine what we want our dream swimming pool to look like, we look up all the different designs and customizations. Unlike regular patio pools where there is usually a set design, custom pools are entirely up to you. The ball is in your court. From shape to material and overall aesthetics, you have the power to pick and choose from infinite possibilities. You can design your pool with as much uniqueness as you would like.

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to aesthetic appeal, so we give you the option to design it exactly how you want. With such so many options available, it is paramount that you hire a company you trust to walk you through the process and ensure that your dream pool turns out precisely as you want it. Pools by Design can help you with the customization process, so you end up with the perfect pool that enhances the look of your home.

Infinity Swimming Pools

An infinity pool is a type of swimming pool that is designed to give the appearance of a continuous surface of the water. You do this by having the water flow over multiple edges to make it seem like an endless view of the ocean. Though building an infinity pool is pricey, it will create a breathtaking look that can accent any landscape design. Having an infinity edge pool will end up increasing the value of your home even more than a traditional pool. Infinity edge pools may not be common and are usually seen in city skyline settings, but we can help you make your vision possible almost anywhere you can imagine.

Pick the Right Pool Design for You

At Pools by Design, we understand that the process of finding the perfect pool for your home can be a challenge. We want to help ease that stress for you. We are knowledgeable in all of the different types of pools and what to consider when building one for your home. From environmental factors to landscape architecture, Pools by Design will help you figure out which type of pool matches the style of your home. It is crucial to have enough outdoor space to build your dream pool and spa. We will educate you on the process of building a pool and the maintenance requirements of owning a pool. Swimming pools hold more value than just their aesthetics. They have to be a functional place where you want to utilize often.

Being able to design the pool of your dreams can change how much time you want to spend at home. Owning a home is one of the most expensive things you can do in life. You want to create a living space you genuinely want to spend time in. Building a pool is not an easy job, but at Pools by Design, we make it as seamless as possible.

Swimming Pools

Contact us at (520) 797-6675 or send us an email at info@poolsbydesignaz.com to schedule a consultation with one of our professionals.

We look forward to helping you build the swimming pool of your dreams.

Benefits of Installing a Salt Water Swimming Pool

When you are building a custom swimming pool, you have many options for customization. You have the luxury of choosing everything, from the overall design to the water features. You also get to choose whether to include a salt water system or to build a standard chlorinated pool. Of course, having so many choices can also be overwhelming. Luckily, our experienced pool builders at Pools by Design can help you learn all the information you need to make the best decision.

Here are some of the benefits to choosing a salt water system for your new swimming pool:

Less Harsh on Eyes and Skin

The high levels of chemicals in a chlorinated swimming pool can irritate your eyes and skin. You may notice that when you get out of your pool, your eyes are red and puffy or may feel itchy. This may be because of too much chlorine. You may also have dry skin or other skin irritation if you swim too often in a chlorinated pool.

Many swimmers report that salt water swimming pools are much less harsh on their eyes and skin. You are less likely to have issues with your eyes, skin, or hair when you swim in salt water. This may not make a huge difference if you only use your inground swimming pool once or twice a month. However, if you are planning to swim every day, a salt water system is a great option.

No Chlorine Smell

Although salt water pools still use chlorine for sanitation, the levels are much lower than they are in a standard swimming pool. When you go for a swim in a standard chlorinated pool, you may come out smelling like chemicals. This odor can be hard to get rid of, even after you shower. You will also have to deal with the chlorine smell every time you add chemicals to your standard swimming pool.

With a salt water pool, you do not have to find ways to manage the smell of chlorine. These pools are virtually odorless. There’s a misconception that salt water pools leave you smelling like ocean salt water, but this is not the case either. The salt concentration is so low that, if anything, you might notice a slight smell of salt.

Lower Cost for Pool Supplies

It is true that salt water swimming pools cost slightly more up front, around $1,500 to $2,000 to install salt chlorine generator. However, you save money in the long run with a salt water system. Instead of having to run the pool store to get more chlorine, your pool generates chlorine for you automatically.

The major maintenance costs for a salt water swimming pool include buying pool salt and replacing the generator every 5-7 years. However, this is still less than buying costly pool chemicals on a monthly basis. Many homeowners prefer salt water pools for this reason.

Ready to Build a Custom Pool?

We can build a salt water swimming pool for you.

There are many benefits to a salt water system for your new custom pool. However, whether you choose salt water or standard chlorine, Pools by Design can create an outstanding pool that will wow your friends and family.

Many people dream of owning their own pool. Call us today, and we can help you live this dream.

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.