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Pools & Hot Tubs


Why is water balance so important?

Safety;If you are using either a salt based pool producing chlorine or a chlorine based tablet pool, then your PH needs to be correct. If the pool water is not balanced correctly then the chlorine sanitizer won't be working at full strength killing germs and bacteria.

Comfortable;Your water balance needs to be correct or it will effect your skin and eyes. The PH should be neither too acidic nor basic in order to feel comfortable.

Corrosion; An imbalenced pool can be corrosive to the liner, ladders and hand rails and other equipement such as the pump.

What to do after a rainfall?

Clean the pool; Sometimes rain comes with heavy winds and the winds can blow a lot of dirt and other debris into the pool.

Check the PH & Alkalinity levels; Acid rain can cause your PH to drop. However, this is what alkalinity's is. When rain tries to lower the PH, the alkalinity will take a big hit. That means, your alkalinity levels might see a more dratic change than your PH levels- which is a good thing.

Check your water level; Of course, rain will add more water to your pool than what's needed. If you have an excess of water to your pool, you can drain it a little by using your filter's "waste" setting. Just let the pool drain until it's back at the normal level.

Should I shock my pool?; Shocking your pool isn't necessary, although, it's not a bad idea either. If you get an extremely heavy rainfall, you could shock your pool for good measures. This will help fight off contaminants that the rain may have brought to your pool. Just make sure you drain the water to the correct level, check your PH, Alkalinity and sanitizer levels, then shock in the evening after the rain has ended.

How to get rid of pool algae?

Green Pool Algae; This is the most common of all the swimming pool algae because it grows due to lack of proper sanitation and filtration. Sometimes you'll see this algae free floating in your swimming pool which can cause your entire pool to turn green. You may also see this algae cling to the wall of your pool or at the bottom. It's really easy to brush off and become free floating. The good thing is that it's easy to get rid of. It may only show up in little spots in your pool that have poor circulation in which case a little sanitizer or algaecide will do the trick.

Yellow Pool Algae or Mustard Algae; A stingy type of algae that grows on the walls of your swimming pool in spots that don't get lots of sun. It's the second most common algae you'll find in swimming pools and can sometimes be mistaken for sand or pollen that can collect in your pool. This algae is difficult to get rid of and won't be killed off by any normal dose of sanitizer (such as chlorine or an algaecide). You need to kill it by super shocking your swimming pool or else you'll be battling with it all season.

Black Algae; If you ever had yellow algae and thought that was though, think again. Black Algae are the stinginess of all the algae, althought the good thing is it's not very common. What makes this algae so hard to get rid of is the defense mechanism it processes and it's strong roots. This algae looks like little dark black spots on your swimming pool wall. The part that you can see has a protective layer on it to protect itself and the roots are strong and grow deep into the plaster of your pool walls. Just like yellow algae this strain can appear even if you are taking ca4re of your pool normally and all your sanitation levels are correct. To kill it you will need a strong pool brush and lots of shock.

Why do we get algae?

There are many ways for an algae bloom to starts. The most common ones are caused by improper filtration + circulation, insufficent sanitizer, lack of regular basis of algaecide, lack of chlorine and finally improper general maintenance.

What is algae?

Algae are single-cell plants containing chlorophyll. Algae utilize photosynthesis to grow. They require warm water sunlight, carbon dioxide + nutriments to grow. Algae spores are introduced into the pool through the air, rain water, from wind, to dust, vegetation and from swimmers walking across the grass and then jumping into the pool. Algae blooms are common after heavy rain showers and when the pool water tempature is high. There are many types of algae. The most common are green algae, yellow (mustard) algae, black and pink algae. All algaes start from a cell, these membranes continue to grow and get stronger and stronger. Some have roots that plant deep in the surface of the pool making them hard to kill.

What's a vinyl pool?

A vinyl pool is constructed with a set of thin wall panels that supports a plastic lining and that lining actually holds the water. These pools are availeble in a wide variety of shapes and the liners have patterns printed on them to imitate the look of ceramic tiles. The liners will normally last several years before needing to replace it.

How are some ways I could increase my pool liner lifespan?

One of the many easy ways to damage a pool liner is bringing a non-pool toy in the pool. Toys such as remote-controlled boats, barbies, plastic swords, to even street clothes and shoes can damage. Needless to say, these toys are not meant for the pool and usually causes holes in the liner.

If you empty the water out of the pool, the liner can shrink and crack. As they age the vinyl weakens and becomes very brittle. A lot of people empty the pool to clean the bottom. As much as that sounds like a good idea. I can assure you it is not. Pool liners do not have to be empty long before they start to shrink, but always leave 6-12 inches of water over the swallow end floor, to keep the liner in place.

If chlorine (shock or tablets)  comes in contact with the liner, it can bleach it very badly, and slowly eat away at the liner. You should always dissolve the chlorine or shock in a bucket first and then add it to the pool. If any dissolved granules fall in the pool, hit them with a brush quickly. Try to maintain your chlorine level in the range of 1.0-3.0 ppm. If you go too high for long periods of time, or shock the pool too much, the chlorine level itself can start bleaching and sucking the life out of your pool liner.

Water chemistry is extremely important for the health of the pool water, as well as the pool liner. Your pool PH should be between 7.4-7.6. If the PH is out of range it could effect the swimmer by causing burning eyes and raches. If the PH is above 7.8, it can cause the calcium to cloud the water mix with dirt and deposit itself on the liner. If the pools PH is too low, this can cause vinyl liners to start to wrinkling or puckering. If you have problems with making your PH adjustments, check the total alkalinity level and adjust it to a range of 80-120ppm.

How many pucks do I put in my pool, where and how often?

Usually 100-200g per 10,000 litres depending on the chemicals and recommendations. Place the tablets either into your skimmer basket or if you have a chlorine feeder. Normally you would use only once per week.

Do I just sprinkle chlorine right into the water?

No, you should mix it with water in a bucket first at a ratio of 10 for 1. This will ensure that you don't stain your pool bottom. Remember: always add chemicals TO water Not water TO chemicals.

Why so many different algaecides can't I just use one?

First of all, it depends on status of the pool, if you have visible algae you will want to use a polyquat that will penetrate and kill algae, if you don't have visible algae all you need is a preventative measure in case chlorine residual goes below 1ppm in that case a monoquat ammonium based. Remember to read the label, there are many different formulations out there with different percentages, this is were cost and effectiveness will be noticed.

What's total alkalinity, and why do I have to test for it?

This is the water's ability to resist changes in PH. The same conditions that produce the need to super chlorinate may also affect your water's total alkalinity. A simple test kit will help you keep the total alkalinity at the proper level of 80-120ppm. Your pool chemicals dealer can supply the test + chemicals you need.

How often do I super-chlorinate?

Weekly or after heavy rain, a very hot weekend or when the pools been heavily used. Before swimming, you must wait until free residual chlorine has returned to below 3ppm. So we recommend shocking in the evening so it dissipates overnight.

What is super-chlorinating?

Super-chlorinating is just what it sounds like. Instead of putting in recommended value of chlorine per 10,000 litres, put in 5-10 times that amount.

Is there a difference between stabilized and non stabilized chlorine ?

Yes. A stabilized chlorine may cost a little more initially, but will save you money in the long run. It protects the chlorine from the sun's damaging rays. A non-stabilized chlorine will require more product especially in hot sunny climates, more over the sun will shock and calcium hypochlorite will loose it's effectiveness after 4 hours. But if you use a chlorine with a build-in-stabilizer, it will keep working for over 24 hours. More chlorine is left in the water to sanitize and less is wasted-being burned off by the sun. A smaller amount of stabilized chlorine will last you longer than 2-3 times as much unstabilized chlorine.

What does 'Free Residual Chlorine' actually mean?

'Free Residual Chlorine' is the amount of chlorine that remains available to kill bacteria and algea as they occur in your water.

How can I be sure I always have enough 'Free chlorine' in my pool?

With a chlorine test kit that measures the 'Free Chlorine' level. It's easy to use and you should use it daily.

I've heard of chlorine levels before, but I'm still not really sure what pH is?

"pH" refers to the acidity level of the pool water.  The reason it's important is that unless your pool is within a certain pH range (7.4 to 7.6), your chlorine can't chemically interact with the bacteria and algae it's supposed to kill.  If your pH range is out chlorine won't be able to help keep the pool clean.

Exactly what is a "properly maintained" pool, and how do I tell if it's safe to swim in?

A pool is properly maintained and can be kept balanced by using a test kit and measuring the pool's chlorine, alkalinity and ph levels.  If the pool water ismaintained with the proper chlorine and ph levels, bacteria and algae will be killed and the pool will be safe to swim in.

Do you take trade-ins on hot tubs?

Yes, we do take trade-ins on hot tubs.  This all depending on the age of the tub, the condition it is in and if any repairs need to be done to the tub.

Do you sell and install to areas outside of Pembroke and Petawawa?

Yes - we cover Deep River, Cobden, Renfrew, Beachburg, Kanata, Arnprior, as far as Ottawa, and on the Quebec side - Chapeau, Fort Coulonge, Shawville.

Do you only sell pools and hot tubs?

We also sell Sani-Marc chemicals for pools and hot tubs.  Filters for pools and hottubs, pool supplies and pool toys.  We have one of the largest showrooms in the Ottawa Valley.  If you don't see it on the sales floor - we can always order it for you.

Can I buy a hot tub cover from you even if I didn't buy my hot tub from you?

Yes, we can get you a hot tub cover even if you bought your hot tub elsewhere.  If the outside skin is good with no rips sometimes all you need to replace is the inside, especially if it has become very heavy.  Sometimes you have to replace the entire lid.  Whichever parts you are replacing you need to measure the lid, the width and length of the tub, and the radius of the corner of the tub.  There is a video on our facebook page to tell you how to do all the measurements.

Will a variable speed pump save me $ on my hydro bill?

Yes, there have been some incredible technologies developed in the last few years that can save you over $100 per month in hydro costs, depending on your system.  Granted a vsp is a more expensive pump but the hydro savings will pay for it in approximately 2 years.

Contact us at Blok Pools for a vsp demo, 613-735-6845

Why buy a Hot Tub?

You don’t have to go halfway around the world to experience the joys of relaxation. You can do it right in the privacy of your own back yard, in a Coast Hot Tub. For the cost of just one, traditional family holiday, you can enjoy a lifetime of those holiday feelings in the soothing, warm waters of your Coast Spa. It gives you the privacy you need to make you feel relaxed, renewed and rejuvenated – isn’t that what you’re looking for in a holiday?

You enjoyed the hotel spa, yes – but when your holiday is all over, you feel like you need a holiday all over again. And on the way home, you have to deal with all the crowds, baggage, delays, noise and the stress of travel. Those holiday feelings don’t last long, the tan fades, and all you have is a few photos to look back and remember how you relaxed – for a few days.

Think about it - for the cost of just one traditional family vacation, you can have the luxurious feeling of a Coast Spa, that will serve you and make you feel good for years to come. When you buy a Coast Hot Tub, you have the joy of using it any time you want it, whenever you need it. It costs about the same as just one of those vacations.. So why not enjoy all the benefits a Coast has to offer you, and get that same holiday feeling any time without the stress of travel.

What Types of Hot Tubs do You Sell?    

We sell Coast Spas, from British Columbia.  

Do I have to run my hot tub all year around?    

No, if you are a person that goes away for a couple of months a year or don't feel you will use it that much in the winter months, you can winterize your tub.  We do provide the service here.  We can send out a technician to winterize yout tub.

Why Is My Tub Not Heating Properly, and why does it show an EC message on the top side control?

Most tubs have 3 heating modes ST(standard), EC (economy) and SL (sleep).  The tub should normally be in standard mode but sometimes can accidentally be put into economy or sleep mode.  Your owners manual will tell you how to change these modes as not all makes and models can be changed in the same way.  If you are unsure how to change it back to Standard mode, give us a call at Blok Pools at 613-735-6845, and we will try to walk you through the process.

 Is the PH in my Tub the only thing I have to worry about?

A  lot of hot tub and pool owners seem to concentrate on adjusting the ph while in the pool and hot tub water care industry.  We know that ph is always the last balancing parameter to adjust. Alkalinity is always the first. The reason for this is that if the alkalinity of the water is between 100 and 120 ppm this will buffer the ph from bouncing around (high one day low the next ).  As we all know water is different in its makeup depending on where we live and what aquafer we draw our water from. As examples Pembroke, Petawawa and Deep River all draw their municipal water from the Ottawa River which has very low alkalinity and is also very soft. Conversely Eganville draws its water from the Bonechere River which is high alkalinity and much harder (higher calcium levels) . This is one of the reasons why there is no standard water treatment “kit” for balancing water  as the make up of the water can vary greatly from area to area. Its all H2O but the difference  is what is dissolved in the water. It is always best to take your hot tub and pool water to your pool professional for testing to know how to make it pool and tub friendly. Don’t forget to test those GFCI’s this month and have a safe and happy year!

Are all hot tubs energy hogs and very expensive to operate?

This may be true of some hot tubs being sold in the market place  “testing has proved Coast’s low cost of operation” Since 2008 all hot tubs sold in the state of California are required to meet  strict energy  usage standards as set by the California Polytechnical Institute. All Coast models out performed the industry’s average energy consumption by at least 33%. As of June 2010 only 26% of the tubs manufactured in North America  had successfully passed this rigorous testing. Not only did all 15 Coasst models pass the testing-- the test results on the hybrid models proved that they were the lowest energy consumers of all hot tubs in the entire industry.

Cost of energy for a tub with little or no insulation $3.78 per day or $6898.50 over 5 years.

Cost of energy for a tub with “premium insulation” $0.97 per day or $1770.25 over 5 years.

Cost of energy for a Coast hybrid $0.61 per day or $1113.25 over 5 years - A SAVINGS OF $5785.25

*May vary slightly from area to area depending on regional hydro rates and usage of tub.

Can I use OnWall PVC Fencing for my pool instead of putting a fence all around my pool?

This all depends where you are located.  It is best to check with your local by-law officer.

Do you do Water Tests?

Yes, we do water tests for swimming pools and hot tubs.

Blok Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs, 20 Bennett St, Pembroke, ON, 613-735-6845




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