Monthly Archives: June 2019

Rodents in Your Pool Heater? Why They Come and How to Keep Them Out

Have you ever popped the hood of a car only to find extensive damage from a rodent infestation? If so, you know just how devastating rats, mice, and other critters can be when they make their home in your stuff. Not to mention how expensive it can be to repair the damage they cause! They chew through electrical wiring, circuit cables and other components while leaving a big, nasty mess. The same is true of your pool heater.

A pool heater is the perfect home for rodents who are looking for a warm, dry place to nest during the winter. Rodents can squeeze into even the smallest spaces, so simply checking the heater every once in a while might not be enough to prevent an infestation.

You should take a few precautionary steps to keep your pool heater protected. It will take a few cheap tools you can pick up at your local hardware store, but anyone who has ever dealt with an infestation can tell you, you’ll be happy you had the foresight to do it! Remember to always make sure that your pool heater is completely off before starting.

Things You’ll Need:

• Moth Balls

• Steel Wool

• Rat or Mouse Traps

• Chicken Wire or Mesh

• Plywood

First stuff some moth balls in the crevices of your pool heater to deter critters. They hate the smell of these things, but that alone won’t be enough. Put steel wool in the gaps where they would likely crawl through, they can’t chew through steel wool. Put some rat traps or fake rubber snakes around the area.

Then seal up the openings with your chicken wire and be thorough, mice and rats can crawl through extremely tiny spaces. To finish the job and to give your pool heater a sealed off look, cut your plywood to size and post it over the chicken wire.

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll save yourself a major hassle and big time repair expenses. If you already have an infestation, call in the experts at Brothers Pool to handle it for you! Have any questions? We’re here to answer at (203) 265-5980.

Heat Pump VS Heater

Unless you live at the equator, you’re most likely going to need to heat your pool water. We’ve all excitedly jumped into a pool only to be shocked by the frigid water and what do we do? Swim as fast as we can to the ledge and hop out shivering our tails off of course! Even in warmer climates, a comfortable water temperature means a more joyful swimming experience and a longer swimming season. Invest in a heat pump or a heater to get the most out of your pool. But do you know how to pick the right one? Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of heat pumps vs. heaters:

Heat Pump

Heat pumps use an electrical source to transfer the energy needed to heat the outside air using a compressor component. The heat created is then pumped into your pool and the cold air is blown out from the top of the unit. Heat pumps are best used in a relatively warm climate or during the warmer months, ideally one that stays above 50℉. They are a very environmentally-friendly way to heat a pool for the whole season and are energy-efficient. That means you can leave the heat pump on longer and keep your pool not too cold, not too hot, but just right. Just don’t tell Goldilocks. Heat pumps typically have a higher initial cost than a heater but require less energy to do their work, so the lifetime cost may be lower, depending on your climate. Remember, you will need an electrical source to plug your pool heat pump into.

Heater

Heaters use either gas or propane to heat your pool water. They offer a powerful way to heat your pool quickly and on demand. If you live in a colder climate or need your pool heated less frequently, then this is the option for you. Heaters can increase your pool water temperature by several degrees per hour, so if you decide to have people over tonight, just fire it up and your guests will love your warm pool! You will need a hookup to a gas line or a propane tank. To decide whether gas or propane is ideal for your needs, consider the cost and access to gas or propane in your locality.  

Brothers Pool carries the best in pool heating options. If you’re looking for a heat pump, ask us about our Aquacal heat pumps. For a heater, ask for the Starite MaxEtherm heaters. You can reach us at (203) 265-5980 or check out our store at 250 Main St. in Wallingford, CT.

Are Heat Pumps Loud?

One of pool owners’ main concerns when installing a heat pump, along with energy-efficiency and effectiveness at heating the pool, is the noise created when the heat pump is running. After all, you don’t want your heat pump to be an annoying and hulking nuisance when you are trying to enjoy the tranquility of your pool! You also don’t want to bother the neighbors. So the question is, are heat pumps loud?

Decibel Count

The answer varies quite widely depending on the brand of heat pump as well as the condition it’s in. If your heat pump is making grinding, whooshing, or other strange noises, it is probably a sign that it requires some troubleshooting and maintenance. The top brands of heat pumps generally run at about 55-70 decibels, with Aquacal being the lowest at 54 decibels. Don’t be fooled, there is a massive difference between 54 and 70 decibels. We usually don’t think about everyday noises in terms of decibels, so if this is still too abstract, another way to think about it is that a heat pump is just slightly louder than an average a/c compressor.

Troubleshooting Your Heat Pump

Your heat pump has valves that backflow the refrigerant between heating and cooling modes. Many pool owners notice that their heat pump gets louder during the winter. This is because the heat pump’s defrost mode is kicking in and causing the aforementioned valves to shift, causing a whooshing sound, according to Hannabery HVAC. These sounds are normal and are simply a sign of your heat pump working overtime in the cold. The sound should abate as the pressure in the heat pump equalizes.

Abnormal Sounds

If you hear a loud grinding noise as if metal is hitting metal, you should immediately turn off the unit and inspect it. A piece of debris like a stick could be stuck in the fan blades and can end up causing more damage to your heat pump. If the blades are broken or bent, they can rip up the copper coil, causing refrigerant fluid to leak. If you think your heat pump is making abnormal noises, call in the experts at Brothers Pool to diagnose the issue.

Have any additional questions? Our wonderful staff are happy to assist, just give us a call at (203) 265-5980 or stop by the store at 250 Main St in Wallingford!

What Do I Do if Somebody Poops in My Pool?

Yikes, the dreaded “accident” in the pool! Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with this in your own pool, but in case it does happen, we’ve put together this guide so you can safely handle the incident and everyone can get back to enjoying that crystal clear water.

There’s two possible types of fecal incidents that you could encounter: a formed fecal incident or diarrhea. While both types can be handled without having to drain your pool, they have different risk factors for causing recreational water illnesses so you’ll need to take a few different steps depending on which type you’re dealing with.

The Formed Fecal Incident is the easiest to handle and has the least risk factor for illness-causing germs and parasites like E-coli, Giardia, or Cryptosporidium (“Crypto”). In fact, in a study in 1999 the CDC tested nearly 300 formed fecal incidents that were collected from public pools across the country and none of them tested positive for Crypto, the most stubborn and dangerous germ that spreads recreational water illness. In that study 4.4% of the samples tested positive for Giardia. Based on this, the CDC recommends that if there is a formed fecal incident in your pool, you treat for Giardia, E-Coli, and other germs, but since there is little risk of Crypto with a formed fecal incident, you don’t need to be concerned with treating for it.

For a formed fecal incident, follow these steps:

• Get everyone out of the pool.

• Remove as much of the fecal matter as possible, trying not to break it apart. Do not use your pool vacuum to remove it. Then dispose of it in a sanitary way. Clean the bucket or net you used and then submerge it in the pool so it will be disinfected along with the water.

• Raise the water’s free-chlorine level to 2 parts per million (ppm) or 3 ppm with unstabilized chlorine. With the water’s pH at 7.5 or less, keep the chlorine elevated for 25-30 minutes at 2 ppm or 19 minutes at 3 ppm. During this time, it’s recommended the water temperature is at least 77℉. If your water already has a chlorine stabilizer in it, you’ll want to use a higher free-chlorine level than 3 ppm since the stabilizer slows down how quickly chlorine kills germs.

• Make sure the filtration system is running while the water is raised and maintained at the disinfecting chlorine level.

• Once the disinfection is complete and free chlorine levels are back to normal, you can allow swimmers back in the pool.

Diarrhea on the other hand, has a much higher risk for Crypto, which is an extremely chlorine-tolerant parasite. To be safe, in a diarrheal incident, you’ll need much stronger free chlorine levels, for a longer time period. Do the following:

• Get everyone out of the pool.

• Remove as much of the fecal matter as possible and then dispose of it in a sanitary way. Don’t use your pool vacuum for this. Clean the bucket or net you used to remove the matter, and then submerge it in the pool so it will be disinfected along with the water.

• If your water does not already contain a chlorine stabilizer, raise the water’s free-chlorine level to 10 ppm or 20 ppm with unstabilized chlorine, making sure the water’s pH is at 7.5 or less. For 10 ppm, keep it elevated for 25.5 hours. For 20 ppm, keep it elevated for 12.75 hours. It’s recommended the water temperature is at least 77℉ for this process.

• If your water does contain a chlorine stabilizer, you’ll need to sanitize for a longer time, as the stabilizer slows down how quickly chlorine kills germs. If the cyanuric acid concentration of your water is 15 ppm or less, you can raise the free chlorine concentration to 20 ppm and keep it there for 28 hours. If the cyanuric acid concentration of your water is higher than 15 ppm, you’ll first need to lower that concentration to less than 15 ppm by draining some water and adding fresh water without chlorine stabilizer. Then you can raise the free chlorine level to 20 ppm for 28 hours.

• Make sure the filtration system is running while the water reaches the disinfection free-chlorine level, and the entire time the level is elevated.

• After the disinfection is complete, backwash the filter well. Be sure to discharge directly to waste, and follow local regulations. If needed, replace the filter media.

• Once chlorine and pH levels are back to normal, you can allow swimmers back in the pool.

Of course, prevention is much preferred to cleaning poop from the pool! Remind all swimmers to never enter the pool if they have a stomach bug or have had diarrhea recently. Encourage kids to use the bathroom before swimming, and remind them to take bathroom breaks periodically.
If you have any questions about raising your pool to the proper free-chlorine levels, contact us, and remember, we carry all the water chemicals you need for this type of incident, or your regular water balancing!

 

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Brothers Pool

250 Main Street. (RT 150)
Wallingford Connecticut 06492
P: (203) 265-5980
F: (203) 294-1601
E: info@brotherspool.com

Driving Directions

In Connecticut take I-91 North or South to exit 15. Take Route 68 West towards Wallingford and Cheshire. Turn left at the intersection of 68 and 150 (Main Street). Brothers Pool is about 1 mile on the left.

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 3pm

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