Category Archives: Pool Care

Cleaning Pool After Incliment Weather

Cleaning Your Pool After Inclement Weather

When you own a pool, it helps to have general knowledge of and healthy respect for the unpredictability of weather and nature. When storms blow branches, leaves and other debris into your pool, knowing how to handle the situation yourself can be both efficient and cost-effective. Time can sometimes be a concern, as after a storm, you’ll want to prevent algae growth by adding chlorine to the pool as soon as possible. Of course, the pool technicians at A Better Pool Service can restore your pool to its previous glory after any winter storm or other inclement weather.

List of Pool Cleaning Supplies

If you’re new to owning a pool, you’ll want to gather some general supplies. Remember, while tedious, maintaining your pool has its benefits. Though you’ll have to make an initial investment with the supplies, you’ll save money in the long run. Gather these supplies:

  • Telescopic pole
  • Leaf net or skimmer
  • Pool brush
  • Vac head and hose
  • Pool chemicals
  • Water tests

Balanced water chemistry is the goal of proper pool maintenance, and a weekly routine helps with that. Designate one day every week to clean the pool during seasons of high use, and up to two days per month during seasons of low to medium use. You’ll learn how to balance, chlorinate, and shock your pool and add algaecide. First, remove large pieces of debris from your pool. If a storm knocked large branches and poolside furniture into the water, remove these before starting.

Balance It Out

A properly balanced pool has the right pH level, calcium hardness, and total alkalinity levels. Maintaining these levels at least monthly means a beautifully balanced pool ready to welcome you and your family. Balancing the chemicals in your pool helps protect your metal equipment and plaster surfaces and accessories from etching and corrosion.

Additionally, keeping a clean, perfectly balanced pool prevents eye and skin irritation and cloudy water, and saves pool equipment from scale formation and stains.


Not sure how to test your pool’s water? Don’t feel like doing maintenance on your pool? Call A Better Pool Service at (214) 347-8016. We’ll get your pool up to specs.


Find out which chemicals are off [by testing the water.] Make sure your water tests are of good quality that checks and helps you track pH levels, chlorine, and total alkalinity.

Chlorinate Your Pool

For proper sanitation, your pool’s chlorine level should consistently fall in the 1 to 4 parts per million (ppm) range. This range ensures that your pool is clean and safe from bacteria and algae. There are many options you can take to properly chlorinate your pool. You can try slow-dissolving chlorinating tablets, which have a stabilizer to protect the chlorine from burning off in the sun. Chlorinating tablets work best when dropped into a skimmer, floating dispenser or automatic chlorinator.

Pool CleaningSimilar to household bleach, you could also use liquid chlorine. While it is an effective sanitizer and easy to use, be sure and get the proper amount for your pool, as it has a very low shelf life compared to other products. If your pool is seeing high use, and you’re cleaning it weekly, you should be able to carry the leftover liquid chlorine to the next treatment, as you can only store it for a few weeks at most.

For a do-it-all-at-once solution, try chlorinating granules. These products can perform several pool maintenance tasks at once. While they vary from brand to brand, chlorinating granules shock, chlorinate and kill algae with a daily application.

Shock It!

When chlorine enters a pool, it bonds with ammonia and nitrogen compounds to help clean the pool. The dirtier the pool is, the lower the amount of free chlorine available. Shocking your pool increases the amount of unused chlorine in your already chlorinated pool. Shock your pool every week to rid it of contaminants that cause odor, cloudy water and skin and eye irritation.

There are two types of shock products for proper pool maintenance. Basic shock products kill bacteria and help disintegrate cosmetics like suntan lotions, sweat, deodorants and other swimmer byproducts that the pool’s filter can’t handle. Basic shock products keep your pool clear and reduces eye irritation.

Much like its name suggests, multifunctional shock products do more than the bare minimum of basic shock products. They destroy swimmer byproducts and bacteria while balancing pH levels, aiding filtration, and further protecting your pool against algae. What’s more, multifunctional shock treatments do all this work extra fast, some of which work effectively after only 15 minutes.

Add Algaecide

Algae are microscopic plants that can grow fast and quickly destabilize the balance of your pool, clog filters and reduce the effectiveness of your pool chemicals. Prevention is key, since an algae infestation can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive to control and remove. Algaecides help keep algae from taking over your pool by stunting its growth as soon as applied. Some algaecides kill multiple types of algae and keep them from returning with regular (read: weekly) applications. If you’re properly testing your water at least monthly, you’ll be able to tell when algae is on the rise. Catch an algae outbreak before it becomes a bigger issue with algaecides.

Leaf Net

In this last step, get out your pole and leaf net and get ready to work your arms. Skim debris out of the pool on a daily basis, especially when the pool use is high and in season. The first time doing this might prove to be the most difficult, as you get used to using the pole and fishing debris out of the pool. The more you do it, the easier it’ll be and the faster you’ll finish this task. Clean skimmer baskets once you’re done.pool cleaning dallas

Next, hook up your vacuum and use the brush ends to scrub the walls and floor. Use pool manufacturer recommendations for pool cleaners and brushes. Begin at the shallow end and move onto the deep end, overlapping each stroke during the vacuuming and brushing process. Make sure the vacuum head stays underwater and brush thoroughly, then hose down the pool area once you’re done. Be sure to direct the hose spray away from the pool to prevent runoff.

Repeat this process at least twice a month for the cleanest, clearest, most balanced pool that will incite jealousy from your neighbors, especially the ones without a pool. Don’t feel like doing all this yourself? Call A Better Pool Service. We can schedule weekly or monthly pool maintenance so you don’t have to do all the work yourself. We’ll have your pool clear, blue and perfectly balanced all year long.

When inclement weather hits your town, it can leave your backyard and pool area in a total shambles. Branches, leaves and other runoff are a breeding grounds for algae infestations that can turn your pool green and unswimmable. Learning how to maintain your pool will help ensure that you can have as many swim days this summer as possible.

pool cleaning dallas

Avoid These Common Pool Care Mistakes

Relaxing in your pool during a hot summer day, playing water sports with the kids, and inviting friends over for pool parties are just a few of the fun activities your pool provides each year. If you’ve already had your pool a few seasons, you know it’s important to maintain regular swimming pool service and keep up with the pool cleaning each year.

However, you might be making some mistakes that are aging your pool too fast and making it more likely you’ll require unexpected pool repairs. With the right care, your pool will last decades, but not if you make the following common mistakes.

1. Not running the pool pump enough

There’s no denying that a backyard swimming pool will increase the cost of your utilities, but there are a variety of ways to reduce your electricity and water costs when you have a pool. However, some pool owners take this idea a little too far and don’t run the swimming pool pump enough.

You might find that your pool is growing more algae than usual. Not running your swimming pool pump as a way to save money could actually result in an increase in the need for pool chemicals. Run your pump about seven or eight hours a day for a clean pool, and call A Better Pool Service if you find your pump isn’t cleaning the pool even when you run it.

2. Population in the pool is too high

Inviting the neighborhood kids over for the afternoon creates a fun and boisterous atmosphere in the backyard, but your pool probably can’t handle big pool parties every day. With each extra swimmer in your pool, you need to use more chemicals to keep the water balanced and clear.

If you’re likely enjoy your pool with friends this season, consider letting your pool service technician know. He or she can help you get the level of chemicals in your pool at the correct level for optimum clarity.

3. Foreign objects frequent your pool water

How many internet videos have you seen and enjoyed of a dog frolicking in a swimming pool like it’s a recreational fishing hole? Although dogs adore the water, and you love seeing the family pet play around in the pool, excessive dog hair is a filter killer.

Even if you’re willing to schedule extra swimming pool cleaning visits to accommodate your swimming pooch, you’ll need to clean your filter and skimmer basket frequently to prevent the eventual destruction of the filter. You may also think about pool upgrades like a sturdier filter if you feel you’re asking too much of your current filter.

4. Improper use of chemicals

If your pool develops a chemical imbalance and you find you need to use an algaecide to clear the water, you’ll need to adjust your chlorine levels to compensate. A good rule of thumb is to increase the chlorine level prior to adding the algaecide so as to maintain enough chlorine post-application.

Pool care mistakes are common because they’re not immediately obvious to the average pool owner. You’ve budgeted the cost of your backyard pool, but don’t forget to budget time to learn about caring for it, too.

Family Swimming Pool

How to Fight Depression with Swimming

Managing depression feels like a full-time job for some sufferers. However, did you know that swimming in a pool might help reduce the severity of depression? Doctors often recommend engaging in healthy activities like swimming to help treat this debilitating mental illness.

If you, a friend or one of your family members suffers from depression and you have access to a swimming pool, now might be the time to schedule pool cleaning and maintenance to take advantage of your pool’s healing and restorative benefits.

Recognizing Depression

On occasion, everyone experiences feelings of sadness, but those who suffer from depression actually experience physical pain when their illness is left untreated. Doctors commonly prescribe medication and psychotherapy to help people cope with depression.

Medication helps restore proper chemical balance in the brain, and therapy teaches a patient how to cope with his or her illness. Depression may occur after an accident or traumatic event, such as the passing of a loved one.

In addition to the physical symptoms of depression, which may include insomnia, agitation, or changes in weight, depression may also cause suffers to have suicidal thoughts or even act upon those feelings.

Why Swimming Helps Mentally & PhysicallyHealth and Swimming

Aerobic exercise helps reduce the physical and mental impact of depression. The brain remains a complicated piece of anatomy, but one thing scientists understand is that exercise stimulates special chemicals in the brain such as endorphins. Activity also boosts the power of “neurotransmitters,” which help us deal with stress and anxiety.

One of the reasons why swimming is so incredibly beneficial is because it improves the body both physiologically and mentally. Spending a half hour in the morning swimming laps releases endorphins, which are the brain compounds that help make you feel happy.

Further, an issue of “Swimmer” magazine suggests that swimming could even help foster the growth of new brain cells, as well as help the body absorb and neutralize stress hormones. Like a relaxing afternoon cup of tea, a regular date with the pool could help someone suffering from depression find consistency and relaxation in a stressful life.

Beyond Depression

Swimming is an amazing fitness tool and offers proven therapeutic benefits, but there are many more reasons you’ll want to make an appointment with A Better Pool Service to get pool upgrades and repairs handled.

Eldery SwimmingYour backyard swimming pool is an amazing tool for socializing with friends. If you have an elderly parent or friend who doesn’t get out much, a swim in your pool might be just the thing to boost mood and offer a low-impact type of exercise.

Additionally, swimming is an amazing tool for improving your physical conditioning. In addition to burning calories, swimming also helps with flexibility, balance, and endurance.

The benefits of your backyard swimming pool are immeasurable when you consider the benefits to your mental and physical health. A clean and well-maintained pool will inspire you to improve your health and mind with a daily swim. Arrange regular swimming pool cleaning to make sure your backyard pool remains enjoyable throughout the season.

Swimming Pool Upgrades

Top 3 Swimming Pool Upgrades in Dallas

Throughout every industry from fashion to automotive, home appliances to home décor and landscaping to art, trends are continually changing and updating as new ideas are implemented and technology is enhanced. Even in the pool industry, there are popular swimming pool upgrades in the Dallas area that are more popular than others. For 2014, the top 3 swimming pool upgrades in Dallas Texas and throughout the majority of the country consist of swimming pool lighting, salt water chlorinators and security covers.

Swimming Pool Lighting Upgrade

As the technology of lighting, specifically LED lighting, continues to be enhanced in many industries like automotive and residential, it has now trickled down to the swimming pool industry. LED lighting is much more efficient that traditional incandescent bulb or even fluorescent bulb lighting; it costs significantly less in energy costs to operate and the bulbs last significantly longer which reduces your pool maintenance costs when having to replace them. If you already have lighting in your pool, you understand how unique it looks to have your pool light up at night. When pool owners compare the cost of upgrading their pool lighting to other pool upgrades to enhance their swimming pool, LED pool lighting offers the best bang for their buck. With a Dallas swimming pool upgrade to LED lighting from A better Pool Service, we can update your lights with LED bulbs that allow you to change the light colors with a remote control. The lights that we upgrade your pool with have a life expectancy of approximately 10,000 hours, which would last well over 10 years before they would need to be replaced.

Salt Water Chlorination Upgrade

Many pool owners have begun to discover the beauty of converting their traditional chlorine pool to salt water chlorination because it provides exceptional water quality without the strong odor. While it is still a chlorine pool, the machine upgrade simply converts salt into chlorine in a way that the harsh chemical smell and eye irritation associated with chlorine no longer exist. The additional advantage of upgrading your pool to salt water is the much lower maintenance it requires; maintaining chlorine levels in your pool is achieved by simply adding four to eight bags of granular salt directly into the pool each season. The salt is available for purchase at most retail stores that sell pool chemicals; the salt is typically sold in 40 pound bags and is about $10 to $15 per bag. With your existing Dallas swimming pool service from A better Pool Service, our experts will still test and monitor your chemicals regularly to ensure your pool is chemically balanced and safe for use.

Pool Security Cover Upgrade

Swimming pool safety is very important and should be top priority as a pool owner, especially if you have young children around. Since accidents do happen, many pool owners are choosing pool security covers as their top swimming pool upgrades in Dallas. Pool security covers are designed to protect children, pets or anyone from falling into the pool when it is not in use; they also help keep debris out of the pool during the off season as well as reduce your pool maintenance greatly during the fall and winter months. Pool security covers are a smart investment for pool owners to keep their family and friends safe and reduce their pool maintenance in Dallas.

From technology to maintenance to safety, A Better Pool Service can assist you will all of your swimming pool upgrades in Dallas and the surrounding area. The best time to have your upgrades installed is now, during the fall and winter months when your pool usage is at a minimum during the off season.

Pool care, Dallas swimming pool cleaning, winter pool cover, pool safety cover

Dallas Swimming Pool Cover Options

When it comes to swimming pool maintenance in Dallas and surrounding areas throughout the DFW, A Better Pool Service wants to be your helping hand in every aspect of caring for your pool. As you care for your pool during the off season, it is important to choose the swimming pool upgrade accessories that are right for you, your family and your pool. For many pool owners, it can be complicated to choose the best pool cover to suit your needs; you are likely considering all of the factors such as cost, benefits, size, material, durability and safety. No matter what your concerns are regarding your Dallas swimming pool cover options, we have the information you need to make the best decision for your pool needs.

Swimming Pool Cover Benefits

When it comes to swimming pool covers, safety is one of the most common and most important concerns. Accidental drowning is too common at residential pools; it can happen to anyone of any age, especially with children or even animals. With a swimming pool cover constructed of strong, quality materials you can protect every loved one in your home. Protecting your swimming pool with a cover is always an advantage; because pool covers keep out the light and debris from nature, they help prevent algae from forming and other particles of nature dirtying up the water, which also reduces your swimming pool cleaning expenses during the off season. With energy saving tips at every turn, you can’t leave out the swimming pool cover benefit of energy saving; they conserve water, reduce chemical consumption and reduce time needed to run the cleaning filtration system.

Types of Swimming Pool Covers

While many pool covers appear to be the same or very similar, there are different types available on the market for residential pools. The main two types, pool safety cover and winter pool cover, serve similar needs but are very different for their main purpose.

  • Safety Covers – Pool safety covers are made from woven mesh or solid vinyl material, which are designed to be pulled tightly across your pool (similar to a trampoline) and are secured with straps that are attached to metal anchors installed around you pool. While they do prevent leaves, grass, branches and debris from getting into your pool, a safety pool cover will keep children and pets out of the water; they are designed to safely hold thousands of pounds, which can prevent someone of any size from drowning.
  • Winter Covers – Winter pool covers are designed for protection from weather. The leaves and other debris can’t fall directly into the water, but if it rains these organic materials breakdown and can slowly seep through the cover into the pool causing the water to get dirty. They do block out the sunlight which prevents the buildup of algae, but winter covers can be damaged by tree branches or heavy snow, causing a dirty and expensive clean up. Winter pool covers do cost much less than safety covers, but with the cost of having your winter pool cover removed in the spring and the labor that goes along with it, they can end up costing the same as a pool safety cover which doesn’t require the labor.

From the benefits and advantages of both main types of covers, safety and winter, it may be difficult to decide which one is best for your Dallas pool maintenance needs. Contact A Better Pool Service in Dallas so we can help you; we are here to assist you with all of your pool questions, concerns and needs.

swimming pool heater installation, gas pool heater,, heat pump pool heater, Dallas pool upgrades

What Type of Pool Heater Should I Get?

Buying a home with a swimming pool or having a swimming pool installed at your home is an added luxury as well as an added expense. Pool maintenance in Dallas, including pool cleaning, pool repair and pool upgrades, require a lot of time and can be expensive. Whether you maintain your pool yourself or you have a Dallas pool service company handle it, you still have the expenses of running your pool filtration system, cleaning system and lighting. If you also have a spa or you like to enjoy the luxury of pool ownership even during the cooler months, swimming pool heaters cost a significant amount to heat up your swimming pool and maintain a warm temperature. Whether you own a pool that was installed many years ago, was recently installed within the last few years or plan to have a brand-new swimming pool installed in the near future, you should consider your pool heater options.

Gas Swimming Pool Heaters

Although there have been other newer technologies in swimming pool heating, gas pool heaters are still a very popular heating option. Gas pool heaters are fueled by natural gas or propane; the newer heater technology has made gas heaters more efficient than ever before. A gas pool heater works with your pool pump; as it circulates the pool water through a copper finned heat exchanger, flames from the burner heat the air in the combustion chamber which warms the pool water as it flows through the multiple copper tube piping. Gas pool heaters heat pool water very quickly, and they are the most efficient when used during short intervals. Overall, they are a practical option for pools that are not used on a regular basis during the cooler months of the year.

Heat Pump Pool Heaters

Heat pump technology is used for heating more than just pools, but they do not generate heat the same as gas heaters; they use electricity to move heat around. For pool heating, as the pool pump circulates the water, it is pushed through the heat pump, then the compressor creates a hot gas that flows through the condenser and is circulated through the heater, and finally the heated water is released back into the pool. Some things to consider about heat pump pool heaters is that they require a minimum temperature of 50 degrees to be able to operate, they are also slower at heating the water than gas or solar heaters, and they typically take several days to heat up an average sized in-ground pool.

Both gas pool heaters and heat pump pool heaters have their own advantages and disadvantages, but both should be considered to help you determine which pool heater is best for you and how you use your swimming pool. An added bonus about gas pool heaters is that they can achieve and maintain the desired temperature you want no matter how cold it may get, while heat pump pool heaters require a minimum outdoor and water temperature. As for heat pump pool heaters, they may cost more upfront and to have them installed, but they last much longer than gas heaters and are more efficient so they cost must less in energy costs to operate. If you want a pool heater installed, don’t stress yourself too much with the question “what type of pool heater should I get”, let your Dallas area pool service experts help you make the most educated decision that you will be happy with year after year.

pool maintenance

Dallas Pool Maintenance in the Fall

As the kids go back to school, the days start getting shorter and the Texas heat begins to cool down, many of us start using our pools less and less. By the middle of October, you’re likely starting the process of shutting down your swimming pool and putting up the patio furniture and water toys. Swimming pool maintenance in Dallas during the fall and winter can be just as time-consuming of a task as it is during the summer. Because it is important to keep your pool cleaned during the off-season as well, you could benefit from regular Dallas pool maintenance during the fall and winter.


Swimming Pool Maintenance Tips

Throughout North Texas, including the Dallas area, the temperatures can fluctuate very frequently, which can cause many parts of nature to collect in your pool. Especially during the fall, it is important to check the skimmers about twice a week for fallen leaves, small branches, dead grass, and other debris that may have blown into your swimming pool. Be sure to keep your filtration system running, because a continuous flow of water is necessary for proper functionality of the pool filters and cleaning system; also, without continuous of water, staining can occur at the water line of the pool wall and when leaves and debris settle to the bottom, they will cause unsightly stains on the pool floor.

Off Season Pool Filter & Pump Needs

Once the temperature starts to drop and your pool is used less often, the filtration and pump operation needs decrease. Unlike during the summer time when the water is warm and you and your family are spending more time in the pool which requires the filtration system to run for 10 to 12 hours a day, during the cooler months of the year you should reduce your filter run time down to 4 to 6 hours per day. After the leaves have all fell during autumn and early winter, you also can reduce your filter cleaning frequency as well. But, if you leave your pool uncovered it is still important to check and clean the filter regularly, especially after a big rain or snow storm. Even if you do not clean your pool filters yourself, it is still recommended to check them in between cleanings; you can have your Dallas pool maintenance company show you the proper steps to inspecting the pool filter if you do not already know how. The temperature drop reduces the amount of pool chemicals you need to add as well, but it is still important to check your pool chemistry at least one time per week during the off season.

A Better Pool Service Dallas

With A Better Pool Service, all of your Dallas pool maintenance tasks can be handled by swimming pool cleaning experts. We offer weekly pool cleaning services at low monthly rates that also cater to pool maintenance in the fall and throughout the entire off season. Instead of worrying about when you checked the filter last, how much/ how often your pool needs chemical treatment, or changing the settings on the filtration system, just leave your Dallas pool cleaning concerns with the pros at A Better Pool Service. If you’re not sure, contact us; we will be happy to provide you with a swimming pool cleaning and maintenance quote.

Swimming Pool Drain and Wash Services for Your Dallas-Area Home!

Our Dallas Swimming Pool Drain and Wash Services Program

Many homeowners don’t realize that in Dallas – Fort Worth, the water in your swimming pool should be drained and refilled once every 3-5 years. This is due to the build-up of certain chemicals (typically calcium and cyanuric acid), which can only be removed through dilution and complete water replacement.

Call us at (214) 347-8016 or submit a request for a quote to find out whether your pool might be ready for our “drain down” service!

THE PROBLEM: Cyanuric acid is a “stabilizer” that enables the chlorine to stay in your pool longer, and do a better job of sanitizing your pool. It’s one of the chemicals we measure on a regular basis to make sure your pool stays crystal-clear.

However, after a few years, the cyanuric acid will climb above the acceptable range, (typically over 100PPM), and no longer provide a stabilizing effect on your chlorine. If not corrected, your pool will require increasing amounts of chlorine to stay clean. (Ironically, most chlorine contains a small amount of cyanuric acid, which means the more chlorine you add, the worse your problem is going to get.) High cyanuric acid levels can also lead to plaster discoloration, which may require an acid wash or a complete re-plastering of your pool.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we tend to have a problem with water hardness also. As water evaporates from your pool, the calcium is left behind. Every time new water is added, you are adding more calcium to your swimming pool. Eventually, the excess calcium will begin to show up as calcium deposits throughout your pool, visibly on your tile, and completely hidden inside your pool equipment. If left unchecked, these deposits can destroy your pump, filter, heater and other equipment.

THE SOLUTION: Fortunately, this problem is easy to correct. We can conduct a drain down of your pool to get your chemicals back in balance where they’re supposed to be. Our technicians will determine whether a partial or complete drain down is recommended. With our special high-speed pump, the entire process usually takes less than a day.