Open House 2020


Why Blonde Hair Turns Green in Pool Water and How to Fix It

It’s common for blondes to have issues when they spend a lot of time in the swimming pool with their hair turning a slight shade of green, especially towards the ends. Don’t get discouraged, it’s common and you are not alone.

Often the misconception to the hair turning green is the chlorine. It’s not 100 just the chlorine though. It’s also copper. Copper is a metal that can often be found in your swimming pool water. The copper and chlorine bond together in the water to form a film that sticks to the proteins in your stands of hair, causing it to turn green. So the biggest culprit is the copper. Even tap water with a high copper content can turn your hair green as well.

Good news! It’s NOT permanent! It can be fixed and even prevented with a few simple steps.

To prevent the onset of green hair, we provide a few options below.

Stop using copper based algaecides in your pool water. Keep your chlorine level and maintained and you won’t need to use algaecides. Because some of the contain copper, although its great at killing algae it can also stain your pool and also green blonde hair.

Wet your hair before going into the pool, copper and chlorine won’t hang onto your hair as tightly when you enter with wet hair.

Apply a leave-in conditioner on your hair before you go in the pool. Then the pool water won’t stick to your hair as easily.

Wash your hair with shampoo immediately after getting out of the pool and you are done for the day.

Or if your hair is already green, you can try some at home remedies below to see what works best for you.

Rinse with Tomato Juice, ketchup or lemon juice. Soak your hair as best you can with tomato juice, then let it set for 5-10 minutes. Or try ketchup. After coating your hair with it, you will need to wrap your hair in tinfoil or wrap a swim cap and let it sit on your head for about 30 minutes. If you decide to give the lemon juice a try, put the lemon juice in your hair and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Whichever you choose, wash and condition your hair after you have fully rinsed.

Try aspirin, baking soda or lemon Kool-Aid as a rinse. Use ¼-1/2 cup of baking soda with water and mix to make a paste consistency. Massage paste into your hair and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. If you decide to give aspirin a try, crush about 6-8 tablets in a bowl then add warm water to it for it to dissolve. Put the rinse in your hair and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. If you use the lemon Kool-Aid mis the package with water and apply to the green areas of the hair. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Again, whichever you choose, wash and condition your hair after you have fully rinsed.

If you prefer to not do at home remedies, there is a professional shampoo that can help as well. It removes the chlorine and copper from your hair to help remove the green tint.

With these easy tips and tricks, you’ll have your golden locks back in no time. Now go enjoy that pool!

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Read more on Essential Equipment for your Swimming Pool

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Common Pool Maintenance Mistakes

It’s very common that pool owner’s make some bad choices when trying to tackle pool maintenance on their own. However, mistakes are the best way to learn. Owning a swimming pool provides numerous chances to make pool maintenance mistakes, big or small. So as soon as you discover you made a mistake, it’s best to call a professional or do some research and study how to fix the issue. Educating yourself on common pool maintenance mistakes will help keep your pool safer, cleaner and running well without the high cost of some mistakes. Below, we provide some of the most common mistakes made in hopes to help prevent you from doing the same.

Ignoring Your pH and Alkalinity Levels

Testing your pool water is done for a reason. The results need to be acknowledged and action taken behind it. Low pH in your water test indicates acidity which can seem to be a good thing at first, however we learned that many negative things can happen if this were to be ignored. While a high pH level indicates alkalinity, your water probably looks and appears pristine and clear, however ignoring high or low pH is not good for your pool.

For example, a low pH can damage your pool pump and filter, vinyl liner, heater, automatic pool cleaner, chemical feeder, your solar blanket and maintenance equipment. This can become costly very quick.

Not Brushing Your Pool

You run a vacuum on a regular basis and think it’s enough, but we don’t agree. To really have a clean pool, you need to brush and scrub your walls, behind the ladders, the steps, corners and even the water line. These areas build up a level of scum that can only be brushed off and keeps algae at bay. Just like brushing your teeth, they need to be brushed to be fully cleaned and be at their cleanest. Do this once a week for the best result.

Adding Shock Directly to Your Pool

Pool shock is better known as concentrated chlorine. It’s a very strong chemical that needs ot be treated gently and with caution. If you have a vinyl liner in your pool, shocking directly to your pool will reek havoc. The shock granules will sink the bottom of your pool and bleach out your liner. This causes the area to become brittle, fall apart and cause leaks.

Be sure to mix the shock with water in a bucket first before adding it to your pool. However, please fill the bucket with warm water FIRST, then add the shock. This way is safest route.

Using An Automatic Pool Cleaner When You Have An Algae Problem

Dealing with pool algae can be challenging to say the least and unfortunately, using your automatic pool cleaner won’t help the issue. They only push the algae and debris through a mesh bag and causes the algae to simply move around in the pool, NOT remove it. Use an older

To resolve this issue, you will have to bring out your manual vacuum. Yes, it’s more work but does the job needed to make sure your water is clear again. Make sure you switch your filter to “waste” or remove the drain plug.

Shocking Your Swimming Pool During the Day

The sun is not welcomed by pool shock. It burns off 1 ppm each hour, reducing the efficiency of your chemicals, and wasting your money. Best advice is to simply shock your pool at night, then it will have plenty of time to do its job throughout the nighttime.

 

 

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What You Should Do To Your Pool After It Rains

When a storm or rainfall is heading your way, the best thing to do is to try and do what you can in advance to prep your pool for the oncoming storm. For example, cover your pool and shut off the pumps, clear your pool of any floats, toys, etc. However, many of us have busy days and work, so often we aren’t available to tend to our pools before a rainstorm. More so, storms are not always predictable, and can even swing through the night while asleep. No worries, we are here to provide you with some simple steps of what you can do after a rainstorm to help keep your pool and pool water in swimmingly shape.

The simplest and easiest of things to do first is to clean your pool. Begin brushing off the steps, behind the ladders and walls. It may look like nothing is there but all the rain that has entered your pool has affected your chemistry level and if left alone will affect your water quality.

In most cases, with rain comes wind. So, the next thing to do is clean out any loose debris that may have entered your pool during the rainstorm. Tree branches, leaves, twigs, and garbage are all common to see in your pool water after a rainstorm. Make sure these items are removed to prevent clogging and increasing your chances of dirty water.

While cleaning the debris out of your pool, check the water level. Especially if the rainstorm was major or a hurricane, which is very common here in Florida). More than likely your water level is past the point of where it should be, which is the middle of your skimmer opening. If this is the case, gradually drain your pool to bring the water level back down to its suggested location.

Continue to clean by bringing out your pool vacuum and clean what you can. Then turn your filters on now that nothing can clog them. It’s time to get your pool water to circulate.

Next, we suggest you shock your pool. After a heavy rainstorm, your pool’s chlorine levels will lower and by shocking your pool it will replenish the chlorine lost from the rain. Be sure while shocking your pool that you keep the pump running.

Quick Tip: You can shock your pool in the rain, YES, it’s safe! Just keep note that rainwater adds contaminants, so it wouldn’t be as effective if you were to wait until after the rain has stopped.

Next, test your water. This is an important step that will give you answers as to what your water needs to stay clean.

Last but not least, adjust your chemicals to rebalance your pool water. After you test your water which chemicals need adjusting.

If the rainstorm is more of a light shower, I wouldn’t worry too much about the pool chemistry. A light rain will have very little effect, if any, on your pool water. However, it wouldn’t hurt to test your water anyway, if only for good measure.

 

What’s the perfect water temperature for your Florida pool during the winter?

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Winterizing a Pool in Florida?

Although you may be thinking why would you close your pool when you live in Florida? Typically, we don’t. The weather here most likely will not freeze the water and many pools have water heaters.

However, often we have travelers they may be gone for an extended period of time. We are also accustomed to the weather. While it may be snowing in the northern hemisphere, its chilly to us here when the weather gets down in the 40’s and 50’s, even 60’s, let’s be honest! And we may just want to put it to rest for a few months.

Typically, ‘winterizing’ your swimming pool consists of draining the pool, emptying the pipes, and covering the top. This helps to prevent pipes and plumbing from freezing and creating costly damage. However, in Florida, it’s a different story, all this is not necessary. Actually, draining your pool in Florida can be dangerous with the amount of ground water we have here.

Also, it never get near cold enough for algae to stop growing, if you drain your pool half-way, clear the pipes of any water, and turn off your pump, your pool will most likely turn green.

Below, we provide a few simple steps to keep your Florida pool crystal clear on the down months.

1. Clean your pool. Simple cleaning steps like removing debris, floating leaves, also sunken debris that sits at the bottom of your pool. This will help prevent staining and algae growth and when you reopen your pool, leaving the debris long-term will increase your pool bills later to fix and/or clean up.

2. Keep your chemicals balanced as you normally would in the summer months. Balance them at least one week before closing your pool.

3. Run your pump. Run your pump about 6 hours every day. If there is a rare threat of frost, try to run it throughout the day and night. This helps circulate the water and chemicals and also lessens the risk of plumbing damage.

4. Cover your pool. This helps keep it clean by not allowing debris to enter the pool, also lessen he amount of chemicals you will need to ad.

So as long as you keep your water balanced and your pump running, here in Florida, you are set for the winter. However, it’s not necessary to ‘winterize’ your pool during the winter here in Florida. So, feel free to enjoy the cold dip or heat your pool and enjoy the hot tub feel.

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What is the Perfect Pool Temperature During Florida Winter?

Summer has come and gone and the kids are buried deep in their school books. The pool has been quiet these past few months however, Winter break is right around the corner and it’s time to prep the pool for some winter fun. But what is the best temperature for the water during the winter months in Florida?

This can be a touchy subject as there are many opinions based on what you like individually and how the weather is. Winter months in Florida can be unpredictable. It can be 95 degrees one day and 65 the next. Because of this you will need to heat your swimming pool at least some of the time. This will help keep it at the perfect temperature for you and your family.

So, what IS the perfect temperature?

Typically, the perfect pool water temperature runs between 78-82 degrees in the spring and fall months. However during the winter month’s it seems to drop to an ideal temperature to 76-78 degrees.

An outdoor unheated pool will typically remain what the outdoor temperature is and can go as low as 53 degrees.

Now anything colder than 78 degrees will start to make you feel chilled when you step out of the water. Anything above 82 degrees will begin to feel like bath water. However, 80 degrees is generally warm and cool enough for all to enjoy.

Of course, you should keep in mind that each degree the temperature rises results in increased energy costs of 10 to 30 percent. So, the right temperature for your pool water is a function of how it feels on your skin and how it feels on your wallet.

Save Some Money: Keep Pool Temperature Costs Down

Here are a few ideas that will help to keep your pool warm while keeping your costs down:

  • Install trees, bushes, fencing, and the like to keep wind from blowing through the pool area.
  • If your pool heater is more than five years old, consider investing in a new heater. In some cases, these units quickly pay for themselves in lower utility bills.
  • If you tend to use your pool only on weekends, lower the temperature setting by 8 to 10 degrees during the week.
  • If you are going on vacation, turn off your pool heater. We don’t have to worry about freezing conditions in Florida.
  • Install a timer that can automate and optimize your temperature settings.
  • Run your pool’s filtration system between 8 pm and 10 am, when electricity demand and rates tend to be lower.

It may take a little time to find the right balance of comfortable water temperature and cost-effective operation. That temperature will change with the seasons. With a little effort, you can find your perfect temperature setting. Remember that it is always best to consult Challenger Pools with any questions to see what might be best for your specific pool.

>>> Choosing an Interior Color for your Pool

 

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Simple Steps on Maintaining your Pool while on Vacation

So you have plans to head out of town, huh? You’ve been waiting for this long overdue vacation. Good for you! BUT, before you go, we would like to give you a few simple steps to maintaining your pool while you are gone on vacation. While gone and out of town we recommend hiring a professional to keep an eye on your pool in case something goes wrong. Or if not a professional, then ask a neighbor or friend to help keep an eye out. In the case something breaks down, you will need someone there to help resolve the issue while you are gone. However, below we provide a few simple steps to help you save a bit of cash if you choose to not have a professional on hand while gone on vacation. These basic tips will help keep your pool clean while gone and crystal clear when you get back home.

Overdose your pool with chlorine!

Depending on how long you will be gone, add double the amount of pool shock that you would normally add (e.g. for a 7,500 gallon pool, add 2-3 lbs. worth of powder shock or 1 to 1.5 gallons of liquid shock). Let the filter run for a couple hours after adding the shock.

Cover your pool!

When the sun shines on your water, algae will grow, so the less sun the better. Covering your pool makes it difficult for algae to grow. It will be well worth coming back to a clean pool. If you do not own a pool cover yet, this would be a perfect time to buy since you will still need one once the colder months come around.

Use a timer!

A great tool while gone on vacation and for daily use. This will make it so your filter can automatically turn on and off for a period of time. This is important to have available so you can filter your pool and while you are gone. There are many timers available ranging in all kinds of prices. The cheaper ones will do the job, no problem. The more expensive provides you with the bells and whistles, depending on what suits your fancy.

Now go enjoy your relaxing time away and don’t worry about your pool while gone. Enjoy those moments of slowing down that you have worked so hard for.

 

Learn more about “Technology and Your Pool

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Beginner’s Guide to Hot Tub Maintenance

So, you finally did it, you bought that long sought after hot tub. You have dreamed about enjoying a hot tub for years. The relaxing evenings of with a glass of wine is always picture perfect during those stressful days. However, did you imagine the hot tub maintenance and care that goes behind a nice and clean hot tub? I’m sure you didn’t, BUT it is a reality that you need to face. An important one to make sure your hot tub has a long life of clean water and many relaxing nights. We are here to help you learn the simple basics and needs to maintain your hot tub and keep it in great condition and reduce costly upcoming issues.

Know what you have

This sounds pretty basic, I know, but knowing the name and brand of your hot tub is important. This will help you to get parts and service when you need them. Also knowing your hot tub’s specifications and limits. These are more specifically the water capacity, age and any water challenges that are necessary (such as hard water).

Maintenance Basics

Circulation, Cleaning and Chemicals. Keeping in mind these three basics, your hot tub will run smoothly all year long.

Circulation – this is important as still water is never a good idea. Circulation helps keep your water of contaminates. Most hit tubs these days have automatic circulation that you can schedule and time to run.  The circulation cycles can vary from 15-30 minutes and cycles the water through the filters. Let those filters do their job, the more you run your hot tub the cleaner it is, so running it can never hurt.

If you don’t have automatic circulation on your hot tub, simply turn it on and run it once or twice a day for 15-20 mins.

TIP: Add a few tennis balls to your hot tub after you have used it. Hot water removes oils from our skin, including lotions and soaps we use daily. These make the filter work ‘extra hard’ when trying to clean your water, so to help it along, place tennis balls in the water.  Oil is attracted to the felt on the balls and it helps to collect those oils.

Cleaning – Keeping your hot tub is one of the most effective maintenance tasks you can tackle. Scum is a common occurrence in hot tubs and can be tackled with a few easy steps. Once a week use white vinegar and a sponge or cloth to wipe away scum on the water’s edges. Also wiping down the jets and spa’s shell will keep your hot tub clean.  If you have an outdoor hot tub, you will need to remove debris like fallen leaves, broken branches, sometimes even trash or small critters. 

Also, a quick rinse down with a 10% bleach solution will make sure that mildew stays away.

Once every 3-4 months or more if your using it often, you will need to completely drain your hot tub and refill. Fresh water after a few months is a nice relief and reduces germs.

Be sure to check your filters!

Your filters will also need a regular cleaning to work well and properly. A simple rinse, spray or soak will do. Your local pool store has a filter cleaner to use when cleaning your hot tub filter. After some time when it looks as if they are getting clean, a filter replacement is probably due.

Chemicals – Maintaining your hot tubs water is very similar to a pool’s water. However, it’s slightly different due to the reduced size body of water. Before you add any chemicals be sure to get a baseline reading of your water after it has been freshly refilled. Simply test your water to get a current reading of the pH and alkalinity levels.

Aim for a pH level of 7.4-7.6 and 125 -150 parts per million (ppm) for your alkalinity.

For alkalinity, shoot for 125 parts per million (ppm) to150 ppm. If alkalinity gets too high, it can cause scaling and cloudiness.

So now go…go enjoy your hot tub! Invite friends over, make sure those jets aim at your lower back and reap the rewards and enjoyment of it. With these simple steps, you will enjoy your hot tub for years to come.

 

> Learn more about how to maintain and clean your swimming pool here.

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Choosing an Interior Color for your Pool

When making decisions while you are in the pool building and design process, choosing an interior color is going to be one of those decisions you need to make. Ask yourself, what ‘look’ do you want for your backyard pool? What water temperature do you want regularly? What is your monthly budget for maintaining and running your new pool? The answers to these questions will play a part in what color you decide for your pools interior.

There are three interior textures you could decide on. Tile, pebble, and plaster. Tile and Pebble are incredibly durable and will last you and your family a long time. Plaster however, more known and used due to its cheaper cost, has a lifespan of 8-10 years. At that point it will start to crack and break apart. You will then need to get it resurfaced or choose another interior textile option.

The traditional and most common colors are blue and white, however more recently there are more non-traditional colors being used to give a unique style and ambiance.

All though, at first glance, it seems that the color of water itself is blue, however it isn’t. Water has no color. Its color is provided by the sky reflecting onto the water. Cool huh?

Selecting a color for inside your pool will make it look unique and different.  Today, many prefer colors like white, gray, black, red, earth-tones or a variation of blue.  Let’s look at some of your color options in detail:

Blue

The most common as we all love the look of crystal, clear blue water. As we stated earlier water is clear and reflects off the sky for its subtle blue color, with a blue pool interior it enhances the blue and makes it much more vibrant. This provides a relaxing, tranquil atmosphere.

White

This is also a very commonly used color for a pool interior. As it’s on the cheaper end of cost, it’s used quite frequently. It’s a perfect color for sunny states as it helps maintain water temperature. A white interior is a beautiful color as it helps bring out any decorative elements or accessories inside your pool. This can be a simply stunning, clean look. However, maintaining a regular cleaning schedule is vital to its beauty.

Gray

Surprisingly, gray makes the water in your pool look like sea water. It can be a great choice because it’s helpful with hiding dirt and debris plus it also helps increase the water temperature.

Black

Black is the most suitable color for your pool if you want the water temperature to be higher all year round. The color helps to prolong the use of the swimming pool, and, high in energy savings for heating the pool.   It is one of the most advanced coatings, and with it, you can obtain spectacular designs.

Red

A color that has grown in popularity in the more recent years. Red will provide transparent water that will change its appearance considering the weather and the state of the sky at that time. Depending on the amount of light, as well as the season of the year and time of day, the color variations can change, often providing a warmer atmosphere.

Factors to be considered when choosing your interior pool color include your backyard theme, pool surrounds, water reflection and water temperature, just to name a few.

When people renovate or build, it is common to collect samples of tiles to help decide on color. We highly recommend that when you are choosing your colors you lay it outside in different spots of where your pool will be or beside your current pool if renovating. Review them and observe at different times of the day. Morning and evening can provide different shades and give you a truer sense of what the color will be when you pool is completed.

If you have more questions on how to determine a color for your new pool, contact Challenger Pools today here. We can help you build or renovate your pool and be there for you every step of the way.

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The Benefits of a Freeform-Shaped Swimming Pool

Are you dreaming of finally getting a swimming pool but worried about it actually being possible because of your small or oddly shaped backyard? No sweat! Freeform shaped swimming pools are the best design to work with any oddly shaped or small backyard.

Freeform swimming pools are a wonderful addition to your backyard. They provide a natural, organic look with an amoeba shape/style. Freeform pools often have a look as if they have always belonged there and really blend into nature. They bring curves, flowing lines and irregular shapes and often have features like waterfalls, rock bridges, and plant landscapes to resemble a pond or lake.

Many homeowners dream of a pool oasis in their backyard and worry it just can’t happen with their small and oddly shaped backyards. However, Challenger Pools can create a custom freeform pool for any shape or terrain yard. Lines, curves, and defining edges is what makes the design modern.

Advantages

The advantages of having a freeform pool are unlimited as it can add so much to your home and life.

1.     Beautifying your backyard – creating a space to enjoy and have fun outside is a wonderful addition to any home, especially if you have children. Unlimited fun, enjoyment and memories can be made in and around your pool area getting the kids away from the electronics and create a great family bonding time.

2.     Added value to your home – any pool immediately adds value to your home and eventually puts more money in your pocket.

3.     Exercise – Swimming provides some of the best exercise you can provide your body and with an oddly shaped backyard, Challenger Pools has professionals who access the landscape and terrain and recommend the best design for you.

4.     Added beauty and fun – Freeform pools often have additional features to make your backyard more of an oasis than just a swimming pool. Tanning ledges, rock bridges, islands, beach entries, in-pool tables and chairs add so much more enjoyment to your swimming pool.

Don’t let your small or oddly shaped backyard stop you from having the swimming pool of your dreams.  Call Challenger Pools and let the staff walk you step-by-step in making dreams come true.

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Permits & Pool Building

When it comes to building on your property, different cities and counties have various regulations and rules. No matter what size pool you choose, in ground or above, building permits are required for all shapes and sizes of pools. However, the larger the pool, the more guidelines will apply. These guidelines and permits exist to protect you and your home, so it’s important that they are followed and adhered to.

However, portable or above ground pools that are less than 42 inches deep, and do not need to be permitted. Putting in an above ground pool with a depth of 42 inches or greater, requires a permit, which the homeowner or pool company can obtain.

For in-ground concrete pools, a state licensed Pool Contractor must be obtained. The contractor will pull the building permit and obtain the engineering expertise, as well as provide necessary paperwork to ensure Florida Building and Swimming Pool Codes are met.

It’s vital to submit a residential application, a site plan, and a pool plan detail to your local city/county before the construction project begins. For example, if your property is in a flood zone, an engineer will need to create and sign off on a new drainage plan to protect your property and the others around you.

See below some common paperwork requirements when trying to obtain a permit:

  • Proof of property ownership. This can be a recorded deed, closing statement, or property tax information.
    • Two sets pool plans. Plans must include all safety feature options, and piping systems.
    • Building Permit Application. The application must be fully completed, signed, and notarized.
    • Two copies of a certified survey or site plan.
    • Private Swimming Pool Safety Requirements form.

Also be aware that if the swimming pool will be enclosed, you must provide the setbacks from the proposed enclosure to the water’s edge of the pool. The enclosure must meet the building setbacks for the zoning district it is located in.

Accompanying Documents When Pulling a Permit

If the size of the swimming pool warrants the pulling of a permit additional documents to further explain the project and how it will meet the various state, city and trade codes, will be required.

  1. If the property owner pulls the permit, an Owner/Building Disclosure must also be completed, which explains and acknowledges the responsibilities of the property owner acting as the contractor. While online, forms and assistance is also available at the Development Services Department, including complimentary notarization for the Owner/Builder Disclosure form.
  2. Along with a permit, a site plan of the property showing the location of all existing structures (sheds, house, detached garage, etc.) must be provided, with the size and location of the proposed improvement, as well as the perimeter property lines.
  3. For in ground pools, construction plans need to be designed, signed and sealed by an architect or engineer registered in Florida, certifying compliance with the Florida Building and Swimming Pool Codes.
  4. As building permit fees are calculated on the cost of the job, a copy of the sales contract or work contract needs to be submitted with the permit package. Typically, permit fees range from $50.00 to $80.00 and help cover the cost of inspections. While permits and inspections might be thought as unnecessary, the peace of mind knowing your new pool complies with code and will provide years of safe enjoyment is worth it!

Challenger Pools is the perfect pool building company when it comes to creating your very own backyard oasis. Whether you’re looking to put in a pool, spa, outdoor living area, or all the above, Challenger Pools is there for you.

 

 

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