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Child Safety Around Swimming Pools

Sunday, September 20, 2009
There is no doubt about it -- every parent wants their child to be safe -- in the water and out. Unfortunately, every year we hear tragic stories about children drowning. There are lots of child safety devices on the market -- fences, life jackets, pool alarms, and of course, swimming lessons, and those are ALL great aids. But fences get left open, life jackets get taken off, pool alarms are not heard, and children panic and forget their swim lessons.

There is no substitution for adult supervision of a child in or around a pool. That supervision needs to be responsible and vigilant. An adult watching the children should not be reading, talking on the phone, or running inside for "just a minute" to check something on the stove. Do not trust that if you tell your young child to stay out of the water while you're gone that they won't get impatient and get in "just a little way." It takes only seconds for a child to drown and cause a lifetime of grieving.

If you are having a party, may we suggest that you have a rotating supervisor. Assign one parent to watch the children for a short span of time -- maybe 15-20 minutes. That parent's only task for that period of time is to watch the children. He or she can then switch to the next assigned person, assuring that the new person knows they are on duty.

You can even have some fun with it -- maybe the assigned adult gets to wear a big funny hat, gets a big whistle, or gets a nice cold beer when their time is OVER. Maybe all the children sing a big "Thank You" song when they are done -- you are limited only by your creativity.

Here's to the safety of all our kids!

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Welcome to Hot Water Works

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Thanks for visiting. This is our first post. Stay tuned for many upcoming updates!

Water Chemistry Is Important

Recently we received a call from a customer whose almost brand new heater was leaking. We went out to take a look and found that his heater was indeed leaking from the heat exchanger (the tubes the water runs through, whether the heater is turned on or off). With good water chemistry and hydraulics, the heat exchanger should easily out-last your heater. So, we took a water sample and ran water chemistry tests. The chemistry was so far off that the water had eaten through the copper in less than a month. No heater manufacturer warrants against water chemistry damage, so this customer is faced with a very large repair bill.

If you own a pool you can do all pool maintenance yourself or hire a professional to take care of it for you. If you do it yourself, remember that the key elements are chlorine levels, pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. There are a few other tests you will want to run occasionally, but these are the weekly ones. Keep in mind that all the factors are interactive and a change in one may well affect the level of another. If your water is very aggressive it will erode parts of your pool equipment and create stains on your pool surface. If it is scaling, it will cause unsightly deposits on your pool surface and possibly in your pipes and the equipment. Obviously, the goal is balance!

Ideal ranges are generally considered:
pH of 7.4-7.6
Total Alkalinity of 80-120 ppm
Calcium Hardness of 150-400 ppm

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Labor Day Weekend

Like many of you, we hosted a "last of summer" barbecue this weekend. The weather has started to cool and the pool water along with it. Reluctantly, we noted that this was probably the last swim session of the season for us. So we will drain our solar system soon in preparation for winter. If you are not draining your solar system now, please remember to do it before the winter freeze comes. I know it seems like a long time away, but December will be here before you turn around twice. Completely draining your solar system will help prevent leaks when you re-start it next spring. While it is a fairly simple operation, be sure you know which valves to close and which to open, so that when you come home from work the next day you won't have drained your pool through your solar system into your neighbors yard. If you don't know which valves to change, be sure and hire someone who does.

Thank goodness the spa is available all year!

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