Blog

Summer is Coming!

The sun is coming out, summer is coming, and many outdoor pools will be opening soon, but indoor pools may already be seeing the effects of sunblock on their pools and filters. As parents cover their children in sunblock, managing pool clarity and chlorine demand can become a chore. Sunblock plugs up filters, creates a sheen on the surface of the pool and contributes to cloudy water in both indoor and outdoor pools. For a more in depth explanation of the effect that sunscreen can have on your water, check out Timothy’s previous article, Sunscreen and Swimming Pools. For years we have been supplying clients with chemicals to help with this issue and this year we will be quoting out “summer kits” to those interested. These kits will be made up of: ZymePure – to help break down the comp
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Doing your best on the CPO® Test

TMI just wrapped up our spring Certified Pool Operator (via the National Swimming Pool Foundation) course. Having been intimately involved in all of our classes since 2007, I’ve come to identify some tell-tale markers than tend to indicate how a student will do on the test. Since I never like to see anyone fail my class, I thought I’d put some tips out there should anyone reading this find themselves preparing for their first CPO® test. Preparation: Of course, each CPO® class will be run differently, but in many cases you may receive your book and materials in advance of the class.  We always send books out a minimum of two weeks ahead of the class, and you may want to ask about this before signing up for one. Since the test is open book, it makes sense that you may do better if you are fa
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Don’t Panic! (And Carry a Towel)

As anyone who has ever worked in a commercial pump room will tell you, Murphy’s Law – that anything that can go wrong will go wrong – is not just an adage, but a fact. Oftentimes it seems as if the universe itself has conspired against the valiant efforts of the operator and has chosen the pump room as its malignant avatar of soul crushing frustration! What to do? Before the fear sets in, repeat after me: Don’t Panic. Some of you may have caught our title reference to “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. We figured the advice is as good in this situation as it ever was in the book. “Don’t panic” is always a smart start to any issue and a towel sure does come in handy in a pump room. Whether it’s a leaky pipe, failed equipment, the always terrifying “code brown”, that one chemistry con
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Price vs. Cost

I have just finished reading Hossein Noshirvani’s blog article with the same title as this one, and I could not agree with him more when he says that “we value price above cost and that leads us to make short-term decisions that are in fact awful.” Let me give you an example that we at TMI Salt Pure have seen from time to time. The market is flooded with cheap residential chlorine generators that the manufacturers have paid to be approved to commercial standards (NSF-50). Their residential dealers are now offering these units to commercial facilities. Due to the small production of each unit, these have to be multiple unit installations which are installed in a manifold, or “ganged” together. The client is told that this system is a better option than a single large
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Adding salt to a pool – How, Where, and When

Being in the business of salt pools, naturally one of our most frequently asked questions is “How do we add the salt?” Almost as often we hear “When do I need to add more?” These questions are typical of the new salt pool owner, so let’s briefly look at the “how”, “where”, and “when” of managing salt additions. How? The how and the where of the question very often intersect. The critical points are to distribute the salt around the pool a bit, and to ensure that the circulation system is running. As salt dissolves it temporarily forms a solution heavier than water that, if left in place too long, can damage the plaster or lining of a pool. Therefore the best practice is to brush the salt so that it does not sit in piles on the pool bottom as it dissolves. Other methods of distribution and
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Electrolytic Chlorine Generators and Corrosion

Why do chlorine generators cause corrosion, especially the commercial ones? Back in 2001 while in Minneapolis I received a frantic call from a client in Olympia, WA. This client was in the last phase of building an indoor swimming pool, and had just completed filling it up and had, in the last 30 minutes, turned the main circulation pump on. The guy was close to hyperventilation as he explained to me that he could see the metal components in the pool beginning to show signs of corrosion. He further explained to me that when he asked the owner of the commercial pool company, who happened to be on site for the startup, what was causing this corrosion, he was told that it was the TMI Salt Pure® System, and that this was the reason the pool company had been against installing a salt system in
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What You Need to Know about UV, part 3

If you haven’t already please take a moment to read our introduction to this series, as well as part 2, which covered the topic of Medium Pressure UV. To wrap up the series we’re discussing Low Pressure and Low Pressure Amalgam UV systems. Low Pressure UV (Abbreviated to LPUV) LPUV is best suited to “low” to “moderate” flow systems (up to 400-500 GPM typically). The lamps of the LPUV systems output UVC (the UV wavelength)at 254nm. This is the ideal wavelength for microorganism deactivation and for destruction of mono-chloramines. LPUV systems give off more of the desirable germicidal light than Medium Pressure and typically are about 40% efficient. LPUV runs much cooler than MPUV (Medium Pressure UV). Due to this, LPUV housings can be constructed with non-metallic materials (HD
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What You Need to Know about UV, part 2

In our intro to our discussion on UV we listed the three most common options of commercially available Ultraviolet systems: Medium Pressure, Low Pressure, and Low Pressure Almagalm. Today we’d like to expand on Medium Pressure UV, it’s merits and it’s ideal applications. Medium Pressure UV (Abbreviated to MPUV) MPUV is best suited to high flow, low TDS applications. While it can be used with lower flow systems, the price is usually a hindering factor as you reduce the pool size. MPUV systems emit high intensity UV light, with typical dose rates around 70-90mj/cm2 from  100nm to 400+nm (depending on lamp design). This broad spectrum dose allows the MPUV system to deactivate microorganisms and destroy chloramines (mono-, di- & tri- ), however, the high intensity light d
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What You Need to Know about UV, part 1

We’d like to take a minute to talk about Ultraviolet systems, since they are one of the hottest trends that the swimming pool industry has seen in a while. In order to examine each option a bit without losing you halfway through, we’re going to break the discussion up into 3 parts. Our goal is to introduce you to UV and perhaps help you decide on one that might be right for you. UV is not a new technology. Ultraviolet systems have been used in waste water treatment, drinking water treatment and in pools/spas for years. We’ve all read the stories in industry magazines and online about how adding a UV system to an existing pool can dramatically improve the water and air quality of an aquatic facility. We have clients who will attest to this. UV is simply a great option to add to
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