Swimming Pool Inspections for the Buyer:
We have extensive experience performing Pool Inspections for potential home buyers. Our General Manager, Stephen Toff, is NSPI-Certified, the highest educational level of proficiency in the National Spa & Pool Institute. By attending educational seminars and trade shows, we stay
in touch with new developments and technology. When you contract with us, you can be confident you are hiring true professionals.
We offer a basic pool inspection which is sufficient in many cases. We also offer additional specialized services which can be used in conjunction with our basic pool inspection.
You receive a customized report NOT A CHECKLIST. It summarizes our professional's evaluation on the condition of your particular pool and its associated accessible equipment.
A detailed report is mailed out soon after the inspection. Our report enables you to proceed with confidence in your purchasing decision and to look forward to becoming a pool owner.
We can inspect your pool even when it is closed for the winter. We want to provide quality inspections in all types of weather.
We carry this tent for rainy or very cold weather days.
Just call us! (Underwater Video Scope!) The pool can be inspected any time of year.
If your inspection is scheduled during warm weather, the current owner should have the pool open, with clear, clean water so that the entire operation and the surface of the pool
In Toff's Pool Inspection,the whole pool environment is looked at, not just the pool, pump and filter.
The intention of a pool inspection is to evaluate the current condition of all accessible pool components.
We identify items that need repair to make the pool operational and reasonable to maintain.
Keeping safety in mind
We also note the condition of the fence, gates, walkway, pool perimeter, slide, diving board, rails, coping, lighting structure, and other items of safety and concern.
Protecting your Investment:
Enjoyable swimming depends on knowing that your pool is well maintained and that the water is fresh and clean.
Here at Toff's Pool Inspection, we have put together some information to help you get the years of enjoyment you expect from your pool investment. It includes information on necessary support equipment, optional and helpful accessories and ways to chemically and efficiently care for your pool. Understanding how to keep the water free from harmful bacteria and algae and basic steps of other operations will aid you in understanding your pools maintenance.
The support equipment circulates, filters and heats the water in your pool. It also helps to evenly add and distribute the chemicals you add to control clarity, sanitation and balance.
Click on the links below for in depth information.
The pump is the heart of your pool's support system. It circulates water through the filter and heater and then returns it to the pool. When choosing a pump, important factors to consider are its pumping capacity relative to your pool size, the operating costs and maintenance steps. Many new energy saving models are on the market, and your pool professional will be glad to assist you in your product choice.
The filter's job is to keep your pool's water fresh and clean. There are three basic types of filters, all designed to remove oils, grease and dirt from pool water. The high-rate sand filter is the most popular type, partly because of its simplicity of operation and maintenance. Pool water is pumped through layers of sand inside a pressurized container. Dirt and grease particles are retained in the sand. The obvious time to clean the filter is when the water is no longer clear. However, don't wait until pool water loses clarity to check the filter. An increase in the pressure registered by a gauge on the filter tank or a reduction in water circulation are signs that the filter needs to be cleaned. The high-rate sand filter is cleaned by backwashing, which reverses the flow of water through the filter and pumps it out a waste line. Backwashing lifts the particles collected, raises the sand bed and cleans it. With proper backwashing and use of a filter cleaner, the sand can last indefinitely. The D.E. is another popular filter. It contains diatomaceous earth (hence the name D.E.), a white powder that filters out even very small particles. There are various methods of cleaning D.E. filters, including backwashing. In most cases, the used D.E. must be replaced whenever you clean the filter. In a cartridge filter, pool water circulates through cartridges of fibrous material. These cartridges can be removed, hosed down and soaked in a cleaning agent. Cartridge filters are relatively easy to clean and also have a low replacement cost. They should be replaced when they fail to maintain clear water in the pool or when they show signs of wearing. Dangerous pressures can build up inside a filter and before you attempt any maintenance operation, be sure to consult your pool professional. There are many different filter sizes, and your choice will depend largely on the size and usage of your particular pool. The more people that use the pool, the more water must be circulated. Your pool professional can give you advice on the right model and instructions on how long to run your filter.
Most pool owners who have heaters agree that it is a vital factor in expanding their pool's use. Heaters can extend your swimming opportunities for more hours in the day and more months of the year, even year-round in some areas of the country. Look at a few facts first. Pool water of 78*F is what most people prefer for swimming. The sun alone can help water achieve that temperature, but unless you live in a very warm climate, your pool will never exceed the average air temperature. Therefore, the assistance of a heater might be needed to keep water constantly at 78*F in most climate zones. Your heating options are gas, oil, electricity or solar. Certain sources are more effective and less costly in certain areas of the country. Check with your pool professional for the most efficient energy source in your area. Size is another consideration. Don't select a smaller heater on the initial cost alone. A larger heater may actually be more economical because a smaller heater will have to work longer and harder to heat the same size pool.
The Surface Skimmer
One or more skimmers are included in properly designed pools. Skimmers draw in surface water accompanied by any floating dirt, leaves, oil or other debris while pool drains remove objects suspended in the main body of water or that fall to the bottom of the pool. Connected to the filtration system, skimmers help to keep the water's surface clean and minimize the amount of debris that gets into the main body of the pool water. Most skimmers are built right into the side of the pool, but portables are available. Portable skimmers hang on the edge of the pool and are used for above- or in-ground pools that were initially built without skimming systems. The skimmer is most effective if located on the down-wind side. The wind will help push in more water and it will also blow most leaves in that direction.
By adding a sanitizer to your pool water, you can protect yourself against germs and algae that might form on the pool's surface or in the water and also keep it sparkling clean.
The Test Kit
You can do most of the necessary water maintenance on your own pool. Most pool stores stock easy-to-use test kits, and testing the water is the first step. Obtain a reliable test kit and carefully follow the directions which come with it. Some helpful hints include reaching far below the surface to get an accurate water sample and taking your sample at the same time of day, say early evening.
Balancing pH in Pool Water
Once you have tested your water, charts included in the testing kit will indicate your water's pH balance. The ideal pH level for pool water is between 7.4 and 7.8. Above 7.8, the water is more alkaline (base) and under certain conditions can form deposits in the piping and on pool surfaces. Below 7.4 pH, the pool water is more acidic: the lower on the scale, the greater the acidity. If the water is too acidic, it can damage the piping and pool surfaces under certain conditions. Maintaining your water slightly on the alkaline side (between 7.4 and 7.8) helps chemicals do a proper disinfecting job, keeps scale from forming on the pool and support equipment and retards any corrosion.
The Right Chemicals
The pH of your pool tells you which chemicals to add to maintain a 7.2 to 7.6 pH level. Soda ash or sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are common chemicals used to raise pH. Muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate lower pool water pH and make it more acidic. Liquid, powder or tablet forms of the chemicals are most often used in residential pools. The common disinfectants used are chlorine compounds. For best results, have your pool professional help you with your decision.
Automatic controls added to your pool system can turn the support system on and off, backwash to clean the filter and maintain the sanitizer level. Devices on the market can measure increasing water pressure, a sign of a clogged or dirty filter, and activate valves to backwash the filtration system. There are automatic timers (24-hour time clocks) and dispensers to automatically feed chemicals into the water and automatic pool cleaners. There are
also various types of pool cleaners: vacuum systems for the floor of the pool, units that clean the surface and cleaning systems that use underwater hoses to direct objects toward the main drain. Some units are removed for swimming while others can remain in the water at all times.
Whether you heat your pool or not, a pool cover is one of the best investments you can make. Most solar pool covers are moderately priced and usually pay for themselves in one season. If handled properly, a good cover will last many years. Several types of pool covers are available. Covers are usually made of plastic or aluminum sheets. They can be compared on:
1. ability to transmit sunlight to a pool
2. ability to reduce heat loss
3. ease of handling
4. durability and length of warranty.
If you do heat your pool, a pool cover can help you realize energy savings of 50 to 70 percent or more, depending on the climate where you live and the time of year. Pool covers also aid in keeping leaves out and reducing pool water evaporation.
Timers for Heaters
Heaters work on a thermostat linked to the pool's water temperature. Heaters may be set on timers for ease of operation. However, the heater can overheat without water circulating through it, so whenever the heater is on, the pump must be running. A time clock with fireman control should be used if the heater is on a timer. This will allow the pump to run for a short time after the heater is turned off to cool down the system.
Solar heating has the advantage of economy and provides virtually free heat once it is installed. However, solar pool heating does require a greater investment in both equipment and installation than gas, oil or electricity. The different kinds of active solar heating systems all involve piping the pool water through solar collectors. These collectors or solar panels may be piped under a deck area, mounted on a roof or placed outside where there is direct exposure to the sun. A pump cycles pool water through the solar collectors and back to the pool. The pump is controlled by a thermostat which activates the flow of water when the collectors are warm enough to raise the pool temperature. Check with your pool professional as to the actual benefits to be gained from solar heating in your particular region. Some state tax credits may also apply. In addition to these "active" solar systems, there are passive systems that aim to preserve as much heat as possible. They range from pool covers to dark-bottomed pools and landscaping that cuts down wind and heat loss.
Be sure to contact Toff's Pool Inspections for complete and thorough information for all of your pool, spa and hot tub needs!
Serving all of the State of New Jersey,
Southern NY and Eastern Pa.
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