Taking at look at IntelliChem

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One of the products that we have mentioned frequently in our write-ups since redesigning the website is the IntelliChem system. A product of Pentair, IntelliChem is an automated system which allows a user to control and monitor a pool’s chemical levels and water chemistry from their computer or devices such as iPads and smartphones. It’s a product that can be installed in new pools or retrofitted into pools that have already been built.

But what does the IntelliChem system measure and how does it keep your pool’s water and structure in tip-top condition? Here are some of the elements that IntelliChem monitors and the reasons why its an ideal tool to have installed with your pool.

Chlorine: The primary job of the IntelliChem is to keep the pH levels of the water at a certain level, ideally between 7.2 and 7.8 pH. A main way to do that is add and dilute the water’s chlorine level. Instead of “shocking” a pool with jugs of chlorine and making it unswimmable for 4-5 hours, the IntelliChem releases the chlorine necessary to stay within the ideal pH level.

If you want to speed up the process, you can pour a little bit of liquid chlorine to raise the pH or add some water to lower it. Those are better and safer alternatives to shocking to raise the pH (which can leave your pool in a dangerous state to swim in for several hours) or adding muratic acid to lower the pH, which is a common do-it-yourself solution to lowering the water’s pH level. Muratic acid is corrosive, not only to the concrete around the edge if it spatters, but to your skin as well.

Cynaric acid: Cynaric acid serves as a stabilizer for your pool, as it protects the chlorine that’s present in your pool from elements such as sunlight. However, having too much cynaric acid in your pool will decrease the chlorine’s effectiveness in combating bacteria and algae while also making the water cloudy. You can test your cynaric acid level and input the results into your IntelliChem, where it will tell you if your water is at one of four stages: Corrosive, normal, ideal or scaling. In general, you want keep your cynaric acid levels between 40 and 70 parts per million to allow your chlorine to do its job effectively.

Calcium: Another thing IntelliChem will do is use calcium levels to tell you what stage your pool’s water is at. The ideal calcium level in your pool should be roughly 250 parts per million. A range of 200 to 400 parts per million is acceptable, as that serves as the margin of error for cynaric acid to stabilize the calcium in your pool. Excess calcium can cause scaling on the pool surface and cloud the water of the pool, while not enough calcium will cause the pool water to eat away at the calcium in the plaster of your pool’s surface to compensate. Testing your water’s calcium level and inputting it into the IntelliChem will help you find the ideal calcium balance.

Alkalinity: Like with cynaric acid, alkaline substances serve as a stabilizer, as they keep the pH levels of the water from going all over the place while allowing chlorine to do its thing. However, like cynaric acid, water with too much alkalinity can make your water murky and unclear along with hamstringing your chlorine’s effectiveness. Too little alkaline has a similar effect to having too little calcium, causing plaster and metals to corrode and cause scaling on the surface. You can test your water and load the results into your IntelliChem to see where its alkalinity level lies. The preferred range of alkaline substances in between 80 and 200 parts per million, with 120 parts being a good place to set it at.

IntelliChem will do the math for you as far as finding the ideal levels of chlorine, cynaric acid, calcium, pH and alkalinity. You can even play with different numbers to find the perfect chemical balance for your water. We install the system for a fee, so ask us about IntelliChem today!


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

Video: Wet Edge Technologies features Ultimate Pools again

Our friends at Wet Edge Technologies used an Ultimate Pools pool to show off their Satin Matrix Antigua finish. Be sure to check out this three-minute video!


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

Ultimate Pools featured in Wet Edge Technologies video

This popped up on our Facebook feed today, as Wet Edge Technologies posted this video advertising its Satin Matrix Northshore Tahoe pool finish using one of our pools. Enjoy this 100-second video tour of an Ultimate Pools pool complete with a groovy soundtrack.


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

Rain and Ultimate Pools: Installing a deck and laying down stone

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This is fifth and final part of our series on rain and moisture and how it affects the pool-building and maintenance process of Ultimate Pools. To access the first four parts, click here.

We’re finally to the end of our series about how rain affects the pool-building process, so hopefully the rain takes a hint and ends as well — at least for a little while. Maybe we can give our excess water to California or something, who knows?

Either way, the last month or so has seen us tread very lightly when it comes to installing pools, and that care translates to items that we build to supplement your dream pool, namely decks and stone. Just like that luxurious pool that you enjoy swimming in, rain and moisture can have a big effect on how effectively your deck and stone is installed.

Just like with your pool, we want to build your deck and lay your stone correctly the first time. We’d rather take some extra time to wait for the rain to stop and the ground to become drier and more secure at the beginning than to deal with the problems that come from rushing a job on saturated ground later.

One caution. Even with best intentions decks can move, crack, etc. as our planet is constantly moving. But we do our best!

So what are some of the risks of building a deck or laying stone on soaked ground?

Insecure foundation for decks: The first part of building a deck is constructing a sturdy concrete foundation that will keep the deck secure for years to come. To do that, you have to frame the foundation of the deck, pour concrete down underneath it, and let it dry before you start the construction of the actual deck.

However, if you do this on wet, saturated ground, you run the risk of the foundational concrete becoming misshapen or slipping during the drying process, compromising its integrity and exposing it to cracks down the road. Overly saturated ground can also cause the concrete itself to take on water, making it weaker and subject to cracking and eroding down the road.

Uprooted stone: When we place stone in your yard — whether for the surface surrounding your pool or to create a walking path from your pool to your house — we want to make sure that the first time is the only time we have to set it. If you think we’re repeating ourselves, you’re right, because we really do strive to do it right and do it well the first time, even if it takes a little more time than initially planned.

As for laying stone, wet, saturated ground encourages slippage, as it is a lot harder for the stone to adhere to the surface when that surface is soaked. This can cause problems down the road, from stone slipping out of position to popping up from the surface. Insecure stone can be dangerous, so we’ll wait until the environment is right to keep it in place.

We know that you want your new pool, deck and stone to be done as soon as possible so you can enjoy all the perks that they have to offer. But when the weather outside is frightful, it might take a bit longer than usual. We’re confident you’ll enjoy the end result, though.


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!