Photo of a swimming pool pump

How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump

Your pump is one of the main pieces of equipment that helps keep your pool water clean and balanced. It is important to run it daily to ensure there is enough water circulation. Stagnant water promotes algae growth along with warm temperatures.

With that being said, consider extending the time you are running your pool pump during the warmer months in the summer. During the cooler winter months, you can get away with a reduced run time as bacteria and algae are also less active during this period.

To determine how long per day you should run your pool pump, first check your pump’s turnover rate. The turnover rate refers to the period of time in which the pump is able to circulate all the water in your pool. You can find this out by dividing the pool volume with your pump’s filtration rate, and then multiplying by two.

To find out your pool’s volume or capacity, you can ask your pool builder. Or you can also find out yourself. This process requires pool measurements – average depth, length, width, and finally the amount of water it can hold per cubic foot, which varies depending on the shape of your pool. Multiply these measurements together and the product would be the volume of your pool in gallons.

Aside from the pool volume, another factor to look into is the size of your filter. If your pump size is large for your pool (2hp+), then you can reduce the pump run time.

Normally, a pool pump would complete 2 to 3 full cycles in a day. The downside though with running your pump 24 hours every day is that this costs a lot. At least one complete cycle a day could be enough, taking into consideration the weather condition(s) and pool usage.

Reducing operation time for your pump also allows you to save on your electric bill. The professionals at Sahara always recommend investing in a pool pump timer. You can help your pool pump perform efficiently by ensuring regular pool maintenance and that includes cleaning your pool filter.

If you have any questions about how long to run your pool pump, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

ancient statue next to a pool

The History of The Swimming Pool

You have seen above ground and in-ground pools your entire life, but have you ever thought about the history of swimming pools?

People have been swimming since 2500 BC in Egypt! In the years that followed, swimming as a pastime spread to Assyria, Greece and Rome. The Greeks held swimming races while Romans built their baths and in-ground pools separately. It is said that Gaius Maecenas may have built the first heated swimming pool in the 1st century.

In Japan, there is evidence of swimming races as early as the 1st century. By the 17th century, swimming lessons were mandatory in schools. There was a distinct lack of swimming in Europe until the late 17th century, when people swam at sea-side resorts. By the mid-1800s London had indoor in-ground pools for recreation and sports.

The first swimming championship was held in Australia in 1846. It was a 440 yard race that was held annually in the years that followed. By 1869, London had founded the first club for enthusiasts of the sport called the Metropolitan Swimming Clubs of London which became the Amateur Swimming Association. The ASA is an organization that still runs today.

Swimming became an internationally recognized sport when it was included in the first modern Olympic Games held in 1896. The 100 mile and 1200 mile events were won by a Hungarian swimmer named Alfréd Hajos.

Back in the U.S. there was plenty of history happening with swimming that included a president swimming in the nude and an underground pool. For starters, did you know which founding father invented swim fins? That would be Benjamin Franklin. When he was 11 years old he invented a prototype of the swim fin. Although the pair was made for his hands, the concept would later be applied to footwear.

John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, preferred to deal with the stresses of presidency by going skinny dipping at 5 AM in the Potomac River. As for the underground pool? In 1933, money was raised so a pool could be built for president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as part of his therapy for polio. Then in 1970 a room was built above the pool for press briefings. That room is still used for press gatherings to this day, although the swimming pool has been covered. Of course, they still have their outdoor swimming pool which was built in 1975 by Gerald Ford.

Swimming has such a long and interesting history. If you are thinking about building an in-ground pool, contact the professionals at Sahara today!

Halloween Masks in Swimming pool

Easy Ways to Decorate Your Pool for Halloween

Halloween is just a few days away, and even your pool can get dressed for the occasion! What’s more fun than an outdoor swimming pool party on Halloween? Take a look at some awesome things you can do to decorate your swimming pool for the holiday.

Pose plastic skeletons 

Position them as if they’re real people lounging on deck chairs, sitting on the pool slide or dipping their bony toes into the shallow end. Finish the look with carved pumpkins and battery-operated candles glowing around the pool deck.  

Stretch spider webs around the pool

Use fake spider webs and place fake giant spiders in the webs. Add smaller spiders on the pool deck for a creepier effect.

Blow up a number of latex gloves

Add multiple white glowsticks inside, tie the end and float the hands in the water. The dismembered hands effect adds a great spooky effect to your pool.

Place battery-operated candles in plastic pumpkins 

Float them on the pool’s surface for a festive Halloween look. It’s quick, easy, and very affordable!

You don’t need to do a lot to create a great Halloween scene in your swimming pool. Use some of these simple suggestions and transform your backyard into a spooky landscape for your Halloween party!

Have a safe and happy Halloween from everyone at Sahara Pools!

spa Builder Katy

5 Steps To Enjoy A Spa In Time For Cooler Weather

Spas provide many benefits other than just the enjoyment of warm, massaging water. Spas can aid in joint pain, muscle soreness, sleep and can even reduce stress. This can come to fruition this fall or winter if you start purchase process now.

Sahara Pools offers more than just custom built swimming pools – we offer custom in-ground spas too! To help you through the spa consideration process, we’ve provided a list of 5 steps that will help you be on your way to enjoying your spa during cooler weather.

  1. Location, Location, Location

You may already have a place in your backyard, patio or home that you wish to have the spa installed. If you’re not sure where the best place is, a Sahara Pools professional can help you find the best location. The great thing about a spa is that even if you don’t have enough room to fit a pool, you can likely fit a spa!

  1. Choose a Design

Sahara has many, many in-ground spa designs. Our square designs have a modern look with sleek lines whereas our round designs offer beautiful curvature. All Sahara Spas have strategically-placed jets to create an ideal place for practicing a variety of calming, comforting and healing routines. All spas are available with spillovers that provide stunning cascading water.

  1. Choose a Color

Sahara Pools’ spas are available in the same beautiful plaster colors as our pools. Each color has a built in sparkle that looks like diamond shimmering across the water. These colors not only look beautiful, but they also have excellent UV and chemical resistance.

  1. Landscaping & Outdoor Decor

You can make your spa space unique and your own with the right landscaping. When you look out at your spa, landscaping can add to the stunning and aesthetically pleasing look. It’s never to soon to start collecting ideas and plan out how you envision this space. Decor can also add to this space by choosing the furniture, color schemes and decorations that complement your spa.

  1. Contact Sahara Pool Builder

The professionals at Sahara Pools can assist you throughout this process, ensuring you have a spa that fits your needs and desires. Contact the professionals at Sahara Pools today!

a swimming pool with winter cover

Pool Safety in the Winter

It’s the beginning of fall in Katy and winter is right around the corner. Whether you want to heat your pool up so you can swim despite in the colder weather, or you simply want to keep your pool in sparkling clean, the pool pros at Sahara Pool Builder have compiled a list of tricks and tips to keep everyone and everything – safe.

Be Sure to Balance the Water

When it comes to protecting your pool from cold weather, there is nothing more important than making sure the chlorine levels are correct. Before closing up your pool for the winter, it’s important to bring the chlorine level up to 9-13ppm (parts per million). It is very important to make sure the chlorine, alkaline and calcium levels are balanced. This is your greatest tool against algae buildup or plaster corrosion.

Don’t Forget About the Heater

Planning to skip winter swimming sessions? Then you will need to take care of your pump(s) and heater. First, start by disconnecting the filter and pump. It is important to drain out any trapped or isolated water, as well as removing all drain plugs. Make sure you drain your heater with the same thoroughness.

If you live in an area that is prone to frequent freezing weather, think about your pool’s equipment like this: without any water trapped in your pump and/or heater, it cannot freeze. If it cannot freeze, you don’t have to worry about expensive damage come the spring.

You will want to protect your family by doing the following:

Make sure you purchase a high quality pool cover to protect from debris and the possibility of freezing temperatures. Make sure your pool cover is clean by inspecting it regularly. If you wanted added security or protection, install a pool alarm. You can view our article about pool alarms here.

So if you are planning on swimming during the winter, or if you simply want to keep your pool safe and healthy while it is closed down until spring, follow our guidelines for safe and happy pool!

If you have any questions about winterizing your pool, please contact the pool professionals at Sahara Pool Builder and they will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Public swimming pool

Why Your Own Pool is Better than a Public Pool

If you are thinking of getting an in-ground swimming pool, here are five great reasons that having your own pool at home is better than going to a public pool. If you want to speak with one of highest rated pool builders in the Katy area, contact Sahara Pools today!

Your Pool Is Open 24/7

Owning a private pool is the best option when you want to go for a swim anytime, day or night. It’s especially great if you work long hours and you’re never sure when you’ll get a chance to go for a dip.

Safe and Clear Water

In 2015, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) found at least one serious health and safety violation in almost 80% of public aquatic venues. This includes waterparks, neighborhood pools and fitness club pools.

When you invest in your own pool, you are in charge of the chemical balance and regular maintenance. The upkeep of a swimming pool is easy once you have the basics down. You can read many other posts about pool maintenance here.

Convenient Backyard Pool Parties

Once you get a pool, your house instantly become the go-to option for get-togethers! Having a party at a public pool or waterpark involves a lot planning, scheduling and costs money.   Having people over at home much easier!  You can quickly schedule a party by making a few calls or sending a few text messages.

The Fitness Benefits of Swimming

There are many exercises you can do in a pool that don’t involve swimming. Pool activities are very low impact and give you a good, full body workout. Multiple studies have shown that owning your own pool encourages a healthier lifestyle for the entire family.

The Privacy of Your Own Home

The best part about having your own pool is that you can be yourself and feel totally secure. There’s no dress code, nobody watching you and no unruly kids. So instead of going to a public pool or waterpark for your next semi-vacation or celebration, why not bring all the fun and relaxation in your own home.

With the benefits listed here, getting your own pool may be one of the best decisions you’ll make for you and your family. Contact Sahara Pool Builder today for a FREE design consultation.

Katy TX empty swimming pool

Considering Closing Down Your Pool?

The professionals at Sahara Pools want you to think twice before deciding to close your swimming pool this winter. Yes, we live in the Greater Houston area, and yes the winters are very mild, but we  still get a lot of calls from our customers asking if they should close down their pool.

Here are some benefits of keeping your pool open year round.

Visual Effects: You have made your pool the centerpiece of your backyard, so why cover it five months out of the year? We highly suggest that you consider our year round maintenance program that will keep your backyard looking great with a pool that will be crystal clear.

Cost Benefit: Keeping your pool open year round costs just about the same as paying a company to correctly close and re-open your pool. Keep in mind that stagnant, untreated water causes algae and a chemical imbalance, which takes a toll on your pool’s plaster and equipment.  When closing your pool, you are increasing the risk of having both a pool filled with algae and costly equipment repairs.

Protect Your Investment: Multiple studies have shown that when a swimming pool turns green, the untreated water deteriorates the pool’s plaster.  Closing your pool year after year may result in half the life expectancy of your pool’s plaster.  Why take the risk?

Properly closing your swimming pool is very important. Improper closings can cause damage to the pool shell, cracks in the plumbing and structural issues that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. If you do decide to close your pool this coming winter, it is important to contact the pool professionals at Sahara. Our experienced pool technicians can help you make sure your pool is properly closed and stays clean. To schedule a consultation, please call us at (281) 221-4099 or click here to send an online request.

Child playing in Swimming Pool

How Sahara Pools is one of the best Pool Companies in Richmond Texas

Have you noticed the amount of new pool construction companies in Richmond area? Now that you are thinking about designing and installing a new pool, how do you decide which company to choose? We narrowed down the top four reasons why Sahara Custom Pools should be your choice for new swimming pool installation in Richmond Texas.

Quality of Service

Sahara was founded on the values of superior customer service and offering high quality design, installation and pool maintenance service that customers can rely on. As our customer, you will always receive the best customer service possible. Our sales team, design team, installation crews and pool technicians, are friendly, professional and can answer any questions you have in regards to your pool. The pool professionals at Sahara Pools are CPI and CPO certified. For added piece of mind, we are fully insured.

Pools you can Afford

The Sahara sales team offers customized pool design services that meets both your pool needs and your budget. Our main focus is providing a quality product and the best customer service possible.

Services Provided

Sahara Pools offers a wide range of services including custom pool design, pool and deck remodeling, covered patio construction, outdoor kitchens, weekly pool maintenance and much more. Our expert technicians are friendly and knowledgeable and will help you transform your backyard into a paradise getaway.

Customer Reviews

It’s 2016 and everyone is writing an online review about something. It is normal for consumers to check other customer reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. to learn more about a company. Sahara Pool says, please check our reviews….all of them! Our great customers have left us many great reviews and we are proud to be of service to them.

If are in the Richmond, Katy or Cypress area and you would like to speak with us regarding new pool construction, weekly maintenance or if you have a few questions about your existing pool, please call us at (281) 221-4099 or fill out an online consultation form. We are here to serve you!

Swimming pool filter

Different Types of Pool Filters

Keeping your swimming pool clean is one of the most essential part of pool ownership. The circulation of water allows the pool chemicals to keep the water sanitized and crystal clear. This is greatly aided by the type of pool filter that you use in your swimming pool. The three types of pool filters are sand, cartridge and Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.).

Sand Filters

Sand filters are the easiest to use of all the types of pool filters. The operation is very basic, but excellent at doing the job of removing dirt and debris from your pool. Pool water is pumped into the filter and the sand traps the containments. The tighter the sand is packed in the filter the better. The water must work itself through the tightly compacted sand and is more likely to catch unwanted debris. Sand filters are more efficient when they are slightly dirty; consequently they should only be backwashed when required by the increase in pressure.

Dirt is removed from a sand filter by “backwashing” or reversing the water flow. Ask a Sahar Pool Professional about a proper “backwashing” procedure, as they change depending on the type of pool filter you have. The filter should be backwashed when the pressure gauge on the filter unit indicates a 7-10 lbs. increase over normal operating pressure. This is the pressure indicated on the pressure gauge when the filter is completely clean. A sand filter can filter the pool’s water down to about 25-30 microns of dirt. This is extremely beneficial at keeping your pool’s water clean and clear.

D.E. or Diatomaceous Earth Filters

Diatomaceous Earth, or D.E., pool filters will give your pool the cleanest water of all the types of pool filters. D.E. filters out the finest particulates down to about 5 microns. The Diatomaceous Earth pool filter is actually made out of the exoskeleton of algae. Like sand filters, the D.E. filter is cleaned by backwashing the filter when pressure increases 7-10 lbs. However, once the filter has been backwashed, new Diatomaceous Earth must be added to coat the grids in the filter. This is accomplished by pouring D.E. through the skimmer. Your Sahara pool professional can tell you how much DE is required to “recharge” your filter. To cut oils and other natural oil build-up, Diatomaceous Earth filter grids should be cleaned at least twice every season using filter cleaner and thoroughly as well as being inspected for tears or rips in the grids.

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters have the highest capacity of all pool filter types. This filter is the hybrid of the other two types of pool filter. The cartridge pool filter only needs to be cleaned twice a year. Dirt and debris need to be removed from a cartridge filter when the pressure gauge on the filter unit indicates an increase of 7-10 lbs. over normal operation pressure. You must remove the cartridge, or cartridges, from the filter and hose off all loose dirt and debris. It is best to soak the elements in filter cleaner for at least 12 hours or as recommended. This will remove all oils and grease embedded in the cartridge. After soaking, remove the cartridge and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Peak filter efficiency is achieved if you allow the cartridge to dry prior to reinstalling in the filter. This type of filter is extremely efficient filtering the water down to 15 microns and only requires moderate maintenance for sparkling clear water.

Adults playing games in a swimming pool

Keeping the Bugs Out of Your Pool!

There are only a few summer time pleasures that beat time spending time in a pool. To your surprise… there are any number of insects that also enjoy that time too! If the sight of bugs sharing your pool isn’t bad enough, some of these culprits may actually bite you. You can convince unwanted insects that your pool is closed for the season. Like any unwanted guest, it takes denying them food and making the place unlivable to them, but ideal for you.

Two Likely Suspects

From lady bugs to caterpillars and every bee, spider, fly or bug between, most any insect can end up in your swimming pool water. After all, it’s outside, in the open, where there are millions of insects both seen and unseen. All of them see your pool as a source of water. But there are a handful of bugs that target your pool specifically. They live, eat, breed and die in your water if allowed. Of these, two are notorious: water boatmen and backswimmers.

The Life of a Water Bug

The aptly named water boatman is only about 1/4 inch long with a thin, grayish-brown body. Long, flattened legs on the rear of his body rapidly propel him through the water where he lives. Usually seen underwater, the water boatman feeds on algae, dead organic matter, mosquito larvae and other microscopic life. You may almost consider boatmen beneficial, and in fact, they make excellent fish food or bait. Backswimmers seem to agree. Slightly larger, with beetle-like legs and front mandibles designed to pierce their prey and suck out their insides, backswimmers eat boatmen and other small organisms such as tadpoles. You can always tell a backwimmer by the way he zips, upside down, across your pool surface — and bites you, feeling almost like a bee.

Kicking the Bugs Out

The best way to get rid of water bugs is to eliminate what they eat. Since water boatmen eat algae, and backswimmers eat boatmen, attacking the algae is the place to start. Wiping down the pool walls will eliminate slimy algae growths. Skimming and vacuuming will gather more. Finally, shocking the pool repeatedly or using a double shock treatment — 2 to 3 pounds of calcium hypochlorite for every 10,000 gallons of water — will kill the rest of the algae and likely many bugs, too. Another brush down and vacuum job and thorough skimming and filtration should remove dead algae and bugs. Adding shock during the night prevents the sun from dissipating it too quickly.

Keeping the Bugs Away

After killing the food source, several steps will help keep backswimmers and water boatmen away. An algaecide, used as directed, will inhibit algae growth. Without boatmen, backswimmers — the worst of the lot — have no reason to stay. Using swimming pool covers, spraying invading insects with a soapy water mixture to kill them — and in the case of bees, prevent them from bringing back a crowd — and other tactics will help. The most important thing, however, is to keep your water balanced with proper pH and chlorine levels. A quality pool water test kit, used constantly, is essential.

If you are having trouble with bugs in your pool, call the pool professionals at Sahara Pool Builder. We specialize in pool maintenance. Contact us now! – Click Here