Pool owners: Huge dust storm could be costly

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on July 7, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 7 at 12:33 PM

PHOENIX -- Valley residents continue to clean up after a major dust storm earlier this week left the Phoenix metro area covered with dust. All that dust could pose some potentially expensive problems for those who own swimming pools.

Javier Soto got the lowdown from Brian Morris, also known as the "Ugly Pool Guy," from Phoenix-based pool company We Fix Ugly Pools.

Many people are simply leaving all that dirt to their vacuum system, but Morris says that's not enough and it could actually be harmful to your equipment.

"A lot of home owners put a lot of faith in their pool vacuums and [think] they don't need to do anything," Morris said. Many pools probably have between .25 and .5 inch of dirt on the bottom.

"If you suck all that up into your pool filter, the pressure on your filter is going to go much higher," he explained. That high pressure could split your filter. Morris said he saw as many as 15 filters Wednesday that had been blown apart and the owners didn't even realize it.

In addition to dirt in the pool and full skimmer and pump baskets, Morris said he people also saw many clogged vacuums and filters running much higher than they're supposed to.

"Our worst pool was about 6.5 inches of dirt," Morris said. The company had more than 150 services calls Wednesday, and was expecting more Thursday and Friday.

"As many as we could get to yesterday, the pools all looked the same," Morris said. “They were just full of dirt. It didn’t matter if you were in Mesa or all the way out in Surprise.”

Morris said a basic call can cost as little as $95 while a more comprehensive services will run several hundred dollars. If your pool filter or pump becomes damaged, however, and you have to replace it, that could cost thousands of dollars.

While cleaning and maintenance services vary from company to company, the least expensive service generally involves basic maintenance on the equipment and then instruction for the pool owner on what he or she needs to do to get the pool back in shape. With the most expensive services, a tech will take care of pretty much everything.

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