Will "Dye" From Clothing Affect A Pool?
by Cindy O
(Pasadena, TX USA)
Could you tell me if swimming in clothes affects the pool water or pump any differently than swimming suits?
Thanks for the question Cindy
The answer is yes, clothes do affect the pump, especially cotton clothes.
Probably the only thing that would affect the color of the pool would be to have something in the pool that is color-fast such as a bathroom mat. But it would need to somehow be agitated in the water to make the color run.
Most bathing suits are made from polyester, spandex, Lycra, or something similar. This is for a reason.
The fiber from cotton T-shirts and shorts will find their way into the pump basket and filter.
We don't allow YMCA members to wear cotton in the pool or hot tub because an excess of cotton will clog up the pump motor basket.
I didn't clean the hot tub basket out for about 1 month. The pump motor burned up and warped the pipes. I opened the pump pot, took out the basket, and it was impacted with cotton.
About 4 hours of work and $450 later, I told the guards to never allow anyone in the pool or hot tub with a cotton shirt or shorts. I now clean out the pump basket every week.
Hope this helps and have a fun and safe swimming season.
Bad Info. Due To Really Lax Maintenance
Jan. 3, 2012
Robert, with all due respect, if you work at a public place like the YMCA, and let a hot tub or pool go a month without cleaning the pump basket (and other components of the filtration system!) then you need to be fired.
My normal routine for maintenance of my backyard in-ground pool (I've owned several over the years) includes weekly maintenance of the filtration system.
Clean out the skimmer baskets (sometimes this needs to be done even more often), clean out the pump basket, empty the pool-sweep bag and backwash the filter. That takes a maximum of 15 minutes. Check pool chemistry with the test kit, and add chlorine/shock/chemicals as needed takes about another 15 minutes.
My wife and I end up in the pool in clothes often during the summer, and in the hot tub during colder months. We've also had a number of cocktail parties where lots of people ended up in the pool in clothes.
Have never had any problems whatsoever. Its a matter of intelligent and proper care of the pool and filtration/pumping system, pure and simple!
Comment By Robert
Thanks for the comment Gary. Yes, this is your opinion and the great thing about this board is that you can state your opinion.
Now here is mine...
It is true that I did allow the hot tub pump motor to get clogged with cotton from T-shirts and cut-off jeans. Yes, I did take full responsibility for this. In fact, I wrote myself up and presented that to
my supervisor, and the steps I was going to take to ensure this wouldn't happen again.
It would have been very easy for me to completely omit this bit of information from this site. It would be very simple to say that I'm so perfect, that I've never made a mistake, and I'm the be-all-end-all of pool maintenance. But this simply is not the case.
I'm very quick to point out that I've made mistakes in the past when I started with my uncle's pool business in Arizona back in 1999. I've been very clear to my visitors that I've made the mistakes so you don't have to. This is evidenced on at least two pages:
Sometimes the mistakes we make are our greatest teachers. I once changed out the timer on a pool and didn't turn off the breaker box. I cut through the wire case and got 110 reminders of why I don't mess with electricity. Lesson learned.
I fully understand the need for weekly routine maintenance and the importance of taking chemicals. These are some of the reasons why I put this site up in 2009, to give people the information they need, not from someone who has studied about pools, but someone who has actually been there and done that.
I've literally fried my arms (first and 2nd degree burns) and back doing acid washes in the 118 degree heat of Arizona. I scraped my forearms bloody scooping sand out of the filter with a coffee can and digging trenches for new electrical wiring and plumbing. I've drained a pool 1/2 way and hung upside down to install a new pool light. This is real world experience that you can't find in a book.
Next is your comparison between a private and public pool. There are similarities, but the big difference is the usage. While you may have had "a number of cocktail parties" I can safely assume you don't get nearly the amount of swimmers the YMCA pool gets each month, between 5000 - 6000 swimmers. I seriously doubt your home pool receives this volume of swimmers. This could be one reason why you've "never had any problems whatsoever."
And isn't part of intelligence simply a matter of those compiled experiences from which we learn? Wouldn't you agree to this?
Your opinion is that I should have been fired for my oversight. You have every right to express that. However, you're not the decision maker in this case, my supervisor was, and in his opinion and judgement, keeping me on as the pool operator and a supervisor was the best choice.
It would have been very easy to delete your post and hide any scrutiny or any opposing view points, but I wanted to address it publicly.
I'm glad you found this site and hope you return over and over again to glean the information you need.
Have a wonderful day.