Take Good Care Of Your Pool & It Will Take Good Care Of You.
Your swimming pool is a place for fun and relax but as many other things in life these also don’t come for free. Each swimming pool requires a daily maintenance to preserve the water clean and safe, especially in the summer’s hottest days – you might want to check it twice a day. There are several jobs that your pool requires on a regular basis like:
- Water Testing & Chemcal Treatment
- Cleaning of suface, walls and bottom
- Sandfilter backflushing / Cartidge filter cleaning
With a little care and the right knowledge, your pool can remain clear, clean and healthy all summer-round.
Below is a basic guide to pool care. Think of it as a short course on what you need to know to keep your pool its bluest.
Just imagine – your drinking water may not be good enough to swim in. After all, tap water often has high levels of minerals and low pH – two factors that can harm your pool and prevent chemical treatments from doing their job. The two most important things to remember about the health of your pool are that it must be sanitized and it must be balanced. The best way to sanitize your pool is with chlorine. Keeping the pool balanced, which means keeping the five basic pool water components (pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, total dissolved solids and stabilizer) within their proper ranges, helps your sanitizer work more effectively
Water testing kits
A reliable test kit is as important to pool care as a thermometer is to a nurse. Buy a good one and use it often. There are many types of test kits available, including test strips. For the most accurate assessment of pool water, find a test kit that allows you to test for chlorine, pH, acid/base demand, alkalinity, hardness and stabilizer. Remember to store your test kit in a cool, dark place and replace your test kit reagents after a year (a new one for each summer season).
Chlorine is most important
Nothing purifies water like chlorine. Wind, rain, dust, and people introduce bacteria and algae into your pool, along with other contaminants. When enough chlorine is added to offset these unwanted introductions, your pool is said to have a “chlorine residual.” This is what sanitizes your pool continuously. While there are many types of chlorine, they all have several important things in common. First, it’s the most cost effective way to sanitize your pool. In fact, chlorine has been the product of choice for 100 years. It’s safe enough to sanitize drinking water, and powerful enough in the right concentrations to kill deadly bacteria, germs and viruses. Unlike chlorine alternatives, chlorine oxidizes while it sanitizes — keeping your pool crystal clear. Remember to test your pool daily, and keep your chlorine level within the 2.0 to 4.0 parts per million range (ppm).
What does pH mean?
In a pH test, you are determining the level of acidity or basicity in your pool. Keeping your pH levels within the proper range is not only important for swimmer comfort, it’s also important for keeping your pool’s finish in good condition. All you need to remember is that a proper pH level is around 7.4 to 7.6 on a pH test kit’s numeric scale. 0-7 reflects a low or acid pH. If pH falls below 7.2, it could lead to corrosion of metallic pipes, etched plaster, rapid loss of chlorine residual, and possible irritation to swimmers. Low pH readings cause your chlorine to dissipate a lot quicker. PH level 8 to 14 means the pool has a base pH level. This will lead to cloudy water, staining, scale deposits, filtration problems, and reduced chlorine efficiency.
Solution: To maintain an ideal pH level in the water, use a pH Increaser (pH+) when the pH drops below 7.2 and a pH Reducer (pH-) when the pH rises above 7.8.
The ABC’s of Pool Care
(A) Maintain your pool with Stabilized Chlorine tablets every day
(B) Shock your pool once a week Shocking Chlorine.
(C) The day after shocking, add a dose of Algaecide.
This simple formula will work if you follow it diligently.
Shocking with chlorine or non-chlorine chemicals will burn out the chloramines in the water that may have formed. Also known as super-chlorinating, this practice will fight water problems like cloudy water, skin and eye irritation, and foul odors. These symptoms are usually a result of the presence of those dreaded chloramines. Shocking should be done at least once a week.
The Use Algaecides
Algaecides are special chemicals that combat or prevent algae growth. Algae comes in several varieties and may appear as a soft green floating mat or clump on the pool’s surface, a slime on the pool bottom, black spots on the pool walls or in crevices, or as a yellow dust on the walls and floor. Algae is generally harder to kill than bacteria, which is why you use a supplemental algaecide in addition to bacteria-killing chlorine.
Make sure you have a minimum chlorine level of 2.0 ppm, and that your pH reads 7.4 to 7.6 before adding an algaecide.
The Importance of Calcium Hardness
Anyone who has ever washed their hair in hard water knows that hard water makes it difficult to get a good lather. But in your pool, just the right amount of calcium is essential. Too little and your pool f nish and equipment can prematurely deteriorate. Too much and your water could become cloudy, scale could form and stain might start. 200 to 400 ppm is the general range for calcium hardness, while 300 ppm is ideal for most pools. If it is required to reduce the level of calcium hardness the only way is to dump some of the water and top up with fresh, containing lower natural hardness.
Pool House Diagram
The Pool House is a simple diagram that clearly shows the chemical structure of a healthy pool. Think of the various elements within your pool water like the different components you’d use to build a house. The foundation for crystal clear water begins with a total alkalinity of 70 to 140 ppm. Moving up to the first fl oor, pH levels should be maintained as close to the ideal of 7.4 as possible. A proper chlorine level of 2 to 4 ppm forms the second fl oor, and a stabilizer reading of 40 ppm tops everything off as the roof. Calcium hardness is the walls which keep the fl oors in place, and should be maintained at 200 to 400 ppm.
With this basic information on water chemistry you can fully understand the chemical implications of maintaining properly balanced water. We recommend taking the time to understand these factors as they will save you both time and money, leaving you more of both to spend on enjoying, not maintaining, the water in your swimming pool
pH 7.2 to 7.8
Total Alkalinity 75 - 120 mg/l
Calcium Hardness 200 - 400 mg/l
Free Available Chlorine 1.5 - 3 mg/l