Caring for your beautiful pool
Maintaining Your Pool
Cleaning your pool regularly and properly maintaining your water chemistry is vital to the longevity and beauty of your pool. Try to brush your pool at least three times per week. Brushing prevents algae build-up and stains.
|TEST||FREQUENCY||POOL TYPE||IDEAL RANGE|
|pH||3 times/week||All pool types||7.2 – 7.6|
|80 – 125 ppm
125 – 150 ppm
|200 – 250 ppm
A measure of the level of acidity or basicity (alkaline) on a scale of 0 to 14. The ideal pH range for your pool water is between 7.2 and 7.6. pH is one of the most important factors in balancing your water.
Low pH levels can lead to corrosion of metal parts and equipment, etched plaster, eye and skin irritation, and wrinkled vinyl liners. High pH levels can cause scale formation, cloudy water and short filter runs. If you are having difficulty maintaining a correct pH level, test and adjust the total alkalinity level if necessary.
For Liner Pools: Not only do proper pH levels allow the other chemicals to do their work but it is important to note that low and high levels can cause damage to pool liners. Under the right circumstances with pH below 7.0, the liner can actually grow and develop unsightly wrinkles. High pH greatly accelerates the aging process and shortens the life of the liner.
This refers to the concentration of several chemicals in your pool water. Although not the same as pH, proper total alkalinity does help stabilize pH. If your total alkalinity is too low, the pH level will be very sensitive and may suffer drastic swings. A high alkalinity level, in addition to contributing to cloudy water and scaling, can keep the pH level high.
How “hard” water is has to do with the amount of calcium and magnesium in it. Water hardness varies throughout the country. But no matter where you live, as pool water evaporates, calcium and magnesium are left behind, increasing water hardness.
The continuous chlorine level should be kept between 1.0 – 3.0 ppm (parts per million) for proper sanitation. Stabilized chlorinating products come in several forms including 1″ and 3″ tablets, sticks, granules and floaters. Brominating products are also effective sanitizers and offer low-odor sanitation at higher temperatures, and are ideal for spa and hot tub applications.
There are a number of techniques for applying chlorinating products to pool water. With hand feeding, granular chlorinating products are fed directly into the pool using a scoop, cup or other clean, dry measuring device.
Floaters can be used in all types of pools to apply chlorinating tablets. They are particularly useful when going on vacation.
With skimmer chlorination, 3″ chlorinating tablets or sticks are placed in the skimmer. As water flows over the tablets and through the circulation system, the tablets slowly erode and a chlorine level enters the pool. Tablets can also be used in an in-line chlorinator or feeder that can be part of a built-in filtration system.
For Liner Pools
a) In most areas of the country, the circulating range of 1.0 – 1.5 PPM of chlorine will do the job of killing the bacteria in the water. Above this range high concentrations will attack the liner, bleach it and shorten the life. Below the range might not kill the bacteria causing unsanitary conditions and possible staining.
b) Never let chlorine come into contact with the liner before it has fully dissolved. This means that granular or tablet chlorine is dissolved first in a bucket of water, and likewise liquid chlorine is poured in various locations around the pool and is immediately agitated, dispersed and circulated. The broadcasting of tablets, granules, or concentrated chemicals can bleach the liner and shorten the life of the liner.
c) Particular care is required for introduction of gas chlorine since the concentration is so high.
d) Never mix chemicals together, rather add chemicals to pool water separately and circulate throughout pool before adding second chemical.
Another major contributor to shortening the life of a pool liner is dirt and grime at the water line of the liner. The “bathtub ring” is usually caused by the accumulation of airborne contaminants, combining with the dirt and body and suntan oils to settle on the liner and can be baked into the liner by the sun. If the scum line gets baked in, it acts on the vinyl to prematurely dry and crack it, especially in the “sun corner” of the pool.
There is a simple and inexpensive way to reduce the problem. Routinely wipe the water line with a sponge (or a sponge with a recommended vinyl cleaner) to eliminate grime build up.
NEVER — — USE ABRASIVE CLEANERS OR PADS ON THE LINER.
DO NOT — — USE GASOLINE, KEROSENE, OR OTHER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS EITHER, AS THEY CAN CAUSE RAPID DETERIORATION OF THE LINER.
Also, never lower the water level of the pool to less than a foot of water in the shallow end. If water pressure is removed from the liner, it may shrink, causing, at the least, an unsightly liner, and up to tearing around fittings or in the corners.
The addition of a “shock” product oxidizes (breaks down and destroys) chloramines. Chloramines are formed when nitrogen containing organic compounds, such as suntan oils, cosmetics, perspiration, etc., combines with the chlorine residual in your pool water. The resulting chloramines provide no sanitizing function and actually cause strong chlorine odor, cloudy water, eye irritation, and become food for bacteria and algae.
Chloramines, also known as combined chlorine, need to be broken down or destroyed (oxidized) to produce the active form of chlorine residual in your pool (free available chlorine). Free available chlorine is the good form of chlorine that kills bacteria and algae.
In other words, shocking your pool on a weekly basis – or after heavy rain and use – will ensure that a higher level of the good form of chlorine residual (free available chlorine) is available to properly sanitize your pool, keeping it free of bacteria and algae. The correct level of free available chlorine is between 1.0 – 3.0 ppm (parts per million).
A shock treatment should be a part of your regularly scheduled pool care program, recommended as a weekly application, and more frequently after heavy use or rain.
The timer settings for the summer time should be set to run for an hour in the morning and then again in the afternoon from 1:30—3:30. This keeps the water running during the hottest hours to keep algae from building up in your pool.
If you are running a salt system you would want to run your pool for 3 hours in the morning and another 3 hours in the mid to late afternoon.