Tips For Pool Maintenance!
A swimming pool can be a marvelous way to cool off on a sultry day. However, be advised that owning a swimming pool involves more than sipping a refreshing beverage while basking in the sun aboard your favorite rubber ducky.
Regardless of its construction; above ground, in ground, fiberglass, vinyl or plaster, a swimming pool requires regular care and maintenance to ensure safe and healthy swimming conditions. It is this regular maintenance that keeps the equipment operating at peak efficiency which will, in turn, extend its useful life, saving big bucks in repairs or replacement. Well maintained equipment can even result in a friendlier utility bill because the equipment won’t have to work quite as hard and can be run fewer hours each day.
Support equipment generally consists of a drain, surface skimmer, pump and filter. Other support equipment can include solar collectors and a heater. Irrespective of the type of filter, it is imperative that it be kept clean. Excessive back pressure which can be monitored by a gauge on the filter is a sure sign that the filter needs cleaning.
Back washing the system is generally not enough to give the filter a good cleaning. For example, a diatomaceous earth filter should first be back washed and then taken apart in order for all of the filter grids to be washed with a degreasing product, fresh water and a nylon brush.
And although a sand filter doesn’t need to be recharged, it’s a good idea to pour a degreaser into the top at least once each season. For cartridge filters, install a new cartridge and follow the maintenance instructions provided for in the owner’s manual.
One of the most highly underrated yet most important aspects of pool maintenance is water balancing. Properly balanced water not only provides a safe and healthy swimming environment, it also preserves the integrity of the pool and equipment.
Green water is a frequent problem. This is a sign that the pH needs to be adjusted and the pool water needs to be “shocked. Periodically, a pool may need to be “shocked”. No, this process has nothing to do with electricity. It is an extra dose of sanitizer that helps kill bacterial and other organic contaminants and is the first line of defense for keeping algae from getting started.
Algae is probably the most common threat to pool owners. Algae consists of green or brown stains on the interior of the pool. It can also cause the water to turn color and pool surfaces to feel slippery. Reducing the pH to 7.2 to 7.6 and the total alkalinity (TA) to 80 to 100 parts per million (ppm) will help combat the condition. Also, the pool water may need to be diluted with tap water. Low TA causes fluctuating pH and excessive corrosion and staining of equipment. The calcium hardness should be maintained at a minimum of 200 ppm.
Bleached hair and bathing suits are a sure sign of excess available chlorine. This can typically be treated by adding sodium sulfite or sodium bisulfite or sodium thiosulfate. Once the water is conditioned, maintain free available chlorine in the range of 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.
For those that have a pool maintenance service this is not a concern since the maintenance professional will start up the pool at the beginning of swim season and make frequent checks throughout the season. For those that don’t, take a sample to a pool chemical and supply retailer. The company will generally test the water for free or a nominal fee.