Swimming Pool Water Maintenance
- Stabilized Chlorinating Tablets (3" Size) - Slow dissolving, 89% available chlorine for use in floaters, chlorinators, or skimmers
- Stabilized Chlorinating Tablets (1" Size) - Slow dissolving, 89% available chlorine, ½ oz. tablets, for use in floaters or chlorinators.
- Stabilized Chlorinating Stick (2" Diameter) - Slow dissolving, 89% available chlorine, 8 oz. stick, for use in floaters, chlorinators, or skimmers.
- Stabilized Chlorinating Granules - Fast dissolving, 62% available chlorine granules, 100% soluble, for hand feeding.
- Stabilizer - Slow dissolving, 100% active granules, to prevent sunlight from lowering available chlorine in pool water.
- pH Increaser - Fast dissolving, 100% active, to raise pH.
- pH Decreaser - Fast dissolving, 95% active, to lower pH.
- Total Alkalinity Increaser - Fast Dissolving, 100% active, to raise and stabilize pH.
- Calcium Hardness Increaser - Fast dissolving, 100% active, to raise and balance calcium levels.
- Shock Treatments - Fast dissolving granules, to oxidize contaminants that build up during the year. Check with your dealer or serviceman for details.
- Algaecides - A variety of maximum strength algaecides, to prevent and kill a broad range of algae. Check with your dealer or serviceman for details
Your pool is designed to hold the same water for many years. You filter it and chemically treat it over and over again. During this period of time the water can drift out of balance and cause corrosion, scaling or even stains to appear. You can easily prevent these problems by paying attention to the basics of water balance. A good quality test kit will measure the key components of water balance-pH, Total Alkalinity, and Acid or Alkali Demand. Use your kit often until you become familiar with you pool and supplement your tests on occasions to verify your readings and spot trends that could lead to potential problems.
pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of pool water on a scale of "0-14". Extreme acid is "0" and extreme alkali is "14". The proper pH range is 7.2 – 7.8. pH readings greater the 7.8 will lead to cloudy water and scaling on the pool surfaces, inefficient sanitizing, and swimmer discomfort. pH readings less than 7.2 will lead to corrosion of metal parts such as heaters and ladders, wrinkled vinyl liners, etched plaster, and swimmer discomfort. You can easily maintain proper pH by using pH decreaser or pH increaser when needed according to label directions
Total Alkalinity measures the level of certain minerals that help control the pH of your water. The proper range of Total Alkalinity is between 80-150 ppm (parts per million). Low Total Alkalinity allows the pH to fluctuate or "bounce" in either direction and can make it difficult for you to keep the pH stable. For the reason another name for Total Alkalinity is "pH Stabilizer". Raise Total Alkalinity by using Total Alkalinity Increaser according to label directions. High Total Alkalinity locks in the pH, but usually at pH levels about 7.8. This condition needs to be corrected with pH Decreser or muriatic acid. Vinyl, painted and fiberglass pools usually require somewhat higher Total Alkalinity levels than plaster pools and you should consult you professional pool store or serviceman for more details.
Hardness measure the level of calcium and magnesium minerals present in your pool water. These minerals exist naturally in all water but the levels vary greatly from one part of the county to another. "Soft water" typically contains 50 ppm Hardness or less while "hard water" may contain 300 ppm Hardness or more. The proper range for plaster pools is 175-300ppm Hardness and for vinyl, painted or fiberglass pools the proper range is 125-250 ppm Hardness. Pool water low in hardness causes etching of plaster and corrosion of pool surfaces. Raise Hardness by assign Calcium Hardness Increaser according to label direction. Pool water high in Hardness causes cloudiness and scaling to occur. Control these symptoms by using Scale Or Stain Remover according to label directions or drain a portion of the water and refill with water low in Hardness to dilute the mineral level.
Mineral Control is an important concern for pool owners who use well water or for pools that contain copper plumbing such as heaters. Both conditions can yield trace levels of iron, copper or even manganese that can cause water discoloration and staining. Such discoloration can appear green, blue, brown or even black in color. This is caused by the reaction between you sanitizer and the particular trace minerals in your pool water, you can prevent the problem by having your pool water professionally tested for these minerals when your pool is being filled or at any time during the season. If staining minerals are present apply Scale or Stain Remover as soon as possibly according to label directions.
Re-apply the treatment if necessary and consult with you professional pool dealer or serviceman for more information.
Stabilizer refers to "chemical stabilization", the final part of pool water balance. This is a chemical that prevents the ultra-violet rays (UV) of sunlight from prematurely breaking down your sanitizer levels so that it can do it's job sanitizing the pool water. Chlorine Stabilizer will reduce sanitizer consumption by up to 50% and need only be added once for the entire life of the pool water.
Apply Chlorine Stabilizer according to the label directions and do not backwash for at least 24 hours.
Now that your pool water is balanced and stabilized, it's time to sanitize it with chlorine. There are many types of chlorine and your professional pool dealer or serviceman will explain them to you. The most economical and convenient choice is Stabilized Chlorinating Tablets of Sticks. This type of chlorine is applied weekly and is not affected by sunlight like HTH or liquid chlorine. You can dispense Tablets or Sticks by placing them in a chlorinator, a floating feeder, or a skimmer basket. Again, your dealer or serviceman will guide you to the approach that is best for you pool.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has determined that you must maintain a level of 1.0-1.5 ppm of available chlorine at all times to continuously kill bacteria, algae and other micro-organisms that try to inhabit you pool. By using slow dissolving Tablets or Sticks you will be able to give your pool 24 hour protection. During pool startup you may need extra doses of chlorine in order to satisfy the intial demand of the water. This demand could include contaminants such as organics and debris that build up before you started using chlorine. Use your test kit ofter to check you chlorine level and adjust your chlorinator or floater as needed to increase or decrease the flow.
A few important factors affect the amount of Tablets or Sticks that you will consume. They are: Temperature, Bathing Load, Rainfall and pH. The warmer the pool water the greater the use of Tablets of Sticks. In fact, pool water at 80-85 degrees F will require twice the chlorine of pool water at 60-65 degrees F! The greater the bathing load, the greater the use of Tablets or Sticks. Heavily used pools increase the load of contaminants such as perspiration, mucous and tanning lotions, all of which consumers chlorine. The greater the rainfall, the greater the use of Tablets or Sticks. Rain washes air born contaminants such as pollen and algae spores into the pool and tends to lower the pH of the water by contributing "acid rain", a chemical reaction between rain and air pollution. Finally, low pH causes chlorine to be "overactive" and dissipate too quickly. Proper control of Total Alkalinity will prevent low pH and save on chemical costs.
If you prefer to sanitize your pool water by hand, Stabilized Chlorinating Granules is the proper choice. These granules are rapidly and completely soluble in all water temperature and provide the same 24 hour protection that you get from Tablets or Sticks.
Various contaminants such as swimmer waste, lotions and oils can resist normal chlorination and start to build up in the pool water. This build up usually occurs during hot weather and periods of heavy bathing when you filter is already working overtime. A weekly Shock treatment, when applied according to label directions, will oxidize or burn-up these contaminants. A Shock quickly raises the chlorine level to overcome the contaminants for a period of 12-24 hours. It is best to apply Shock in early evening so that it can work overnight and be burned down to normal levels the next day. Be sure to continue to run you filter during this period of time.
Algaecides are excellent treatments to prevent or kill algae growth when used with chlorine. As a preventative, algaecides act as an insurance policy in you pool, killing algae spores as they enter the water. Algae spores are constantly entering your pool from rain, wind and dust storms and they multiply rapidly in sunlight and warm water. Routine chlorination cannot, at times, cope with the rapid growth of an algae "bloom", the visible outburst of algae. These algae can appear green, brown, black, mustard or even pink in color.
By the time algae has bloomed there millions of algae cells in every gallon of water!
Your professional pool dealer or serviceman has a variety of algaecides for all kinds of algae and will recommend the best choice for wither prevention of killing needs.
Sometimes even the most experienced pool managers run into problems that require treatments. Here are a number of the most common problems and recommended actions.
Make sure the filter is operating properly and the correct amount of filter media has been used. Adjust the pH, if necessary, to 7.2-7.8 and Shock treat the water. If the condition does not improve try adding a Clarifier or filter aid. Continue filtering and maintain the required lever of chlorine. If your pool water is "old" and has a high level of dissolved solids calcium, stabilizer, chlorides and other salts you may need to drain a portion of the water and refill with fresh water. Your dealer or serviceman can test this for you and advise the correct action.
There are many types of algae that can infect pool water. The most common types, floating or clinging green algae, respond quickly to a Shock treatment and dose of maximum strength Algaecide. Be sure to adjust the pH, if necessary, to7.2-7.8 before shocking and brush all pool surfaces to expose algae hiding in cracks or wrinkles. Apply the algaecide the next day. Pink algae and mustard algae requires extra care because they both tend to re-infect pool water very easily. Treat pink algae in the same manner as already outlined but, in addition, sanitize all pool parts that come in contact with the water, such as the vacuum hose and head, by immersing them in the pool during the shock treatment. Treat mustard algae with a special algaecide designed to combat the stain. Clinging black algae that tends to appear as dots or nodules can be treated by applying a slow dissolving granular algaecide directly on the algae and by brushing the algae vigorously to expose its roots. In all cases apply the Algaecide directly into the pool as close to the algae as possible.
Reddish or brownish colored water is usually caused by oxidized iron or manganese. Treat the pool water with Stain & Scale Remover to coat the minerals and prevent the oxidation process. Greenish or Bluish colored water is usually caused by oxidized copper. Treat the condition as above and consult with you dealer or serviceman for more details. Be sure not to confuse green, slimy water that indicates an algae infection with the greenish cast associated with copper
Stains and Scale
Stains can develop when colored water is left unattended or when metals such as coins are accidentally left in the pool. Scale is a crusty build up on pool floors and walls caused by excessive calcium levels and high pH. Usually both conditions must occur for scale to form. Both stains and scale can be controlled by lowering the pH, if necessary, by using Stain and Scale Remover according to label directions. Severe conditions, especially in plastered pools, may require an "acid wash", a drain and cleaning performed by you dealer or serviceman.
Chlorine: Too High or Too Low
Inability to hold a chlorine reading usually indicates lack of Stabilizer in the water. Have your water tested for Stabilizer and add if necessary. Also be sure to check your floater or chlorinator to insure a supply of chlorine. Low readings could signal an excessive chlorine demand that is not being met. In this case, a Shock treatment would be appropriate. Finally your testing chemicals reagent may be old and need to be replenished. Check with your dealer or serviceman for accurate water testing. A high chlorine reading that won't dissipate gradually may indicate too much chlorine is being added to the water. Check your floater or chlorinator and make the necessary adjustments. On occasion chlorinator and make the necessary adjustment. On the occasion chloramines chlorine reacted with swimmer waste can develop and cause chlorine reading to remain high. In this case, a Shock treatment corrects the condition by breaking up the chloramines.