Installing a pool is a welcome addition to the home for most homeowners. It provides an endless source of entertainment in the summer and something to look forward to throughout the winter months.
A pool in your yard adds a touch of luxury, and it’s a lifelong investment in fitness and fun. But, it does come with a few maintenance responsibilities, and many pool owners make these few common mistakes.
Salt Water Systems – Not Chlorine Free
Salt water pools have become hugely popular and are often seen as an alternative to using chlorine. Salt water pools are mistakenly thought of as a more environmentally safe choice. And, unfortunately, pool owners think the salt sanitizes the water and chlorine is not needed. However, the truth is there is still chlorine in the pool, and it is actually generated through a salt water chlorinator generator, which produces chlorine from the salt.
Most salt water pool owners may not realize that when the automated generation of chlorine is not monitored and adjusted regularly, it can produce too much chlorine. And too much chlorine in the water can damage the pool liner, and pool equipment.
Monitoring the Alkaline Balance – A Must Do Maintenance Task
With a salt water system, when it is used properly, the pH balance in your swimming pool water will increase – this is natural, but you will need to compensate for this increase on a weekly basis: this is extremely important. Failing to monitor and adjust the pH levels can cause significant damage to your swimming pool and equipment.
And of course, since the acidity and alkalinity of the water must be balanced, an alkalinity increaser must also be added.
A Lesson in Chemistry – pH Ranges
For all pool types, it is advisable to maintain the pH range between 7.2 and 7.6. At this level that chlorine is most effective while still comfortable for your skin and eyes.
If the pH level is allowed to climb, you will have to add more chlorine, which makes the water uncomfortable for swimmers. To give an idea of a pH level that is too high, when the pH reaches 8.5 chlorine will be roughly 10% effective.
Therefore, when you keep the pH levels in check, you need less chlorine.
Regular Testing – Check the Chemistry
Once a week, pool owners should have the swimming pool water tested. It should also be tested after a major rainstorm to make sure it is properly balanced. Regular pool water testing is crucially important because if you can see the problem it may already be a serious.
And just because you can’t see the problem doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
Testing the water regularly will ensure you and your family are swimming in water that is safe and does not harbour unsafe quantities of bacteria or chemicals.
Alkaline Levels – Keep it Balanced
We’ve mentioned the pH balance, equally important is the alkalinity in swimming pool water. It is essential to keep the alkalinity levels between 80 – 140 PPM. This will enable the pH levels to remain stable and the chemicals to work properly.
The alkalinity should be tested monthly to ensure a clean pool and comfort for swimmers.
The key takeaway to help you avoid these common mistakes, is to remember: it’s all about the chemistry. Regular monitoring and maintenance will save you money in costly repairs and excess use of chemicals, and these few small steps will ensure the water quality of your swimming pool.
Do you have any questions or concerns about the water quality in your swimming pool? Want to know more about pH testing. Get in touch with us, we’ll be happy to help.