8 Tips For Maintaining Healthy Water
Without proper maintenance, warm conditions and the water capacity of an above ground pool can provide the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms such as bacteria and algae. It’s important therefore to develop a maintenance regime helping to keep on top of cleaning and prevent problems to the liner, filter pump and fittings from occurring.
Maintain Healthy Water With Granules
Before applying granules you should check water chlorine levels (measured in parts per million or ppm) using pH Dip Tests or an Aquatest Pool Water Tester. Swimming pools should have a chlorine level between 1 – 3ppm, if this needs adjusting by 1ppm you should apply 2 grams of chlorine per 1,000 litres (220 gallons) of water. As a rough guide, if a pool has a water capacity of 23,062L and testing the water indicates that chlorine levels need to be increased by 3ppm, you’d need to apply approximately 46 grams of granules to the water.
Important: If water temperature exceeds 20°C you can apply chlorine granules directly to the water. If water temperature is below 20°C then you should mix granules in a bucket of water at a rate of 10g per litre before application.
Turn the Filter Pump on to ensure an even dispersal of chlorine throughout the water; and always use a dip test to ensure the water is safe (chlorine level between 1 – 3ppm) before getting in.
If you use chlorine granules to treat your pool failure to apply the correct amount on a daily basis could result in cloudiness, algae and other problems arising.
Maintain The Water With A Chemical Floater
Unlike granules, chlorine tablets are used in conjunction with a chemical floater which can maintain the optimum chlorine levels over several days simply by adjusting its release dial. Depending on the setting you adjust it to, the floater will consistently release the chlorine tablets into the water; perfect if you’re pushed for time on maintenance, or if you’re going away for extended periods and won’t be around to maintain the pool yourself.
Important: Always check the instructions as to how many tablets should be added to your chemical floater to achieve the best amount of sanitation.
Cleaning & Replacing Filter Cartridges
Frequent cleaning and replacement of filter cartridges is massively important in maintaining a healthy swimming environment. We recommend changing your pool filter cartridge every two weeks during periods of infrequent use. If you’re taking a dip in the pool regularly and are cleaning the filter cartridge every day, you should consider replacing it every five to seven days.
Avoiding Staining & Discolouration
Lotions, fake tan and sun cream can cause staining to the liner of the pool; furthermore they can form an oily film on the surface. Staining is particularly prevalent at the edges of the pool where people commonly lean or take a rest. Rinsing off any excess cosmetics or body lotions before getting into to pool is a good idea (although sun cream is an essential on a scorching hot day) and regular cleaning around the edges of the liner is a good way to help prevent any staining from occurring.
Top Tip: Staining can also be heightened by the combination of chemicals and UV rays from the sun so using a pool cover when the pool is not in use is a good way to help prevent this.
“Using a pool cover, when the pool is not in use, is a good way to prevent discolouration of your liner due to UV rays..”
Dealing with Slime & Algae
An unpleasant smell, slimy surface or a greenish tinge of algae may not be completely eradicated by chemicals if left unchecked. Whilst algae itself is relatively harmless, it can trigger the right environment for other, not-so-harmless organisms to thrive, turning your once pristine pool into a murky, putrid pond. If this becomes a recurring problem then your pool may require complete drainage, a thorough clean and a refill with fresh water.
Top Tip: Using Clearwater Algaecide as part of your maintenance routine is a very useful measure to help with the prevention of algae build up.
Hard water can lead to your pool being more susceptible to scaling and discolouration due to an increase in minerals. Extended build-up of scale can cause problems with filtration which can lead to other health issues and/or damage to the pump itself. Applying a descaling agent such as Clearwater 1ltr Scale & Stain Remover is a highly effective way to prevent and eradicate build-up in a hard water pool.
Top Tip: A pool vacuum is also worthwhile for giving the bottom of the liner of your pool an extensive clean.
Chlorine Shock Treatment
Even with regular maintenance there may be times when your pool shows signs of discolouration etc. in this case a shock treatment might be necessary.
Shocking the water is a simple process for eradicating any signs of bacterial build up in your water, and involves adding a larger dose of chlorine to the water (which will vary depending of the size of the pool and the manufacturer’s instructions). Evenly scatter chlorine granules throughout the pool pour the pre-mixed solution near the filter pump inlet and outlet.
Warning!The amount of chlorine will be so high that the water is too dangerous to enter, so wait until your dip test strips indicate the chlorine levels to be between 1 – 3ppm before you get into the water.
Remember: Always add chemicals to the water NEVER water to the chemicals.You should always wear eye protection, rubber gloves and use a scoop to apply pool chemicals!
Changing The Water
With correct application and maintenance of chemicals and pH levels you shouldn’t need to change the water too often throughout the season (sometimes maybe not at all if you’re particularly pristine and hot on maintenance!)
Staying on top of maintenance is not only beneficial for yours and your pools health, but it’s also a far more cost effective way of running your pool.
However, if you encounter problems and the above methods can’t rectify them, then draining your pool and refilling it with clean water might be the correct solution. Remember to give the liner an extensive clean whilst the pool is empty as well.
Warning! Remember to pick an area a safe area for the water to go as chlorine is toxic to plants and animals!
And that concludes our list of water maintenance tips for your pool.
Have any of your own tips you want to share? Why not leave them in the comments below.