Having your own pool on hot summer days is wonderful. But like most good things, the pool needs maintenance and attention to detail. There are people who prefer to trust professionals, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer, read the article to find out how to keep the water in your pool crystal clear and safe. In this article we will give you basic rules for the maintenance of your home pool, we will present you products to ensure peace and health by the pool, and for those who do not yet have a pool… we will convince you that having a pool is no longer is a luxury, but a completely affordable pleasure.
ATTENTION!!! Pool chemicals are dangerous and harmful to your health!!! Keep the products wll locked in places inaccessible to children. Always read and follow the product labels
Before we begin to describe the various parameters and ways to correct them, it is important to tell you that almost all pool cleaners are dangerous or harmful to your health. For this reason, we at Multigroup advise you to always keep the products well locked in places inaccessible to children, and we recommend that you read the product labels very carefully before use. In the general case, the use of the pool after the application of the preparations is strongly not recommended.
There are several basic parameters of water that should be controlled in a swimming pool and we will focus on each of them in turn:
The hardness of water depends on the amount of dissolved limestone particles - calcium and partially - magnesium salts. This is completely natural, because the water, as it exits through the spring, passes through many limestone rocks, where the limestone dissolves and is absorbed by the water. Everyone is aware of most of the unpleasant consequences of hard water - layering of scale in washing machines and water heaters and preventing their normal functioning. Small side, but very unpleasant moments are the small white limescale droplets on the shower cabins and the faucets of the sinks and bathrooms, so difficult to clean. All this is due to the dissolved limestone of the water and determines its hardness.
We brought the hardness of the water as the first characteristic, because it affects your swimming pool. The normal concentration is 200-400 mg / l. At high concentration - so. hard water, e.g. over 500, crystallization begins, which can lead to water turbidity. The other unpleasant effect is that hard water greatly reduces the effectiveness of the preparations with which you will treat the water to influence the next important parameters - PH and chlorine. Simply put, the harder the water, the more money it will cost you to adjust the PH and chlorine in your pool.
For this reason, after filling your pool, the first thing you should measure and treat is the hardness of the water. It is normal to check it once a month afterwards.
Fortunately, there are different ways to adjust the hardness of the water. The most cardinal of them is to put a device to soften the water. Since this is a very interesting and important topic, we will write a separate article about it.
The other easy way is to use special preparations to regulate calcium and magnesium in the water. They are offered at very affordable prices from all companies and shops for accessories and detergents for swimming pools. They reduce the hardness of water and bind to free copper, iron and manganese ions, which can sometimes lead to unwanted water coloration when they are high in content.
You and your guests will not be very happy with the algae and bacteria swimming with you. Chlorine keeps these unwanted guests away. It disinfects water and kills all microorganisms, microbes and algae, making it safe to use. This is the cheapest, easiest and most practical way to disinfect and the proof of this is that this is how drinking water is disinfected in the country.
The chlorine used for these needs is of two types - granular ("fast" chlorine) and tableted ("slow" chlorine).
- "Fast" chlorine, often called CHLORINE-SHOCK because it is used for shock treatment. Granular chlorine preparations are mainly used for shock disinfection of fresh water in a freshly filled pool or in heavily contaminated water. Chlorine granules are called "fast" because when added to the pool it is quickly released and shock disinfects fresh slightly chlorinated tap water, and in heavily polluted water removes existing microorganisms. Performing this task is crucial as it keeps the water clean and reduces eye irritation and odors coming from chlorine. Its shock passes quickly and manifests itself quickly, temporarily chlorinating the water and it is not recommended to use the pool for a certain period (from a few days to a week).
- "Slow" chlorine - chlorine tablets are used to maintain the required concentration of chlorine in bathing water. After the shock chlorination effect has passed, the chlorine level drops rapidly because the chlorine decomposes under the influence of the sun's rays. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain it with chlorine tablets. You can judge the quality of chlorine tablets by the time it dissolves in water - the slower the tablet dissolves, the better it is.
- Chlorine-free disinfection - this is a completely harmless disinfection of water on oxygen and bio basis, suitable for small and children's pools. The only drawback is the higher price.
The chlorine level should be 0.3-0.5 mg / liter. If its level is less than this range, the water is not decontaminated enough and microorganisms and bacteria can live in it, endangering your health. Too high levels of chlorine will guarantee complete disinfection, but the water will cause reddening of the skin and burning of the eyes. You have often experienced these symptoms in public swimming pools, because there people usually reinsure themselves and maintain higher levels of chlorine.
The level of PH in the water
This is the other most important parameter of water in your pool, along with the chlorine content. When the pH level in the water is normal, other preparations, including those for the chlorine level, work effectively. When the PH level is too high or too low, the other detergents do not work and you have to import too high amounts and the maintenance of the pool becomes too expensive. This is especially true for water chlorination preparations.
For this reason, you first adjust the hardness of the water in the pool and then adjust the PH level. Only then proceed to regulate the level of chlorine and other parameters.
In essence, the pH level determines the acidity / alkalinity of the water. The ideal level is in the range of 7.2-7.6. The minimum level is 0, at which we have acid, and the maximum level is 14, at which we have a base. Accordingly, increasing or decreasing the level in one direction or another increases the "acidity" and "basicity" of the water. When we have a very low level of PH, and therefore high acidity, there is a risk of corrosion of all metal objects in the pool. The high content of PH in the water creates an extremely favorable alkaline environment for the development of algae in the water. Accordingly, the high content blocks the work of disinfectants (chlorine, etc.) and they can not fight the algae.
There are two types of PH regulators on the market - PH PLUS and PH MINUS. The first of them increases and the other decreases the PH level.
Testing and testers
The only way to adjust the above parameters is to do daily water tests. There are two main types of testers on the market:
Everyone remembers the litmus test in school chemistry lessons. This is exactly what the test strips are
- Buy test strips that can be combined - to measure different indicators of water;
- Immerse the test strip in the pool as instructed;
- Wait until it is colored and compare the color with the attached color chart. Be sure to read the product instructions, as different manufacturers may have different procedures;
- After comparison, see the color values closest to your color.
Drop test kits
They contain a measuring cup, droppers with reagents and a color chart. After filling the measuring cup with water from the pool, you must add the exact number of drops of reagents, according to the instructions. The water is colored and you compare the color with the color chart. By the closest color you understand the value of water in which range of the measured parameter corresponds.
A very important point when comparing the color of the measuring container is to place a white sheet of paper or other white background behind it. When there is no white background the color looks much paler and misleads you about the actual values.
When testing your pool water, you need to meet certain deadlines so that your pool can function well and the water stays clean and healthy. Here are the recommended deadlines:
- Ph: 1-2 times a week;
- Total alkalinity should be tested once a week and at least once a month;
- Chlorine should be tested twice a week;
- Calcium hardness should be reported twice a season;
- The total amount of dissolved solids should be tested once a week and at least once a month.
Application of chemicals for parameter correction
- Always have all chemicals available. Even if you always have a low PH level and constantly increase it, sometimes you can overdose and increase its level too much and have to reduce it by PH MINUS. Like it or not, over time you will become a novice chemist, so the rich set of chemicals will make it easier for you to take the right actions.
- Apply the preparations carefully, always in the evening, so that they can work at night and in the morning your pool is ready for use.
- It's a good idea to have a sign to warn you that chemicals have been imported into the pool to prevent use at inappropriate times.
- Handle chemicals properly and carefully. The main tips you need to follow are: always wear rubber gloves; wash your hands immediately after exposure to chemicals; carefully follow the dosing instructions and store the chemicals in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
- Each pool is different and the problems that may arise are individual, according to the environment in which it is located, as well as according to the water with which it is filled. For each of the problems - there is a suitable solution:
- Hardness correction: in most places in Bulgaria the water is hard and this can be detected even without test strips. With a suitable detergent you can reduce the hardness of the water and solutions, the formed limescale deposits on the walls and the filter equipment of the pool;
- Clarification (flocculation / coagulation): flocculation is required when the water is cloudy or brownish in color. Using a flocculant, you clarify the water, as small particles of contamination or color in the water that cannot be captured by filtration are combined (coagulated) into larger ones.
- Algae Prevention: There are millions of microscopic plants that can easily turn your pool into your home. Rain, wind and refill water can allow these small forms of algae to settle in your pool, making water quickly unusable and reducing the effectiveness of chemicals. Your filters will clog quickly and water circulation will become slow. Algae preparations are used to destroy and protect against algae and mold.
- Cleaning: after a long use of the pool on the walls to the water level a line is formed caused by the use of sunscreen and skin oil from bathers. There are developed detergents that clean these deposits, as well as for complete cleaning of the walls and bottom of the empty pool for prevention.
Having a pool is not a luxury, but a responsibility. If you encounter difficulties with cleaning your home pool, you can always seek the opinion of professionals in our platform.