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Times are tough and if you are a DIY type of person or just curious about what might be going on, here is some helpful information and tips that you might want to check out. Of course, we are always here to help and answer any questions that you might have, and don’t forget – Sapphire Pools is only a call away.
Q: I turned on the heater yesterday and the water is still cold: Why?
A: Depending on the water temperature and air temperature, a pool heater will raise water temperature ½ to a full degree per hour. With that in mind, you can check the heater to ensure it is working properly. If not, please call your pool service provider.
Q: What are the signs of a “healthy pool?”
A: The Healthy Pools partnership recommends you use your senses to help recognize the difference between a healthy pool and a potentially risky one. What should you notice?
Sight: Look for water that’s clean, clear and blue. The painted stripes and drain should be clearly visible at the bottom of the pool.
Touch: Check for tiles that feel smooth and clean. Sticky or slippery tiles are caused by algae and other unwanted organisms.
Smell: Make sure there are no strong odors. Chlorine helps keep pools healthy, and will not cause a strong chemical odor in a well-maintained pool.
Sound: Listen for pool cleaning equipment. Properly running pumps and filters make sure that clean, disinfected water reaches all parts of the pool.
Taste: Never drink or swallow pool water. In fact, try to avoid getting it in your mouth at all.
Q: Why do some pools seem to use too much chlorine?
A: Swimmers often mistakenly blame red eyes, itchy skin and a strong chemical smell of pool water on “too much chlorine.” Generally, the odor and irritation they notice is not due to chlorine, but to chloramines, chemical compounds that build up in pool water when it is improperly treated. A properly managed pool has little odor.
Chloramines form when chlorine combines with ammonia and other compounds found in perspiration, urine, saliva, body oils and lotions that are brought into pools on the bodies of swimmers. Swimmers can help prevent chloramines forming in pools by showering before swimming. You pool service provider should closely monitor and adjust pool chemical levels to minimize chloramines formation.
Unhealthy levels of chloramines can be treated with a high dose of chlorine, known as shock treatment. Shock dosing—conducted when swimmers are absent from the pool—destroys chloramines, organic contaminants, and a variety of germs.
Q: What are the advantages of using chlorine to disinfect pools?
A: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) calls chlorine and pH “the first defense against germs that can make swimmers sick.”
Chlorine is the disinfectant of choice for the majority of public pools and nine out of ten residential pools in the U.S. Chlorine levels are easy to monitor and can be adjusted based on pool conditions such as the number of swimmers in a pool. A major advantage is that chlorine provides a residual level that continues to protect long after it is applied. Disinfectants such as ozone and ultraviolet light can provide supplemental treatment to control chlorine resistant germs like Cryptosporidium. However, none of these technologies eliminates the need to maintain a proper chlorine levels in pool water.
Q: Why do I need to shock my pool every week?
A: Shocking your swimming pool is a very important element in maintaining your pool water’s clarity and balance. Using chlorine tablets alone will not kill off all bacteria and algae that grow in the pool water. Also, the chlorine tablets have a very low pH level, and overuse will lead to low pH, which is very dangerous to the pool and its users. By shocking the pool each week, you will be quickly raising the chlorine level, which will rid the pool of contaminants, without lowering the pH of the pool water.
Q: Why is the pH of the water so important?
A: pH is the measure of acidity in the pool water. PH only ranges between 0-14. So even a slight change in the pH of your water can greatly affect various elements in your pool. A pool’s pH should be maintained between 7.2 and 7.6. A low pH means that the water is acidic and will dry out your liner, eat away at any stainless steel and copper parts of your pool, as well
as cause irritation to swimmer’s eyes and skin. PH ca be easily tested and is inexpensive to adjust.
Q: Why do I need to backwash?
A: Backwashing your filter removes debris that gets caught up in your sand or DE so that your filter can continue to work effectively in cleaning your pool. Backwashing should be done whenever the filter pressure increases approximately 10 psi over normal pressure and water pressure retuning to the pool decreases. Please follow your filter systems instructions or contact your pool service provider
Q: How many tablets should I use in my pool?
A: Sapphire Pools recommend using 1-2 tablets for every 10,000 gallons of water. Use one tablet during cooler months when the pool isn’t being used as frequently and 2 tablets during hotter months. Please be advised, tablets have a low pH and using more than the recommended dose can disrupt the pools chemical levels. In the event you are experiencing high algae levels, you or your pool service provider can always add more shock without effecting the pH level of your pool.
Q: How long should I wait to swim after adding chemicals?
A: It is safe to swim after an hour of adding balancing chemicals such as pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness to your pool. However, it is recommended for swimmers to wait over night after shocking their pool as it takes longer for shock to adjust with pool water.
Q: I’ll be away for a week. What should I do to ensure my pool stays healthy?
A: It is crucial you keep your pool water circulating and sanitized while you are gone. The most convenient way would be incorporating a pump timer and automatic chlorinator. If this is not an option for you, ask a neighbor to stop by to turn on your pump and check on the chemicals every day or two until you return. You could also notify your pool service provider and see what kind of service plan they have in place for their traveling costumers.