With our ever changing water supply quality and environmental factors, we here at ACME POOL & SPA have over the last couple of years found that is essential that you check your water chemistry on a regular basis.
The Highveld water has a high lime and calcium level (hard water) and correct treatment with a sequestering agent, such as metal removers on a monthly basis has become the norm for prolonged life of your pool lining, be it fibreglass or marbelite. Neglecting to do this may result in discolouration, staining and shortening of lining lifespan.
below are some pool care basics
Correct Filtering Hours
In general, we recommend that you filter for
• 12 hours per day in summer, and
• 6-8 hours per day in winter
Adjust your summer filtering hours to suit your pool size…
In winter, you can reduce the filtering hours by half.
Filtering times measured in Hours
Filter Size:2 Bag
Pump Size: 0.6kw
Filter Size: 3 Bag
Pump Size: 0.75kw
Filter Size: 4 Bag
Pump Size: 1.1kw
Ave pool size = 50,000L, 0,75kW pump and 3 bag filter.
Filtering hours in summer = 8 hours, in winter = 4 hours
Why you NEED to Backwash and rinse the Filter?
When you filter your pool, a lot of dirt and debris is caught in the filter sand. Your filter will become clogged and will need to be backwashed and rinsed to clear it. You will need to do this every 2 weeks or when your automatic pool cleaner moves slowly around your pool.
How to Backwash and Rinse the Filter?
- Switch the pool pump off and disconnect the automatic pool cleaner
- Clear both the weir and pump baskets of any debris like leaves or grass.
- Set the multiport valve onto the “backwash” position.
- Switch the pump back on for approx. 2 minutes or until the water in the sight glass runs clear. Then turn the pump off.
- Set the multiport valve onto the “rinse” position
- Switch the pump back on for approx 30 seconds to recompact the sand in the filter. Then turn the pump off.
- Set the multiport valve onto the “filter” position.
- Reconnect the automatic pool cleaner and turn on the pump to resume normal filtration.
Pump and weir baskets that are full restrict water flow through the pump and filter, and puts unnecessary strain on the pump.
|Clear pump and weir baskets of leaves and debris.||Weekly|
|Brush pool walls to dislodge algae and dust particles and clear floors of debris.||Weekly|
- Consider installing a leaf catcher device to prevent floating debris like leaves from sinking to the floor of the pool.
- To reduce chlorine consumption , remove debris from the surface and the floor of the pool – do this on a daily basis if possible
- If the pump is below the water level in the pool, then turn the multiport valve to closed before opening the lid of the pump basket
Testing Your Pool
Testing your pool weekly throughout the year is important to maintain adequate water balance and sanitizer levels plus to ensure swimmer comfort. Test strips are a quick way to test the pool for adequate sanitizer levels as well as pH and total alkalinity. Proper testing also ensures that calcium levels are maintained and that there are no metals present in the pool water. These tests can be completed by you or your pool professional. In order to prevent scaling or corrosive action and to achieve maximum swimmer comfort, the pool water should be balanced to the following levels:
pH is the measure of acid and base in the pool water. The pH of the pool should be tested and adjusted, ideally, on a weekly basis. If the pH of the pool water drifts to the acid side of the scale, corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment can occur. If the pH of the pool water drifts to the base side – scaling, deposits, and cloudy water can occur. Use an Alkaliner to increase the pH of the pool. At 8.5, chlorine is only about 10% active. At 7.0, chlorine is about 73% active. If you maintain pH around 7.4-7.6, the chlorine will be most effective. Keeping the pH in check will allow you to use the full potential of the chlorine that is already in the pool. To lower the pH of the pool, use a Pool Acid. Follow the label directions for the proper amount of the products to add based on test results and pool size. Take a sample of water to your pool professional dealer every 2-3 weeks for complete test and analysis.
NOTE: Always follow label directions when adding any pool maintenance products to the pool. Never mix products together. If unsure how products are to be used, contact your local pool professional.
Calcium Hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium in the pool water. Low calcium hardness levels can cause plaster finish etching and shorten the life of pool linings. High calcium levels can result in calcium deposits on the pool surfaces as well as equipment. The proper range for calcium hardness in pool water is 200- 250 ppm (parts per million). Your pool professional can advise you on the best method for treating your pool if you encounter high calcium hardness. If tests indicate that you have extremely high calcium levels in your pool, take a sample of your fill water (water used to fill the pool) to your pool professional for analysis as well.
What is Calcium Hardness?
Calcium content is best in the range of 200- 250 ppm ppm and is water temperature dependent. Unlike pH or total alkalinity, however, both of which can be raised or lowered with reasonable ease, calcium levels cannot.
Adding a hardness increaser to the water easily raises calcium levels. Conversely, there is no simple chemical addition that can be made that will reduce calcium hardness. The only way to reduce calcium hardness levels in pool water is through dilution with water of a lesser hardness. Over time, calcium hardness will naturally increase in pool water due to evaporation and possibly other factors unless the pool water is regularly diluted.
While it may be difficult to reduce calcium hardness, it is possible to control it so that a potential problem such as cloudy water or scale formation is prevented. The best way to minimize the effect of high calcium levels is through the use of a sequestering agent (scale inhibitor or metal remover). A sequestering agent is a compound that, when added to water, will chemically bond with calcium and other minerals to make them, in a sense, more soluble. This means that calcium will still be present, but in a form that is less likely to cloud water or form scale if the pH or other factors get out of balance. In addition, since calcium will still be in the water, you will not have the corrosion problems you would otherwise experience with soft water. A further advantage is that elevated levels of calcium (over 400 ppm) can be tolerated without constant need for dilution. This becomes especially important when the pool is located in hard water areas or calcium-based chlorine sources are used. A sequestering agent should be a part of your regular chemical maintenance program.
When dealing with calcium harness issues in your pool, it is suggested that your first line of defense is your local pool professional. They can prescribe what is best for your pool to take care of and prevent any problem that can arise.
To prevent the pH varying up and down, the proper amount of acid buffers, or total alkalinity, must be maintained in the pool. The pool should be tested weekly with a total alkalinity of 80-120 ppm (parts per million) maintained. Low total alkalinity can not only result in pH bounce and fluctuations but corrosiveness and the possibility of staining increase. High total alkalinity also can cause the pH to fluctuate as well as cause cloudy pools along with possible scaling. To lower total alkalinity, follow the directions from your pool professional. To raise total alkalinity, an alkalinity booster is recommended.
There should not be any metals present in your swimming pool water. Metals can cause staining in the pool and cause the pool to turn colors. The most common types of metals that appear in pool water are copper, iron, and manganese. If metals are present in the pool, a stain and scale remover should be used on a regular basis to prevent staining. You should determine the source of the metals and remove if possible.
Sanitize with Chlorine
Chlorine products sanitize your pool water and kill bacteria. Stabilized chlorine products are protected from sunlight degradation and are an ideal means to keep your pool clear and clean.
Your pool professional can determine the best form and type of sanitization program for your particular needs. A free chlorine level of 1-3 ppm should be maintained in the pool at all times.
Sanitize with Salt Water Chlorinator
Why use saltwater chlorinators? Quite simply, salt water chlorination is the healthy alternative to chlorinate your swimming pool – the natural way. Fitting salt chlorinator will transform your pool into a lifestyle asset, ensuring soft, crystal clear water without the red eyes and without dry itchy skin.
Self-cleaning pool chlorinators are low maintenance, eco-friendly while still maintaining high levels of chlorine efficiency.
Acme Pool & Spa will size and install an appropriate unit that is low on maintenance and easy to maintain. Various sizes available for small to large pools, whether heated or not
Preventing algae is the key to an enjoyable pool. Algaecides act as a backup to your normal sanitization program and prevent algae from starting and growing in the pool. Algaecide should be added after every shock treatment.