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Pool Care

Pool Care Made Simple

Pools are a great way to relax and cool off. However, there is a non-glamorous side to having a pool – maintenance. It can be a tedious job, but it’s also an important part of keeping your pool sparkling clean for years of enjoyment. Eden Pool is happy to provide this information as a service to you.

Pool Chemical Safety

While pool chemicals are available to solve almost all water problems, they can be dangerous to humans and animals if handled improperly. Chemicals can cause skin and eye damage and can be fatal if swallowed. To keep yourself and your pool safe follow these pool care chemical safety precautions:

  • Keep all pool products away from children and animals.
  • Wear rubber gloves and goggles and wash clothes and hands immediately after handling chemicals. If your skin comes in contact with any chemicals, flush immediately with cold water for 15 minutes and call a physician.
  • Follow the dosage directions and safety precautions listed on the pool care product label.
  • Store chemicals according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never return spilled material to the original container or place in the household garbage.
  • Use clean, dry measuring equipment for chemicals. Rinse all measuring equipment after using.
  • Do not mix spa, pool or household chemicals together.
  • Add chemicals to water. Do not add water to chemicals. Adding water to chemicals contaminates the entire container.
  • Do not allow dry chlorine to become damp or wet.
  • Keep open flames away from pool chemicals.
  • Do not reuse empty containers. Check with local, state and federal regulations for proper disposal.
  • Discard any unused chemicals after closing your pool. Follow local ordinances for disposing of hazardous materials. Buy new chemicals when you re-open the pool.

Pool Volume

One of the most important things to know is your pool’s volume. The volume determines the proper pool equipment and chemicals. Always read the chemical labels when purchasing and using. Length and width are crucial to determining the volume. Below are basic pool shapes and formulas to calculate your pool’s volume.

Pill Shape Design Area = (L x W) (R x R x 3.14)
Volume = area x average depth x 7.48
Circle shape Design Pool Area = R x R x 3.14
Volume = area x average depth x 7.48
Kidney Shape Design Pool Area = (A + B) x L x 0.45 (approx.)
Volume = area x average depth x 7.48
Oval Shape Design Pool Area = A x B x 3.14
Volume = area x average depth x 7.48
Rectangle Shape Design Pool Area = L x W
Volume = area x average depth x 7.48

Pool Tools
The right pool tools make maintenance easier. Make sure you have these basics:

  • Test kits for pH, free available chlorine, total alkalinity and calcium hardness
  • Telepole extender
  • Leaf rake/skimmer
  • Vinyl liner or concrete pool vacuum head
  • Wall and floor brush
  • Tile brush

Testing Your Pool Water


Use test kits to measure for free available chlorine, pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness. Below are suggested ranges for healthy water.

Rinse test kit vials with pool water between each test to get more consistent readings.

 

 

Elements Appropriate Ranges- parts per million (ppm)*
pH 7.2-7.6
Free Available Chlorine 1.0-3.0 PPM
Total Alkalinity 80-120 PPM
Calcium Hardness 200-500 PPM

*Recommended element levels vary based on product specifications; follow manufacturer’s instructions.

The following are brief descriptions and treatment suggestions to keep your water elements balanced.

  • pH determines the water’s acidity. Maintain pH for equipment and swimmer protection. If the pH is less than 7.2, use sodium hypochlorite to raise it. If the pH is higher than 7.6, use granular acid to lower it.
  • Free available chlorine kills bacteria, algae and most viruses. It also eliminates grease and oil. If the free available chlorine is too low, add a shock treatment. A shock treatment is a high concentration of chlorine. Shocking adds 5.0-10.0 PPM of free available chlorine to pool water. Test and balance the pH before doing a shock treatment. Shock treat after sundown with the pump and filter turned on. After a shock treatment, test the free available chlorine. Do not enter the pool until the reading is 1.0-3.0 PPM. If it is too high, allow the chlorine to evaporate naturally.
  • Total alkalinity is the measurement of the water’s ability to maintain the proper pH level. If total alkalinity is too high or too low, use an alkalinity adjuster.
  • Calcium hardness is a measurement of calcium in the pool. If the water is too hard, it can raise pH levels and cause scale to form. To solve this problem, add sodium hexametaphosphate. If the water is too soft, it can cause tile grout to dissolve or the vinyl liner to crack. Add calcium chloride dihydrate in this situation.
When testing your pool water, take samples 12″-18″ below the surface.

 

 

Opening Your Pool

When it’s time to open your pool, remember the following:

  1. Remove accumulated water or debris on top before taking the pool cover off.
  2. Clean and dry the pool cover before storing.
  3. Reattach and hook up all pool operating equipment. Unplug and uncover all openings.
  4. Clean all equipment, including drains and skimmers.
  5. Remove all debris from the pool.
  6. Scrub and vacuum the pool walls and floor to remove any algae or scum.
  7. Add water to bring the pool level up.
  8. Test and adjust the water for pH, calcium hardness, free available chlorine and total alkalinity.
  9. High levels of chlorine are present in all covered pools. Allow 24-48 hours for the high concentration of chlorine to evaporate before using the pool.
  10. Turn on the filter and pump. Allow them to run for 3-4 hours.
  11. Check the skimmers, drains and filters for proper function.
  12. Vacuum and remove remaining debris.
  13. Retest pH and free available chlorine. If free available chlorine is low, use a shock treatment and retest. Make sure free available chlorine is between 1.0-3.0 PPM

General Maintenance – Pool Care

Clean water and balanced water chemistry are the keys to pool care – maintenance. Establish a weekly routine to clean the pool and maintain the chemical balance. A shock treatment solves and prevents the majority of pool problems. Test the pH and free available chlorine in the pool water and shock treat, if necessary, on a weekly basis. Do an additional shock treatment if any of the following occurs:

  • Very heavy rains and windstorms
  • More swimmers than usual
  • Foul odor from pool water
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Swimmers with burning, red eyes
  • Algae growth
  • Murky, slimy water

Keeping the Pool Clean

Plan to spend at least six to eight hours per week on pool upkeep.
The pool care process could be hard sometimes, so it’s not a bad idea to hire a pro for the job.

Daily:

  1. Skim debris out of the pool.
  2. Clean all skimmer baskets during swimming season.

Weekly:

  1. Test the water.
  2. Clean the walls and floor. Use cleaners, brushes and vacuums recommended by the pool manufacturer. Start at the shallow end and continue to the deep end. Overlap each stroke when vacuuming and brushing to cover all areas thoroughly. Always keep the vacuum head under water while in use. To speed up the process, dedicate 10 minutes a day to brushing down the walls.
  3. Hose down the pool area after cleaning and before using. Direct the spray away from the pool to prevent dirt from washing into the water.

Cleaning After a Storm

Summer storms can catch you off guard, but if you know a storm is approaching, cover the pool and anchor the sides of the cover with water bags or sandbags. If you have an automatic cleaner, turn it on. If you don’t have time to prepare, follow these steps to clean up:

  1. Hose down the deck, spray away from the pool.
  2. Remove all debris from the water surface with the skimmer.
  3. Turn on the pump.
  4. Brush the walls and floor. Push the dirt toward the drain.
  5. Vacuum the pool completely.
  6. Wait 20 minutes and vacuum the pool again to get all remaining dirt.
  7. Test pH and adjust if necessary.

Water Problems and Solutions

All pool owners want clean and healthy water, but even with regular testing and cleaning, water problems arise from time to time. Listed below are problems you may encounter and solutions to fix them.

Problem

Symptom

Cause

Solution

Algae Slippery pool surfaces Not enough free available chlorine
  1. Adjust pH between 7.2-7.6.
  2. Use a shock treatment.
  3. Scrub and vacuum walls and floor.
  4. Run filter continuously for 24 hours.
Stains Discolored liner or pool sides
  • Debris
  • Metal objects
  • Algae
  • Mineral deposits
  1. Remove the object causing the stains.
  2. Adjust pH between 7.2-7.6.
  3. Scrub the stain with a chlorine solution.
Scale White, gray or brown deposits on pool walls and metal objects
  • Total Alkalinity above 120 PPM
  • pH above 7.6
  • Calcium hardness above 500 PPM
  1. Balance the water.
  2. Add a chemical that prevents minerals from depositing on surfaces.
  3. For serious scale problems, contact a professional.
Cloudy or Discolored Water Green, black, purple, red, brown or cloudy water
  • High pH
  • High total alkalinity
  • Extreme algae growth
  • Poor filtration
  • Buildup of swimmer waste
  1. Adjust pH between 7.2-7.6.
  2. Adjust total alkalinity between 80-120 PPM.
  3. Use a shock treatment.
  4. Use an algaecide for algae growth.
  5. Use stain/scale treatment.
  6. Check filters for proper operation or increase filter running time.
Eye and Skin Irritation Red eyes and dry, itchy skin Improper pH and chlorine levels
  1. Adjust pH between 7.2-7.6.
  2. Use a shock treatment.
Chlorine Odor Strong smell of chlorine Certain chemicals can react producing a strong chlorine smell even though there is not enough free available chlorine.
  1. Adjust pH between 7.2-7.6.
  2. Use a shock treatment.
Excessive Chlorine Bleached hair and swimsuitsEye irritation
  • Too much chlorine added
  • Not enough sunlight
Free available chlorine levels should be 1.0-3.0 PPM. Sunlight helps to Eden Pools chlorine levels.
Corrosion of Metal Parts Corroded metal pieces
  • Low pH
  • Low total alkalinity
  • Low calcium hardness
  1. Adjust pH to 7.2-7.6.
  2. Adjust total alkalinity to 80-120 PPM.
  3. Raise calcium hardness to at least 200 PPM.
Scum Ring or Foaming Scum ring or foaming around the pool Body oil and dirt accumulate forming a scum ring or foam.
  1. Test and adjust pH to 7.2-7.6.
  2. Use a tile and vinyl cleaner to treat the scum ring.
  3. Use a defoamer for foaming.
  4. Check filter for proper operation.
  5. Swimmers should rinse off before entering the pool.

Closing your Pool

The climate in your region determines the steps you take when closing your pool. One important thing to remember isdo not drain a vinyl-lined, concrete or plaster pool. Draining the pool can cause the liner to stretch or the concrete to actually lift out of the ground. Take the proper steps to save time and money.

Closing Your Pool in Cold Regions

Close your pool when the evening temperatures drop into the 40’s and daytime temperatures are between 60° and 70°. Remember to follow manufacturer’s instructions.

  1. Adjust pH level between 7.2 and 7.6.
  2. Use a shock treatment on the pool.
  3. Remove, clean and store any pool ladders, diving boards, ropes and furniture.
  4. Turn off heater.
  5. Run the filter continuously for one to two days.
  6. Brush and vacuum the pool walls and floor. Remove debris.
  7. Pour pool antifreeze into the pump and allow it to cycle through the system for two minutes.
  8. Unscrew the fittings on the return lines. Plug them with expandable rubber plugs.
  9. Drain the water level in your pool with a submersible pump to 18″ below the skimmers.
  10. Flush and drain hoses.
  11. Drain, clean and store all equipment indoors, including the filter, pump and motor to prevent freezing.
  12. Turn off electricity to the pool.
  13. Retest pH and free available chlorine levels.
  14. Coat exposed metal, such as permanent ladders, with petroleum jelly to protect from rust.
  15. Cover the entire pool with a water, weather and chemical-resistant pool cover. Use water bags or sand bags to secure sheet vinyl covers. If you use water bags, fill them halfway to allow for expansion when they freeze. For above ground pools in regions with high winds, place water bags or sandbags on top of cover around the edge of the pool. Place 2/3 of the bag on the cover and 1/3 of the bag hanging over the edge to keep the cover from blowing up.
  16. Retest pH and free available chlorine levels at least once every month and adjust if necessary.

Additional Protection

  • Float large pieces of Styrofoam in the pool to reduce ice damage to vinyl-lined pools.
  • Fill plastic milk jugs with 3″ to 4″ of gravel and place one in each skimmer. If the skimmer fills with water and freezes, the ice compresses the jug and does not crack the skimmer.
  • Fill three plastic milk jugs one-fourth full of water. Float the jugs in the pool. If the pool water freezes, the ice crushes the jugs and not the walls of the pool.

Closing Your Pool in Warm Regions

In warm regions, pools don’t need to be completely closed. Covering your pool is recommended to reduce debris. Read pool equipment manufacturer’s information for proper care during the off-season. Follow the steps below for regular maintenance.

  1. Adjust the filter cycle to half the normal setting.
  2. Check the pH and free available chlorine weekly. Keep the pH between 7.2-7.6. Do a shock treatment to keep the free available chlorine between 1.0-3.0 PPM
  3. Clean the skimmer weekly.
  4. Vacuum the pool at least once every month unless you cover the pool.

Was this information helpful? Please let us know your do-it-yourself experiences. We’d love to hear from you!

These How-To’s are provided as a service from Eden Pool’s. The information in Eden Pool’s “How-To” clinics is intended to simplify jobs around the house. Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Eden Pool assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.

If you need Maintenance for your Swimming Pool, we can provide you the best services.
Please fill up the form on Contact Us page, and we would be happy to assist you in realising or maintaining your dream pool.

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