Monthly Archives: June 2021

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How to Keep Your Pool pH at Healthy Levels

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Maintaining your pool’s —one of the most important measures—doesn’t have to be an extreme sport. Your swimming pool’s pH levels help keep the water quality of your pool at the right level for humans.

If you keep the pH at the right levels, in addition to enjoying healthy water you can keep the water in your pool clean and crystal clear.

The pH is the measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution, in this case, the water in our pool. The optimal values recommended by the experts range between 7.2 and 7.6, so we must pay attention and be alert if the average obtained falls outside the indicated range.

If the pH decreases below 7.2 we have acidic water. If this happens, it will cause irritation to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes, in addition to generating corrosion problems in the pool materials (metal ladders, pumps, valves, and filters).

Person Feet Dipping on Pool

If on the contrary, the pH value rises above 7.6, the water in our pool becomes basic or alkaline. As was the case with acidic water, alkaline water, in addition to previous symptoms such as skin and eye irritation, would also cause dryness in our skin. Due to the basicity of the water, traces of compounds are generated on the surface of the pool, and consequently, the water is seen in a more turbid and less crystalline form, also reducing the desired sterilizing and disinfectant effect with the addition of chlorine, consequently generating algae problems.

Experts recommend that periodic checks be made to maintain good water quality, as well as to maintain pH levels at levels suitable for bathing. It is advisable to perform a pH measurement at least once a week, acting as explained below if the pH parameters are beyond the ranges indicated.

Importance of the pH of the Pool, Why Does it Rise and Fall?

The ideal pH range for our pool water to be healthy ranges from 7.2 to 7.6, but sometimes when we take the measurement with our pH meter we are surprised that this value has risen or fallen.

The reasons why the pool’s pH rises (or falls) are mixed and varied, but commonly the pH of the pools usually gives high values, that is, basic ph’s:

  1. A determining factor has to do with the amount of water in the pool. Weather factors such as wind and sun make the water evaporate over time, and therefore the pH increases as the amount of water decreases. On the other hand, ultraviolet radiation from the sun increases the dissolution rate of chlorine in water, generating a gradual increase in pH values.
  2. A second factor is the bathers themselves. The sunscreens, moisturizers, body lotions, hair cells, dead skin, and even electrolytes from sweat make both chlorine and water acidity to be modified. Generally, bathers also cause pH levels to rise.
  3. Finally, the way to add chlorine to the pool can also change the pH values. The chlorine added in liquid form is nothing more than sodium hypochlorite, that is, bleach. This salt in the form of a solution is a highly alkaline or basic substance and therefore its addition generates significant pH increases. Chlorine added in tablets, on the other hand, includes trichloroisocyanuric acid that acidifies the water, thus reducing the pH of the water. A third modality is a form of granulated chlorine, which is characterized by having a pH close to neutrality (6.7) and the pH levels will be close to 7 therefore.

If for some reason you add more chlorine than you should, you should know how to lower chlorine pool. For this, there are different techniques we will discuss later.

How to keep the pH at optimal values?

Maintaining the pH value at optimal values ​​is of the utmost importance. Failure to do so creates a danger to the health of the users of the pool. The recommended pH values ​​range between 7.2 and 7.6, so a periodic pH measurement is advisable. Broadly speaking, when the pH becomes acidic and falls below 7.2, acidic water can irritate the eyes and skin (it is important to know how to increase the pool). If the pH rises from 7.6 becoming the basic water, there is a loss of effectiveness of the dissolved chlorine and therefore a decrease of the disinfectant power that is pursued. 

The pH meter or pH meter is the scientific instrument specially designed for these tasks. In the market, we have different types of meters, such as digital, pocket, and even the test strips, which although they give us semiquantitative values, we must not neglect their effectiveness, simplicity, and ease of use.

Expert recommendations tell us that pH measurements must be made periodically or after special episodes, such as a storm. The rain and the pollution that drags in its precipitation tend to acidify the water and raise the pH. It is also advisable to measure it after the use of the pool by many bathers since the use of lotions, sun creams, and the bathers’ own sweat can cause the pH to rise and become more basic.

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Calcium in Your Pool is Bad: Here’s Why and How to Remove It

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is good for your body. But when it comes to your pool, that’s a whole different story.

In case you don’t know what that story is, this is it: Not good for your pool. So, what do you do in a situation where your pool is overrun with deposits of (also known as limescale)?

They’re whitish and look rather unsightly on your pool tiles. They could even be dangerous for your body when you swim in the water.

If lime develops in your pool, hire pool maintenance professionals to inspect and clean up debris from its surfaces. Most pool cleaning services make a diagnosis for the localization, as well as the elimination of limescale.

If you want to do it yourself, read the rest of the article.

Person Swimming on Body of Water

Why is having lime in your swimming pool a problem?

If pool owners hunt limestone like this, it’s not for nothing! Having excess lime in your swimming pool can indeed be the cause of various problems.

First of all, at the level of the interior of the basin. Because the more our pool is loaded with limestone, the more “chance” we have of seeing it build up from the inside.

And this as well at the level of the waterline as at the level of the walls and the bottom (especially if one has opted for a swimming pool liner as a coating). And a scaled pool is a pool whose water will be cloudy, and whose walls will be covered with gray or whitish deposits.

Stains which, besides being unsightly, will promote the appearance of ‘impurities and algae development. Without forgetting the possible inconvenience for swimmers: possible irritation of the skin and eyes.

But that’s not all: having too much lime can also be dangerous for the filtration system of the swimming pool. Indeed, when there is too much lime in our water, it will simply build up scale and prevent the proper functioning of the swimming pool filter.

So how do you know if your pool contains limestone?

Look for white or light gray spots on the sides and bottom of the pool, as well as the edges of the pool deck. Limestone forms scaly spots or streaks when the pH of the pool water and the calcium levels in the water are out of balance.

Although this build-up of lime can be removed, it can be difficult to do so. This article provides homeowners with tips that any pool maintenance company wouldn’t want you to know to remove lime deposits from the pool walls and prevent their return.

Removing Calcium Carbonate

If your pool contains calcium carbonate, removing it is easy, but takes time.

You can use a rough but harmless object for tiles such as a wet pumice stone or an eraser to flake off deposits.

You can also get calcium descaling treatment solutions from a pool service company or a pool supply store. Follow the product instructions to avoid damaging the pool water or injuring yourself.

Removal of Calcium Silicate

Calcium silicate is incredibly difficult to remove on your own. You can try using a pumice stone, but it will take a ton of elbow grease and time to complete the process successfully.

If you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, this will not work at all. Even some descaling treatments can take months to break down the lasting calcium silicate.

You will probably need to hire pool maintenance professionals to remove lime build-up if you cannot do it yourself. They can also adjust the quality of your pool water, including pH and calcium levels, to prevent future buildup.

People Swimming At The Pool

Remove limestone with a blowtorch and a polishing machine

If you have emptied your pool to clean it and you notice traces of lime, there are two methods that can get rid of this debris. These methods are effective but can take a long time depending on the size of your pool.

To remove the lime that is in the walls of your pool, just use a blowtorch to make the tartar less robust and then rub it with a wire brush. With the effect of heat, the tartar will be easily removed.

If you have limestone at the bottom of the pool, simply clean the pool thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner, then sand it with sanding and polishing machine.

Once descaling and polishing are finished, rinse your pool with a Kärcher to remove debris. Then evacuate your pool, let it dry, and fill it again if you want to reuse it.

If you do not want to fill it immediately, choose a tarpaulin or a protective cover. Your pool will therefore remain intact and ready to be filled at any time you wish.

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How to Treat Your Salt Pool Safely

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Let’s show you a treatment that is getting popular among pool owners: salt electrolysis.

Among the swimming pool water treatment crowd, electrolyzers have been successfully equipping many swimming pools for many years.

We will first explain how it works and the advantages of salt treatment… and what to plan if you want to treat your swimming pool with this system. The electrolyzer also allows you to automate your swimming pool and take full advantage of your swimming moments.

Two Women in Swimming Pool

How electrolysis works in your salt pool treatment

The electrolyzer diffuses a weak direct electric current at low voltage in a saline solution, thus producing sodium hypochlorite (active chlorine).

Then the electrolysis of saltwater separates the salt molecule (NaCl) into chlorine and sodium ions. Combined with water, this chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) allows the permanent destruction of pathogenic germs or algae, as well as organic matter and nitrogen residue from swimmers (sweat, urea, etc.).

Once this disinfecting action is complete, this natural chlorine recombines with the sodium present in the water and naturally reforms the salt, under the action of UV rays from the sun. This process is continuous.

Swimming Pool Under Blue Sky

The advantages of salt treatment

The salt chlorinator provides instant and persistent disinfection of swimming pools, while effectively protecting them from algae. Unlike organic chlorine (long-lasting pebbles, shock tablets, etc.), sodium hypochlorite is chlorine that is produced without a stabilizer, thus eliminating any risk of over-stabilization.

People who blindly treat with organic chlorine without knowing it, each time, add stabilizer to the pool. However, unlike chlorine itself, the chlorine stabilizer (cyanuric acid) is added to the water without degrading. In excess (rate greater than 75 g/l), this stabilizer blocks the action of chlorine. The electrolyzer therefore spares us this problem.

Moreover, since the active chlorine turns back into salt after its disinfecting action, this prevents the formation of the famous irritating and odorous chloramines, which are encountered in the poorly balanced chlorine treatment of swimming pools. The pool is therefore always ready for swimming.

Thanks to this automatic treatment which disinfects continuously, swimming pools are no longer subjected to the jolts of manual treatments, or even to certain omissions. This linear production of chlorine—just enough—offers bathing comfort that is pleasant to the skin and mucous membranes.

As the electrolyzer continuously produces chlorine, there is no more risk of running out of products and storage is no longer necessary. This system allows prolonged absences from home, with complete peace of mind without any major risk of finding a green swimming pool on your return.

White Metal Railings Near Swimming Pool

In addition, today it is possible to optimize the salt treatment of your swimming pool with devices that will control the chlorine level in your swimming pool. This device will then control your electrolyzer and its production. We are no longer on continuous “all or nothing” production but on optimized production to obtain perfectly balanced water. This has the advantage of less strain on your electrodes and therefore greater longevity.

What to expect

Saltwater compatible equipment

First of all, make sure that all of your installation, filtration pump, swimming pool heater, booster, scale (ASI 316 L marine stainless steel), are “electrolyzer” compatible so as not to be subject to corrosion. While new swimming pools generally incorporate this specific equipment, older ones must be checked beforehand to ensure that the electrolyzer is connected without additional modification. In addition, the installation in the technical room of an “earth pool” allows stray currents, sometimes present in the water, to be diverted to the earth, which contributes to natural oxidation.

With hard water

The electrolyzer is composed of a cell with electrodes, these become scaled. Unless you have a self-cleaning electrolyzer with reverse polarity, which automatically descales the electrodes, they must be soaked several times during the season in an acid solution.

However, it is clear that users are not very quick to this maintenance, with the consequence of this negligence: a reduction in the life of the electrodes. Hence the interest in a self-cleaning model.

Rest assured, most of today’s cars have self-cleaning cells by reverse polarity.

Blue Lounger Beside Swimming Pool

An essential point: the pH

We recommend you use an electrolyzer alongside an automatic pH regulator. The production of sodium hypochlorite by the electrolyzer modifies the pH upwards. It is therefore difficult to regulate the pH of your swimming pool yourself when you treat your swimming pool with salt.

Installation of the electrolyzer

The electrolyzer is installed in the technical room of the swimming pool. It consists of a control box, connected by a cable to a cell containing electrodes. The box is fixed to the wall, and the cell is hydraulically connected to the discharge pipe, respecting its position after heating, after pH measurement electrode and/or after automatic cleaning booster, if applicable.

Depending on the electrolyzer, the cell can be installed horizontally or vertically, which may be necessary in certain cramped technical rooms in order to be able to install the device without difficulty.

As a rule, the airframe is easy to install, even afterward, because it often has a small wheelbase. It is advisable to place the cell in bypass.

Regarding the electrical connection, some electrolyzers must be slaved to the pool box, while others, provided with an electrical plug, must be plugged into a wall outlet.

Special salt

An electrolyzer works with a quantity of salt generally between 3 and 5g per liter, sometimes more. Today, technology allows us to have electrolyzers with salt levels of around 1.5 g/l, which makes swimming even more pleasant.

Thus, for example, a 50 m³ swimming pool receives between 150 and 250 kg, depending on the model. This salt is poured directly into the swimming pool, filtration on, electrolyzer off, while it dissolves.

This salt is a refined salt of high purity, with an optimal content of calcium and reduced magnesium. The excess of magnesium progressively destroys the protective layers of ruthenium and iridium applied to the electrodes, which reduces the life of the latter. As for ordinary salt, its anti-clumping treatment causes brown spots on liners or reinforced membranes. Finally, some salt tablets for swimming pools incorporate chlorine stabilizers and there is even one with a 4 in 1 function, which also provides an anti-lime and anti-corrosion role.

Swimming Pool Near Palm Tree

Replacement of electrodes or cell

The lifespan of the electrodes varies from 4 to 7 years, sometimes more, depending on the care taken and the amount of stress on the device. When the time comes, some people inevitably find the cost of the replacement to be high. Obviously! They compare it to a manual chlorine treatment, but without taking into account the comfort of bathing and the freedom of maneuver that this type of treatment provides.

The electrodes are easy to order, by providing the device references, along with some practical information such as the number of plates or grids, type of connection.

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How to Improve the Quality of Your Pool Water and Enjoy Your Swim Better

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The quality of the water depends on the filtration system. To check the filtration system, you will need to check the good simmering of the water at the outlet of the delivery nozzles: a sign of good water circulation in the filtration system.

Check the clogging of the filter. To clean a cartridge filter, simply remove the cartridge and rinse it with a water jet. To clean the other filters, backwash systems exist.

Regular Maintenance is a Prerequisite for Quality Swimming Pool Water

To have quality bathing water and not to resort to shock treatments, it is preferable to maintain your swimming pool regularly.

The pool water should be pure, clear, and the pH should be neutral; slightly basic water is however accepted – the ideal rate of 7.4. To avoid any imbalance of your water source of green water, cloudy water, and the appearance of water lines, the maintenance of swimming pool water is mandatory.

This maintenance concerns the use of a swimming pool disinfectant, the occasional application of products to maintain the pH level stable as well as the filtration of the water. Inflatable pools, tubular pools, above-ground pools, and in-ground pools are subject to regular and periodic maintenance: all pool water must be maintained and analyzed regularly using water control kits.

The analysis of swimming pool water measures the level of disinfectant, the pH, the stabilizer, and the alkalinity. As a reminder, water with a pH (potential of hydrogen) greater than 7 is said to be basic and acidic if it is less than 7.

How to Clean Your Pool in 5 Easy Steps

You need different equipment to ensure periodic and daily cleaning of your swimming pool. Cleaning your pool naturally is recommended, and cleaning your pool with acid is strongly discouraged. Hydrochloric acid is not to be used in a swimming pool, even in skimmers!

Here is How to Clean an Above-ground or In-ground Pool in 5 Steps

  • Clean the surface pool water of any external pollution using a dip net.
  • Suck up dirt from the bottom of the pool with a vacuum broom or with an automatic or semi-automatic pool robot, more practical because it is autonomous.
  • Use a water line brush, a kind of sponge to gently rub the waterline, formed by residues marking the limit of water on the liner (be careful not to damage it). The use of special coating/liner cleaning products makes the task easier. The walls and the bottom can also be cleaned with a brush.
  • Remove the residues present and pass a sponge on the skimmers, filters which are also to be cleaned. The skimmers clean the surface of the water by skimming them, the impurities sucked up are then sent to the pump which, after filtration, pushes the water back into the basin.
  • Wash cover, curtain, tarpaulin, pool enclosure, and coping; the use of a high-pressure cleaner facilitates the removal of dirt. Using a low abrasive product is necessary to preserve the equipment.

Pool maintenance must be regular to be effective. If you are not there or do not have the energy necessary to maintain your pool, contact a pool specialist near you. Most of them provide maintenance contracts. And when your pool tiles and wall get overgrown with lime deposits and calcium deposits, call the Calcium killers to help you get rid of those ugly white deposits on your pool tiles.

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