News - Top tips to keep your pool ship shape this summer

Top tips to keep your pool ship shape this summer

Images courtesy of Swimart   Weather fSwimart ( logoorecasters are predicting a scorching summer this year and that can play havoc with the health of your swimming pool. Pool and spa specialist Swimart has some top tips to keep it sparkling clean and hygienic. “According to Bureau of Meteorology reports, this year we may suffer the hottest year on record, as a result of the rare convergence of two significant weather events*, one in the Pacific Ocean and the other in the Indian Ocean. This is set to lead to an El Nino event, and that means extremely dry, hot weather, so pool owners need to be especially vigilant,” says Swimart’s Australasian manager Chris Fitzmaurice. “Excessive heat leads to water evaporation and more swimmers using the pool to cool down – all of which results in increased chlorine demand, which then affects pH and water balance. To save having to add more water to the pool, you can add Calcium Hardness Reducer which will ensure the calcium hardness value stays within the range for your type of pool. “Not only that, but the weather patterns in many parts of Australia are fluctuating – which is quite normal at this time of the year – from cooler temperatures one day, hail storms the next, to humid, hot days. This can really muck up your pool chemistry, which means pool owners need to keep a close check on their pool water.”   swimart-technician-testing-water  

Algal blooms

The humidity, heat and long hours of sunshine means potential issues with pool water – not least being algae, which thrives in the heat. “The best defence against algae is chlorine,” Chris says. “With ongoing hot weather, pools don’t get the chance to cool down overnight, so the chlorine demand remains high.” Another demand on pool water is the level of phosphates in the water, as algae love phosphates and feed on them. Phosphate enters the pool from a variety of sources including dust and rain, runoff from lawns and gardens, bird and bat droppings, dogs swimming in the pool, fill water and leaves. However, chlorine alone can’t eliminate phosphates. An Aqua~Health chemical called Starver will eradicate the phosphates so the chlorine can work on killing the algae. “Water balance is key to a healthy pool and to chlorine working effectively,” Chris says. “If the pH is too high, chlorine becomes less effective and the water can become dull and cloudy. This can be addressed by adding acid to the water.  If too low, the water will start to hurt eyes and skin and make you feel itchy.  It can also etch away the surface of the pool and cause scaling on the surface of your pool and salt chlorinator.  This can be fixed by adding ‘buffer’ or alkali.  Correct pH levels within the range of 7.2 to 7.6 make the pool comfortable to swim in.  If pH levels are incorrect, it can affect the efficiency of the chlorine in the pool.” Besides phosphates, it’s important to keep biofilm in check. Biofilm is created by bacteria forming a layer of slime in which they shelter, feed and breed. Over time this slime increases in thickness, creating serious hygiene problems. To rid your pool of this unpleasant substance, you can use Aqua~Health Pool Sentinel to loosen the slime which is then rinsed away by the action of the water.   swimart-family-playing-in-pool  

Swimarts tips to keep your pool in top condition during the hot months:

  1. Check your chlorine and pH level every two days. Pay particular attention after a period of heavy usage of the pool or after a very hot day
  2. Check and clean your skimmer basket and hair and lint pot in your filtration pump weekly
  3. To re-balance pool water, take a sample from elbow depth away from the pool returns to your local pool store to be professionally tested
  4. Use a quality algaecide such as Aqua~Health Concide/Metal Free Algaecide to keep algae at bay
  5. Operate the filtration system six to eight hours a day
  6. Regularly check sanitiser levels, ideally on a daily basis
  7. Check the Total Alkalinity (TA) weekly
  8. Have your pool water checked at your local pool shop every two weeks
  9. Thoroughly backwash your sand or DE filter or remove and clean the cartridge from your cartridge filter, depending on pool use
  10. Maintain the water level at least half way up to the skimmer box opening
  11. Clean the pool and vacuum the walls and floor of the pool regularly
  Images courtesy of Swimart More information: *The coming El Nino in the Pacific Ocean is caused by some of earth’s warmest waters around north-east of Papua New Guinea near the equator shifting closer to South America. This pulls the cloud and rain away from Australia. Meanwhile, in the Indian Ocean, surface temperatures are cooling down near us while warming up near Africa causing a Dipole or clash of opposites which drags the rain away from Australia.
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