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Pool maintenance, swimming pool problems, pool water problems and swimming pool help.
Pool problem of the week: High pool water pH
High pH. High pool water pH is often the result of high Total Alkalinity. When the total alkalinity is within the recommended parameters of 80-120ppm, the pH of the swimming pool is generally quite stable.
Environmental factors as well as the quality of the fill water can create changes in the pH of your swimming pool. The effects of the sun on pool water is to increase the pH, which tends towards a stable value of 8.5.
The addition of chemicals (such as chlorine, algaecides, flocculants, ...) can change the pH of the pool water. If you have a pH problem in your swimming pool, the above should be taken into account when trying to ascertain the reason for the pH problems.
Pool problem of the week: Low calcium hardness.
The ideal range for calcium hardness is 200-400ppm. Low calcium hardness is a result of a good, scale-free water supply. Unfortunately a certain level of hardness is required in swimming pools. Low hardness levels can cause some pool problems. The most serious is the etching or breakdown of the pool plaster or tile grouting. This is because the swimming pool water leaches the hardness it needs from the pool's surfaces.
Low calcium hardness results in corrosive pool water, but can easily be increased. Adding calcium chloride will increase the calcium hardness level in your swimming pool. You can find the quantities your swimming pool needs using the pool calculators on this web site. Also, using unstabilised chlorine (calcium hypochlorite/ shock chlorine) will help to increse the calcium hardnesslevel and maintains the calcium level in the swimming pool water.
Pool problem of the day: High total alkalinity.
The ideal range for total alkalinity is 80-120ppm. To reduce total alkalinity, an acid shock is generally suggested. In practice, I have found that pools with high total alkalinity need ongoing shock treatments. When your swimming pool needs acid (high pH), add the pH reducer as an acid shock each and every time. After a few weeks the total alkalinity should begin approaching the ideal level, and continuation of dosing in this way usually offsets the rise in total alkalinity resulting from the addition of fresh water as a top up.
I had a really interesting morning - a huge pool problem. I was called out to a pea green pool. Talk about algae problems! It was more like a swamp, what with the frogs, mosquitoes and thick, slimy algae growth.
A few kilos of chlorine and a couple of Pool Wizards later, I am completely confident that the pool problems are over for now. Once again I was shocked at what a lack of basic pool water care can result in. Okay, nobody is using the pool in this weather, but at least a maintenance program can help to prevent more permanent pool problems such as staining.
An acid wash can usually remove the stains resulting from algae growth, but what about the plaster or grouting? Solving the pool staining like this results in the breaking down of the pool's surfaces. Is it worth it? Personally I don't believe it is. In the long run, pool care becomes extremely expensive and is detrimental to the swimming pool itself.
Until next time and more swimming pool problems . . .
After having set up these pages I have been extremely busy. I attended a very successful swimming pool trade fair, where a lot of interest was expressed in the Pool Wizard and the solution it provides to every algae problem.
Other exciting pool developments have been happening. We have secured the distribution of zeolite filter minerals. I have been doing some research on the various zeolites available for (pool) water treatment and the most common, clinoptilolite, is available in both high quality and at a reasonable price.
Turkish clinoptilolite is up to 95% pure and is ideal for use in swimming pool filters. The zeolite gives several advantages over regular quartz filter sand:
=> ability to filter down to 3 microns, making the filter as effective as a DE filter;
=> ability to absorb ammonia and its compounds, thus reducing and preventing the formation of combined chlorine, chloramines and trihalomethanes (THMs);
=> reduces backwashing requirement by up to 50% and so saves time and pool water;
=> can be regenerated using regular salt (sodium chloride) for an ongoing solution to ammonia-related swimming pool problems.
Not only is clinoptilolite ideal for swimming pool filtration systems, it is also useful in all kinds of water filtration plants. The area where we are located suffers from heavy metal problems in our municipal water. Unfortunately we are obliged to buy the substandard water for use in our homes. The levels of iron and manganese are way above the maximum tolerance levels permitted by law, but nevertheless we have no choice. The amount of manganese is about 50 times higher than the maximum permissible level and the result for the plumbing and appliances is horrendous - black toilet bowls, basins and water tanks, yellowing clothes and more . . .
In an initial test, about 1,5kg of clinoptilolite (zeolite) has managed to absorb all the iron and manganese at the point of entry to our plumbing system. Unfortunately it reached saturation after 3 weeks, but was easily washed and regenerated using salt. It is now back in place and continues the great work. I am working on a backwashable filter system for myself and other victims of substandard water in our municipal area. Another of the results of the zeolite has been softer water and we have far less scale in the municipal water after putting in the clino. Soap and shampoo lathers so much more, and we had fogotten what "normal" water was like.
At present I am working on water problems - pool water problems, water mains problems, water balance problems, cloudy water problems, hard water problems, water chemistry problems and so on. The swimming season has come to an end and most pools are green with algae. Why don't the pool owners want to maintain their pools? Budget! So unfortunately the algae problem is here to stay until the spring.
Further developments and details about water problems and solving any water problem we come across will be updated regularly. Take care for now.
* Swimming Pool Help Blog
* Pool Forum
* Spring - pool opening
* Swimming Pool Help Forums
* Pool Wizard in the USA
* Pool water testing
* Green algae - pool problems
* Algae problems in swimming pools
* Cloudy swimming pool water problems
* Cloudy pool water - pool problems