Quickguide to Pool Management


           WARNINGS:

  • ALWAYS READ PACK INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE DOSING POOL CHEMICALS.
  • NEVER MIX CHEMICALS IN THE DRY STATE OR IN CONCENTRATED SOLUTIONS. THIS ALSO APPLIES TO DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHLORINE.
  • CHEMICALS MUST BE DOSED SEPARATELY, AND IN THE CONCENTRATIONS RECOMMENDED.
  • NEVER PLACE MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF TABLET PRODUCT IN THE SKIMMER BASKET AT THE SAME TIME.
  • ALWAYS PRE-DISSOLVE GRANULAR PRODUCTS IN WARM (NOT HOT !) TAP WATER.
  • WHEN PREPARING A SOLUTION, ALWAYS ADD THE CHEMICAL TO THE WATER, NEVER THE WATER TO THE CHEMICAL.

The most important item you will add to your above-ground pool is a 'sanitiser' - a treatment agent which will eliminate bacteria and other micro-organisms which would otherwise contaminate your water. Chlorine is by far the most popular sanitiser in all types of swimming pool - this agent is economical, safe and effective, but it is important to control the overall 'balance' of the pool water to ensure that chlorine can work to best effect. Chlorine is added to pool water in the form of chlorine-based chemicals, in either granule or tablet form. Simple tests will help you to decide what chemicals should be added, and we give easy dosing advice throughout the Quickguide.

POOL VOLUME

Calculate the volume of water in your pool. Base the dose calculation for adding chemicals to YOUR pool on the general dosing recommendations in the QuickGuide below. Read the instructions on the container for further information.
 
Action Aim

1. Control pH Your sanitiser can only work properly if the pH of your pool water is correct. pH is also important for the comfort of pool users.
2. Sanitise A good sanitiser will eliminate harmful micro-organisms which will otherwise colonise your pool water, and might even harm swimmers.
3. Shock Contaminants in your pool combine with chlorine sanitiser to form ‘combined chlorines' or chloramines. These need to be removed for bather comfort and to eliminate unpleasant chlorine smells.
4. Control Water Balance Keep the water ‘balanced' to make it easier to maintain good water quality. Better balance will help protect pool finishes and equipment.
5. Maintenance Regular water testing and treatment will keep your pool looking its best. Regular cleaning (vacuuming, brushing) and optimal filtration should form part of your routine maintenance programme.
 
 


Control pH
  Back to Top

Explanation: pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of your pool water. Low pH can lead to skin irritation and corrosion of equipment. High pH can reduce the effectiveness of your pool sanitiser, as chlorine-based products only release the optimal amount of free ‘active' chlorine when the pool water pH is between 7.2 and 7.6.

pH Values Below 7.2 7.2 - 7.6 Above 7.6
 
Ideal

To correct Add EasyChemicals pH Increaser (pH+)   Add EasyChemicals pH Reducer (pH-)
Dose Rate 1.5 oz per 1,000 galls (10 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres)).   1.5 oz per 1,000 galls (10 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres)).
Frequency Dose daily until the pH reading is correct

Comments: Always add EasyChemicals pH Reducer or Increaser by pre-dissolving it in warm tap water and spreading the solution widely over the entire surface of the pool.

Test frequency: Test pH daily.

 


Sanitise
     Back to Top

Explanation: Sanitisation kills the micro-organisms which would colonise your pool if left unchecked, turning the water green and cloudy and possibly infecting swimmers. Chlorine-based sanitisers work by oxidising the contaminating organisms.

EasyChemicals offers rapid dissolving stabilised chlorine granules with 55% available chlorine and slow dissolving stabilised Maxi and Mini tablets. Maxi tablets are suitable for larger pools, whilst Mini Tablets are ideal for pools with a capacity of less than 5,000 gallons (23,000 litres).

The amount of free chlorine in your pool should always be between 1.5 ppm and 4 ppm, even when the pool is not in use.

Sanitise Values Below 1.5ppm 1.5 - 4.0ppm
 
Ideal

To correct Add EasyChemicals Stabilised Chlorine Granules 55% or Maxi or Mini Tablets.  
Granules 0.2 oz per 1,000 galls to raise chlorine by 1ppm (1.25 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres)).  
Tablets Base dose rate on test results.  
Frequency As required, aiming to maintain free chlorine above 1.5ppm.  

Comments: Always pre-dissolve EasyChemicals Stabilised Chlorine Granules in warm tap water before adding to the pool, and add the solution near the pool inlet(s) so that the high flow will help disperse the sanitiser.

It's a good idea to add chlorine in the evening instead of the morning, as this can reduce your chemical costs. During the day, chlorine is lost to the UV in the sunlight. Even with stabilised chlorine, losses can be substantial. At night, ALL of the chlorine used is sanitising your pool, and losses are minimal.

EasyChemicals Mini Chlorine Tablets should be added via a feeder/dispenser device or placed carefully in the pool skimmer basket or floating dispenser; never put the tablets directly into the pool or allow them to rest on a vinyl liner. The tablet will dissolve at a rate which will depend on water temperature and flow rate.

Whether you are using Granules or Tablets, adjust the dosing frequency to maintain correct chlorine readings - if you need to raise free chlorine quickly, granules have a more rapid effect.

High chlorine levels are not usually a problem for pool owners because even stabilised chlorine products are consumed as they work. This means that a high level will normally be corrected naturally within a day or two.

Test frequency: Test for free chlorine daily.
 

Shock     Back to Top

Explanation: The purpose of ‘shocking' or ‘superchlorinating' your pool water is to break down chloramines. These compounds are formed when your chlorine sanitiser combines with organic (nitrogen-containing) compounds introduced into the pool by swimmers (in the form of urine, sweat, sunscreen, soaps, hair products and cosmetics) instead of oxidising micro-organisms.

Chloramines are undesirable in your pool because they reduce the effectiveness of chlorine as a sanitiser, because they can irritate the eyes, and because they have a characteristic unpleasant 'swimming pool' smell.

Chloramines can be controlled by ensuring that free chlorine levels are always at least twice as high as combined chlorine, and by keeping combined chlorine below 1 ppm. This is achieved by regularly ‘shocking' or ‘superchlorinating' your pool with non-stabilised EasyChemicals Chlorine Shock Granules 65% to raise free chlorine to around 10 ppm.

You can also shock your pool by adding EasyChemicals Non-Chlorine Oxy Shock Granules (potassium monoperoxysulphate) to ‘burn off' the chloramines. This non-chlorine shock agent acts by releasing oxygen into the water, which essentially serves the same function as shock chlorine. The advantage to using non-chlorine shock in your pool is that swimmers can enter the water within 15 minutes after shocking. If you are using chlorine-based shock agents, it is wise to wait until the total chlorine reading falls below 5 ppm before entering the pool.

It is important to remember that non-chlorine shock will not kill bacteria or disinfect; chlorine based shock agents are sanitisers in their own right.

Shock Ideal Values  5 - 10ppm
To Shock, Chlorine Add EasyChemicals Chlorine Shock Granules.
Dose Rate 1.2 oz per 1,000 galls will raise the free chlorine by 5 ppm (7.5 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres)).
Frequency Every two weeks or after heavy use of your pool.

Shock Ideal Values  5 - 10ppm
To Shock, non-chlorine Add EasyChemicals Non-Chlorine Shock Granules (Oxy).
Dose Rate 1 oz per 1,000 galls (6 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres)).
Frequency Every two weeks or after heavy use of your pool.


Comments: Always pre-dissolve EasyChemicals Chlorine Shock Granules in warm tap water before adding to the pool, and add the solution near the pool water inlet(s) so that the high flow will help disperse the sanitiser.

EasyChemicals Stabilised Chlorine Granules 55% or Mini Chlorine Tablets should NOT be used to superchlorinate as this will add unnecessarily to stabiliser levels.

Add EasyChemicals Non-Chlorine Shock Granules directly into the pool by sprinkling over the surface of the water.

Test frequency: Daily, especially if swimmers complain of stinging eyes
 

Control Water Balance     Back to Top

Water balance is critical for the maintenance of good water quality and for protecting the pool finishes and fittings from scale or corrosion. This means keeping an eye on total alkalinity, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid levels.

4a. TOTAL ALKALINITY

Explanation: Total alkalinity is a measure of the actual amount of alkaline substances (particularly bicarbonates, but also carbonates and hydroxides) in the water. Do not confuse Total Alkalinity with pH (which is a scale measuring acidity or alkalinity), though the two are closely inter-related. The difference is that Total Alkalinity quantifies how much alkaline material is present in the water.

Low Total Alkalinity levels can result in rapid fluctuations of pH (known as pH ‘bounce') and may result in corrosive conditions for pool finishes and equipment and eye irritation for swimmers.

High Total Alkalinity may make it difficult to adjust pH (because the water is able to 'buffer' itself against changes in pH). High Total Alkalinity at the same time as high pH can result in cloudy water and an increased tendency to form scale.
Total alkalinity Values Below 100ppm 100 - 200ppm Above 200ppm
 
Ideal

To correct Add EasyChemicals Total Alkalinity Increaser   Add EasyChemicals pH Reducer
Dose Rate 3.2 oz per 1,000 galls (20 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres))   1.6 oz per 1,000 galls (10 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres))
Frequency Dose daily until the total alkalinity is correct.

Comments: Total Alkalinity CANNOT be increased by adding pH Increaser – make sure you use EasyChemicals Total Alkalinity Increaser for this purpose. However, high Total Alkalinity can be reduced by adding EasyChemicals pH Reducer.

If you need to reduce the Total Alkalinity, dose the pH Reducer (pH-) by dissolving in warm tap water and dosing daily in one fixed spot in the pool until the correct level is achieved.

Test frequency: Test at least once a month.

4b. CALCIUM HARDNESS

Explanation: This is a measure of the amount of dissolved calcium (plus several other less important minerals including magnesium) in the water. It is wise to keep an eye on calcium hardness as water tends to balance itself, and calcium can be leached out of tile grout, cement and concrete if levels in the water are low.


Calcium hardness Values Below 150ppm 100 - 200ppm Above 200ppm
 
Ideal

To correct Add EasyChemicals Hardness Increaser   Dilute the pool water. Lower water level by around 30 cm (1 foot) at a time and top-up with fresh water.
Dose Rate 2.4 oz per 1,000 galls (15 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres))    
Frequency To raise hardness, dose daily until the reading is correct.   As required.

Comments: High calcium hardness is not a significant problem unless pH and Total Alkalinity are also high. The best way to lower it is by partial water replacement as described above - the effect of this will be roughly in line with the proportion of the pool water replaced.

Test frequency: Test two or three times a season.

4c. CYANURIC ACID (STABILISER)

Explanation: EasyChemicals Chlorine Granules 55% and Tablets are stabilised with cyanuric acid, which means that when you add more of these sanitisers to the pool, you are automatically increasing the levels of stabiliser.

This reduces the loss of chlorine to sunlight in outdoor pools (always providing that cyanuric acid levels are above 30 ppm).

In many outdoor pools, backwashing to refresh the filter medium will result in some loss of pool water to waste – this is often replenished by rain water, or by topping up in dry weather. However, these losses may not provide sufficient pool water turnover to keep cyanuric acid levels within the desired range. This can sometimes lead to a build up cyanuric acid levels to a point at which the chlorine is ‘over-stabilised'. This could actually reduce the sanitising efficiency of the chlorine.

The level at which this becomes a problem is thought to be above 200 ppm, so it is worth checking cyanuric acid levels occasionally – once or twice a year or even just at the start of the season should be sufficient.

It should only be necessary to consider adding stabiliser alone (ie. not in the form of stabilised chlorine) if you completely drain and refill your pool.

Cyanuric acid Values Below 30ppm 30 - 200ppm Above 200ppm
 
Ideal

To correct Add stabiliser   Dilute the pool water. Lower water level by 1 ft (30 cm) at a time and top-up with fresh.
Dose Rate

0.13 oz per 1,000 galls to raise the stabiliser (0.8 gram per cubic metre (1,000 litres)) level by 1 ppm

   
Frequency Add the required dose at the start of the season.   As required.

Comments: Stabiliser should only be added if you have completely refilled your pool with fresh water. In other circumstances, there is sufficient stabiliser in EasyChemicals Chlorine Granules 55% and Maxi/Mini Tablets to provide the levels required.


Test frequency: Test once or twice a year.
 

Maintenance  Back to Top

Introduction: A little further maintenance will help keep your water free from algae and crystal clear throughout the season.

Although EasyChemicals chlorine sanitisers are effective at killing algae , some strains can be resistant to chlorine. In addition, occasional problems arise if the effectiveness of your chlorine sanitiser has been reduced because of problems with water balance.

There are other potential causes of cloudy water - pool water can become cloudy because some particles are so small that they can pass through the filter without being trapped.

These problems - algal attack and cloudy water - can be managed by using the EasyChemicals range of algaecides and flocculants.

Some physical maintenance is also necessary from time to time.

5a. CHEMICAL MAINTENANCE

Explanation: EasyChemicals' specially formulated Algaecide acts on algae cells not by oxidation (as with chlorine), but by attacking them directly. In doing this, our Algaecide not only works with chlorine to provide a two-pronged attack on algae, but also reduces some of the sanitising burden from the chlorine so that it can act more efficiently on other micro-organisms.

Dead algae and other tiny particles can be captured by your pool filter with the help of a flocculant. By using EasyChemicals Algaecides and Flocculant Granules, you can keep your pool clear, blue and inviting:

  Product Dosing and dose rate
To help prevent algae EasyChemicals Algaecide When closing the pool down at the end of the season, and when opening the pool up after winter, use 0.3 fl oz per 1,000 galls (2 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres)).
EasyChemicals Algaecide During the season, dose weekly at a rate of 0.1 fl oz per 1,000 galls (0.7 gram per cubic metre (1,000 litres)).
To clarify the water EasyChemicals Granular Flocculant Fortnightly after a backwash at the rate of 3.2 oz per 1,000 galls (20 grams per cubic metre (1,000 litres))


5b. MANUAL MAINTENANCE


Explanation: This covers such tasks as checking the efficiency of the filtration and removing decaying vegetation from the water to maintain water quality and help prevent staining. Use the following checklist:

FILTER Check filter pressure and backwash regularly in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines. Use a proprietary filter cleaner if necessary to remove calcium from the filter sand. If you have a cartridge system, change cartridge filters when they are no longer effective.

SKIMMERS Clean skimmer baskets once a week, removing all debris which may have accumulated. Use a long-handled leaf net or a surface cleaning device to remove floating debris. This will help keep the skimmer basket(s) clear.

BRUSHING Use a long-handled pool brush to sweep dirt towards the bottom drain (if you have one) where it can be drawn into the filter. Check filter pressure, backwash if necessary and then clean the pump strainer basket which may have collected much of the debris. If you have no bottom drain, consider investing in an automatic vacuum cleaner – these are not cheap, but hand-vacuuming can be tedious !

VACUUMING Vacuum weekly to remove particles which may have sunk to the bottom of the pool (by hand, or with an automatic cleaner). If the vacuum attaches to the skimmer, ensure there is no air in the hose by submerging it before hooking up.

TIDE MARKS After prolonged use, a dirt line may appear around the sides of the pool along the surface of the water. This is usually due to use of sun block and cosmetic preparations. This tide mark can be removed with the help of tile and liner cleaning products.

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