Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks
- Clean and empty the Skimmer Basket and Pump Basket if required.
- Skim the pool surface to remove any leaves and debris.
- Brush the pool walls and floor. This will remove any unseen algae.
- Vacuum pool is required.
- Check that all pool equipment is in good working order and there are no leaks.
- Check chlorinator cell (if applicable) is clean and is making good chlorine.
- Check chlorine and pH levels and adjust as needed.
- Superchlorinate in Summer.
By doing this quick and simple maintenance each week you will be able to catch anything that does goes wrong before it’s too late.
Sand Filter – Backwash until water is clean. Follow up with a 20 – 30 second rinse then filter as normal.
Cartridge Filter – Take cartridge out, spray with a filter cleaner and degreaser and wait 15min then hose thoroughly with water till it’s clean. Replace filter.
DE Filter with backwash – Backwash, then pour new DE powder via skimmer to re coat Elements.
Scum Line – To clean the dirt line around tile and vinyl pools, simply spray with a Tile & Vinyl Cleaner then wipe off with a sponge or clothe.
How Long to Run the Pool Filter?
As a general guide, the following times are recommended.
Summer – 4 hours in the am and 4 hours in the pm.
Autumn – 3 hours in the am and 3 hours in the pm.
Winter – 2 hours in the am and 2 hours in the pm.
Spring – 3 hours in the am and 3 hours in the pm.
NOTE: Each pool is different and consultation with your pool shop will help you determine the correct running times for your pool.
The sun strips the chlorine out of the pool, bather waste takes up a lot of chlorine and rain dilutes the chlorine. All this creates a huge chlorine demand in the pool in summer. Keeping on top can be a problem. That is why it is essential to check chlorine levels weekly, more if there are a lot of swimmers or there has been a large rain fall. Don’t forget to keep up the weekly maintenance schedule.
Chlorine – Sufficient daily chlorine levels – min 3ppm – needs to be maintained in order to keep away algae and ensure safe swimming conditions. A super chlorination once a week should be put into the pool to help with chlorine demand, bather waste and organic waste. A dosage of 1 cup of granular chlorine or 10ltrs of liquid chlorine per 50,000ltrs of pool water under normal swimming and weather conditions would be sufficient; however, you must take into account excess bather load and fresh water either by topping up or rain water. It is a MUST to check chlorine levels weekly either by using a test kit yourself at home or taking a water sample into your pool shop.
Algaecide – It is recommended to keep an algaecide in the pool all year round, especially in summer as it frees the much needed chlorine to do its job – sanitise, while the algaecide keeps the algae at bay.
Aquashield 3in1 – Salt chlorinators that are NOT self cleaning require extra maintenance. The electrolysis action needed to create chlorine from salt also attracts calcium build up on the cell. When this happens, chlorine will not be produced and in a short period of time algae blooms green in the pool. By adding Aquashield 3 in 1 into the pool water it will soften the calcium in the water for up to 3 months, meaning there is no build up of hard calcium on the cell, only a soft covering which can be easily hosed off – no more soaking in acid. Please note: If you have a Self Cleaning Cell the reverse polarity action used to clean the cell will sometimes turn calcium into very tiny ‘flakes’ which return back into the pool and fall at the bottom of the return line – you will usually see them on your step. This is nothing to worry about and can be vacuumed out of the pool OR if you put Aquashield 3in1 into the water it will keep the calcium soft and eliminate these ‘flakes’.
Clarifier – When the pool water looses is sparkle – it’s time for a clarifier. Bather waste, organic matter and dust all put out minute particles that are too fine to be trapped in the filter. After a while these build to the point where water clarity is affected. An easy way to see if you need clarifier is to look at the water when the sun is shining through it or look under water and you will be able to see these particles.
Stabiliser – Stabiliser attaches itself to the chlorine molecule and greatly reduces the evaporation of chlorine by the suns’ UV rays. An ESSENTIAL additive in our sub-tropical environment to help keep chlorine levels above 3ppm.
Calcium – Water requires calcium and if it is not add to the pool water then the water will take calcium out of the pool surface. Hard calcium deposits or stalagmites will appear on concrete and pebble pools and the only way to get rid of them is to add Aquashield 3in1 to the water to soften the calcium, allowing them to be scrubbed off.
Now that the swimming season has come to an end it is time to reduce filter running times and chlorine output. Cleaning the filter is an important part of the maintenance of a pool and should be performed at the end of the swimming season. It is a good practice to algaecide a pool all year round. By adding an algaecide just before winter it allows you to keep chlorine levels down to 1-1.5ppm and the algaecide works with the chlorine to keep algae away. Do not forget to keep up the weekly maintenance schedule.
Filter Cleaner and Degreaser – Cleaning the filter media is an essential part of pool maintenance. During the swimming season oils, dirt and grime from bather waste, sunscreen and gunge build up in the filter. This buildup of waste needs to be cleaned out at the end of each swimming season. If the filter is not cleaned each year the dirt and oils will build creating excess chlorine demand and come next summer your chlorine levels may have a hard time keeping up. Then over time the sand sticks together and forms channels that do not allow the filter to effectively clean the water, thus you will have a hard time keeping the water clean and sanitised costing more money in chemicals.
Winteriser – A slow release algaecide that lasts up to 3 months and works with low chlorine levels over winter to keep algae at bay.
The weather is warming up and it’s time to take off those pool blankets, crank up filtration times and chlorine output. If you’ve been following this schedule then your pool water will be looking pretty good. Put a shock dose of chlorine in the pool water to get it started and a Clarifier will be needed to clean the water and give it a sparkle. As the water warms up Aquashield 3in1 will be needed for Salt Chlorinators that are not self cleaning to keep calcium soft and NOT building up on the cell. Again an Algaecide should be added to the water to help keep algae at bay. Keep up weekly maintenance schedule.
So, what and when should I put chemicals in the pool?
October/November – Chlorine Shock, Algaecide, Aquashield 3in1 and a Clarifier.
Once the weather is hot and through till the end of the swimming season – a weekly shock dose of chlorine is required. A monthly dose of Clarifier will filter out the minute particles and keep water sparkling.
January – Algaecide and Aquashield 3in1.
April – Filter Cleaner and Degreaser and a long life Algaecide.
July – Another dose of long life Algaecide.
Some important facts to keep in mind
- When it rains the fresh water dilutes the chemicals in the pool water. Chlorine levels drop, sometime down to 0ppm and then algae starts to bloom. Having an algaecide in the water will help keep the algae at bay until chlorine levels are corrected.
- Salt levels also drop when it rains and the addition of salt will be required. Be careful not to let the salt level drop too low as chlorine cannot be produced and the salt cell will be compromised and in danger or burning out.
- Sometimes there are can be phosphates in the rain water. Phosphates combined with the hot weather and the fact that the chlorine levels are reduced, the pool water will soon turn “pea soup” green. You will then need Starver, to remove the phosphates from the pool water.
- When there is a lot of wind, excessive amounts of dust are put into the pool water causing water to look dull. A good clarifier will fix this up in no time.
- Pour water circulation will result in a lack of chlorine in certain parts of the pool. This will encourage Blackspot algae to grow. This can cause grave problems and will need to be treated immediately or it will spread. Fast action will get rid of the Blackspot and keep it at bay. Consult your pool professional on how to treat Blackspot in your pool.
- Evaporation through the sun and the wind create a need to top up the pool water. Remember, this is putting fresh water into the pool and chemicals will be needed in order to re-balance the pool water.
Ok, so how much will this cost me? Not much if you break it down over a year.
It’s hard to tell exactly as so much depends on the weather. But based on a 50,000ltr pool, take into account the rain and wind, the cost would be approximately $10.00 per week.
This is a small cost for a healthy, low maintenance sparkling pool ALL year round. Remember, it will cost a lot more if you let the pool go and Green Algae or Blackspot appear.