Pool maintenance

Swimming pool maintenance made easy | Las Vegas Review

The joy of owning a swimming pool can quickly be diminished if you spend more time doing maintenance tasks than relaxing in the soothing water and sipping your favorite beverage.

The maintenance of a swimming pool has two main elements: the chemistry of the water and the elimination of debris.

You don’t need a chemistry degree to maintain good water balance, but understanding the properties of water is imperative.

Jana Auringer, Pool Plaster Expert, National Plasterers Council Board Member, Quality Control Technician for Pebble Technologies and Owner of The Pool Lady, provides insight into the importance of maintaining good water chemistry ‘water or, as she prefers to call it, “balancing water.”

“It’s not just about adjusting pH and chlorine levels,” Auringer said. “There are other elements in the water that require evaluation.” She suggests using the table on page 7D for proper water balance.

“When ideal ranges are maintained there will be proper sanitation for safe swimming and the right balance to avoid equipment and interior finish issues,” said Auringer, independent consultant on pool plaster issues. in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida and Missouri.

However, to test these items you need the correct test kit. Auringer recommended a complete test kit capable of performing the following tests: free and total chlorine (which will define the combined chlorine level), pH (acid demand, base demand), total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid ( stabilizing).

Once a week may be acceptable during the winter and low usage months, but during the hot summer and active swimming season more frequent testing is needed.

Auringer, who has over 25 years of experience solving plaster issues, said there are many contributing factors that will lead to changes in water chemistry. Large groups of swimmers, pets using the pool, infants and young swimmers, as well as outside influences such as weather, landscaping, and fertilizers all help affect water balance and discoloration. possible from the inner surface.

“Not all pool chemicals are created equal,” she warned. “Each type of chlorine differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, and some chlorine has a stabilizer included. An overabundance of stabilizer can damage the interior finish and give false total alkalinity readings.

“Another mistake pool owners make is putting chlorine tablets directly into the pool’s skimmer or pump. When the system is turned off, the chlorine continues to dissolve, sending a surge of high concentration, low pH chlorine to the return lines. Over time, the high dose of chlorine can corrode the equipment or interior finish at the return site.

As for the applications, Auringer could not find a specific one that provides all the data needed for water balancing.

“No two swimming pools are the same; often it comes down to trial and error, ”said Auringer. “If you continue to have water balancing issues, look for information on the manufacturer’s website or helpdesk. “

For those who are intrigued by chemistry and desire more in-depth knowledge of water balancing, Auringer suggests using the Langelier saturation index. “It can be a little intimidating and requires math, but there are websites with calculators,” she said.

These are often found in the form of applications, but it is important to note that calcium hardness is used for LSI, while some tests are for total hardness, which is not sufficient for LSI.

Without question, one of the most frustrating and misunderstood maintenance tasks for pool owners is dealing with calcium build-up in the pool and on tile, stone and stone jobs.

Calcium deposits arise in several ways: mineral deposits resulting from the evaporation of water, commonly found in raised areas under and around water bodies; leaching through retaining walls of planters that are not properly sealed; and calcium precipitation on the pool surface as a result of a high pH event (addition of water to the pool, rain or excessive shock with high pH chlorine) or when the calcium exceeds the set point. water saturation.

“A good water balance will go a long way in preventing calcium build-up,” said Auringer, “as well as the regular use of a stain remover or sequestering product”.

REMOVAL OF DEBRIS

It is inevitable that debris and organic matter will enter the pool. Organic matter such as leaves, flowers and living matter will contribute to the difficulty of maintaining a good water balance.

“Removing debris and organics is important for several reasons,” Auringer said. “Debris such as dirt can stain the interior and organic material will quickly deplete chlorine. “

Most pool owners are familiar with floor cleaners and automatic pressure or vacuum cleaners. While these cleaners do a great job, they depend on clean filters, pool pumps, and skimmers to function properly at efficient run times depending on pool usage as well as seasonal temperatures.

Another option for debris removal is the robot cleaner. Robot cleaners have been around for some time, but the evolution of units might be worth considering.

Zodiac’s latest generation robotic cleaner, the Polaris 9550 Sport, looks more like a high-performance vehicle or ATV than a pool debris vacuum cleaner. Its features and performance will certainly make you consider buying one for your pool.

A test drive of the unit found it to be very easy to assemble and use. It appears the designers took inspiration from popular Polaris off-road vehicles and incorporated these elements into the cleaner, including four-wheel drive and the ability to climb pool walls and clean the tiles in the line. flotation.

If the 9550 Sport rolls over and lands upside down at the bottom of the pool, it straightens up and continues cleaning.

Similar to a household canister vacuum, the 9550 Sport plugs into an electrical outlet and has a canister with a debris filter inside the unit. An indicator light alerts you when the filter is full.

The unit can be operated by program or by remote control. The motion-sensing remote control is ideal for directing the device on a precise path and in troubled areas.

The robot cleaner is an independent system not connected to the pool equipment. This is advantageous in that the unit has its own motor and does not draw power from the pool pump or cause resistance in the water flow.

It also has its own debris filter which is easily removed and cleaned. In addition, it operates on a low voltage supply which minimizes power consumption and can be used even when the pool system is turned off. The 9550 Sport comes with a light transport cart.

The price of robot cleaners ranges from $ 1,000 to $ 1,500.

“While robot cleaners are effective at picking up debris, if the debris is not cleaned from the unit, it will continue to deplete the disinfectant from the pool water,” Auringer said. “There is a need to monitor the sanitizer level during these times and adjust the chlorine level as needed. “

Joseph M. Vassallo is an internationally renowned and award-winning swimming pool designer. President of Paragon Pools, Vassallo has co-authored five books on pool design and is currently a Featured Designer on HGTV.com. He can be contacted at 702-400-0679 and at www.paragonpools.net.