Frequently Asked Questions and answers regarding pool water care.
Q. Is chlorine necessary for swimming pool water?
A. Yes! Chlorine kills bacteria and any other organic contaminants which continually enter your pool. Without chlorine, your water would be algae infested and not fit for swimming.
Q. What type of chlorine should I use?
A. We recommend any sanitizer that is manufactured to H2O Specialties standards. Sure there are other types, but we cannot attest to their strengths or shelf life. When you purchase H2O Specialties products, you are assured of unsurpassed quality with the least amount inert ingredients. Our buying power gives you the absolute best for the least amount of money. Speak to your FOUR SEASONS OF FUN professional regarding what chlorine program he or she would recommend for your particular needs.
Q. How often should you add pool chlorine?
A. Depending on the method you select, it could be daily, weekly, or at other times based on the product and its application.
Q. What amount of chlorine do you put in a pool to adequately maintain the desired level?
A. Simple! You should always have a least 1.0-1.5 parts per million (PPM) of Free Available Chlorine (FAC) at all times.
Q. What is Free Available Chlorine (FAC)?
A. Free Chlorine is the amount of chlorine that is available to kill germ, bacteria or algae. After chlorine reacts to kill a germ it is in the “used” or combined form. The used chlorines are called chloramines. It is vitally important to keep the Free Chlorine level at required levels. The easiest way to test for free chlorines is to use test strips.
Q. How do I know how much chlorine is in the water?
A. Use a reliable test kit to determine the concentration of chlorine. Change the test chemicals annually. The easiest way to test for free available chlorine is to use test strips. Make sure that you check the expiration dates on your test chemicals or strips. Unsure? FOUR SEASONS OF FUN will also test your water sample at no charge and give you expert analysis, however, be sure it is a fresh sample.
Q. How do you get rid of “used” chlorine in my pool water?
A. There are two ways to change used chlorine back to Free Available Chlorine. Both involve shocking your pool. The first method of Shocking is by using Blast, which splits apart the combined chlorines and oxidizes the germ, bacteria or algae to the atmosphere. This will not raise the chlorine levels in the pool and will allow you to go swimming immediately after adding the chemical. The second method is to use Super Result Shock, which will do the same as Blast but also raises the chlorine level. This is the recommend product if the chlorine level is low or there is a cloudiness to green tint to the water.
Q. Why are many pool owners refusing to use HTH and other granular chlorines (calcium hypochlorites)?
A. These types are not stabilized and, therefore, do not offer continuous protection against bacteria. The sun dissipates it too rapidly. It also contains fillers or inert ingredients which do not dissolve. This means you are vacuuming more and swimming less. It is also a potentially dangerous chemical to store. Plus it’s very heavy!
Q. What is meant by “shocking” your pool?
A. “Shocking” is simply super-chlorination of the water. Periodically pools should be shocked to raise the free available chlorine residual to a level considerably higher than the normal day-to-day levels. Shocking is best done by using a granular chemical called Super Result Shock. Liquid Shock is also effective.
Q. How often should you shock your pool?
A. Under normal weather conditions and average bathing loads about every 10-14 days. Always shock your pool after heavy rains, and after your pool has had a lot of activity. If the weather is super hot and extremely humid, you should shock more often. If you are using AquaCheck Test strips when the color drops to low levels a shock will bring the levels back up to normal levels.
Q. Why are some people talking about non-chlorine substitutes?
A. Chlorine is a chemical, it has been tested extensively for it long effects on people. For most people chlorine is perfectly safe. Most water utilities add chlorine to house water to ensure it is safe for you. Some companies marketing other products have made an issue of negatives of Chlorine. They have emphasized issues to create a market for their products. The cost of these other products can be considerable more expensive than normally accepted and recommended procedures. FIM has an entire line of Biquanide non-chlorine sanitizers.
Q. Are there any alternatives to pool chlorine, which are not other chemicals?
A. Nature2 the Purifier non-electrically directs water through a cartridge, which contains a coated ceramic mineral bed. The mineral kills bacteria and algae, on contact. Next, Nature2 releases trace amounts of silver and copper into the pool, which helps prevent growth of new bacteria and algae. However this product will not eliminated the need for usage of other chemicals including chlorine, shock or pH adjuster. You will need to use small amounts of residual oxidizer (shock) and maintain a low level of chlorine (0.4ppm minimum) after the water is stabilized.
Q. What is meant by the term pH?
A. pH is the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the water. The pH scale is 0.0-14.0. Below 7.0 is acidic and your water becomes increasingly more acidic as you get lower in number. Above 7.0 is basic on alkaline and your water becomes increasingly more basic as you go higher in number. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral (distilled water).
Q. What is considered a normal pH and why is pH important?
A. Pool water pH should be kept between 7.2-7.6 for best results. This is an advantage for many reasons. First, your chlorine will last longer and work much more efficiently. Secondly, at this level the water is non-irritating and very soothing. Thirdly, your water is not corrosive or scale forming.
Q. What makes the pool water pH change?
2. The addition of certain chemicals,
3. Impurities, which come within the chlorine,
4. Extra water added from your tap, and
5. Dust and organic matter carried in by wind and bathers.
Q. How do you measure pH in pool water?
A. Use the same test kit cell with the pool water to be checked. Purchase new test chemicals annually and keep them out of the sun and extreme cold.
Q. How do you adjust the pH up or down?
A. To raise the pH, use H2O Specialties Increaser in doses recommended on the label. To lower the pH, use H2O Specialties Decreaser according to the instructions on the label. pH is an extremely important factor in swimming pool chemistry. Improper pH is responsible for majority of pool water problems. We cannot stress enough the importance of checking your pool’s pH at regular intervals.
Q. What is “total alkalinity”?
A. Total alkalinity is the total concentration in parts per million (PPM) of several alkaline materials in the water. Total alkalinity controls pH to a certain degree. The proper total alkalinity is generally known to be between 80-120 PPM. The right alkalinity will greatly reduce what is called “pH drift” or “pH bounce”. When the alkalinity is in balance it forces the PH into a smaller pH spectrum. The Aqua Check Test strip test for alkalinity. When your pool alkalinity is out of balance you adjust it first, ignore the pH reading.
Q. How do you raise or lower total alkalinity?
A. Raising total alkalinity is accomplished by using a product called Alkalinity Increaser. Lowering Alkalinity is done by using Muratic Acid. This is a very dangerous chemical and should be used with extreme caution. Raising alkalinity can be done all at once, but lowering total alkalinity should be done little by little, over a longer period of time. If you pool pH changes a lot, your alkalinity is usually off.
Q. What is Chlorine Conditioner?
A. Conditioner refers to the final part of pool water balance. This is a chemical that prevents the ultra- violet rays (UV) of sunlight from prematurely breaking down your sanitizer level so that it can do its job sanitizing the pool water. Chlorine Conditioner will reduce sanitizer consumption by up to 50% and need only be added once for the entire life of the pool water. Apply Chlorine Conditioner according to label directions and do not backwash for at least 24 hours
Q. Why is my pool water cloudy?
A. Cloudy water is from a variety of causes. First check to make sure that you filter is working properly. Then check you water with a test kit. Adjust the pH, if necessary, to 7.2-7.8 and shock your pool water. You must maintain a free Chlorine level of 1.0 to 1.5 PPM. If the chlorine level tests low, shock the pool using Super Result Shock. Use 1 pound per 8000 gallons. Put in a dosage of Poly 30 algaecide (23 ounces for 10,000 gallons). If you filter is a sand filter, put in a dosage of Clear Blue Classifier. Run your filter at least 10 hours per day and backwash as necessary.
Q. My pool is GREEN what should I do?
A. Green pools are a result of a very high concentration of algae in your pool. Before pool water tints green the water will be cloudy. This is sign that Algae and bacteria are building up in the pool water. The first step is to shock the pool using Super Result Shock. This will raise the free available chlorine level. You want to maintain a very high free chlorine count for at least 3 days. To maintain this level it will require you to continue to add at least 1 LB of shock per 8000 gallons. If you are unable to maintain a minimum 1.5 PPM of free chlorine on your test kit then you should add more Super Result Shock until it does reach that level. After 24 hours the Free chlorine in the pool will have been used up and is now in the “used” stage. This would be a good time to Blast your pool to free up combined chlorine to available chlorine. Around the third day you should use another full dosage of Super Result Shock. As the conditions improve the pool will go from green to cloudy back to haze and finally clear. Use a full dosage of Poly 30 algaecide about one quart for 10,000 gallons (23 to 36 ounces). Extra algaecide will not shorten the time period. Normally it takes about 3 day for a pool to turn green and about 3 days to recover the pool after it has turned. If using a sand filter, a dosage of Clear Blue Classifier will assist the filter in getting rid of smaller particles suspended in the water. Back wash your filter as necessary when pressure rises on the pressure gauge.
Q. Can I keep my cost down by not treating my water regularly?
A. It will cost you substantially more to treat your pool water inconsistently than it does on a regular basis. The most efficient method is a daily treatment. This will prevent excess and eliminates the possibility that the pool is without chlorine for long period of time. When a pool is not treated for a longer period and the water goes cloudy or even green it is much more expensive to treat and cure this than just taking care of the pool daily. If you believe you are unable to treat and the check the pool regularly, there are methods that allow you to use a chlorinator, which will put the chemicals in weekly. Ask your FOUR SEASONS OF FUN personnel for more information.
Q. My pool water is colored reddish, brownish, or greenish. What can I do?
A. Reddish or brownish colored water is usually caused by oxidized iron or manganese. Treat the pool water with Conchelate (mineral Control) to coat the minerals and prevent the oxidation process. Greenish or bluish colored water is usually caused by oxidized copper. Also treat the condition with Conchelate. Be sure not to con fuse green, slimy water that indicates and algae infection with the greenish cast associated with copper.
Q. I have a color stain on my liner?
A. Stains can develop when colored water is left unattended or when metals such as coins are accidentally left in the pool. Scale is a crusty build up on the pool floors and walls caused by excessive calcium levels and high pH. Usually both conditions must occur for scale to form. Both stains are scale can be controlled by lowering the pH, if necessary, and by using Stain & Scale Remover according to label directions
Q. Why can’t I maintain my pool’s chlorine level, it’s either too High or too Low?
A. Inability to hold a chlorine reading usually indicates lack of Conditioner / Stabilizer in the water. Have your water tested for Conditioner and add if necessary. Also be sure to check your floater or chlorinator to insure a supply of chlorine. Low readings could signal an excessive chlorine demand that is not being met. In this case, a Shock treatment would be appropriate. Finally your testing chemicals reagents may be old and need to be replenished. Bring a sample of Water to your nearest F.I.M. store for an accurate water test. A high chlorine reading that won’t dissipate gradually may indicate too much chlorine is being added to the water. Check your floater or chlorinator and make the necessary adjustment. On occasion chloramines, chlorine reacted with swimmer waste, can develop and cause the chlorine reading to remain high. In this case, a shock treatment with Blast corrects the condition by breaking up the chloramines