Water Balance

Your pool is designed to hold the same water for many years as you properly filter and chemically treat it over and over again. During this period of time the water can drift out of balance and cause corrosion, scaling and even stains to appear. You can easily prevent these problems by paying attention to the basics of water balance. A good quality test kit will measure the key components of water balance-- pH, Total Alkalinity, and Acid or Alkali Demand. Use your kit often until you become familiar with your pool and supplement your test by having Four Seasons of Fun perform a detailed test on occasion to verify your readings and spot trends that could lead to potential problems.

pH

pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of pool water on a scale of “0-14”. Extreme acid is “0” and extreme alkali is “14”. The proper pH range is 7.2 to 7.8. pH readings greater than 7.8 will lead to cloudy water and scaling on all pool surfaces, inefficient sanitizing, and swimming discomfort. pH readings less than 7.2 will lead to corrosion of metal parts such as heaters and ladders, wrinkled vinyl liners, etched plaster, and swimmer discomfort. You can easily maintain proper pH by using a pH Decreaser or pH Increaser when needed according to label directions.

Total Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity is a measure of the level of certain minerals that help control the pH of your pool water. The proper range of Total Alkalinity is between 80- 150 PPM (parts per million). Low Total Alkalinity allows the pH to fluctuate or “ bounce” in either direction and can make it difficult for you to keep the pH stable. Raise Total Alkalinity by using Total Alkalinity Increaser according to label directions. High Total Alkalinity locks in the pH, but usually at pH at pH levels above 7.8. This condition needs to be corrected with pH Decrease or muriatic acid.

Hardness

Hardness is a measure of the level of calcium and magnesium minerals present in your pool water. These minerals exist naturally in all water but the levels vary greatly from one part of the country to another. “Soft water” typically contains 50 PPM Hardness or less while “hard water may contain 300 PPM Hardness or more. The proper range for plaster pools is 175-3 00 PPM Hardness or more. The proper range for vinyl, painted or fiberglass pools the proper range is 125-250 PPM Hardness. Pool water low in Hardness causes etching or plaster and corrosion of pool surfaces. Raise Hardness by adding Calcium Hardness Increaser according to label directions. Pool water high in Hardness causes cloudiness and scaling to occur. Control these symptoms by using Scale or Stain Remover according to label directions or drain a portion of the water and refill with water low in Hardness to dilute the mineral level.

Mineral Control

Mineral Control is an important concern for pool owners who use well water or for pools that contain copper plumbing such as heaters. Both conditions can yield trace levels of iron, copper or even manganese that can cause water discoloration and staining. Such discoloration can appear green, blue, brown or even black in color. This is caused by the reaction between your sanitizer and the particular trace minerals in your pool water. You can prevent the problem by having your pool water tested for these minerals when your pool is being filled or at any time during the season. If staining minerals are present apply Conchelate (mineral Control) as soon as possible according to label directions. Re-apply the treatment if necessary.

Conditioner

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.

Sanitizers

Now that your pool water is balanced and stabilized, it’s time to sanitize it with chlorine. There are many types of chlorine and your FOUR SEASONS OF FUN representative can explain the benefits of each type. Granular chlorine is another daily dosage method. Stabilized chlorinating granules are rapidly and completely soluble in all water temperatures and provide the same 24-hour protection that you get from Tablets or sticks. The most economical methods and our preferred method is Quick Tabs, which does not require a chlorinator to be in the pool and eliminates chemical waste. Quick Tabs make it easy to apply right dosage with 1 tablet for 5000 gallons. It is difficult to accurately measure granular to apply correctly daily. Quick Tabs are pH buffered and will not affect the pH of your water. Convenient methods are stabilized slow release Small Tablets, Sticks or Large Tablets. The slow release format is applied weekly and is not affected by sunlight like HTH or liquid chlorine. You can dispense Small Tabs, Sticks, or Large Tabs by placing them in a chlorinator, or a floating feeder. The EPA has determined that you must maintain a level of 1.0-1.5 PPM of available chlorine at all times to continuously kill bacteria, algae and other micro-organisms that try to inhabit your pool. The amount of chlorine need that a pool consumes varies based on: temperature, bathing load, rainfall and pH. The warmer the pool water, the greater the use of chlorine. Rain washes airborne contaminants such as pollen and algae spores into the pool and tends to lower the pH of water by contributing “acid rain”, a chemical reaction between rain and air pollution. Finally low pH will cause chlorine to be “overactive” and dissipate too quickly.

Mineral Control

Mineral Control is an important concern for pool owners who use well water or for pools that contain copper plumbing such as heaters. Both conditions can yield trace levels of iron, copper or even manganese that can cause water discoloration and staining. Such discoloration can appear green, blue, brown or even black in color. This is caused by the reaction between your sanitizer and the particular trace minerals in your pool water. You can prevent the problem by having your pool water tested for these minerals when your pool is being filled or at any time during the season. If staining minerals are present apply Conchelate (mineral Control) as soon as possible according to label directions. Re-apply the treatment if necessary.

Conditioner

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.

Sanitizers

Now that your pool water is balanced and stabilized, it’s time to sanitize it with chlorine. There are many types of chlorine and your FOUR SEASONS OF FUN representative can explain the benefits of each type. Granular chlorine is another daily dosage method. Stabilized chlorinating granules are rapidly and completely soluble in all water temperatures and provide the same 24-hour protection that you get from Tablets or sticks. The most economical methods and our preferred method is Quick Tabs, which does not require a chlorinator to be in the pool and eliminates chemical waste. Quick Tabs make it easy to apply right dosage with 1 tablet for 5000 gallons. It is difficult to accurately measure granular to apply correctly daily. Quick Tabs are pH buffered and will not affect the pH of your water. Convenient methods are stabilized slow release Small Tablets, Sticks or Large Tablets. The slow release format is applied weekly and is not affected by sunlight like HTH or liquid chlorine. You can dispense Small Tabs, Sticks, or Large Tabs by placing them in a chlorinator, or a floating feeder. The EPA has determined that you must maintain a level of 1.0-1.5 PPM of available chlorine at all times to continuously kill bacteria, algae and other micro-organisms that try to inhabit your pool. The amount of chlorine need that a pool consumes varies based on: temperature, bathing load, rainfall and pH. The warmer the pool water, the greater the use of chlorine. Rain washes airborne contaminants such as pollen and algae spores into the pool and tends to lower the pH of water by contributing “acid rain”, a chemical reaction between rain and air pollution. Finally low pH will cause chlorine to be “overactive” and dissipate too quickly.

Shock Treatment

Various contaminants such as swimmer waste, lotions and oils can resist normal chlorination and start to build up in the pool water. This build up usually occurs during hot weather and periods of heavy bathing when your filter is already working overtime. A weekly Shock treatment, when applied according to label directions, will oxidize or burn-up these contaminants. A shock quickly raises the chlorine level to overcome the contaminants for a period of 12-24 hours. It is best to apply Shock in early evening so that it can work overnight and be burned down to normal levels the next day. Be sure to continue to run your filter during this period of time.

Algaecides

Algaecides are excellent treatments to prevent or kill algae growth when used with chlorine. As a preventative, algaecides act as an insurance policy in your pool, killing algae spores as they enter the water. Algae spores are constantly entering your pool from rain, wind and dust storms and they multiply rapidly in sunlight and warm water. Routine chlorination cannot, at times, cope with the rapid growth of an algae “bloom”, the visible outburst of algae. These algae can appear green, brown, black, mustard or even pink in color. By the time algae has bloomed there are millions of algae cells in every gallon of water! Poly 30 is our recommend best choice for prevention or killing algae.