Pool Care & Sanitation
K&M POOLS offers FREE water testing to our customers throughout the pool season, along with a full range of pool chemicals to make your swim season enjoyable.
We at K&M POOLS follow the "Keep It Simple-SSS" rule in caring for your pool:
1. SANITIZE your pool. We suggest using an off-line automatic chlorinator with our 3" slow dissolving chlorine tablets. This method ensures a continual feed of chlorine to the pool, without having to handle wet tablets or damaging your skimmer (by keeping tablets in the skimmer).
Note: Salt pools are sanitized through the use of the chlorine generator. Salt, or sodium chloride, dissolves in water separating into sodium (ions) and chloride (ions). By passing a low voltage electrical current between special metal and through the water, the chlorine generator converts the chloride into chlorine in a process called electrolysis. The newly created chlorine creates a chlorine residual to sanitize the pool. When it is used up, it changes back to chloride; allowing the process to start over again.
2. SHOCK your pool. Shock agents work differently than the chlorine tabs; they kill bacteria, destroy algae and eliminate organic contaminants. Perspiration, body oils and other contaminants accumulate in the pool which reduces the effectiveness of the chlorine. Other signs of contamination, sometimes known as "Combined Chlorine" are strong odors, eye burn, skin irritation and dull or cloudy water. This condition may arise after a couple of weeks of normal use, following a large number of swimmers (a pool party), heavy rains, or heat wave. Chemical companies differ on how often you should shock the pool. Some recommend shocking the pool weekly and others every other week, or as needed. However, if your chlorine levels fall below 1.0 ppm you need to shock the pool!
3. SAFEGUARD your pool. To prevent the growth of algae, you should add a quality algaecide product to your pool weekly; i.e. Algaecide 60.
4. RUN THE POOL The filtration process removes undissolved dirt and debris from the pool water. The skimmer and pump basket collect debris but the primary element in filtering the pool is your pool filter. In order to keep the pool water clear, you need to filter the water. When using an automatic chlorinator you will also be adding chlorine to the pool during the filtration process.
5. KEEP YOUR POOL WATER BALANCED. Why is balanced water important? Total Alkalinity and pH is the most important factor in water balance. When the Total Alkalinity or pH is LOW, corrosion of pool surfaces, equipment damage, and vinyl liner damage can occur (the vinyl can "grow" and develop wrinkles). When Total Alkalinity or pH is HIGH, scaling, deposits, and cloudy water can develop (chlorine is much less effective at high levels of pH).
Salt water pools use a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWCG) to generate chlorine in the pool. This unit only adds chlorine to the pool water. SWCG pools tend to have high pH levels which need to be lowered. In addition, SWCG pools need to have their Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Stabilizer levels balanced.
To prolong the life of your pool, and the safety of your swimmers, you should have your water professionally tested, at a minimum, 2-3 days after your pool is opened and periodically throughout the swim season.
REMEMBER clear water is NOT good water – it simply means your filter is working!
TESTING YOUR POOL WATER
The pool owner should test their pool water 1-2 times per week to ensure free chlorine levels are in range to ensure sanitary swimming. Test strips are a quick and easy way to test the pool water.
If you have an issue with the pool water, or when your test shows the water out of balance, bring a water sample to your pool professional.
Below is a suggested range, as provided by Regal Chemicals:
|pH||7.2 – 7.6|
|Total Alkalinity||120-150 ppm|
|Calcium Hardness||175 – 225 ppm (Vinyl pools)|
|Calcium Hardness||200 – 250 ppm (Concrete Pools)|
|Free Chlorine||1 – 3 ppm|
|Metals (Copper or Iron)||0 ppm|
|*Salt pools||Testing levels are different for salt pool water and water can be tested by your pool professional. Your pool professional will suggest the right amount of adjustment product for your pool based on the amount of water in your pool.|
Total Alkalinity is the measure of alkaline materials dissolved in your pool water. The water’s ability to resist pH changes depends on the amount of this alkaline material in the water. LOW Total Alkalinity makes the water acidic which can cause corrosiveness (corroded metals/equipment), staining, etched or dissolved plaster, skin and eye irritation, vinyl liner damage (growth wrinkles) and rapid changes in pH known as “pH bounce”. HIGH levels of Total Alkalinity can cause poor sanitizer efficiency, skin and eye irritation, scale formation, cloudy water, and difficulty changing pH. In order to keep your pH levels in range it is imperative to keep your Total Alkalinity in range.
Your pool professional can provide you with the correct chemicals to keep your Total Alkalinity in range.
Calcium Hardness is the amount of dissolved minerals in the pool water. When Calcium Hardness is LOW corrosion of pool surfaces (plaster finish etching, shorten life of vinyl liners), filter, heater, ladder, etc. can occur. HIGH levels can result in calcium deposits on pool surfaces and equipment and make the water appear cloudy (chalky).
Your pool professional can provide you the correct chemicals to keep your Calcium Hardness in range.
Chlorine Stabilizer (cynauric acid) prolongs the effective life of chlorine by reducing loss caused by the sun, algae and swimmers. Stabilizer is added when the pool is freshly filled and then only when necessary. Your pool professional will tell you if you need to add stabilizer and how much, after your water is tested.
There should be NO metals in your pool water. If there is metal in your water, it is important to find out where the metal came from and stop it. A common source of metal in pools is copper; which is added to the pool when the pool heater core is damaged.
Your pool professional can provide you with the correct product to eliminate the metals in your pool, as well as, find the source of metal.