As the owner of a pool/spa, endless hours of entertainment, recreation, and relaxation await you. These benefits will be enhanced by maintaining your pool/spa in tip-top shape.
Caring for your pool/spa is a routine to keep your water clear and healthy, and maintain your equipment in excellent condition.
Of course, learning to use treatment chemicals economically and effectively requires some understanding of water chemistry.
Pool / Spa Capacity - it's important.
Capacity is the number of gallons of water a pool / spa contains. By knowing the capacity of your pool / spa, you will be able to add the correct amount of treatment chemicals to obtain balanced, clean water.
To calculate capacity, find the average depth and refer to the appropriate formula below. Make all measurements in feet. If your pool / spa have an irregular shape or sloping sides, ask a Pool & Spa Professional to help you calculate capacity.
1st Determine Average Depth (in feet)
Depth at shallow end + Depth at deep end) divided by 2 = Avg. Depth
2nd Determine Average Pool/Spa Capacity
Rectangular / Square Formula
Length x Width x Avg. Depth x 7.5 = Gallon of water
Oval / Round Formula
Long Diameter x Short Diameter x Avg. Depth x 5.9 = Gallon of Water
Circulation / Filtration - must be efficient
Your pool's / spa's circulation system contains a filter and pump. Together, these components function to provide uniform distribution of treatment chemicals and removal of algae, dirt, dust, and leaves. Thus, a good circulation system works in harmony with treatment chemicals to keep your pools / spas water clean.
To be efficient, the circulating system needs to be operated for the proper amount of time each day usually 8 hours per day in the warmer months you may have to extend the running time, and maintained in superb condition. You can care for this system simply by following the filter and pump manufacturer's recommendations.
Should problems arise, consult a Pool & Spa Professional who can assist with any difficulties you may encounter.
1.) CIRCULATE: The water needs to be circulated every day. The amount of time will vary depending on your particular equipment and the bather load for that day. Start running the pump 6 hours per day and increase as needed if the water is cloudy.
2.) FILTER: The filter needs to be kept clean. This is done by either physically cleaning it by hand or backwashing. The interval will vary depending on your particular equipment. Monitor the pressure valve if you have one. Most manufactures recommend cleaning the filter after the pressure gauge goes up 8 pounds from a clean filter reading. Start with weekly cleanings and adjust as needed.
3.) CLEAN: The surfaces (sides and bottom) need to be kept free from dirt and debris. You will have to vacuum and or brush the surfaces periodically to maintain it. Most pools should be brushed at least once per week. The skimmer needs to be checked for debris, every day during windy or stormy periods.
4.) FILL: Check the water level of the Pool/Spa and Fill it to the recommended level (half way up the skimmer opening) each day.
5.) TEST: Test the sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) and pH every day. Once you get favorable test results for chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Stabilizer 3 days in a row, you only need to test the sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) and pH at a minimum of weekly and after heavy use, test the Total Alkalinity, once a month, and test Calcium Hardness and Stabilizer twice a year (beginning and end of swimming season..
6.) ADD CHEMICALS: Add the proper amounts of chemicals as they are recommended by the label. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PRODUCT LABEL DIRECTIONS!
7.) SHOCK: The water needs to be periodically Shocked to disinfect the water, kill bacteria, algae, other organisms and oxidize wastes. After you Shock do not use the Pool/Spa until all chemical levels are back to normal and the water is crystal clear.
This generally depends on the temperature, bather load, rain and other factors. Generally, you should shock every 2 weeks at temperatures of 85 or below, every week at temperatures above 85 degrees. You may need to shock more often with high bather load or rain. A SPA SHOULD ALSO BE SHOCKED AT THE END OF EACH DAY THAT IT IS USED!
Add Sodium Hypochlorite Liquid Chlorine to 10 PPM:
8.) PERIODICALLY DRAIN POOL: Chemical by-products over time build up in a pool and make it difficult to balance the water after continued use. When water evaporates all the minerals and metals in it stay in the pool increasing not only the hardness of the water but the Total Dissolved Solids. Periodically draining the pool/spa and refilling it with fresh water will keep the water perfect.
HOW OFTEN: Depends on the hardness of fill water, bather load and amount of oils used by bathers.
9.) ALGAE CONTROL: If normal shocking does not control algae you may want to increase the amount of Chlorine or add an algaecide to the water. Follow product directions as most of these will cause foam in the water if not used properly.
10.) SCALE AND METAL STAIN CONTROL: Sequestering Agents may control or prevent metal stains or scaling in your Pool. Ask a pool professional about Sequestering Agents to see if these products are right for your Pool/Spa.
11.) ADJUST: Every pool and spa is different. ALWAYS seek the advice of a pool professional if you have questions or are having problems.
Some Common Sense Things To Know and Remember
Read all labels carefully before using -- Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children -- Handle all chemicals with care -- Don't ever mix chemicals together -- Always add chemical to water, Never add water to chemicals -- Always store chemicals in cool dry place -- Do Not reuse any empty chemical containers -- Use a reliable test kit and replace reagents every year -- Add chemicals in early morning or late evening when the sun is low -- Use a clean dry scoop for granular chemicals and spread over a wide are of water's surface, Sprinkle close to the water so as wind will not blow them in your face -- When dispensing liquids hold the container close to the surface to minimize splash -- Wash hands with soap and water after using chemicals -- Do Not prepare chemicals in your house or any other closed building.