10-point summer pool care plan
It is the first day of summer and temperatures are already on the rise in some parts of the country, with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing warnings that “severe to extreme heatwave conditions” will strike across Queensland and New South Wales over the coming days.
This is great news for pool owners, who are no doubt already enjoying an early start to the swimming season. However, warmer weather means more maintenance to make sure pool water stays clean, clear and healthy.
“Excessive heat leads to water evaporation and more swimmers using the pool to cool down – all of which affects the chemical balance of pool water,” says Swimart’s Australasian manager Chris Fitzmaurice.
“Not only that, but the weather patterns in many parts of Australia are fluctuating – which is common at this time of the year – from cooler temperatures one day, thunderstorms the next, to humid, hot days. This can really affect pH levels, which means pool owners need to keep a close check on the quality of pool water.”
Maintain balanced water chemistry
The humidity, heat and long hours of sunshine means potential issues with pool water – not least being algae, which thrives in warm weather.
“The best defense against algae is chlorine,” Chris says. “With ongoing hot weather, pools don’t get the chance to cool down overnight, so the chlorine demand remains high.”
While it’s natural to have some phosphates in pool water – introduced by dust, rain, runoff from lawns and gardens, bird and bat droppings, and dogs swimming in the pool – algae thrive on them.
“Water balance is essential to a healthy pool and for chlorine to do its job properly,” Chris says. “If the pH is too high, chlorine becomes less effective and the water can become dull and cloudy. This can be addressed by adding acid to the water.
“When it’s too low, the water will start to hurt your eyes and irritate skin and, if left untreated, also corrode the surface of your pool and salt chlorinator. This can be fixed by adding a ‘buffer’ or alkali. Correct pH levels within the range of 7.2 to 7.6 make the pool comfortable to swim in.”
Swimart’s 10-point summer pool care plan
Swimart, which has 73 franchises outlets across Australia and New Zealand, and a fleet of more than 250 mobile service vans, has developed this simple 10-point plan to help you maintain your pool with minimal effort over the busy holiday period. That means more time to play with the kids while they’re on school holidays, and less time and money keeping your pool in peak condition.
- Check your pool’s chlorine and pH level every two days, especially after a period of heavy usage, and after a particularly hot day or period of heavy rain
- Clean out your skimmer basket and hair and lint pot in your filtration pump on a weekly basis
- To re-balance pool water, take a sample from elbow depth away from the pool returns to your local pool store to be professionally tested
- Use a quality algaecide to keep algae at bay
- Operate the filtration system 6-8 hours a day
- Regularly check sanitiser levels, ideally on a daily basis
- Check Total Alkalinity (TA) weekly
- Thoroughly backwash your sand or DE filter, or remove and clean the cartridge from your cartridge filter with a hose, depending on pool use
- Maintain the water level at least half way up to the skimmer box opening
- Regularly brush or vacuum pool walls and floor