With the 100 degree temperatures that arrived this week, we are again reminded that hot weather can create problems for swimming pools even when a routine swimming pool maintenance program is followed. Two of the most common pool problems that pool owners experience this time of year are cloudy water and algae.
Treating Cloudy Water in Pools
The cause of cloudy water is usually either a water chemistry imbalance or poor filtration.
Cloudy water due to water chemistry imbalance
If it is a water chemistry issue, it is usually low sanitizer (chlorine) levels or high pH levels. If you have cloudy water and suspect that it is a water chemistry problem, simply test the water and treat as recommended or better yet, take a pint of your pool water to a professional pool store. They will be glad to analyze your pool water and recommend treatment.
Cloudy water due to a poor filtration
Poor filtration can also cause cloudy water. This could be as simple as excessive debris in a pump basket or skimmer basket, poor water circulation due to a dirty filter, or it could possibly be a problem with your filter. There are three common filters used on swimming pools—sand, D.E. (diatomaceous earth), and cartridge. Depending on the type of filter that you have, the following filter problems can occur:
Sand filter – Your sand should be replaced every 3-5 years. If you are unable to clear up cloudy water and have not changed the sand in several years, it is suggested that you change it.
D.E. filter – You could have a torn D.E. filter grid, which allows D.E. to enter the pool, causing cloudy water. Disassemble your filter and check the filter grids for holes or the filter manifold for cracks.
Cartridge filter – You could have a torn or old cartridge—either situation calls for filter replacement.
The best long term solution to cloudy water is to find out what is causing it and take care of the problem. In the short term, however, there are water clarifiers available that remove particulate matter, which could clear the pool. Clarifiers coagulate particles so that they become large enough to fall out of solution and be trapped by the filter. There are many pool owners who use a clarifier on a regular basis to prevent cloudy water. This is especially recommended during this time of year, when cloudy water might keep you from enjoying your pool safely.
Treating Algae in Pools
Most algae can be prevented and can usually be blamed on low sanitizer (chlorine) levels. It is much easier and less expensive to prevent algae than it is to treat it. Many pool owners in the Denton area use an algaecide weekly as a preventive measure. This, along with brushing the pool regularly, is very effective in preventing algae.
There are several types of algae that are common in this area. They are as follows:
- Green algae—is either free-floating or attaches itself to the pool surface.
- Yellow (or mustard) algae—usually found in low flow areas of the pool.
- Black (or blue-green) algae—forms a root system which makes it difficult to remove.
Treatment varies with each one of these types of algae, but it usually consists of increasing the sanitizer level, using an algaecide, and brushing the pool.
The single most important key to hot weather pool care is having the proper water chemistry:
Test at least weekly during this hot weather
chlorine – 2.0 to 4.0ppm
pH – 7.2 to 7.6
cyanuric acid – 30 to 50ppm
salt level in a salt pool –2700 to 3500 ppm
Test monthly or as needed
total alkalinity – 80 to 100 for calcium hypochlorite, salt pools, & liquid chlorine pools
100 to 120 for dichlor and trichlor pools
calcium hardness – 200 to 400 ppm
Free On-Site Pool Service Estimate
If you are struggling with hot weather pool care and need some help—bring a sample of water to our Retail Store at 909 Dallas Drive in Denton and we will be glad to help you. Or, if you choose, we can help you keep your pool clean this summer—give us a call at (940)891-0500 for a free on-site weekly pool service estimate.