Thus far, our summer temperatures seem to me to be at or below normal, especially when compared to the last two summers. Nevertheless, it is hot, and hot weather can create problems for swimming pools, especially if a routine swimming pool maintenance program is not followed. We care for several hundred pools on a weekly basis, and although we don’t always succeed at keeping them clear and beautiful, we feel that we can offer sage advice on how to keep your pool looking good in this hot weather. Our experience tells us that there are two critical elements of successful hot weather pool care—proper water chemistry and properly operating equipment.
Following are some tips from the front lines (the pool cleaning crew):
Proper water chemistry
When the weather is hot like it currently is, water chemistry is critical. As a reminder, following are the proper parameters:
Test 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
A few pointers concerning water chemistry from the front lines:
- Test your water at least once per week. We suggest testing the chlorine, pH, and cyanuric acid on a weekly basis. If you have a salt system, it is also a good idea to test the salt on a regular basis.
- You must use your test kit. We have employees who have been working on pools for over 20 years, and they must still test the water. There is no way that you can tell if the water chemistry is in the proper range by just looking at the water.
- Periodically bring one pint of your pool water to our retail store so that we can have it computer analyzed, which could prevent problems.
- Be sure to keep the chlorine on the high side—at least 2.0. Test it on a regular basis and do not let it fall below that level.
- Chlorine is much more effective when the pH is at 7.2 than it is at 7.6, so try to keep your pH in the lower half of the range (7.2 to 7.4).
- Be sure that your cyanuric acid is in the proper range. Cyanuric acid is considered the “sunblock” for the chlorine, and without cyanuric acid this time of year, you cannot operate a pool effectively. Cyanuric acid is also important if you have a salt system on your pool.
Having pool equipment that is operating properly is also very important when the weather is hot. Following are a few pointers concerning pool equipment from the front lines:
- Be sure that your main pump is operating at least 10-12 hours per day. This will vary depending on the pool, but the pump must operate in order for the pool water to remain clear. If you have a salt system, you might have to run the pump for even longer periods, as the salt system does not operate unless the pump is in operation.
- If you have a salt system, be sure that it is turned up to the level that is needed. Although all pools are different, we recommend that most salt systems be set to run at least 80%, if not 100%, during this hot weather. If you are unsure how to do this, check your operating instructions or give us a call and we will help you.
- Be sure to keep your filter backwashed (or cleaned).
- If you notice that something is not operating, give us a call at (940)891-0500 and we will make repairs as necessary.
Try to think ahead about what is coming up in the week ahead. Are you having a party coming up? Do you have a dog that swims? Is there rain in the forecast? Asking questions like this can help assure that the pool stays clear and beautiful, and you avoid cloudy water and algae.