Pool Chemistry Questions
Is having balanced water crucial to your pool?
The primary components of a balanced pool are total alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness.
An incorrect total alkalinity will cause the pH to be either too high or too low. If pH and calcium are low, the pool is too acidic or corrosive and this will lead to deterioration of the pool's finish and equipment. Also, the pool's chlorine will be used too quickly. When pH and calcium hardness are too high, scale will form and chlorine becomes ineffective.
There must also be something to keep the water clear and free from bacteria. Chlorine will accomplish this. An ideal chlorine level is 1-3 PPM in swimming pools.
One last component to maintaining a balanced pool is stabilizer. Stabilizer protects chlorine from the sun, allowing the chlorine to stay in the water longer, therefore able to fight against algae and bacteria.
Ideal Alkalinity = 80-100 PPM
Ideal pH = 7.6
Ideal Chlorine = 1-3 PPM
Calcium hardness = 200-300 PPM
Water chemistry varies by location so something that works for a friend may not help your pool. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact a water chemistry certified pool professional from Acqua Nita Services, Inc. if you are uncertain about chemical dosages.
What type of chlorine is best for my pool?
Chlorine is a disinfectant and the most popular sanitizer used in pool water. Sanitizers are used to keep water clear of bacteria and inhibit or control the growth of viruses, algae and organic contaminants. The two most common sanitizers are chlorine and bromine.
Chlorine levels are determined with a test kit and measured in parts per million (PPM). The ideal chlorine residual (chlorine residual refers to the chlorine remaining after all reactions and dissipations have occurred) in pool water should be between 1.0 and 3.0 PPM.
What is stabilizer?
This is a chemical that prevents the ultra-violet rays of the sun from prematurely dissipating the chlorine level. Stabilizer reduces sanitizer consumption up to 50% and should be added to the pool if needed. It is important to test your stabilizer level because it stays in your water indefinitely. If stabilizer was added in the past, its added based on the results of your test. Stabilizer levels should be maintained between 60-80 PPM.
An Alternative Sanitizer is generally regarded as anything used to sanitize the pool water in lieu of the more traditional methods of chlorine and bromine. To sanitize means to remove harmful microorganisms or contaminants from the water with destruction on a molecular or cellular level. Sanitation is one necessity of three for clear water; the other two being filtration and circulation. There several types of alternative sanitizer systems available; but salt is by far the best.
How does it work?
A small amount of natural salt is dissolved into the pool water. The sanitizer's electrolytic cell is plumbed directly in-line with the equipment, typically after the heater. The power control unit is wired to the pool timer so it sanitizes the water when the pump is running water flows through the electrolytic cell, electrolysis separates the salt water into its basic components, sodium and chloride; 100% free available chlorine is produced by this process and goes to work in the cell chamber to oxidize bacteria and sanitize the pool water. Following this process the chloride and sodium re-bond and become natural salt again. The only salt you will need to add to your pool will be to replace the salt lost in splash out, filter back flushing and dilution through rain.
Will The Salt Corrode The Pump & Heater?
No actually, salt water only begins to become corrosive at dilutions in excess of 6,000 parts per million (PPM). Chlorine Generators require salt levels of 3,000 PPM to operate effectively. Actually, chemically treated pool water is more corrosive than a saltwater pool.
Will I ever need to add standard pool chlorine again?
No, the system will produce more than enough sanitizer to keep your pool crystal clear year around. Some systems have a patented temperature compensation feature that actually adjusts chlorine production according to the demands of the water temperature and operates in water temperatures up to 104 Degrees Fahrenheit.
How much sanitizer is produced?
Depending on the system being used, the power control unit can be adjusted to produce the level of sanitizer needed or desired.
Some Say These "Salt Systems Don't Work!"
There are a number of different salt systems on the market and as with any product. All systems meet Health code Requirements, they are U.L. (Underwriters Laboratory) LISTED, N.S.F. (National Sanitation Foundation) APPROVED. If you would like to know more about the different types of salt system don’t hesitate to contact a licensed pool professional from Acqua Nita Services, Inc. if you are uncertain which unit is right for you.
Drain Cover Safety
How do I know that my covers are safe?
Congress in 2007 passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, named after former Secretary of State James Baker's granddaughter, who became trapped in a hot-tub drain and drowned in 2002. The law set new standards for drain covers for pools and spas, or hot tubs. The standards are optional for existing residential pools. However, all new equipment must meet the standards, so people repairing their pools or building new ones must install the new drain covers.
If you are unsure that the covers installed in your swimming pool are VGB compliant; please contact Acqua Nita Services, Inc. and schedule a representative to verify that your cover prevents entrapment.
Is my pool leaking?
Your pool will naturally lose some water due to evaporation from the sun, evaporation from wind, the use of a pool heater, and splash out. You may also gain water from rainfall. Rule of thumb is that if you’re routinely adding water to your pool, you may have a leak. Another rule of thumb is that if you lose less than a 1/4 inch a day it is probably evaporation and if you lose more than a 1/4 inch a day it is probably a leak.
Unsure of your evaporation rate?
Do the Bucket test:
1. Bring water to normal operating level, usually the middle of the skimmer or tiles.
2. Place bucket filled with pool water on the top pool step.
3. Mark the water level n both the inside and outside of the bucket The starting point levels should the same.
4. Check the mark 24 hours later. If there is a greater drop in the line on the outside of the bucket, a leak in the pool is indicated.
Now it’s time to call Acqua Nita Services, Inc. for leak detection and repair!
What should I do if a hurricane is predicted?
Before the Storm
Except in special cases, there is no need to lower the water. Many people say “Won’t the pool overflow if you don’t lower the water level?” Certainly it will. But no more than if a patio or plots of grass were there. Never completely drain the pool. If you do lower the water level, be sure to close the skimmer valve to prevent damage to the pump and piping.
Turn off all electrical power to the swimming pool. Including power to the pump motor, lighting, chlorinators, etc. before the storm hits.
Remove and store any removable child safety fences. Install the fence deck caps.
DO NOT place loose objects such as chairs, tables, pool equipment and toys inside the pool.
Acqua Nita Services, Inc. will be super chlorinating the pool water, if the hurricane warnings allow.
After the Storm
Acqua Nita Services, Inc. will be assessing your swimming pool for damage and super chlorinating as soon as hurricane warnings are lifted.
DO NOT EMPTY THE POOL! High ground water can cause structural damage to an empty pool. There is a very good chance that your pool will lift right out of the ground if you drain it after heavy rains or floods or when the water table is high.
Remove all debris from pool with a rake and a skimmer before restarting the system to prevent clogged lines.
Some chemical feeders require special care before starting the pump motor. Check with Acqua Nita Services, Inc..
Check to make sure the pool is operating normally and that the water is circulating in the pool. Reset time clocks to show the correct time of day. Run the filter until the water is crystal clear and resume normal pool operation
just how much can you save?
Call Acqua Nita Services for a free energy report?