With Pool closures fast approaching, it is recommended to have your water tested and balanced prior to closing. Have you balanced your pools water recently? This is often overlooked and failure to do so, could result in liner wrinkles, fading or even staining. It is suggested to protect your investment, bring in a water sample each month, this will result in balanced the water extending the life of your pools liner and all the related equipment. Also, minimizing the possibility of algae or bacteria growth so upon opening the water is in a far better state.
Water balance is not such a complicated exercise. It is simply the relationships of different chemical parameters to each other. Your swimming pool water is constantly changing. Anything and everything directly and indirectly affects water balance - from sunlight, wind and rain to the oil, dirt and cosmetics which may enter the water.
You will likely not change the water in your swimming pool for many years. Continuous filtration and disinfection remove contaminants which keep the water enjoyable, but this is not water balance. An inground, aboveground pool or hot tub that is "balanced" has proper levels of pH, Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness. It may also be defined as water that is neither corrosive or scaling. This concept is derived from the fact that water will dissolve and "hold" minerals until it becomes saturated and cannot hold any more in solution. When water is considerably less than saturated it is said to be in a corrosive or aggressive condition. When water is over saturated, and can no longer hold the minerals in solution; this is known as a scaling condition. So then, balanced water is that which is neither over or under saturated. The cliché that "water seeks its own level" certainly applies here. Water which is under saturated will attempt to saturate itself by dissolving everything in contact with it in order to build up its content. Water which is over saturated will attempt to throw off some of its content by precipitating minerals out of solution in the form of scale.
How do we know when our water is over or under saturated? Test strips are a good home indicator for daily use. However, we recommend to bring a sample into Aqua-Blue Pools, Spas & Bath Fixtures every 4-5 weeks. We provide a detailed and accurate test to better adjust the water.
Swimming pool water can visually be very deceptive. Even if the water is clear....don't let that fool you. Battery acid is clear, you dont want to be swimming in that....lol. Salt pools especially, chlorine levels can drift and throw out the alklinty and ph. Regrettably, I have seen many pool liners that have wrinkled, or faded far sooner than there average life. In fact, we have seen liners less than one summer old, need replacing due to bad water chemistry. This unfortunately is not a warranty issue, so can result in an expensive replacement.
Yes, balancing the water takes a little effort and cost a little in balancing chemicals. But you can prolong the life of your liner, pump and equipment...than it is well worth it in the long run. When we install any new pool or hot tub, we ask that customers bring a sample every 4 weeks. Down the road, you will thank us :)
1. Ensure the water is chemically balanced. Adjust the alkalinity to about 125 ppm (parts per million), and the pH to 7.8.
2. Two days prior to closing, double-shock the water and run pump and filter as usual.
3. The day of closing, vacuum pool and backwash thoroughly.
4. Drain the pump and filter, following your manufacturer’s instructions (don’t forget the heater, chlorinator and salt generator, if they apply).
5. Remove ladders, drop-in steps and diving board. Dry thoroughly and store in a shed or garage.
6. Lower the water levels. For an aboveground pool, lower to just below return jets. For an inground pool, lower just and inch or so below the skimmer. Remove “eyeball” inserts from jets and all accessories from skimmer (basket, weir, etc.). Fot this method you are required to blow out the lines, to free the lines of water. Contact the store for more details.
7. Winterize the light, if applicable, following manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Disconnect hoses at bottom of skimmer and return jet.
9. Add closing kit (will usually contain an algicide such as Algikill 600, Stain Prevent and Oxy-Pro) and Hivercide to the lowered water level.
10. Install the cover so it lies flat on the water and tight to the wall. Add a few inches of water to the top of the cover to prevent the wind from damaging it.
11. Store surplus chemicals in a cool, dry place.
7. Blow out the skimmer and return lines. Some people use a compressor, some people use a Shop-vac to do this. It must be strong enough to free the lines completley of water. Failure to do so properly will result in freeze damage.
8. Insert a foam rope into the return jets and plug tightly, using threaded plugs and teflon tape.
9. Insert a foam rope into the skimmer and plug using a “gizmo” that will allow for expansion caused by ice.
10. Add the closing kit (will usually contain an algicide such as Algikill 600, Stain Prevent and Oxy-Pro) and Hivercide to the lowered water level.
11. Install the cover so that it lies flat on the water and tight to the wall.
12. If you are not installing a safety or locking cover, but a tarp cover with water bags, it is important to not overfill the water bags to allow for expansion.
13. Add a few inches of water to the top of the cover to prevent the wind from damaging it.
14. Store surplus chemicals in a cool, dry place.
No matter what kind of pool you have, autumn is a great time to clean your filter sand using IPG Filter Cleaner. This closing process seems complicated, but it’s really just mechanical safeguards and a little science! If you prefer, Aqua-Blue is here to help: Book your pool closing now, and our team of professionals will take of winterizing your summer paradise. To learn more about regular maintenance or Aqua-Blue’s services, give us a call at 905-735-9131, or visit us at our showroom at 633 King Street, Welland.
Got a question? Send us an email via our contact page on our website, HERE