Sunscreen, night swims, kids on school holidays and a long, hot summer punctuated by periods of solid rain – Australia’s swimming pools have seen it all over the past few months! If your pool is looking a little lackluster and in need of some TLC, then these handy tips will get it back to its sparkling best. Summer might nearly be over but that doesn’t mean the pool parties have to end!
Heat and humidity
Heat, humidity and long hours of sunshine provide the perfect environment for algae to grow, which quickly affects the quality – and temperature – of your pool water.
“The best defence against algae is definitely chlorine,” says Swimart’s Australasian manager Chris Fitzmaurice. “With ongoing hot weather, pools don’t get the chance to cool down overnight, so the chlorine demand remains high.”
Phosphates, which are the main source of food for algae, also affect pool water quality.
“Water balance is key to a healthy pool and for chlorine to work effectively,” says Chris. “If the pH is too high, chlorine becomes less effective and the water quickly becomes become dull and cloudy. This can be easily addressed by adding acid to the pool water.
“However, if the pH is too low, the water will start to hurt your eyes and skin and make you feel itchy,” he adds. “It can also etch away the surface of the pool and cause scaling on the exterior of your pool and salt chlorinator. However, this can be fixed by adding ‘buffer’ or alkali."
Rain and storms
Heavy downpours or prolonged periods of rain water won’t necessarily harm your pool – unless we’re talking about a severe weather system like flash flooding or a cyclone – but the extra volume of water will dilute chemical levels due to its naturally acidic nature.
"This can leave you with a pool full of cloudy or even green water," says Chris. “Flooding or heavy rainfall can also permanently damage filtration equipment, especially pumps and heaters, so it is a good idea to get those checked before switching them back on."
If rain and wind is wreaking havoc on your pool, we recommend cleaning debris out of the water to prevent staining the interior. You’ll need to drain some water if the water level is above the skimmer, which you can do by backwashing the sand filter or opening the drain to let the water out. Next, shock or super chlorinate the water and balance the pH, then run the filter until the water is nice and clear again.
We also have this simple pool care checklist, which can be your go-to year-round:
- 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 solid rain
- Clean out your skimmer basket and hair and lint pot in your filtration pump weekly
- Re-balance pool water by taking a sample from elbow depth away from the pool returns and take it to your local Swimart pool store to be professionally tested
- Use a quality algaecide like Aqua-Health Concide 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 with a Swimart test kit or by taking a sample to your local Swimart store
- 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
If your pool is in need of a professional clean, or you suspect the equipment isn’t working as it should, then give Swimart a call on 1300 991 104. One of our professional pool technicians will help you troubleshoot the problem and recommend the best solution.