There are many ways to ensure your pool is serviced error free each week whether you are a homeowner doing your own pool or a pool service professional doing 80 pools a week. I will touch on a few things you need to do each time you service your pool to make sure it stays sparkling blue all season long. I will also touch on a few common things that can happen if you fail to stick to a set routine.
Routine is important for a variety of reasons when you service a pool. If you don’t have a set order in what you do at each stop you can easily forget to do something and the results could be bad. I do the same thing at every pool each week, so I don’t forget to add chemicals or clean out the baskets. The first thing I do when I get to a pool is to scan the pool for anything unusual. Then turn on and check the equipment. I will see if the filter PSI (Filter Pressure) is fine or not and if the filter may need a cleaning or backwashing.
I will check the water chemistry and add the needed chemicals next. Then I clean the pool and clean out the skimmer basket. I will also empty the pump basket and automatic cleaner in-line canisters or Pressure Cleaner bags if needed. Then I will scan the pool one more time to make sure nothing was missed. It is easy to forget something if you step out of your routine at any time. Forgetting to add chemicals one week will mean that by the following week the pool will probably be cloudy or have algae in it.
There are also some cautions with using certain chemicals in certain pool surface types. For instance, you don’t want to add any shock bags or Tri-Chlor granular or 3” tablets to a Vinyl lined pool. Dichlor is fine in most cases but to be totally safe using only liquid chlorine in a Vinyl and Fiberglass pool is recommended. I caution the use of Tri-Chlor granular sold under the HASA label as Algi-Ban in any pool if you are not familiar with the product use. It is one of the strongest forms of chlorine, but one drawback is that it can stain the pool surface since there is acid in the chemical in the form of Cyanuric Acid. If you do use the Tri-Chlor granular I suggest using it in only a white plaster pool or a color plaster pool that is older and has a lot of blotches on the surface. And when you do use it never allow it to pile up in one area of the surface, generally it tends to pile up in the corners of the pool.
The same caution for using Tri-Chlor 3” Tablets in a floater in a pool. Make sure the floater is in good condition and that the top is on securely. If a 3” tablet falls out and stays on the pool surface for any period it can stain the surface. It will leave a circular “burn” mark and it will be black or deep brown in color. So, either in granular form or in 3” Tablet form the Tri-Chlor can stain your pool.
Using Dry Acid in a pool can also cause burns and staining if used incorrectly or on the wrong surface type. Even pouring it directly into a plaster pool can cause staining if it lands in a pile in any area of the pool. This can happen if the Dry Acid is clumped up and is left to sit on the pool bottom. It is always safest to stick with liquid Muriatic Acid which can safely be poured into any pool to lower the pH.
If you see a trend here you will notice that liquid chemicals are the safest to introduce into a pool, regardless of surface type. When in doubt default to liquid chlorine and liquid Muriatic Acid. This will go a long way in preventing staining in a plaster pool and real damage to a Fiberglass or Vinyl pool. If you are unsure and liquid chemicals are not available in your area you can contact me or your local pool store to make sure adding a certain chemical will not stain your pool surface.
And last, getting lazy with your pool care will only lead to problems. If you see a little algae in the pool but don’t treat it because you don’t have time or the proper chemicals on hand, the following week it will more than likely have bloomed and the entire pool is covered with it or it may even turn green on you. Or if the filter needs a backwashing or cleaning but you let it go for a week or two, chances are the pool will have water quality problems during that time, either a cloudy pool or algae blooms.
Routine is important and using chemicals carefully are the key to a problem free and stain free pool. Doing the same things every week and making sure that the chemicals you use are safe for your pool type are the keys to success.
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