There are so many aspects to pool care that you may get lost and confused and not know where to start. The key to everything you do with your pool should be focused on the #1 goal of pool care. To put it simply you are making sure the pool is safe to swim in. Basically, no one will get sick by going into your pool or a pool on your service route.
To achieve this goal you need to have these three elements working together at all times. Filtration, Circulation, and Sanitizer. This sounds pretty basic but there are a lot of factors that go into making sure all three of these are working together. If anyone of these three is out of the equation, chances are the pool will not be safe to swim in.
Your pool filter is often overlooked and in fact, it is the key to the entire equation. If your filter is undersized, dirty or in poor working order circulation and sanitizer are affected negatively. You can run your pool for 24 hours with a dirty filter and have plenty of chlorine (sanitizer) in the water and you will have cloudy water or water that is not safe to swim in.
To correct this make sure your filter elements – grids or cartridges are in good working order. Both grids and the cartridges wear out and need to be replaced as well as the sand in your Sand Filter. Also, keeping your filter clean goes a long way with filtration. A very dirty filter just won’t move the water well nor will it make the chlorine in the water effective.
You can have a brand new filter and you can add 2 gallons of chlorine to your 20,000-gallon pool, but if you run your pump only 2 hours a day chances are the chlorine will not hold and the water will become cloudy or algae-filled. It is like adding sugar to your coffee and not stirring it before drinking it. Without the pool pump running the correct amount of time to circulate the water in your pool, you can’t maintain a safe pool.
You will want at least one full cycle each day during the season. This is all of the water going from the pump into the filter and back out again until all of the water in the pool has passed through the filter. So for that 20,000-gallon pool, run time with a single-speed pump should be about 8-10 hours each day. Otherwise, the filter just can’t work effectively and the chlorine will not circulate in the pool. Like that cup of coffee with all that sugar on the bottom.
You can have a clean or new filter and run your pump 24-hours, but unless you have a chlorine level of 1.5-3ppm in the pool, within a few days to a week in the Summer that pool will be looking like a swamp. The third element in the equation is just as critical as the other two. I even prefer to have my chlorine levels on the pools on my route at 3-5 ppm to give me some added cushion.
I also am a big fan of using a chlorine enhancer. These are products that boost the chlorine’s effectiveness by freeing up the chlorine so that it works on only what it needs to. For example, if you add a Phosphate and Enzyme you are eliminating the food source for any algae in the pool, thereby freeing u the chlorine to work on other things in the pool. Since it is not being used up fighting algae in the pool it will last longer and be more effective. The same if you were to add a PoolRx or borates to your pool. These enhancers will free up the chlorine to work more effectively.
If any of these three elements are off like a 3-legged stool your pool will not be able to stay in balance. Filtration, circulation, and sanitization are the three key things to focus on if you want a crystal-clear pool all season long.
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