- Not checking your pool’s chemistry often enough. Check the pool’s chemistry twice per week in the summer and once per week in the winter. By doing this you can make minor adjustments to your water chemistry instead of big adjustments that create a wild up and down graph of activity.
- Allowing pH to get above 8.0. At 8.5 chlorine is only 10% active. At 7.0 it is about 73% active. By just maintaining pH around 7.5 the chlorine is 50-60% active. Keeping the pH in check will allow you to use to the full potential the chlorine that is already in the pool.
- Not keeping alkalinity between 80-140 PPM. Low or high alkalinity can affect water balance and ultimately a sanitizer’s ability to perform.
- Not checking TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) or calcium hardness on a regular basis. Check TDS every 6 months and calcium hardness every month. These also affect water balance which is different from sanitation, although related.
- Not cleaning the cells in salt water systems (chlorine generators). Corroded or calcified cells will produce little chlorine.
- Backwashing sand or DE filters too often. If you do this, the filter can never reach its cleaning potential. If you backwash on a regular basis for no reason, you are wasting water. Most filters require backwashing when the pressure gauge rises 8-10 PSI from clean.
- Not cleaning the skimmer basket and/or hair and lint pot in the pool pump often enough. If these are full of debris you will get little flow resulting in poor circulation, potentially creating a big problem.
- Adding chemicals, especially liquid chlorine, during the day. Try to add chemicals in the evening after the sun has set. You will get more out of them.
- Not brushing the walls and tile down often enough. If your circulation system is suspect, and many are, brushing down the walls will help eliminate algae problems. Keeping your tile clean will save you money. Once the tile gets calcified it becomes like plaque and will take a specialist to get it off.
- Make sure that you keep the space between the bottom of the cantilever on the deck and the top of the tile in check. If this cracks, then put in some silicon. You do not want water migrating from the inside of the pool out under the decking.
- Not running pumps long enough. You should run your pump about 1 hour for every 10 degrees of temperature. This assumes you have a decent circulation system. It is ALL about the FLOW! Circulation IS the key to a low maintenance swimming pool.
- Not replacing broken or missing drains or suction sources. This a real and dangerous hazard. The same could be said for defective door/gate closers and fences in disrepair.
Many pool owners have had to deal with algae problems at one time or another. Algae spores can enter a pool in a variety of different ways, but is most commonly introduced into a pool through wind, rain, dirt, and even on a swimmer’s body or bathing suit. Keeping algae spores out of your pool is tough, so it is important to prevent the microscopic spores from turning into unsightly algae blooms. Maintaining clean, algae-free water will help keep your pool and your family happy and healthy, and cleanmypoolmyself.com is here to help prevent and protect your pool from any algae problems!
Cleanmypoolmyself has compiled a quick and easy-to-read list of tips for preventing and eliminating algae. Click Here for the Full Details!
1. Make sure your circulation system is running properly
A circulation system in good working condition is one of the most important steps to preventing algae growth. To keep your circulation system running properly, you will want to regularly check and clean the skimmer and pump strainer baskets. This will keep the water, as well as the sanitizing chemicals, flowing evenly throughout your pool.
Along with emptying the skimmer and pump strainer baskets, it is also important to routinely clean or backwash your filter. Over time, filters become clogged with dirt and debris, and require some simple maintenance. No matter what type of filter you use, it is necessary to clean your cartridge filter or backwash your sand or D.E. filter whenever the pressure gauge reads 8-10 psi higher than normal. When cleaning or backwashing,
During swimming season, we recommend running your pump and filter between 6 and 8 hours a day, and you can even increase the cycle to between 10 and 12 hours during times of heavy swimmer usage. Routinely checking and cleaning your skimmer, pump, and filter will help keep your pool clean and algae free.
2. Always keep sanitizer levels at or above the recommended minimum
Algae spores are constantly finding their way into your pool, but are usually killed by the chlorine or other sanitizers before they ever grow into blooms. When the sanitizer levels get too low, however, these spores can quickly grow and begin to cling onto pool surfaces. If you use chlorine to keep your pool sanitized, the level should stay between 2.0 and 4.0 parts per million (ppm). To help maintain a safe and effective level of chlorine in your pool, we recommend using either an automatic or a floating chlorinator. Both automatic and floating chlorinators feed a constant amount of chlorine into your pool, and prevent the chlorine level from dropping below the effective range. If you are using another type of sanitizer, make sure it is also within the desired range.
3. Shock the pool weekly
A monthly shock of your pool is great for eliminating any algae spores your regular sanitizer might have missed. Using a shock or a granular chlorine represents a great way to keep your pool clean, your sanitizers at their correct levels, and should help to eliminate any potential algae problems before they grow.
4. Develop and maintain and scheduled brushing routine
Pool walls, floors, and steps are the most common places to find algae in your pool. If left untreated, algae can burrow their roots inside the cracks on these surfaces, making them very difficult to remove. Brush the pool walls, steps, and floor at least once a week (more if necessary) to prevent algae growth from forming in your pool.
5. Find the right brush for your pool
Brushing and scrubbing your pool walls are necessary to preventing algae growth, but the wrong kind of brush can do serious damage to your pool surface. If you own a vinyl-lined, fiberglass, acrylic, or painted pool, you will want to use a nylon brush. These brushes are softer and won’t tear the vinyl or scratch the surface. For plaster or concrete pools, a wire brush will provide superior cleaning strength without harming the pool surface.
NEVER use a metal wire brush with a vinyl-lined, fiberglass, acrylic, or painted pool. Wire brushes are very abrasive and can cause the pool surface to rip, tear, or scratch. Always use caution and be careful not to apply excessive pressure when using a wire brush, even on plaster pool surfaces.
6. Use a vacuum to remove dirt and debris
Along with brushing and scrubbing, vacuuming your pool is a great way to help prevent algae growth. Brushing the pool walls will dislodge most algae spores that are clinging to the surface, but these spores often simply settle at the bottom of the pool. Using a vacuum, you can eliminate most of the dirt, debris, and contaminants that find their way into your pool.
7. Use an algaecide regularly
Regular use of an algaecide is a great way to help keep algae from ever taking hold in your pool. There are many different types of algaecides available, designed to help fight certain kinds of pool algae. Algaecides are designed to be used when your pool is clean and algae-free, and will stop algae spores from developing into full-on blooms.
8. Eliminating phosphates prevents algae growth
Algae, like all plants, are living creatures that require food and nourishment to survive. Phosphates, which can enter your pool through dust, leaves and debris, and swimmer waste such as sweat or oils, act as fertilizer for algae, allowing spores to grow into fully-developed algae blooms. By eliminating phosphates, you can stop the growth of algae before it ever begins.
9. Keep a watchful eye on your pool all year long
The two most important steps in owning an algae-free pool is to maintain a cleaning schedule and to watch for any signs of algae growth. Keeping your maintenance schedule will keep nearly all of the algae spores from developing into blooms, but you should always be watching your pool for any algae that may be growing in hard-to-see areas like on pool steps or ladders. This also means frequent check-ups of your pool even while it is closed for winter. Clean and check your pool regularly and you should have an algae-free pool and happy swimmers!
- Turn OFF the pool pump.
- Turn pool control handle to “backwash”
- Turn ON the pool pump. Watch for the dirty water to flow until it becomes clear. (Most filters have a clear bubble on the side that allows you to see the water as it flows out of the system)
- Turn OFF the pool pump.
- turn the handle to rinse
- start the pump again for about 10 seconds or until the water in the bubble is clear.
- Turn the pump of again.
- Return the filter handle back to the filter position.
- Start the pump up again
- check that the pressure in the gauge has dropped considerably and if it has you once again have a clean filter until the pressure builds up again.
Pool filters are useful tools in keeping your swimming pool clean and clear from debris. Water containing small particulate matter passes through the filter and comes out the other end cleaner. This cleaner water is not only more pleasant to swim in, but also healthier and more aesthetically pleasing.
How do Pool Filters Work?
Pool filters are situated between inflow and outflow hoses going into and out of the pool, respectively. The outflow hose comes out of the pool toward the filter and sucks water out of the pool. This hose is usually placed halfway down the side of the pool, so it an suck water in that is near the middle or bottom of the pool (if it were placed near the top, the water would not circulate properly). When the water flows through the filter, which is usually constructed of some sort of fabric and looks like an air filter of a car, particulate matter is captured. Then this cleaner water flows through the inflow hose back into the pool. This hose pumps water into the pool closer to the surface of the pool than the outflow hose. The two hoses coming into and out of the pool at different heights creates a current, of sorts, that helps circulate the water in the pool, so more of the water gets filtered through.
Phosphates can increase the likelihood growth of algae in swimming pool water and can enter the water from such sources as: decaying plant matter, fertilizers, mineral treatment chemicals, contaminated well water, acid rain, contamination with soil, ground water runoff, bird droppings, bather wastes, urine and sweat. Phosphate is a vital plant nutrient and the presence in swimming pool water, even at low concentrations, can cause accelerated algae growth in poorly maintained pools. Pools, that are properly maintained, usually do not have unexpected difficulty controlling algae, even in the presence of phosphates. Higher levels of phosphates can make algae control more difficult and increase the amount of sanitizer required to maintain satisfactory control of algae. It is possible to remove modest levels of phosphates, by treating the pool water with a phosphate eliminating product, such as POOL REFRESH. Very high levels may require so much of the precipitating compound, as to render this approach impractical, unless there is no option of water replacement. In order for phosphate reducing products to work the concentration of phosphates must be reduced to extremely low levels: parts per billion. The benefits of such product use is adding another layer of protection against algae growth. Proper pool water maintenance is always the first line of defense. Testing for phosphates is not universal, but in those cases where algae control is proving difficult, despite apparently ideal pool water conditions, testing for phosphates and nitrates might be advantageous.
My Pool is Green!