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There are three areas of consideration in proper pool maintenance: 1.Water Balance 2.Disinfection, sanitation, oxidation 3.Circulation and filtration Maintaining a routine maintenance schedule is your first line of defense against all pool-rated problems. A maintenance program consists of the following: oRoutinely testing your water and adding chemicals needed to balance water oUsing your net and brush to rid the pool of debris, scale, algae etc. oEmptying your skimmer and pump baskets oVacuuming the pool oCleaning the filter WATER BALANCE Swimming pools need to maintain a certain "water balance" to protect the equipment and plaster. Proper pool water balance also insures swimmer comfort. When the pH, Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness are within the recommend ranges the pool is considered to be balanced. PH Solutions can be acidic or basic (alkaline). PH is a value that indicates how acidic or basic a solution is. The scale for pH ranges from 0-14. The ideal pH for pools is 7.5; the acceptable range is 7.2-7.6. Low pH will cause:
High pH will cause: -Etched plaster -Scale formation -Corroded metals -Cloudy water -Stained plaster -Short filter runs -Eye & skin irritation -Destruction of total alkalinity -Poor chlorine efficiency To lower pH levels you use muriatic acid or a granular acid (pH minus) To raise pH levels you use soda ash (pH plus) TOTAL ALKALINITY This is the measurement of the total amount of alkaline materials dissolved in the water. It is said to be the buffering capacity of the water, the water resistance to change in pH. Low or high total alkalinity can cause serious damage if left unchecked. Low Total AlkalinityHigh Total Alkalinity -Etched plaster-Scale formation -Corroded metals-Cloudy water -Stained plaster-Hard to change pH -PH bounce-Eye & skin irritation -Eye & skin irritation-Poor chlorine efficiency To raise total alkalinity use sodium bicarbonate To lower total alkalinity use muriatic acid or dry acid (pH minus) CALCIUM HARDNESS Hardness: Hardness is related to Alkalinity. Hardness measures the amount of calcium, magnesium and manganese (which are three alkaline materials) that are present in the water.
The ideal range for hardness runs from about 150 ppm to 500 ppm. Of the three primary minerals measured under the category of Hardness, calcium is the most significant mineral. Pool owners need to maintain a sufficient amount of calcium in their pool to achieve water chemistry. Hardness only has to be tested approximately once per month. Unless you are experiencing problems with dissolved metallic parts in your pool, discolored water, stains, or the formation of scale. So we advise that you have your hardness level professionally tested. Raising the Hardness level: If your Hardness reading is below 150 ppm, you will need to add Calcium Chloride. This is typically packaged and sold as "Hardness Increaser," "Hardness Up," or "Hardness Plus." If low Hardness levels causes metallic parts in your pool to dissolve OR causes discolored water and stains, you may need to add a metal sequestering agent. Problems resulting from low Hardness levels: 1.Metallic parts in your pool will dissolve (walls, floor, handrails, ladders, light fixtures, and equipment). This could even lead to discolored water and stains on the pool walls and floor. 2.Stained and etched concrete in concrete pools. 3.Stained and etched plaster in gunite or shotcrete pools. 4.Stained line in vinyl-liner pools. 5.Blistering or delamination of fiberglass pools. 6.Minimizes effectiveness of chlorine (or its alternative). 7.Foam. 8.Eye and skin irritation. Lowering the Hardness level: Since Hardness only has to be tested monthly, or as-needed, visit your local pool professional and have them test your Hardness level on the computer. If your Hardness level is too high (over 500 ppm), you will need to drain your pool, either partially or completely. There is no chemical to lower the Hardness level. Once refilled, it is then necessary to re-attain water chemistry. If you typically have high Hardness levels due to the tap water in your region, you may have to add a metal sequestering agent to rid the water of excess harsh minerals. If Hardness levels get too high over time, it is best to drain the pool - partially or completely - refill, and add a further dose of the Metal Sequestering Agent. Problems resulting from high Hardness levels: 1.Cloudy water.
2.Scale formation on the pool walls, floor, plumbing and equipment. 3.Overall poor filtration - primarily due to scale that is deposited inside the plumbing, which restricts water circulation. 4.Minimizes effectiveness of chlorine (or its alternative). 5.Eye and skin irritation. THE CHEMISTRY OF WATER Within a large body of water, like your swimming pool, the majority of the fill will exist as water (H2O), but some Hydrogen lons and some Hydroxide lons will exist. It is the proportion of these combined Hydrogen lons and Hydroxide lons to the remainder of the water molecules that determines whether water is acidic (having a pH level below 7.0) or ALKALINE (having a pH level above 7.0), and thus, out of balance. A.)Elements of Water Chemistry: From region to region, pool professionals will offer slight variations to the following elements of successful water chemistry, but no one in the industry will argue with these ranges as being "ideal." ChemicalMinimum Ideal Maximum Chlorine1.0 ppm2.0-3.0 ppm3.5 ppm Cyanuric Acid 20 ppm 30-80 ppm100 ppm Bromine2.0 ppm2.5-4.0 ppm5.0 ppm pH7.2
Alkalinity 70 ppm 80-140 ppm150 ppm Hardness150 ppm200-450 ppm500 ppm T.D.S.400 ppm Copper 0 Iron 0
1500-3000 ppm3500 ppm
0 0.1 ppm 0 0.1 ppm
DISINFECTION, SANITATION & OXIDATION Water by itself is rarely free of harsh minerals and other invaders, such as bacteria, living organism, ammonia, and other contaminates. Other factors, such as climate and bather load, and poor water chemistry will add these invaders to your pool. Certain chemicals have to be added to your pool in order to combat the undesired effects of these invaders.
Sanitizers, Disinfectants and Oxidizers: 1.)Chlorine: Chlorine sanitizes, disinfectants, and oxidizes water. By sanitizing, chlorine will kill all bacteria, living organisms, and other contaminates. By disinfecting, chlorine will kill all potential disease carrying capabilities of these bacteria, living organisms, ammonia, and other contaminates in order to kill them. More and more products are being introduced into the market as alternatives to chlorine, but chlorine is still the most widely used and the most effective. Chlorine Tablets and Granular Chlorine are the most popular forms of chlorine. a.)Chlorine as a sanitizer, disinfectant, and oxidizer: The chlorine level must be closely watched, as it will fluctuate due to climate and bather load, and the constant introduction and reintroduction of bacteria, living organisms, ammonia, and other contaminates to your pool water. Chlorine demand is the amount of chlorine needed to kill any of these invaders in your pool. After this demand is met, the amount of chlorine remaining in the water to sanitize, disinfect, and oxidize is known as Free Chlorine. Chlorine will combine with bacteria, living organisms, ammonia, and other contaminates in order to kill them. So, only a portion of the chlorine can continue to sanitize, disinfect, and oxidize the pool water while the remainder of the chlorine is occupied by an influx of these invaders. This is why chlorine levels must be tested and adjusted often -2 to 3 times per week under normal conditions and use, and almost daily during periods of high heat and humidity, as well as after any rainfall, winds, or heavy bather loads. This is also why you must shock your pool water regularly. b.)Shocking with chlorine: When chlorine-users shock their pools, they are really "superchlorinating" their pools. It is necessary to add more chlorine to your pool because ammonia is present. Chlorine will combine with but cannot kill ammonia. The combination of chlorine and ammonia is called a Chloramine. Chloramines will remain in the water, and will register as chlorine. But they are unable to sanitize, disinfect, or oxidize the water because the ammonia has neutralized the chlorine. Ammonia is commonly present in pool water from the environment, a build up of fertilizers that are carried by the wind, swimmer wastes and from some suntan lotions. Ammonia can only be killed by shocking the pool. Total chlorine is a measurement of both your Free Chlorine and the presence of Chloramines in your pool water. To make it simple: Free Chlorine is good, and Chloramines are bad. In order to maintain an ideal Free Chlorine reading of 2.0-3.0 ppm, you will need to regularly add chlorine (tablets or granular) to the pool. In order to get rid of Chloramines, you will need to shock the pool. Chlorine-based shock Calcium Hypochlorite: Calcium Hypochlorite, which is granular, is a chlorine-based shock compound that is often used. It is best to dilute Calcium Hypochlorite in a bucket of water first, and then pour the diluted mixture in random areas of the pool. It has a 65%-68% available chlorine. Since it has such high available chlorine and dissolves slowly, the granules will not dilute before they fall to the pool floor. If not diluted, these granules could bleach your pool floor. Also because of the high chlorine content stay out of your pool for at least 8 hours after shocking with any chlorine-based shock compound. As a guideline add 1 LB per 10,000 gallons of water under normal conditions and add 2 LBS per 10,000 gallons of water under extreme conditions. If you
live in region with high amounts of calcium in the water, which can be monitored by testing the Hardness level, use Lithium Hypochlorite-another chlorine-based shock. Non-chlorine Shock Potassium Peroxymonosulfate: Potassium Peroxymonosulfate, which is sold as "non-chlorine shock", is typically used with Bromine - the most popular alternative to chlorine. Once added, nonchlorine shock will oxidize the ammonia, while at the same time reactivating the existing bromine in the water, allowing it to continue its job of sanitizing and disinfecting. Perhaps the best benefit of using non-chlorine shock is that swimming can resume 15 minutes after its addition into the pool. Non-chlorine shock can also be used in a chlorine pool, but it will only oxidize ammonia. It will not reactivate the existing chlorine in the pool, so it is ineffective at sanitizing and disinfecting. As a guideline, use 1 LB per 10,0000 gallons of water under normal conditions and 2 LBS per 10,000 gallons of water under extreme conditions-high bromamines (or chloramines), cloudy water, or the presence of algae. How to Shock: Shocking a pool requires nothing more than reading the instructions on the label. The only way to add shock (and the only way to add any chemical) is either by diluting the shock in a bucket of water and then pouring it into the pool or by broadcasting the shock directly from the packaging and into the pool. Here is a discussion of each: oWhen diluting, NEVER add water to the chemical. Rather, ALWAYS add the chemical to the water. You simply need to fill a bucket ½- ¾ full of water, pour the shock in the bucket of water (and only using 1 LB at a time), stir the shock with some sort of mixing stick to dilute the granules. Then just walk around the pool, pouring the solution in random areas. oWhen broadcasting, you simply need to open the package of shock (1 LB at a time) and pour it directly into random areas of the pool. Shock compounds used in broadcasting are commonly powder-like, so secure yourself on the pool deck and bend down close to the surface of the water before pouring. If not, the wind could easily blow the shock out of the pool, or worse, into your face and eyes. If this happens, flush your eyes with tap water (not chemically treated pool water) and seek emergency assistance. At the same time, be careful not to get so close that you fall into your pool. Regardless of the chosen shock compound, and regardless how it is added, it is recommended to add only 1 LB at a time, repeating the process (diluting or broadcasting) until the full dosage of shock is added to the pool. Here is a word of caution regarding label instructions: some manufacturers (and pool professionals) recommend pouring shock directly into a skimmer, we doe NOT recommend placing ANY chemical into the skimmer(s). CHEMICAL TESTING The two most common ways to test pool water at the poolside are either test strips or test kits. We recommend that you have your pool professional test your water on the computer every 4 to 6 weeks for the most up to date and accurate testing available. Although the computer is most effective, test strips and test kits are also very accurate. Use them at your convenience. There are three main issues surrounding chemical testing. The biggest is that chemical tests are
performed too infrequently. If a test is recommended to be performed daily, then perform it daily. If a test is recommended to be performed 2 to 3 times per week, then make sure you do so. Testing only takes a few minutes. The second issue is that reagent (for the test kit) and test strips have a relatively short shelf life and should be replaced every season for seasonal pools and every six months for year-round pools. The third issue deals with testing the sample itself. You should never take a water sample near any return jet (the component that allows water to re-enter the pool after filtration), from any corner, or near the steps. Pool water entering the pool via a return jet has just been filtered and cleaned. Therefore, it will not accurately measure chemical ranges for the entire pool. Conversely, pool water in corners and near steps is often somewhat stagnant, as circulation is poor in these areas. You should obtain a sample from random areas in either the shallow or deep end of the pool, away from the return jets, and always reaching at least 18" below the surface of the water. CIRCULATION & FILTRATION Chemicals work hand-in-hand with water circulation and filtration. Even with proper water chemistry and routine maintenance, your pool water can still suffer. This can be caused by either limited water circulation (failure to operate the equipment for a sufficient amount of time) or poor filtration. Equipment run time is an issue of constant debate and argument in the pool industry. Many pool professionals demand that the equipment be run continously-24 hours per day and 7 days per week. Other pool professionals argue that the equipment only needs to be run 8-10 hours per day. Properly sized equipment only needs to run 8-10 hours. But even with your properly sized equipment, if you use your pool on daily basis you may need to operate the equipment for a longer period of time. Also, if you are experiencing high heat, humidity and intense sunlight, you may need to operate the equipment more. Finally, we recommend continuous operation if you are a new pool owner. At least until you become comfortable with chemicals and the whole concept of water chemistry. EQUIPMENT INFORMATION TIMER OPERATION 1.Make sure breaker is on 2.Set clock by pulling face forward, turn dial to desired hour 1.Attach on/off clips to desired times FREEZING WEATHER Should the weather indicate there is a possibility of freezing, just remove timer trips, turn manual switch to on, and run pool continuously. Moving water will not freeze. PUMP A.Pump Strainer Basket Cleaning Procedures. 1.Turn off motor.
2.Relieve pressure in the system. 3.Turn the clamp and lid in a counter-clockwise direction until it stops. 4.Turn the clamp and lid set to remove the clamp and lid. 5.Put the debris from the basket into the trash and rinse out the basket. If the basket is cracked, it should be replaced. 6.Replace the basket and fill the pump pot and volute up to the inlet port with water. 7.Clean the cover; cover O-ring, and sealing surface of the pump pot. Grease the O-ring with Teflon or silicone. 8.Reinstall the lid by placing the clamp and the lid on the pot. a.Make sure the lid O-ring is properly placed. Seat the clamp and lid then turn clockwise until the handles are horizontal. 9.Turn the power "ON" at the house circuit breaker. Reset the pool time clock to the correct time. 10.Open the High manual air relief valve on top of the filter. 11.Stand clear of the filter. Start the pump. 12.Bleed air from the filter until a steady stream of water comes out. Close the High FlowTM manual air relief valve. B.Priming the Pump. 1.The pump strainer pot must be filled with water before the pump is initially started. Follow these steps to prime the pump. a.Remove the pump lid plastic clamp. Remove the pump lid. b.Fill the pump strainer pot with water. c.Reassemble the pump cover and plastic clamp onto the strainer pot. The pump is now ready to prime. d.Open the air release valve on the filter, and stand clear of the filter. e.Turn on the switch or time clock. f.When water comes out of the air release valve, close the valve. The system should now be free of air and recirculating water to and from the pool.
TROUBLESHOOTING 1 A.Failure to Pump. 1.Pump will not prime - too much air. - Remedy: a.Check suction piping and valve glands on any suction gate valves. b.Secure lid on pump strainer pot and make sure lid gasket is in place. c.Check water level to make sure skimmer is not drawing air. 2.Pump will not prime - not enough water. - Remedy: a.Make sure suction lines, pump strainer, and pump volute are full of water. b.Make sure valve on suction line is working and open; (some systems do not have valves). c.Check water level to make sure water is available through skimmer. 3.Pump strainer clogged. - Remedy: a.Clean pump strainer pot. 4.Pump strainer gasket defective. - Remedy: a.Replace gasket. B.Reduced Capacity and/or Head. 1.Clogged impeller. Remedy: a.Turn off electrical power to the pump. b.Remove the clamp that holds the volute to the seal plate. c.Slide the motor and seal plate away from the volute. d.Clean debris from impeller. If debris cannot be removed, complete the following steps. (1)Remove left hand thread anti-spin bolt and O-ring. (2)Remove, clean and reinstall impeller. (3)Reinstall anti-spin bolt and O-ring. e.Reinstall wear-ring, diffuser, and O-ring.
f.Reinstall motor and seal plate into volute aligning with keyway at top of volute. g.Reinstall clamp around seal plate and volute and tighten securely. 2.Pump strainer clogged. - Remedy: a.Clean suction trap. SYSTEM RESTART INSTRUCTIONS 1.Open the manual air relief valve until it snaps into the full open position (this only requires a quarter turn counter-clockwise). Operating this valve rapidly releases air trapped in the filter. 2.Stand clear of the filter tank, then start the pump. 3.Close the manual air relief valve after a steady stream of water appears. 4.The system is not working properly if either of the following conditions occurs. a.A solid stream of water does not appear within 30 seconds after the pump's inlet basket fills with water. b.The pressure gauge indicates pressure before water outflow appears. If either condition exists, shut off the pump immediately, open valves in the water return line to relieve pressure, and clean the air relief valve. Clean the manual air relief valve. If the problem persists, call PoolsideServices.com at 214-432-2611 for assistance. TROUBLESHOOTING A.Air entering your filter is dangerous and can cause the lid to blow off. Correct any conditions in your filtration system that allows air to enter the system. 1.Some common ways to identify air entering the system: a.Low water level in pool or spa - skimmer is starving for water with pump running. Add water to pool or spa. b.Air bubbles or low water level in pump hair and lint pot are caused by; low water level, clogged skimmer basket, split suction cleaner hose, leak in pump hair and lint pot lid, or leak in pump suction line. B.Until the water initially put into the pool has been completely filtered, short filter cycles in between cleanings are normal. In most cases pool owners are dismayed by the undesirable color and appearance of water in a newly filled pool. Plaster dust can be responsible for short filter cycles, requiring frequent cleaning. C.If pressure drops on gauge, check skimmer basket and pump basket first for debris. If the baskets are clean shut off power to pump and turn off any automatic controls. Then turn motor
shaft with your fingers. If it turns freely then the pump must be disassembled and the impeller checked to see if it is clogged. If it is not frozen or clogged then there is an obstruction in the line between the pool and the pump. D.The pressure gauge is an important part of the filter system. It is your primary indicator of how the system is operating. Maintain your pressure gauge in good working order. Check the operation of your pressure gauge in the following manner: 1.The pressure gauge should go to zero (0) when the system is turned off and pressure is relieved. 2.The pressure gauge should indicate pressure when the system is operating. 3.The pressure gauge should be readable and not damaged in any way. 4.Replace the pressure gauge if it is not meeting the requirements of items D.1 through D.2 of this section, above. * Please contact the PoolsideService.com technician at 214-432-2611 for specific instructions. PoolsideService.com POOL MAINTENANCE Guide (214-432-2611)
Charles Schwartz- Service Tech./ Co-Owner http://www.PoolsideServices.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Charles_Schwartz
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