Water Chemistry Tips From Our Service Experts
Today’s post is brought to you by the HydroWorx service department who wanted to share some tips and insights on how to make sure your pool is always filled with fresh & clean water.
The most important daily task of a Hydroworx pool operator is checking and balancing of the water chemistry. The operators or managers of the pools are responsible for the safety of the patients that they are placing in the water. Since the pools are heated and are exposed to many people in a days time, water balance can fluctuate, especially if it’s not correct from the start. Water is a chemical and most times can be “fixed” with the addition of chemicals, but sometimes it is definitely easier to drain and refill. Below are some tips and procedures to follow for balancing and maintaining a Hydroworx pool with a fresh fill.
- Locate and familiarize yourself with the taylor test kit. Do not use test strips for balancing a freshly filled pool. Test strips may be used once and a while down the road once the water is balanced. Test strips, although better now, are not nearly as accurate as the “dropper” style test kits. Also, determine which pool model you have and the amount of water that that model holds. All chemicals are added with the front resistance jets running to ensure that the chemical dissolves and does not lay on the bottom of the pool.
- Test your total alkalinity. The alkalinity is an indication of the waters ability to buffer pH changes. It keeps the pH from bouncing around. The recommended alkalinity is between 80-120. It is usually not necessary to know the exact chemical name that is needed. Most stores sell “alkalinity up” and “alkalinity down”. After you test the water and determine what is needed, read the label on the side of the chemical for dosage. We recommend not using the full dose that the container recommends. If you over shoot, you will need to get the chemical to adjust the other direction. Add less than the recommended dosage. After adding chemical to the water, retest after about an hour of filtration. You may need to add a little more. After the pool is up and running, the alkalinity test is a weekly test and does not need to be checked daily.
- Test the pH. The recommended ranges are 7.2-7.6. You want to target 7.4 as close as you can. Same ideas as above. You will either need a pH increaser or decreaser. If the pH test is within range, you will need to wait until the pool is in use to determine what pH control you will need. Note that bodies getting in the water and sanitizer chemicals will affect your pH readings.
- Calcium hardness. In HydroWorx models, calcium hardness is not as critical as it would be in a concrete pool. If calcium is low, the water will try to pull calcium from anywhere it can. This is why you will sometimes see strange colors on concrete pool walls. The water will actually pull calcium out of the concrete. With this being said, it is still a good idea to check and adjust the calcium levels. Recommended ranges for calcium are 200-400.
- Sanitize. This is critical to the safety of your patients. After all of the other readings have been checked and balanced, we will now add a chlorine shock. The purpose of this shock treatment is to sanitize the water and will ensure there is nothing harmful in it. This chemical needs to be added at the exact recommended dosage from the container label. It is fine to use a chlorinated shock even though this pool will be maintained with bromine. The chlorine shock treatment typically takes 15-24 hours to burn off and is at a safe level for bathers. When the chlorine has burnt off, the bromine will take over. This is a great opportunity to be sure that your bromine feeder is filled with bromine tablets.
- Bromine. Recommended bromine levels are 3-5. Maintaining the level in this range is critical in maintaining a clean and safe water balance. If the bromine level drops below 3, you must shock the pool. You cannot simply place bromine tablets in the feeder and turn the knob up. The bromine level rises too slowly this way and will not sanitize the water appropriately. When the bromine drops below 3, within a day or so you will ee the water get cloudy and also turn green. The only fix is to shock the water with chlorine. * Note- if the low bromine level is found, and you have an full schedule of patients, it is OK to use a non-chlorinated shock as a band-aid. Most of the non-chlorine shocks allow you to swim 15 minutes after adding it to the water. We do not recommend using non-chlorinated as your only shock. It is important to properly maintain your bromine levels, a high level can cause patient risks. High bromine can also cause the water to turn green, but typically it will be crystal clear…..just with a green tint. There are chemicals that can be added to knock the bromine level down, but we recommend draining some water and adding fresh to dilute the bromine and bring the level down.