Did you Know?

Cartridge Filters:

I have a swimming pool that uses cartridge filters. How often should I clean the swimming pool filters?

The answer can vary from filter to filter, but a general guideline on any swimming pool filter is to clean the cartridges every 3 months. Also take a reading when the filter is clean, then clean the pool filter when the pressure rises about 10 psi. This will prolong the life of the cartridges. With all the dust storms in Arizona you may need to clean your filter more often, depending on the filter psi.

Cartridge Filters can filter down to 6 Microns.

As the filter (cartridge, sand or DE) becomes "clogged" with debris, two things happen:

  • the pressure on the filter system rises
  • the overall flow rate of the swimming pool circulation drops

When cleaning the filter cartridges, be sure not to use a power washer as this can break down the filter material and decrease the filter life. If it is not perfectly white when you are finished cleaning, it is ok. Be sure all of the large debris is off.

D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) Filters:

I have a swimming pool that uses a D.E. filter. How often should I clean the swimming pool filter?

The answer can vary from filter to filter, but a general guideline on any swimming pool Diatomaceous Earth Filter is to clean the grids every 6 months. Also take a reading when the filter is cleaned. Then back wash the pool filter when the pressure rises about 7-10 psi.

When the pressure AFTER BACKWASHING AND RECHARGING is STILL 5-10 lbs. Greater than the pressure when you first cleaned the filter, means It is time to completely pull apart, clean and inspect each D.E. filter.

D.E. Filters can filter down to 6 Microns.

When cleaning the filter D.E. grids, be sure not to use a power washer as this can break down the filter material and decrease the filter life. If it is not perfectly white when you are finished cleaning, it is ok. Be sure all of the large debris is off.

With all the dust storms in Arizona you may need to clean your filter more often, depending on the filter psi after back washing. It is always a good rule of thumb to clean your grids every 6 months no matter what your psi is. This will help prolong the life of your grids and keep your pool safe and clean.

As the filter (cartridge, sand or DE) becomes "clogged" with debris, two things happen:

  • the pressure on the filter system rises
  • the overall flow rate of the swimming pool circulation drops

Sand Filters:

 I have a swimming pool that uses a sand filter. How often should I change the swimming pool filter media?

 The answer to this is very simple, every 4 to 5 years. At that 5 yr. time frame the sand looses it's ability to hold the contaminants. The shear motion of the water will in time, round out the sand particle - thus removing the sharp edges that sand naturally has.

Sand filters can filter down to 25 microns

Zeosand and how much should I use in my filter?

  • Zeosand is a 100% natural zeolite replacement for a sand filter that gives great clarity and controls chloramines formation.
  • Zeosand can filter down to 3 microns
  • Fill the sand filter with Zeosand to the level recommended by the filter manufacturer or ask your pool professional at Pool Kings.

Do I have to run my pool equipment every day? If so, how many hours a day?

  • You should run the pool at least 10 to 12 hours every day or long enough for all of the water in the pool to pass through the filter as least once in a 24 hour period.

My pool water is cloudy, what happened to it? How do I fix it?

  • Usually cloudy water is caused by dead algae
  • Dissolved dirt from a recent rain storm
  • A dirty filter
  • High PH

To fix a cloudy pool

  • Check and adjust free chlorine and Ph
  • Clean Filter
  • Add Clarifier

If the problem still persists call your pool professional at Pool Kings

Swimming Pool Chemistry

Sanitizers:

Are used to keep water clear of bacteria and inhibit/control the growth of

viruses, algae and organic contaminants. The two most common pool water sanitizers are Chlorine and Bromine.

pH level:

Acid/base content of water. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral. Ideally you should strive to maintain pH levels between 7.2 and 7.6 in order to prevent eye/skin irritation, pool surface and equipment damage. Proper pH can easily be maintained with, pH Plus or pH Minus or muriatic acid.

Total Alkalinity:

The measure of certain minerals in the water. These minerals act as buffering agents and allow you to readily control your pH. In plaster pools, under normal conditions, a measurement of 80 to 120 ppm is ideal. In painted, vinyl or fiberglass pools, a reading between 125 to 175 ppm should be maintained. If the total alkalinity is too low, use Alkalinity Up to

reach the proper level. To bring alkalinity levels down use pH Minus or muriatic acid.

Phosphate Levels:

Phosphates are compounds of the nonmetallic element phosphorous and are a primary food source for aquatic plants, including all types of algae. Phosphate compounds are inevitably broken down into their simplest form, orthophosphates, in one of the following three ways:

Oxidation (converting compounds into oxides)

Hydrolysis (decomposition by water)

Enzymatic digestion

Regardless of how it happens, if phosphates are allowed to remain present in pool, spa, or pond water, they will be reduced to orthophosphates, which are the only form of phosphates that algae can digest.

Phosphate levels should remain below 200 ppb (parts per billion). Once levels exceed 200 ppb, algae becomes increasingly resistant to sanitizers, including chlorine shock. Excessive levels of Phosphate, such as 1,000 ppb or more, should be brought under control immediately. If you hire Pool Kings to do your weekly pool maintanance, we will check your Phosphates every month or every visit if needed. Pool Kings will treat your Phosephates if they are above 200.

Calcium Hardness:

Measures the level of calcium and magnesium minerals in the water. These minerals exist naturally in all water, but levels vary greatly across the country. An acceptable hardness level is from 225 to 500 ppm hardness for plaster pools and 175 to 250 ppm for vinyl, painted and fiberglass pools. If Hardness is high, it is necessary to drain and refill with fresh water in order to lower the level. Low levels of calcium create

corrosive water which can damage equipment. Raise hardness levels by using Calcium Plus.

Swimming pool problems caused by high calcium hardness levels!

High levels of this part of your pool water chemistry could result in several problems         which include:

  • Scaling pool water
  • Rough pool and spa surfaces
  • Clogged swimming pool filters
  • Cloudy water
  • Clogged pool heater elements
  • Reduction in your pool water circulation
  • Possible skin and eye irritations
  • Very hard to keep proper balance of other chemicals
  • White ring around your tile

Lowering your swimming pool's total alkalinity in this area of your pool water chemistry is very difficult. This process often requires you to drain your pool and refill it.

Cyanuric Acid (CY)/ stabilizer/ Conditioner (all the same thing)

It’s a hot, sunny day. The sun is so bright that stepping outside is a reminder to put on sunscreen. Only seconds tick away before the first bead of sweat runs down your forehead. It’s the kind of day that lures people into the nearest pool. It is days like this when cyanuric acid is a superhero, protector of the weak.

How Cyanuric Acid Works

Sunlight and its UV radiation can destroy sanitizer in a very short time. Sanitizers act as the pool police, killing unwanted invaders like bacteria and algae in the water, yet they too have weaknesses. The more intense the sun and UV, the quicker the sanitizer degrades, the pool police can’t work well. Chlorine is the most commonly used sanitizer. On a bright sunny day, nearly all of an ideal level of chlorine in an unstabilized (unprotected) pool can be lost in less than two hours. However, chlorine has an advantage, it can be protected from the sun. Cyanuric acid is used as a “stabilizer” for chlorine so that it is more enduring when exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It is like sunscreen for your chlorine. Cyanuric acid combines with chlorine to protect it from the UV rays of the sun, but releases it on demand when it is needed to sanitize the water. Cyanuric acid, Triazine-2,4,6-Triol in scientific terms, is an acid with a pH of approximately 4.0. Therefore, cyanuric acid may also shift the pH of the water downward when added directly to a pool.

Why is it important to monitor cyanuric acid levels?

If cyanuric acid is present in the water in sufficient levels, less chlorine degradation occurs. Keeping chlorine in the water longer will help to protect the swimmers in the pool. An ideal level of cyanuric acid, 30 to 80 ppm (parts per million), should be maintained to prevent rapid chlorine loss. Some chlorine compounds have been developed that already contain an amount of cyanuric acid. If you are using “dichlor” or “trichlor” as the primary sanitizer, cyanuric acid is being introduced along with the chlorine. Usually, no additional cyanuric acid is needed when using a stabilized chlorine compound. However, cyanuric acid levels may build up with the continued use of one of these sanitizers. When cyanuric acid levels are high, it will reduce chlorine efficiency, and contribute to high total dissolved solids. Under these conditions it may take chlorine longer to kill bacteria and other microorganisms introduced to the water. If cyanuric acid is high, it is necessary to drain and refill with fresh water in order to lower the level. Local health authorities often require swimming pools to be maintained under 100 ppm. Cyanuric acid levels in pools should not exceed 150 ppm. On the other hand, low cyanuric acid levels (less than 30 ppm) indicate that chlorine will dissipate very quickly when exposed to sunlight.

Salt Levels In PPM

  • Salt Chlorination 2,500-3,500
  • Human Taste Levels 4,000
  • Human Tears/Body 5,000-8,000
  • Contact Lens Saline 6,000
  • Sea Water 35,000

Salt Requirements

  • 1 teaspoon per gallon
  • 25 lbs. per 1,000 gallons=3,000 ppm

Adding salt to the pool

  • With the filter pump operating from the main drain; add salt into the pool.  Brush the salt until it is no longer visible usually this takes 30 to 45 minutes depending on the water temperature
  • Run the filter pump 24 hours to allow salt to completely dissolve

Salt 101

Types of Salt-

  • Only use 99% Pure Salt

Salt Requirements

  • 1 teaspoon per gallon
  • 25 lbs. per 1,000 gallons=3,000 ppm

Adding salt to the pool

  • With the filter pump operating from the main drain; add salt into the pool.  Brush the salt until it is no longer visible usually this takes 30 to 45 minutes depending on the water temperature
  • Run the filter pump 24 hours to allow salt to completely dissolve

Common Misconceptions

Saltwater is more corrosive than chlorine.

  • FACT: 4ppm of chlorine is 10 times more corrosive than 4,000 ppm of salt.

Any type of salt can be used in a swimming pool.

  • FACT: Only 99% pure non-ionized salt can be used with electrolytic chlorine generators.

You won't have to do anything else!

  • FACT: All basic water chemistry MUST be tested and properly maintained.

Water will taste salty.

  • FACT: The normal human threshold for tasting salt in water is approximately, 4,000ppm.  Most units can produce chlorine with as little as 2,700ppm of salt in the water.