The good majority of all pools, in one way or another, use chlorine to prevent the buildup of algae and other contaminates. Chlorine can be added in the form of a liquid, dry powder, or tabs (salt – sodium chloride – is another method to generate this chemical using a salt system. That will be explained in a later post). A lot of people ask me when’s the best time to use each type, and well that’s largely dependent on the pool, environment conditions, other chemical levels, and personal preference. I find that in the hot summer months using all three forms provide the best results when I am only servicing the pool one time per week. The liquid chlorine gives the sudden boost to get the levels balanced, then the dry and tabs help provide the stabilizer and longer term chemicals to keep the levels from dropping before my next visit. For pools more susceptible to issues, I will generally leave a jug of liquid chlorine for my customers to add in the event of a hard rain or problem.
The best way to check the levels of your pool chlorine is by using a chlorine test. You can quickly do this at home by using the AquaCheck 7 Test Strips. I personally use these every day to check the chlorine levels of my customer’s pools because I believe they are accurate and user friendly. In addition, they show seven of the important chemical levels, including hardness, pH, and cyanuric acid, that impact pool cleanliness and health.
This post assumes familiarity with stabilizer (cyanuric acid). Refer to the post on stabilizer here for more information.
This form of chlorine is what most people are familiar with. It comes in those 2.5 gallon yellow or orange jugs and is very obviously a bleaching agent. These are normally ~12% chlorine by volume with the rest of the volume being water and are about at 13 on the PH scale (that’s the top of the chart). Continue reading →
Cyanuric acid, also known as pool stabilizer or conditioner, is my best friend in the hot Florida summer months. The level has to be monitored just as much as chlorine, and if left unchecked it can end up causing one of the worst problems a pool owner can face.
Cyanuric acid can be found in many chemicals added to a swimming pool. It’s most notably found in dry granular and concentrated pucks of chlorine. Though it can also be added by itself as raw cyanuric acid/stabilizer. By adding in dry chlorine or tabs you are usually adding stabilizer along with them. This is a very good thing in the majority of cases, unless it’s the only form of chlorine you are adding and your cyanuric acid level is high.
What’s its role:
Cyanuric acid performs one crucial role: It helps stabilize and protect the existing free chlorine in the pool water from being burned up naturally by the sun’s intense ultraviolet rays. Continue reading →
When talking about a D.E. filter, there are a couple of terms you should be familiar with First, D.E. stands for Diatomaceous Earth. This is actually a white powder with the consistency of flour. Attached to your filter is valve with a lever. This is used to change where we want the flow of water to go. When backwashing, I use this lever and point it from filter to backwash. What this does is “backwashes” or dumps all of the D.E. powder out of your system. The D.E. powder has been working hard, collecting dirt and particles. When we remove the water and D.E. powder mixture, it might be gray to black depending on how much dirt the filter has collected. The process for this takes a few minutes. When done, I take fresh powder and add it back into the filter.
Some times the filter can get backed up and clog. About once every year we need to breakdown the entire filter system. To begin I must release and pressure, and remove the band for around the middle of the filter. Inside the filter is a element which can be compared to a cartridge filter, this holds the D.E. powder. This element needs to be physically removed and cleaned thoroughly. When the element is replaced and the filter put back together, we can add fresh D.E. powder to the filter.
Both kinds of cleaning should only be done if you are comfortable with the system. Many things must be done in order, and properly, or the system may break in several places or cause harmful damage to the person. We do both these methods for D.E. filters. If you think your D.E. filter needs to be broken down contact us, we would love to help!