A Guide To Alkalinity In Your Pool

Becoming a pool owner is definitely a dream come true! Who does not want that beautiful, fun, and eye-catchy swimming pool on their premises?! However, owning and maintaining a pool is not as dreamy as it sounds. One of the most common problems swimming pool owners deal with is managing the alkalinity of their pool water. If you are also looking for guidelines on maintaining the water quality of your swimming pools, read further!

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What Is Pool Water Alkalinity?

In scientific terms, alkalinity refers to the volume of water that is capable of resisting acidification. In the case of swimming pools, maintaining balanced pool water is essential for hygiene purposes. The pool alkalinity levels are measured by observing the pH level of water. If the pool water has a too high or too low pH level, the results can be quite disastrous. According to experts, the ideal level of alkalinity in pool water ranges somewhere between 80- 120 ppm (parts per million) on a pH scale. People often consider alkalinity to be a ‘buffer’ for pH levels. Meaning thereby, if pool water has a proper alkalinity level, it is easier to ensure that swimming pool water has proper pH levels.

How Can You Test Pool Water Alkalinity

There are numerous ways to test swimming pool water alkalinity. The most common tools are:

1. Test Strips

Using test strips is the easiest way to measure pool water alkalinity. They are also more affordable and quite accurate means to test alkalinity levels. There are different types of test strips available in the market depending on the material they are made from. Commonly, test strips are made of salt, bromine, copper, and iron.

To use a test strip, you first need to submerge it in the pool water for a few seconds. After that, take out the strip and hold it at rest. If holding the strip at rest is difficult, you can also keep it on a flat surface for the recommended period. The reagents will start reacting with the pool water and you will notice colors appearing on the test strip. Once that is done, you can match the strip colors to the color scale provided on the package. It is common to find differences in the color of the test strip and the benchmark colors shown on the package. You have to use your discretion in determining the closest value of the total test result.

2. Liquid Testing Kits

Liquid Testing Kits include everything a pool owner needs to test alkalinity levels of pool water on a regular basis. Most of the time they provide accurate results. In some instances, however, they can lead to erroneous results.

While using testing kits, you need to collect a water sample and store it in a container. Every liquid testing kit includes Orthotolidine (OTO) and phenol red. While OTO is used to test chlorine, phenol red tests the pH level. Once you have collected the water sample, you have to add the required number of OTO drops on the chlorine side. Similarly, you have to add the required number of drops of phenol red on the pH side.

Colors on each side will reveal the alkalinity level of water. The chlorine side will turn yellow and the pH side red. Intensity of the colors explains the alkalinity level of water. The darker the red shade is, the higher is the pH level. On a similar note, the yellower the color on the chlorine side, the higher is the chlorine level. To ensure accuracy, compare the colors of your test results with the color chart given in your test kit.

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When Should You Test Pool Water Alkalinity

It is recommended to test pool water alkalinity at least twice a week. You should also check alkalinity levels when:

  • Many people have used the swimming pool.
  • There is a change in the weather.
  • rainstorm has occurred in your area.
  • You add water to the swimming pool.
  • You begin an algae treatment, etc.

High Alkalinity Level

High alkalinity levels are usually not as hazardous as low alkalinity levels. However, it is still essential to maintain a balance to avoid further expenditure on maintenance.

Effects Of High Alkalinity On The Pool Water

Highly alkaline pool water may result in:

  • Cloudy or murky water because high alkalinity allows particles to freely float in water.
  • Increase in pH despite adding pH reducer
  • Difficulty in maintaining a stable level of pH
  • The ability of chlorine to reduce disinfection decreases
  • Reduction in water circulation
  • Clogging of filters
  • High pressure of water

How To Decrease Alkalinity Levels

To increase the pool water alkalinity level to its ideal range (80-120 ppm), you can either add sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the water or any kind of product that increases water alkalinity. Generally, all such products have baking soda as an ingredient. After adding baking soda or the required product to the pool water, let the water rest for a couple of hours before going for retesting.

Cleaning Your Fibreglass Pool Made Easy!

If you’re sick of spending all your spare time scrubbing away pool stains and skimming leaves out of your pool, then you’ve come to the right place. Obviously, nobody imagines themselves cleaning their pool when they buy one – usually, your thoughts are more concerned with dive bombing and splashing! But the reality is that cleaning your pool is not only healthy for your pool, it’s essential! But don’t fret, we do have some good news after all: cleaning your pool doesn’t have to be tedious anymore. In fact, if you follow our advice closely, you can save yourself money and headache in the long run!

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Maintenance: Keep Up To Date, Or Consider Streamlining It

We’ve all been told that regular maintenance is important to the health of your pool; but why? Well, the simple answer is this: regular maintenance will keep your pools Ph and Alkaline levels in check, as well as keeping out external debris (such as leaves or insects) that would otherwise offset this balance.

But how does regular maintenance save you time? Well, that’s easy. Regular maintenance of your pool will ensure that it doesn’t suddenly become chemically imbalanced. A chemical imbalance can cause stains on the surface, discolouration of clothes, and skin irritation. All of these scenarios are significantly more time and money taxing than simply checking weekly if your chemical dosage is correct. Additionally, regularly maintaining your pool free of leaves and other debris will lower the chances of chemical imbalance, as well as making each clean as quick as possible – compared to letting it build up over time.

Looking to save even more time? Barrier Reef Pools suggests you outsource smartly: hire a professional, verified pool cleaner who can take care of your regular maintenance themselves, leaving you worry-free.

Keeping Your Filter Clean Can Save You A Tremendous Amount Of Time

This ones an easy one: the less your filter has to clean, the longer it will last. That means you can enjoy a clean, healthier fibreglass pool for longer. Did you know that almost everything that’s in your pool will at one stage or another pass through your filter? That means that the less that passes through the filter, the less wear and tear it will undergo. Meaning, of course, that you won’t have to spend a ton of money on replacing your filter. Additionally, checking your filter regularly can help avoid clogging, which in of itself is a time consuming process that can turn your automatic cleaning process into a manual one.

The golden rule of pool cleaning is: a little bit of cleaning now, can save you a lot of time and headache later!

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Pool Cover: Your Secret Superpower!

Many pool owners make the mistake of underestimating their pool cover, thinking that it’s simply a chore to put on during winter. In fact, your pool cover is the single most effective tool to keep your pool clean and healthy.

By keeping it on, even during peak seasons such as summer and spring, you can keep out external debris such as leaves easily. This translates to far less time you need to spend cleaning.

Additionally, keeping a pool cover on means you can use less chemicals to keep your Ph and alkaline levels balanced, seeing as it won’t be used as much. The pool cover will also help your fibreglass pool heat faster and retain that heat, meaning you can enjoy more time swimming, and less time cleaning.

Don’t Leaf Leaves In Your Pool; Clean ASAP!

This will be by far your most time-costly option to clean your pool; but fear not! Not only is skim cleaning your pool free of leaves and debris essential for pool health, but it can save you time. How, you ask? Well, the rule is: a little bit of cleaning daily can save you a lot of cleaning later on. Leaves will compound together quickly and the longer you leave them in your pool, the more chance they have of staining it’s surface. By giving your pool a quick skim clean, you can save yourself those big build-ups and filter clogs on the weekend.

…The longer that leaves remain in your pool, the more chance they have of staining it’s surface. Avoid having to scrub your pool’s surface of stains by removing leaves as soon as you see them…

Stains - Know Thy Enemy

Stains are one of the most common, and most annoying, issues that afflict pool owners. They can be time-consuming to clean and can affect the overall look of your pool. The best way to avoid the time-consuming process of cleaning stains is to properly and regularly clean your pool. The most common stain is organic: typically a result of organic matter, such as leaves, being left too long in your pool. Avoid this by fishing out any loose debris; however, even the most diligently cleaned pool can sometimes see stains.

The good news is that knowing what type of stain you have in your pool is half the battle! Once you know what you’re dealing with, most stains can be quickly erased following proper cleaning procedure.

Calcium Stains:

Calcium stains are the result of calcium build-ups in your pool. Remember what we mentioned about regular maintenance? Making sure that you’re pumping your pool with enough chlorine (or minerals) is essential to avoid this type of stain. Calcium stains tend to appear as a pale, faded mould across the surface of your pool.

Organic Pool Stains:

Organic stains can be caused by:

  1. Leaves
  2. Dirt
  3. Insects
  4. Even berries!

The good news is that apart from prevention in the first place, most organic stains can be removed by a simple mixture of soap, stain remover and some good old-fashioned scrubbing.

Metal Stains:

  1. Iron 
  2. Copper
  3. Magnesium 

Metal stains typically appear on older-dated pool models and are less common in fibreglass pools. However, if you do find yourself with a metal stain, then rubbing a vitamin C tablet over it should remove it.

At Barrier Reef Pools, we understand that time is your most valuable asset. We also understand that you might not want to spend that hard-earned free time on cleaning your pool! But we cannot stress enough that a small amount of cleaning regularly can save you a lot of time further down the line. If you’d like to learn more about pool care, or are interested in fibreglass pools yourself, then contact us today!

You Know How To Clean A Pool: Now Own One!

Now that you know how to take care of a pool, why don't you peruse our extensive range of award-winning fibreglass pools today!

A Guide To Skimmers For Your Pool

Are you unsure about how vital a skimmer can be for your family fibreglass pool?

In simple terms, a skimmer skims the water, cleans the floating debris, and keeps the swimming sparkly clean. The debris includes leaves, dirt, twigs, dead insects, oil from your sunblock, and flower petals before they reach the bottom of the pool. In most cases, your pool skimmer will be built into your in-ground pool’s upper side portion. They suck up the garbage automatically and trap it. Also, you can use a hatch through your deck area for accessing most of them. These pool cleaning gadgets have become an integral part of your swimming pool. That is why you need to understand what it is and how to take care of it. In this article, we have provided you with an informative guide to skimmers for your pool.

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What Is A Pool Skimmer?

Swimming pools come with a vital cleaning system working collectively to ensure that your pool is properly cleaned. A skimmer is among these components. It can be considered as the first line of defense for your pool. It ensures that the water surface of your pool is free from floating debris. It is located right where the water lives before it enters the filter and the pump. The reason why it is called a skimmer is that it looks like a mesh basket that can be attached to a utility pole to fish debris from the pool.

What Are The Different Types Of Pool Skimmers?

Built-In Pool Skimmer

This kind of skimmer is located right at the opening around the waterline of the pool and looks like a gutter. Depending on what size your pool is, there might be more than one skimmer in it. They are connected to the swimming pool’s plumbing.

For a built-in pool skimmer, you have to connect theses to the hoses of your swimming pool vacuum cleaners when you decide to clean the water surface. Even though they come in different sizes, in-ground or built-in skimmers are usually composed of a weir, basket, lid, and mouth. The weir is a flap that keeps the gathered debris from escaping. The basket acts like a strainer and keeps debris and leaves from obstructing the filter. The lid is there to ensure that no large objects fall into the pool pump.

Manual Pool Skimmer

For a manual skimmer, you don’t need a power source. It is just a net that is connected to a pole so that you can gather the floating debris manually. Even if you do connect it to some filtration system, you will have to move them around manually. These types of skimmers work well for basic debris but won’t be of much use in circulation. Also, since it involves you powering up, it can’t be run constantly.

Automatic pool skimmer

The filter system of your pool can be connected to an automatic skimmer. It comes with paddles looking like a propeller. These paddles maneuver the skimmer along the pool surface so that it can use its hose to suck the debris.

Robotic Pool Skimmer

Also known as a self-contained skimmer, the robotic pool skimmer runs on solar power or batteries. It maneuvers along the pool’s surface while skimming debris. Even though its initial cost is more than other types of pool skimmer, the energy efficiency it offers makes up for it.

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What Is Your Pool Skimmer Made Of?

Lid

Build-in skimmers come with a lid that covers the hole containing the skimmer. It prevents people from stepping in it accidentally and injuring themselves. It also stops additional debris and leaves from falling inside the skimmer. It is made of plastic and is usually round. You can find it right outside the pool and above the skimmer.

Weir

Also known as the skimmer door, the weir is a flap covering the mouth of the skimmer. It swings with the water’s motion and is responsible for stopping contaminants like leaf litter from getting out of the skimmer back inside the pool. When the pump is off, the weir remains closed so that the debris remains inside the skimmer.

Mouth

This is a rectangular-shaped hole present at the side of the pool’s wall. It draws in the water, bringing contaminants like leaf litter with it. The contaminants are then trapped inside the skimmer basket.

Basket

The skimmer basket contains several small holes that strain unwanted nasties like sticks and leaves from your pool so that it doesn’t get sucked into the pump. It is important that you keep the skimmer basket intact and ensure that it doesn’t have any cracks or broken bits; otherwise, the debris will escape and ruin the filtration system causing costly damage.

Suction Line

The suction line is the component of the skimmer through which water is sucked. It draws the water right past the weirs, through the basket, and into the filter pump. You have to ensure that the suction line isn’t clogged so that it doesn’t compromise the circulation system’s efficiency or interfere with your equipment.

Equalizer Line

The skimmer’s equalizer line is there for preventing any damage to the pump when the water drops below the normal level. If the water reaches halfway up the mouth of the skimmer, it stops the pump from sucking air.

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What Features Must Be Considered While Buying A Skimmer?

When you are shopping for a skimmer, here are a few features that you have to keep in mind:

  • Durability: Just like any other product, skimmers aren’t created equal. That is why you have to consider the materials they are made of and read the product review. If there are several complaints, you should look for something else.
  • Price: Cost is an important and obvious factor. You don’t want to buy a skimmer that costs a lot and hurts your budget. It is important to note that a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Make sure that you compare products and read reviews before making any decision.
  • Ease of installation: If you are planning to purchase an automatic skimmer, it is important to ensure that installing it won’t give you a headache. The last thing you want to do is break the skimmer during installation.

How Can You Maintain Your Skimmer Properly?

If you want to make sure that both your pool pump and filter last longer, you have to empty the skimmer basket regularly. Before you start cleaning it, inspect the condition of the weir, basket, and lid of the skimmer. If any component is not properly functioning or if there is any damage, repair the skimmer or replace it. Only by proper maintenance will you be able to make the most of the pool skimmer.

Pool skimmers are among the most important components of your pool…with a skimmer the filtration system of your pool will work more efficiently

Why Do You Need A Pool Skimmer?

Pool skimmers are among the most important components of your pool. They keep debris out of the water surface and the plumbing system of the pool. Apart from that, they also offer a lot of other benefits including but not limited to the following:

  • It increases the longevity of your pool’s filtration system.
  • It prevents the replacement of costly parts in the long run.
  • When you have clean plumbing, it ensures proper pool water circulation. This prevents algae from building up and stagnation.

In short, with a skimmer, the filtration system of your pool will work more efficiently.

We hope that now you have a basic understanding of what a skimmer is and how you can maintain it. A family pool is a great addition to your backyard, especially if you have children. It is also considered to be a great investment for your house. By ensuring its proper functioning, you can ensure that your investment remains a profitable one in the long run.

Swimming Pool Cleaners - Which Cleaner Is Best Suited To My Pool?

A pool might be in use only for the summer by you but it will need constant maintenance throughout the year. Think of it as a year-long all-weather commitment that will lead to a bitter relationship with your pool if you fail to do so. One less talked about the pool is the pool cleaners. With a massive array of options available to you, it is very easy to get lost in the sea of choice and get something bad. But fear not, we are here to make sure that the cleaning options don’t leave you confused and you make the best choice. Keeping your budget and lifestyle in mind, there are a variety of pool cleaners that will be fit for the task. But which one will be the best? This is where we help you make a choice.

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Below are a few types of cleaners that you should be familiar with. We point their use and some of the drawbacks that one can expect. Buy a cleaner that you are comfortable with and understand fully too. The most common types are:

1. Manual Pool Cleaners

As the name suggests, manual pool clearer requires you to put in the effort to clean the pool. They are mainly a simple but effective tool that can make your life much easier. These are also the most inexpensive out of our list and if you have a very tight budget these will get the job done.

Their only drawback is that cleaning with manual pool cleaners is very time-consuming and labor-intensive. There is no self-cleaning involved in the process and you’ll have to clean the manual cleaner too after the pool is cleaned. Mostly it is vacuums, telescopic poles, pool brooms, and rakes with a water testing kit.

These are, on the other hand, a great tool for people who love working in their backyard when they have the time. You’ll have to put in the elbow grease at one time or the other, but seeing how it is the most inexpensive, it is worth it.

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2. Suction Pool Cleaners

These are in more ways than one just an automatic version of the manual ones. They filter the water through the skimmer basket, but all this happens without you putting in the elbow grease. They move around the whole pool and pick up any dirt or debris in the pool. This means that you would not have to stand in the hot sun to fish out all the unwanted things from your pool.

When one uses these suction cleaners, there is barely any need to skim or brush the vacuum. All this is done automatically, and you’ll have to put in the minimum effort from your side. This allows you to spend less time in the pool and more time in the pool.

Pools sometimes also have very small and minute dust particles which are hard to clean with manual cleaners. This is where the suction cleaners come in. With enough vacuum power, the suction cleaners can take out these particles easily and have your pool ready for use in a few minutes. You may have to install a leaf canister or box for leaves if you live near trees. A lot of times the wind will blow leaves and branches into the pool and your suction cleaner will filter it out. It is optimum to catch these leaves into the leaf canister as it puts a lot less strain on the skimmer basket.

When it comes to suction cleaners, your best bet is the “Water TechniX Rapid Automatic Pool Cleaner.” A workhorse that handles all the basic cleaning duties with ease, the Rapid Automatic Pool Cleaner will make your life so much easier. Once you go automatic, there is no going back. It has a rubber skirt with a diaphragm made out of rubber too. It uses its own suction to move about in the pool.

3. Pressure-side Pool Cleaners

These cleaners, as the name suggests, use pressure along the walls and floor of the pool. It has its own filter bag, which takes the load off the skimmer basket. Most of the pressure side pool cleaners require their own booster pump. This alone can make the setup a hassle and hard to maintain too.

4. Robotic Cleaners

A completely automated process the robotic pool cleaners might be expensive but can make your life very easy too. If you like seeing these man-made wonders do all of your work, then these might be the best for you. You can sit by your poolside sipping margaritas while a little cleaner cleans your pool. The best part they don’t complain whatsoever. They take the tedious job of cleaning from you and perform with the utmost professionalism. With the current boom in technology in the last two decades, they have become extremely affordable and easy to use. They have a longer shelf life and can easily be repaired too if damaged.

Not only does this make these machines favorable, but they are very efficient too. They will do a better job of cleaning the pool as compared to you and only in a matter of minutes. The Zodiac X30 Tornax is the best value for money robot cleaner you can buy. Priced at about $1200, the robot cleaner is an excellent pool cleaner.

With the current boom in technology, robotic cleaners have become extremely affordable and easy to use

Advantages Of Robotic Pool Cleaners

Save Power – The robotic cleaner will work independently of the filtration system of the pool. This negates the need to pump all the water through long pipes from the system to the cleaning system. In the long run, this saves energy and money.

Fewer Chemicals Used – As the debris and dirt are removed and not stored in the filtration system of the pool, it becomes easier to balance the pH levels of the pool. Thus you wouldn’t have to worry about murky water and how to get rid of it.

Save Water – As the cleaners filter the water themselves, you save water. This is because the water does not have to go through the whole filtration system just to be cleaned.

Conclusion

Out of all the options mentioned above, robotic cleaners are by far the best of the bunch. If your budget allows it, go for these as they make your life easier. They can handle all types of debris and can filter them out with ease. This also takes the load off the filtration system. As the robotic cleaner cleans out the debris, it saves you the hassle of maintaining your pH too. With regular cleaning, the chemical levels of water remain stable for a longer time, thus saving you money in the long run.

Your choice of cleaner will depend on your budget and what you can afford. If ease of mind and virtually no labor is your preference, then you should go for a Robotic Pool Cleaner. If you don’t mind putting some elbow grease into the pool maintenance, then manual cleaners might work for you. A lot of these decisions will also be affected by the size of the pool and the surrounding area. If there are a lot of trees, then we highly recommend a robotic cleaner. Rest is up to you to decide.

Cloudy Pool Water - What Are The Causes? And How Do I Treat It?

Is your pool water looking think and dark? Has it become difficult for you to see clearly when you’re underwater?

Clouding is one of the most common challenges that home pool owners face. While it can be a cumbersome issue when you’re swimming, it can be easily solved. In this article, we’ll look at how you can transform your pool water from cloudy to clear within hours and resume your swimming.

But first, let’s understand why your pool water clouds in the first place.

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8 Reasons For Milky And Murky Pools

There Is A Lot Of Debris And Pollution In Your Pool

If your fibreglass pool is situated just below or adjacent to a tree or large plant, then the debris from that plant might fall into your pool. Any animals living in the tree, may also leave behind droppings, seeds and pollen inside the water. Over a period of time, this can cause your pool to get cloudy because of the presence of all the debris.

Additionally, pollution hanging in the air might settle into the water, worsening the situation.

Your Pool Filter Isn’t Doing A Good Job

Pool filters are designed to remove any debris, dirt and chemicals that are present in your fibreglass pool water. But if your filter is faulty or it becomes really old, then it may not be efficient enough in cleaning and purifying your pool water. This can leave behind a lot of debris that can make your water dark and milky.

Your Pool Water Has A High Ammonia Content

Bacteria live inside your pool water and usually they don’t harm you. But these bacteria produce small amounts of ammonia, which over a period of time, increases in concentration in the water. If your pool filter isn’t strong enough, this ammonia may continue to build up in your pool, causing it to cloud.

The Pool pH Balance Isn't Correct

The ideal pool water pH balance should be between 7 and 7.6. Anything below 7 indicates that the pool water is acidic. Anything over 7.6 indicates the pool water is too alkaline. Either way, both extremes are bad.

Usually, high and low pH levels can wreak havoc on your pool by corroding your pipes and surfaces. But the great thing about fibreglass pools is that fibreglass material is non-reactive and corrosion-resistant.

However, although your fibreglass pool will hold up well if the pH balance of your pool is imbalanced, it’s still not good for your water, your body and your health.

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There Is A Thick Algae Build-Up In Your Pool

Algae grow wherever water is. But with a good filtration system and the right algaecide, you can control their growth. But when you have neither, algae can grow very fast and cause your pool to quite literally fog-up. Not only will the algae form a thin, cloudy sheet, but they’ll also release ammonia that can make your pool water further milky.

The Pool Water's Calcium Levels Are Imbalanced

Calcium deposits are used to evaluate how hard your pool water is. If the calcium deposit is low, your pool is filled with soft water and the chances of clouding are less. But, if your pool is very hard water, then the calcium deposits in your pool will cause the water to become thick and murky.

The presence of calcium in your pool water can also cause a thin chalky film to form over your fibreglass pool, which needs to be cleaned to improve your pool’s aesthetics.

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You Use The Wrong Concentration Of Chlorine

When you use chlorine to purify your water, the chlorine particles dissolve in the water and cling to the dirt particles, neutralizing them. But simultaneously, these chlorine particles become ineffective too. This is called combined chlorine, i.e., chlorine combined with dirt.

Only the remaining free chlorine particles will be effective in cleaning your pool water. But if you start out by pouring the wrong concentration of chlorine powder/pellets into your pool, there won’t be much free chlorine left to clear your water of debris and algae. This can cause your pool to cloud.

At the same time, adding too much chlorine can also cause your pool to cloud, since the chemicals in the chlorine will mess up your pool’s pH levels.

You Live In The Rain-Heavy Part Of Australia

There are many parts of Australia that receive heavy rainfall. Rain falling into your pool can bring in debris and dirt, which can make your pool cloudy.

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Best Ways To Keep Your Pool Water Clean And Cloud-Free

The good news is, you can un-cloud your pool easily. Here are a few things you can do:

Clean Out Or Replace Your Pool Filters

The first thing to do when your pool is getting cloudy, is to check your filter. Over a period of years, your pool filters will have clogged-up and this may be why it’s unable to filter out any other particles. By giving your filter a good clean, you can remove any guck in it.

If the filter appears to be clean, but you’re certain it is the cause of the clouding, replace it. Best practice dictates that pool filters be changed every two years.

Get A More Powerful Pump

Sometimes, pool owners make the mistake of choosing a pump that is the wrong size for their pool. A smaller pump for a big pool just won’t be powerful enough to keep up a steady stream of clean water to your pool. This may cause your water to stagnate, increasing the chances of algal growth.

So, check with a professional fibreglass pool installer if the pump you have is the right one and replace it if it isn’t.

Shock Your Pool With The Right Chemicals

“Shocking” refers to the process of adding specific combinations of chemicals into your pool water, to help bring the pool water back into the right chemical conditions.

The type of shock materials you use, will depend on the chemical state of your water, i.e., its pH level, calcium concentrate, presence of other trace minerals and chemicals, chlorine rate etc.

So, if your pool is clouding because your chlorine levels are low, you should shock your pool water with sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, lithium hypochlorite or dichlor and trichlor. But if other minerals and chemicals are causing an imbalance in your pool’s pH levels, then use a non-chlorine shock such as Potassium monopersulfate.

“Shocking” refers to the process of adding specific combinations of chemicals into your pool water, to help bring the pool water back into the right chemical conditions.

Increase The Frequency Of Pool Water Cleaning

As a general best practice, consider having a weekly pool cleaning routine. Shock your pool with chlorinated and non-chlorinated shocks on alternate weeks. Use a powerful algaecide every few weeks to prevent algae build-up. Also, manually rub-off the chalky layer of calcium deposit on your fibreglass pool. This will prevent the calcium from constantly mixing with your pool water.

Get A Pool Cover To Prevent Rain And Debris From Falling In

A pool cover can be a godsend when you want to keep your pool water clear and light. Since you keep the pool covered, there is little chance of rain, dirt, debris and pollution from contaminating your water.

Of course, you need to remember to remove the pool cover for an hour or two each day, to prevent the water form warming up and growing more algae. If you have to keep your pool covered for days at a stretch, consider manipulating the water’s conditions by shocking it with the right anti-algae chemicals.

Use Clarifiers And Flocculants To Remove Tough Particles

Pool water clarifiers and flocculants are two very powerful ways of treating your cloudy water.

Clarifiers act like coagulants, clumping together the smaller and invisible particles of dirt, so they can be either manually removed or filtered carefully. Flocculants work better on larger debris, by clumping them together and sinking the dirt down to the floor of the pool. You will need to use a pool pump or manually collect these dirt clumps and dispose-off them.

Clarifiers are better if you have mild cloudiness and don’t intend to swim in the pool for long. They can take a while to work, but they’re effective. Flocculants are ideal if you have sand, mud, loose stones and other heavy debris. They’re great if you want to remove these quickly before, say a party. But you may lose some water in the process of vacuuming out the debris clump.

Test Your Pool Water Regularly To Understand How It Reacts To The External Environment

So far, we’ve looked at ways to reverse the cloudiness of already-cloudy water. But to prevent your water from turning milky and murky, you need to check the water conditions regularly.

You can good-quality water testing kits online, which allow you to test the chemical concentration and pH balance of your water. By taking weekly readings and tracking how your pool water reacts to climate changes or certain debris, you’ll be able to take the steps necessary to constantly keep you water clear and free of clouds.

For more information, contact us today! We are Australia’s premier fibreglass swimming pool installers. We can help you install and repair fibreglass pools.

A Complete Guide to Swimming Pool Cleaners

To keep your pool in tip-top shape, you must commit to regular pool maintenance. While pool cleaning isn’t the most fun thing to do, there are several pool cleaners options available to help make the job easier. Which is best? Here we will explain everything you need to know about pool cleaners to help you choose the right one.

guide-to-pool-cleaners

What's Involved In Pool Maintenance?

To keep your pool free of bacteria and algae your pool must have a filtration system. This circulates the water to keep it clean. In conjunction with your filtration system, you will need a sanitising agent such as chlorine, salt, or mineral and additional chemicals to maintain the water quality. The slightest imbalance can see your pool turn cloudy or green relatively quickly and once it’s at this stage, it can be tricky to get the levels right again. You will also need to maintain your equipment and clear the water of debris regularly by emptying your skimmer basket and scooping leaves and other unwanted objects out of the pool.

Pool Cleaner Options

Cleaning The Pool Manually

The name may give it away, but this essentially means cleaning your pool manually. While this is by far the cheapest option available, it is also the most time-consuming. What’s involved exactly?

Skimming the water

If you choose to clean your pool manually, you will need to physically remove leaf litter and dirt from your water using a skimmer net that is attached to the telescope pole. How often should this be done? Ideally, this should be done every day.

Brushing The Pool

The surface of the pool will need to be scrubbed to loosen dirt or contaminants from the interior, again using a telescopic pole with a brush attachment. How often should this be done? Every second day or once a week at the minimum.

Vacuuming

You will need to attach a vacuum head to the telescopic pole to vacuum the pool. You should manoeuvre this over every part of the surface including the steps.

How Often Should This Be Done?

At least once a week.
The equipment you need will depend on the type of pool you have, for instance, fibreglass pools should only be brushed with soft brushes whereas other types of pools, such as gunite need an abrasive brush type such as stainless steel.

pool-cleaner

Cleaning The Pool With The Help Of An Automatic Cleaner

If you want to drastically reduce the amount of time you spend on pool maintenance, then you need an automatic pool cleaner. While they are a more expensive option, most find the time they save is worth the investment. There are a couple of different automatic pool cleaners options available and they all work differently to clean the pool.

Suction side cleaners

If you are looking for a budget-friendly automatic pool cleaner that is easy to use and maintain, then a suction side is a great choice. They attach to the skimmer which is another component of the filtration system. The skimmer draws pool water through the filtration system to clean it and from this pressure, the suction side cleaner moves around the pool’s surface to pick up dirt and other unwanted nasties from the water. The only downfall to this type of cleaner is that they only work when the pump is switched on and over time, they can prematurely wear the filtration system.

Pressure Side Cleaners

Pressure side cleaners attach to the pools return jets. The return jets play a key role in your pools filtration system and return filtered water to the pool. The pressure from the jets pushes the pressure side cleaner along the walls of the pool to clean it. It sucks up dirt and debris which is collected by a filter bag. There are different versions of this pool cleaner with varied pressures, which one is best suited to your pool will depend on factors such as the size of your pool, how much leaf litter goes into it and your budget. They are an effective cleaner and are priced higher than other types such as suction side cleaner.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

When it comes to automatic pool cleaners, a robotic cleaner is the most technologically advanced option. Unlike the other two, they run independently using electricity rather than running through the filtration system. Even though they use electricity to function, it is minimal and around the same as a light bulb which makes them the most environmentally and budget-friendly choice. They have been designed to work safely in the water and will switch off automatically if the slightest variance is detected in the electrical current. Robotic cleaners are equipped with advanced brush technology that scrubs every inch of your pool and in turn, fewer chemicals are normally needed to balance the water. While they are the most expensive automatic cleaner, they can save you a significant amount of time having to manually clean the pool.

Other Pool Cleaning Aids

There are a few other pool cleaning options that you can add to your pool to reduce maintenance.

Leaf eaters – Leaf eaters pull dirt and debris from the floor of the pool and collects it in a leaf bag. They are simply powered by a garden hose and don’t use your pools filtration system.

Solar-powered collectors – Solar-powered collectors float on top of the water and are entirely powered by solar. They move through the water to collect twigs, bugs, and leaves before they have a chance to sink to the bottom and affect your pools pH levels.

Self-Cleaning Pools

Self-cleaning pools have revolutionised pool cleaning. They can reduce your pool maintenance to practically nothing and are the most hands-free option available. They offer the most superior clean and circulate the water in every inch of the pool. They sit flush at the bottom of the pool and most are colour matched so, they are almost invisible. Self-cleaning systems propel streams of filtered water in the pool to push dirt and debris to the drain. While they are an expensive investment initially, the long-term benefits you can reap from this system is unmatched. It can be run via smart technology which allows you to automate your cleaning from a smart device – you don’t even have to be home to do it! As the water is circulated from the bottom to top, algae doesn’t have the chance to grow. It disperses pool chemicals evenly throughout the water, so fewer chemicals are needed to keep the water sanitary. They maintain the highest water quality of any pool cleaners. Additionally, they make a great selling feature if you ever choose to sell your home down the track, most people want a pool that is low maintenance and easy to maintain and a self-cleaning pool is just that.

Speak To The Professionals

If you’re not sure which pool cleaner to choose, it’s a good idea to speak to a pool professional. They can advise you of which options are best suited to your pool and budget. Our team here at Barrier Reef National are pool experts and can answer any questions you have about pool cleaners.