How to deal with water chemistry in inconsistent weather
Hot, cold, rain, shine. The springtime is great for blooms and weddings but it can wreak havoc on the water chemistry in your newly opened swimming pool. When you are dealing with inconsistencies with the weather – and its unpredictability- it can be both costly and frustrating. While there are no sure things when it comes to water chemistry, here are a few tips that may help you survive the springtime:
Be an amateur weatherman
The running joke in St. Louis is “How can one be wrong more than 50% of the time and still have a job, let alone be on TV?” The answer is you’re a professional baseball player (GO CARDS!) or a local weatherman. Since they are all just guessing here you might as well throw your hat in the ring, and attempt to fend off any inclement weather that is on the horizon.
If rain is in the forecast there are a few things you can do to protect your pool against its wrath (or at least not waste money and time when rain will negate your actions). The most common thing people will do is increase their chlorine level/output. This helps with pool clarity. And as rain tends to reduce pH/alkalinity and thus reduce chlorine effectiveness, an elevated chlorine level leaves more chlorine available once your pH drops.
pH/alkalinity levels before a rain should be checked but may *not* need to be adjusted. If your pH and/or alkalinity level is high prior to a rain, why reduce either of them with a reducer when nature will do it for you? That will be a waste of money and likely won’t get the desired results. Some customers prefer to raise their pH/alkalinity levels beyond the ideal levels and allow the rain to rebalance to compensate. As the weather is unpredictable and rain may not always happen in the manner we are led to believe, I prefer to adjust pH/alkalinity after the threat of rain has subsided.
Know the temperature of your water
We need consistent water temps of over 65 - 70 degrees for most pool chemicals to work. Otherwise the products may not be active/effective in your water. This is especially noticeable with salt systems: Not only is chlorine ineffective but most salt generators will not fully operate. Additionally, it will trigger an error code that may cause you to believe that your salt generator is malfunctioning when in reality the water is simply too cold.
If your water is too cold there is a temptation to want to fire up your heater. Most heaters have an in-line heat coil that is susceptible to corrosion if the pH is out of balance. Know that excessive pH imbalance may cause your heat coil to corrode or can lead to staining in your pool via metal deposits.
Don’t work against the inevitable. If weather outlets all agree that we may see torrential rains for days and days, you may want to not touch your pool at all. Chances are that you may have to drain your pool a few inches, and that can negate any need to add things like salt, stabilizer, etc.
If the weather threatens to be blustery or even has a chance of severe weather/tornado, stow away or secure loose pool equipment, patio furniture, toys, etc that may damage your pool or its equipment.
If your liner in ground pool is prone to wrinkling due to hydrostatic pressure it is imperative that you keep as much water in it as possible. Draining too much water may cause your liner to float, and with the volume of water we can get during the spring it may be some time before the wrinkles can be fixed.
We can help
We offer free chemical analysis in our showroom and we are always available to answer any questions by phone or email. For further information about water chemistry, click here. If you need assistance from our service department feel free to call us or email us here.
Happy swimming and good luck moving forward.