Its So Dang Hot- What Do I Do?
Its so darn hot outside. Luckily, you have an in ground pool to cool off in. But now that it the heat is routinely reaching 90, 100 degrees Fahrenheit, that pool is starting to look pretty good to you more frequently, and probably to your friends and neighbors as well. This puts a lot of stress on your pool. However, your increasing swimming habits are not just the only thing putting stress on your pool and its water chemistry: Heat and UV rays are as well. And that can cause many issues. Here are some helpful tips to get you through the unbearable summer heat without your in ground pool turning into a cloudy or green mess...
Remember the basics
Under normal conditions, your pool and its chemistry can run on autopilot (especially with a salt system continuously adding chlorine to your pool) with scant adjustments needing to be made. But extended periods of severe heat can lead to increased and prolonged bather loads which will tax your chlorine level. Additionally, the heat and UV rays can burn off your chlorine at a faster rate. As days are longer, the additional daylight will also add to the stress of keeping your pool clean and clear.
Your chlorine levels are recommended to sit between 1.0-4.0ppm (parts per million). During prolonged heat, keeping the chlorine levels as close to 4.0ppm will decrease the odds of an algae outbreak. If you do not shock your in ground pool once a week (as most with salt systems in this region do not) you may have to until the heat temps cool off a bit. If you do shock on a weekly basis (as most tablet-based pools do) you may consider moving up your shock treatments to every 3-4 days in order to help keep your chlorine average near 4.0ppm.
Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) can increase your chlorine's lifespan by up to 4-fold. Do not neglect this level, especially in salt-based in ground pools. A level should be kept at at least 50ppm (and up to 80ppm) for maximum chlorine life. Tablet-based pools are to keep a stabilizer level between 30-50ppm, as chlorine tablets do have trace amounts of stabilizer in them that will replenish your level throughout the season. To achieve a 30-50-ppm level, add 1lb of stabilizer per every 4,000 gallons of pool water.
What else can I do?
Adding an algaecide to your weekly repertoire can help fend off pesky outbreaks of green, brown, black, yellow or even pink algae. Over time and periods of extreme heat algae can form a resistance to elevated chlorine levels and may require an algaecide to keep them at bay. If you are using an algaecide, you may want to step up to a stronger algaecide or one that specifically targets the stubborn algae that is currently plaguing your pool.
Testing for phosphates is a must. Phosphates are as a fuel source for algae and contribute to their resistance and staying power during times of extreme heat. If phosphate levels reach 500ppb (parts per billion) they can really begin to tax the effectiveness of your chlorine levels. If phosphate levels reach 1000ppb you're likely to have impaired chlorine levels, algae outbreaks and general pool water discoloration. Phos-X is required to reduce phosphates back to a manageable level.
Cooling down your water temperature
Aerate. Aerate. Aerate. That is just about the only way you can bring down your water temperature in the gnarly heat that St. Louis is so famous for (Yes- I am sure your neighbor or uncle has a neat story about that one year he put blocks of ice in his pool but that rarely works and is not very cost-effective).
Turn on your fountains, deck jets, Sheer Descents or whatever you have in your pool that will aerate the water. If your pool does not have a dedicated fountain line or deck jets, etc, most pool places (including Prestige Pools and Spas) offer an in ground pool fountain that attaches directly to your return jets.. These are typically easy to install and fun for the kids to play in.
Always feel free to bring your water to a professional to have in analyzed to make sure you're pool waters' chemistry is in the best position to succeed. Feel free to email us or contact us in the showroom with any water chemistry questions.
Stay cool with an algae-free pool and good luck moving forward,