When Your Pool Turns Green- Pool Care Tips
We Are Here to Help | 8.12.2019
It’s not easy being a green pool so we have compiled some of the most common green pool care tips. When the summer slows down, there are more birthdays, weddings, sports games, graduation parties… you name it. The family pool can get neglected quickly until you are ready to take a dip and that’s when you notice, it’s green!
WHY IS MY POOL GREEN?
We all know that the green comes from algae but did you know that your pool could also turn green from metal, like copper, in the water? We’ll get back to algae in a minute. When you have a higher than normal level of copper or iron in your pool water it could turn a lime green color and also, contrary to everyone’s belief, turn blond hair green. Most people think it is due to the chlorine that hair turns green when in fact, it is most likely copper in the pool water.
The easiest way to maintain your levels of metal in the water is to balance the pH, alkalinity, and calcium in your pool water when needed. Best to check on these once a week and when there is a drastic change in weather. Metal issues will normally come from equipment that is not properly taken care of such as heaters, pumps, filters, and even ladders. When the pool water is not balanced properly it allows equipment to start eroding which causes the metal of the equipment to start interfering with the pool water chemistry. Crazy huh? Anyway our first tip is…
GET YOUR WATER TESTED!
Test your pool water weekly, either by dipping a strip into the pool yourself or taking water into a professional water testing facility like Valley Pool & Spa. Checking the levels of chlorine and pH is a start but not always enough, if you are an “old school” drop tester with your red and yellow vials you can still test your pool weekly but we still recommend having all levels of pH, alkalinity, calcium, Free and Total chlorine tested at least once a month by a professional water testing pool company.
Heavy rains, winds, even the change in the environment around you can create a change in your pool water chemistry. Phosphates, nitrates, and other issues are becoming more common than they used to in areas where farming, fertilizing, and new construction are happening. Even topping off your pool with the hose can sometimes add phosphates to your water which can block your chlorine levels from functioning properly. These can also be tested at the water lab in any of the Valley Pool & Spa locations.
Balancing the pH and alkalinity as well as the sanitizer level in your pool can not only help keep the green away but can also prolong the life of your pool and all of its equipment which is costly and never fun to replace.
Now back to algae… Algae can bloom quickly if the pool is not correctly taken care of. Adding chemicals is a main step but not the only step to keep algae at bay. Here are our tips without using chemicals to keep algae from destroying your last weeks of summer vacation.
CIRCULATE THE WATER!
Proper circulation in the pool water will keep algae from gripping onto your liner or walls and floor of the pool. Any returns in the pool, where the water shoots back into the pool, should be adjusted to face down and away from the skimmer. Circulating the pool water this direction creates a “whirlpool” which reduces any dead spots in the pool where algae likes to live. Dead spots are where water does not move, creating a nice cozy home for algae, normally behind ladders, in corners, and deep ends of a pool. Keep this in mind when designing a new in-ground pool. Proper circulation of water will save many headaches in the long term.
All pools have some sort of filter, sand, cartridge, or diatomaceous earth (aka D.E.). No matter what type of filter is on the pool, it can not work properly if not ran regularly. Filters are to “clean” the water from dirt and debris, which we all know, but did you know your water needs to be turned over at least twice a day? Turning your water over means the entire pool needs to filter through at least twice a day to stay in tip-top shape. I could give you a scientific way to know if your pool water is being filtered twice a day but, let’s face it, nobody really likes math (especially me!). The easy way to know your water is getting properly filtered is to run your filter at least 12 hours every single day. You can of course run it more than 12 hours but don’t try to save the money on electric and run it less… you will, spend that money you are “saving” in the long run on chemicals and cleaning products to clean your pool up again.
CLEAN YOUR FILTER!
Running a filter 12 hours or more a day, great. But is your filter clean?
Just like a vacuum in your home, the dirt stays in the filter unless emptied every so often. Back washing sand and D.E. filters helps but at least 2 times a season it is mandatory to chemically clean your filter insides.
Oils, grease, and tiny particles of dirt and pollen can stay in the filter even after back washing or rinsing. Chemically cleaning your filter media with a de-greasing filter cleaner such as Caribbean Blue All-In-One Filter Cleaner or one of the other many filter cleaners available at Valley Pool & Spa. If you have never chemically cleaned your filter before, your first step is to find a clean container big enough to hold your filter insides. A clean garbage can, plastic tote, or large bucket will normally work. Always remember to wear gloves when working with chemicals. For a step-by-step instruction sheet on how to clean your specific type of filter visit your closest Valley Pool & Spa where they will print you an easy to follow instruction sheet to take home.
CLEAN AS A WHISTLE!
Speaking of cleaning, your filter is not the only thing to keep your pool clean. While the filter is cleaning the water it can not keep the tiny organisms and dirt from collecting in the pores of the liner. Vinyl liners, fiberglass, and even concrete can collect dirt and grime in the pores and tiny crevices on the pool walls and floors. The clear “slime” that you can sometimes feel on the floor and walls is called bio-film. Bio-film is the start of algae before it blooms and turns green. How to keep these pesky organisms from blooming is to brush the walls and floor of your pool weekly using a wall brush, scrub brush, or one of the fancy new inventions like a Mytee Mitt or Mytee Foot which can be found at your local Valley Pool & Spa. Just like brushing your teeth, brush the entire wall to remove the dirt and bio-film. You also need to use a cleaner, like toothpaste, to help rid of all unwanted dirt. Try using a pH neutral cleaner like Caribbean Blue Surface Cleaner on your liner.
BONUS: Caribbean Blue Surface Clean works awesome on pool toys, rafts, and porch furniture! Pay close attention to places behind the ladder and in “dead spots” where the water doesn’t always circulate properly.
DO NOT COVER UP THE BEAUTY!
As the summer nights start to get cooler it is always a trend to start using the solar cover more. But as the summer comes to an end, and the kids all go back to school, nobody is removing the solar cover as much as needed. Pool water needs to “breathe” to properly sanitize itself. When adding chlorine and shock to the water it oxidizes and gives off gasses into the air. The gas can not escape the pool water if it is covered, which keeps the chemicals from doing their job of keeping your water clean. Solar covers are great to keep the heat in the water, however do not leave a solar cover on more than 48 hours at a time. Always keep your solar cover off if you are going on vacation. You can thank us later…
If you follow the tips we have compiled above you should have no problem swimming into the early fall and extending your pool season without issues of a green, cloudy pool. Keep up with your pool and it will love you all summer long.
One last tip, and this is a biggie…
DO NOT close your pool until the water is 65 degrees or colder. Save yourself the hassle of cleaning a green pool in the spring! Trust us, we’re professionals! 🙂
For more pool tips and tricks visit your closest Valley Pool & Spa and don’t forget to bring a water sample for your FREE water test!
Happy last days of summer!