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OutsidePlay – Knowledge Base

Pool Water Chemical Advise

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Water Problem Solving Chart

Are you having problems with your pool water? If so check out the problem and symptoms in the table below.

SYMPTOMCAUSESOLUTION
Green / Cloudy Water / Slippery SidesAlgaeShock dose with Chlorine and add Algaecide
Too much chlorineOverdoseDrain pool to minimum mark and re-fill with fresh water to maximum mark, this will help to dilute the excess chemical.Remove cover from pool to allow evaporation of the chemical (keep the pool filter running constantly).
PH hard to controlAlkalinity too low or too highAfter testing the PH with your dip test strips you can use the following chemicals to increase or decrease the PH.
PH PLUS
PH MINUS
Please re-test the pool after a couple of hours and before use.
Can’t maintain chlorine levelsChlorine levels are fluctuating, the pool has been left and gone stagnant or other chemical levels are not correct.Use the test strips to check chemical levels everyday, the filter pump should be left on for a minimum of 4 hours a day when there is water in the pool.If chlorine levels are fluctuating, you will need to check other chemical levels are correct. If the pool is being used quite a lot you may need to increase the chlorine levels.If you are going away we would suggest emptying the pool and cleaning it so the water is not left to go stagnant. Do no re-fill until you return from your trip.
Cloudy waterPoor chemical control or inadequate filtrationClean cartridge, check chemical levels with Dip Test Strips and adjust if necessary (chlorine/PH). If the problem persists buy a Pool Clarifier to remove small particles
Rough pool sides / edgesScale formation due to high calcium levels in waterEnsure PH levels are correct using Dip Test Strips and use Scale Remover. Clear and clean debris screens, pipework and check pool filter for build-up. You may need to descale the filter pump as well.
No colour change on test strip dip testToo high chlorine leading to bleaching of indicator pads (over 15ppm chlorine)Check expiry date on Pool Test Strips. Wait for chlorine level to drop and re-test (See overdose instructions).
FoamingDetergent present from incorrect cleaning products or excessive algaecide use.Reduce water level and top up with fresh water. Avoid domestic household cleaners.Avoid using domestic household cleaners, washing detergent, sun lotion, make-up, moisturiser, hair products and fake tan. We would also recommend showering before using the pool. We would also recommend using Foam Remover.

See our full range of Pool Chemicals

General Safety Tips

  • Do not leave non swimmers / children unattended
  • Do not overload the pool
  • Avoid sitting on pool walls
  • Do not allow diving in shallow water
  • Do not use during thunder storms
  • Do not use electrical appliances near water
  • Use plastic rather than glass around the pool
  • Have a First Aid Kit available for any accidents

Chemical Handling

  • Read instructions thoroughly on each product/box before use
  • When pre dissolving chemicals always add chemicals to water and not vice versa
  • Never mix different chemicals in concentrated forms including these kit products but also with other products like bleach or weedkillers – a dangerous reaction may occur
  • Always pre dissolve chemicals in a clean,plastic container in a well ventilated area
  • Avoid spillages but in event of spillage clean up using clean receptacles and dispose in the pool. Flush cleaned spill areas with water
  • Never use unlabelled chemicals
  • Wash hands after handling pool chemicals

Storing Chemicals

  • Store chemicals well away from children and pets
  • Store in a secure,cool and dry place

Starter or Shock Dosing

AFTER THE POOL HAS BEEN ERECTED:

Use ClearWater Dip Tests to test the water supply for pH and Total Alkalinity levels.At this stage the water is unlikely to have much chlorine (if any),so to avoid algae and bacteria from the start add a “shock” or starter dose of ClearWater Stabilised Chlorine Granules.Allow 50gms of chlorine granules to 1000 gallons (4545 litres).THE IMPORTANCE OF CIRCULATION AND FILTRATION:

Most above ground pools now include a pump and cartridge filter as standard.It is a combination of circulating water through the cartridge to collect suspended particles,together with good chemical water treatment,that helps you maintain clear, clean and healthy water. As a guide to running circulation,you should aim to “turn” the full volume of pool water through the cartridge once per day. Typically in most splash pools, using standard equipment,this is 4 hours per day (that the pump should be turned on).WATER TESTING AND IDEAL POOL LEVELS:
Using ClearWater 3 way dip Tests you are able to quickly and accurately assess the condition of your water and make adjustments to chemical levels with the appropriate chemicals added where necessary. Test daily when the pool is in use and twice weekly when the pool is not is use.

TESTIDEAL READINGTERMS
Free Chlorine1 – 3 ppm**ppm = parts per million
pH7.2 – 7.6
Total Alkanlinity125 – 150 ppm**ppm = parts per million

When using ClearWater Dip Tests follow the instructions on the bottle for best results being observant of the optimal reading times and always holding strips level (to avoid indicator pad colours mixing). Also make sure strips are completely dry before use to avoid cross contamination.By regular testing of pool water you will soon learn how various activities like refilling, topping up, adding chemicals and general usage can affect various test readings.

Chemical Water Treatment

Bacteria Control – ClearWater Stabilised Chlorine Granules are used to disinfect the pool water and keep it free from bacteria, some of which may be hazardous to health. ClearWater Chlorine Granules are quick dissolving and relatively pH neutral.

Normal Dosing – ClearWater Stabilised Chlorine Granules:

POOL VOLUMESINCREASE BY 1ppm (ONLY) CHLORINE LEVEL
1000 Gallons (4,545 Litres)9 Grams
2500 Gallons (11,364 Litres)23 Grams

To ensure the ideal reading of 1 – 3 ppm is maintained it is advised to aim for 3 ppm to provide a useful “buffer” for fluctuating conditions such as bathing loads and hot weather. The rate of chlorine consumption can and does vary depending on different conditions and chlorine will be consumed even when there is no swimming (i.e. by sunlight or by algae). Because of this,the only way to be sure that there is chlorine present in the water is to test regularly.

pH – The pH scale of 0 – 14 measures acidic or alkali conditions respectively.The middle reading of 7 is neutral, so pool water with a pH below 7 is acidic and pool water with a pH above 7 is alkaline.For above ground pools the ideal pH level is slightly alkaline between 7.2 – 7.6, ensuring plant protection and bather comfort are maintained (the pH level of the eye is consistent with this level).

pH LEVELSSUMMARY OF LEVEL
8.58.0Skin / eye irritationScale formationReduces chlorine effectiveness
7.2 – 7.6IDEAL LEVEL
7.06.5Plant corrosion especially metalsUnpleasant smells and bather discomfortChlorine quickly used up

ADJUSTING pH

If the pH of your pool water is above 7.6 then use ClearWater pH Minus to reduce it,using the application instructions on the bottle.

If the pH of your pool water is below 7.2 then use ClearWater pH Plus to increase it,using the application instructions on the bottle.

Algae Control

Algae are microscopic forms of plant life that can multiply quickly in untreated water, turning clear water to “pea soup” in a matter of hours. Chlorine used in pools helps prevent algae,but extra protection using ClearWater Algaecide really is both prudent and cost effective. Dose as per bottle instructions.

POOL VOLUMESINITIAL START-UP DOSEWEEKLY DOSE
1000 gallons (4,545 litres)50ml25ml
2500 gallons (11,364 litres)125ml62ml

Cleaning & Maintenance

Periodic cleaning of waterline grease,steps and pool equipment will not only make your pool look good but it will optimise the use of your chemicals during a swimming season.

We would suggest using washing up liquid, miracle pads or stain remover.

Use pool preparations when cleaning areas around swimming pools since household cleaners often contain phosphates that nurture algae growth or detergents which cause foam.

Working Out Pool Volumes

Working out pool volumes can be tricky when considering how much chemicals to add to your pool. On most pool instructions the typical measurement will be provided in US gallons. See the table below for a typical guide:

TYPICAL POOL SIZEVOLUME UK GALLONS (US GALLONS)VOLUME (LITRES)
10 ft diameter x 30 inches deep800 UK Gallons (961 US Gallons)3639 Litres
12 ft diameter x 30 inches deep1183 UK Gallons (1421 US Gallons)5377 Litres
15 ft diameter x 36 inches deep2240 UK gallons(2689 US gallons)10,179 Litres
15 ft diameter x 42 inches deep2720 UK gallons(3266 US gallons)12,362 Litres
15 ft diameter x 48 inches deep3038 UK gallons(3648 US gallons)13,807 Litres
18 ft diameter x 42 inches deep4203 UK gallons(5046 US gallons)19,100 Litres
18 ft diameter x 48 inches deep4661 UK gallons(5596 US gallons)21,182 Litres

Chemical Treatment Summary

A quick guide to products needed for treatments:

TASKIDEAL LEVELPRODUCTDOSE FREQUENCY
Disinfect1 – 3 ppm (aim for 3)ClearWater Stabilised Chlorine GranulesDaily when pool in use to maintain ideal levels
pH7.2 – 7.6ClearWater pH Minus to reduceClearWater pH Plus levels to increaseWeekly or as required to maintain ideal levels
Prevent Algaen/aClearWater AlgaecideWeekly
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