Tulsa Pools : Reliable Service

Cody: Hello divers! And welcome to the Dive Time show. I’m your host Cody Albright. And you are …

Rachel: I’m Rachel Albright.

Cody: My beautiful, lovely wife …

Rachel: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Cody: … that hosts this magnificent amazing show with me. So, yeah, welcome to the Dive Time show where we talk about pool and …

Rachel: Tulsa pools.

Cody: Tulsa pools! Where together we’re the owners of Sierra Pools and Spas in Tulsa and you can find us online at sierrapoolsandspas.com. Or you can give a shout, give us a phone call, give us a ring, give us a dial at 918-884-8427. You can also like us on Facebook. We’re on Facebook. Or you can go to our website. Again, that’s sierrapoolsandspas.com. Or you can give us a call at 918-884-8427. And again, you can find us on Facebook. Give us a like. We like that and we’d appreciate that.

So, today we’re going to be talking about water balance for your Tulsa pools. So, I’m intrigued. Let’s see how this takes us. See where … you know, we’re on a road and we’re going to see where we’re going to go.

So, water balance. Rachel, what have we got today?

Rachel: Well, in addition to sanitizing your pool, you’re going to want to keep your water balance balanced. It’s similar to giving your pool a tune up. And making sure that your water is balanced is going to help with multiple different things. It’s going to help your sanitizer work more properly. More properly … I don’t think that’s proper English.

Cody: I think you did all right.

Rachel: Okay.

Cody: That’s okay.

Rachel: Anyway, if you keep your water balanced your water won’t sting or irritate your swimmer’s skin. It also won’t harm pool equipment and it’s going to help sanitizer work more effectively, like I was saying. And that’s important because pool water that is out of balance will render your sanitizers less effective, therefore causing you to have to buy more chemical and spend more money.

Cody: Isn’t that the worst, though, when you’re swimming in a pool and your skin’s irritated or you don’t even open your eyes under water and sometimes your eyes get real red and itchy. It’s just bad news.

Rachel: It’s no fun.

Cody: You don’t want that. You want balance.

Rachel: Yeah, it takes away from the fun of having a pool. So, you definitively want to make sure it’s balanced. And the things that you’re going to have to take into account for maintaining balanced water are the pH level, the total alkalinity, the calcium hardness, and the total dissolved solids. It sounds more complicated than it is. But with proper testing and monitoring it’s not too difficult.

So, the first thing that you need to take into account are the pH levels. If you don’t know what the pH scale is, the pH scale is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity of a solution, or the concentration of hydrogen or hydroxide ions, respectively. So, if you’ve ever done any gardening you know that experts recommend that you test the pH levels of your soil before planting. Same type of measurements are available for water in your pool.

The results of these measurements are plotted on a scale. And the scale runs from zero to 14. Water that measures in the center of the scale, around seven, is considered neutral. Anything below seven is acidic. Anything above seven is considered alkaline Tulsa Pools.

Cody: Yep.

Rachel: So, you want to make sure that’s all balanced out and everything. Tulsa Pools  You should test the pH levels daily or at least a few times per week. Adding soda ash to the water will raise the pH. Adding an acid, such as muriatic acid, lowers it. Depending on what you need, you will have to add one of those two things. As a pool owner, you will be buying products that tell you what they’re used for right on the label. Manufacturers package pH adjusting products under names that basically say “this product raises pH” or “this product lowers pH”. So they make it pretty easy for you.

There’s also kits that will allow you to test pH levels and chlorine, so there’s many different options.

Cody: Those little strips that you dunk in the water and you match the colors with the back of the bottle. You know [crosstalk 00:04:32]

Rachel: And any pool supplier can get you those kits. So, that’s not hard to get a hold of.

The next thing that you’re going to have to take into account is the total alkalinity, and this is a measurement of the alkaline compounds in the water. And it has a direct bearing on pH levels. So, think of a pH reading as a general statement that says one of three things: either the water is fine, it’s too acidic, or it’s too alkaline. A TA measurement will tell you the exact amount of alkaline compounds that are in the water and whether to increase or lower them to get the water back into a balance. So, if the water is too alkaline or isn’t alkaline enough, it becomes difficult to adjust the pH so that it remains stable. So, you need to keep that balance. Keep the TA between 80-125 parts per million in gunite pools with unpainted finishes. So that’s going to be the sweet spot: anywhere between 80-125 parts per million.

The next thing that you’re going to have to take into account will be calcium hardness. You’re probably familiar with the terms hard and soft water. That refers to the amount of dissolved minerals in water, of which calcium is one. While you may want to get rid of some of the calcium in the water that you use inside of your house, pools and spas actually benefit from what many people would consider hard water. If the water’s too soft it will become corrosive to pool surfaces and equipment, and we don’t want that. So, if calcium is present in extremely high levels, though, it can form scale on pool surfaces, especially at the water line. You definitely need to keep it balanced as well Tulsa Pools.

Experts recommend that you need to keep your calcium hardness somewhere between 200-300 parts per million. Although it’s not unusual to see recommendations from pool product manufacturers for higher levels. You can increase the calcium hardness by adding calcium chloride or a proprietary product designed to increase calcium hardness. The only way to lower calcium hardness is to drain water from the pool and replace it with fresh water. So, you definitely don’t want to do that. That is a hassle. So, definitely keep your calcium hardness balanced, and you won’t have to worry about that.

Another thing is total dissolved solids. It stands for just about everything you put into the water including chemicals, minerals, sunscreen – anything in the water. All of those solids are normally dissolved in the water but water can hold only a limited amount of material. At a certain point, the build-up of TDS is going to become apparent and it’s usually going to create cloudy or murky water. So, if you see cloudy or murky water, that’s usually a sign that your TDS build-up is too high. You may be doing everything right but it will still look a bit off. When TDS testing reveals levels above 2500 parts per million, even if the water still looks clear, it’s time to drain and refill the pool. High levels of TDS make sanitation chemicals less effective. So, you definitely need to keep that balanced.

Tulsa Pools And then there’s just other things in the water that you have to be worried about. Algae is a big problem and it’s something that can be hard to deal with. But, I’m actually going to give you some different methods on how to get rid of pool algae because it can be a real problem. One of the bigger problems, outside of the other things that we just talked about.

The first method to get rid of pool algae will be by super chlorination, or most people know this as shocking your pool. There are three different stages of algae in which different amount of shock are needed. So, there’s light green algae, there’s dark green algae, and there’s black-green algae. They aren’t different types, it’s just different amounts. The more algae in your pool water, the darker the green color will be. That’s kind of gross.

If you have light green pool water you need to double shock your pool in order to kill the algae. So, one pound of shock treats up to 10,000 gallons of water. So, if you have a 10,000 gallon pool or less, you’ll need to double shock it by adding two pounds of shock. If you have dark green pool water, you’ll need to triple shock it. So, same concept: if you have a 10,000 gallon pool or less, you’ll need to add three pound bags of shock. Black-green pool water … if you have a “creature from the Black Lagoon” green pool, that is gross. You’ll need to quadruple shock it. Again, same concept: you’ll need to add four pound bags of shock if you have a 10,000 gallon pool.

The second method to get rid of the algae is to flock your swimming pool.  Tulsa Pools Flock or flocculant is a chemical which takes all small particles in your pool and settles them to the bottom. Then, after all the particles have settled to the bottom you have to vacuum them out of your swimming pool. It’s a little bit more work and more time consuming, but it really does get rid of the algae fast and, if done correctly with just a little bit of elbow grease, you can have your pool cleared in one day if you’re willing to do the work. And it’s a pretty cheap chemical. When you’re done vacuuming the pool and everything looks good, I would suggest double shocking your pool just to make sure all the algae has either been removed or destroyed.

The third method would be to use swimming pool algaecide. Normally this is just a preventative kind of like pesticide, and it should be used throughout the pool season. But there are some algaecides that contain B14 or metals, such as copper or silver which can kill algae. So, these algaecides may have to be added in large doses, depending on the brand. But mixed with shock, they can do the trick just as effectively as just plain shock. It really should only be used as a preventative. You can add a few ounces every week to prevent algae from going in your swimming pool. The reason is that it can get pretty pricey if you start using the algaecides to kill algae. Also, you don’t want to add too many metals because metals in your water can cause staining.

If you’re wondering which method is the best method, all of the methods work. Different people will tell you different ones are better than the other. So it’s important to get your pool care information from different places … I’m sorry … getting your pool care information from different places can be confusing. But the best thing you can do is probably method one which is shocking your pool. It’s cheap and it’s easy and it kills all the algae. Method two would be a great method if you are in a time crunch. If you have a big party coming up and you need to kill all the algae really quickly and make sure it’s all gone, method two would probably be the way to go. So it would be flocking your pool. Again, they’re all good methods, it’s just depending on your situation and what you’re trying to accomplish.

And that kind of covers it for water balance for your Tulsa pools.

Cody: Yep, that’s some great info, Rachel. I’m glad you bring that to our attention. So, yeah, thanks for sticking with us today and listening about water balance for your Tulsa pools. I think that brings us to a wrap. As always I’m Cody.

Rachel: And I’m Rachel.

Cody: And we’ll talk to you next time! See you later, alligator!