If your water chemicals are balanced but you’re having trouble keeping the “free chlorine” levels up, here’s some things to consider:
1.)Are you running your pump long enough to run all the gallons of your pool water through the filter 2x per day?
2.)Has your filter been cleaned or backwashed lately? *Don’t always rely on the pressure gauge to determine when to clean your filter or backwash it.
3.)Is the pump basket clean of debris? Is the pump impeller free of debris? *Some pumps are designed where you can remove the basket and stick your finger in the hole (while pump is off), and feel for debris clogging the pump impeller.
If you’ve answered yes to all these questions, then consider that your water has high nitrate and/or phosphate levels.
Phosphate became a household word in the 1970’s. This is when people started to use low-phosphate and phosphate-free laundry detergents. This was to protect lakes, streams, wetlands and other runoff areas from the detrimental effects of excess phosphate. One of these effects is unwanted algae blooms.
What’s true for lakes is also true for swimming pools. Phosphate is a natural component of most swimmer wastes. It is also present in rain water. Phosphate is persistent and does not break down naturally. Fertilizers, which may blow into the pool, have high phosphate content. For all of these reasons, pools can quickly build up high phosphate levels.
When Phosphates are Present, Algae Grows…..
Phosphate is the main ingredient in fertilizer. Phosphate is plant food, and algae are plants. If you have had persistent trouble with algae, every year – and it always seems to come back, you may have a phosphate problem in your pool. When excess phosphate is present in a swimming pool, the symptoms often include the following: cloudy, green water, slippery and slimy surfaces, mustard and green colored debris, excessive chemical consumption, poor water quality.
Remove the Phosphates and Solve the Problem……
The maximum level of phosphate in pool water should be 0.1 ppm. Once the phosphate climbs above this level, the water quality begins to decrease and slime deposits can begin. Fortunately, draining to eliminate the accumulated phosphate is no longer necessary.
Natural Chemistry’s Phos-Free is a natural mineral compound which effectively and rapidly reduces the level of phosphate in the water. Phos-Free is a natural mineral product which is non-toxic. It is safe to store and use around children.
Nitrates are a matter similar to Phosphates, but of different origin…
Their big similarity is that they are both a food source for algae. Nitrate is a plant nutrient and is present in all green plants and fertilizers. It is natural occurring and is found everywhere something is growing.
Nitrites (NO2) are a close cousin to Nitrates (NO3) and are just as much of a problem for pools, because when a Nitrite comes in contact with water, it easily gains another Oxygen atom to become a Nitrate. This additional atom gives Nitrates real stability, and makes eradication difficult. In fact, the only known way of Nitrate removal in pools practiced today is to drain a portion of the pool, and refill with water that is Nitrate free, if possible.
Where do Nitrates come from?
Rural areas – those with water wells and septic tanks are particularly prone to Nitrate contamination in pools. Fertilizer is the most common source of Nitrates in pools. Do birds and ducks make regular passes over your pool? Do they land in the pool to bathe? Birds and especially Ducks can do a real number on a pool. Rain spilling off of overhanging trees can add Nitrates to a pool, and even the acid rain itself can increase Nitrate levels. Finally, human waste, sweat, cosmetics can all bring trace Nitrates into the pool.
According to John Girvan, one of the few people to study Nitrates extensively, has said that “With nitrate in the pool,” he says, “you will get algae and other contaminants that won’t respond to normal treatment.” Some pool techs have been known to say that Nitrates “lock up chlorine”. The opposite is in fact true, the presence of Nitrate in pool water will drastically increase the sanitizer consumption. At levels as low as 10ppm of Nitrate, algae will grow even though you have used algaecide and are keeping a proper chlorine residual.
The only way to remove Nitrates from your pool water is to drain at least partially and refill with fresh water.
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