This year’s summer heat is a bit overwhelming. In fact, we are breaking records when Lake Elsinore reached 113 earlier this week, knocking out the previous record of 110 set in 1929. No doubt this is a perfect time to jump in your pool and cool down, but scorching weather like this can create problems for swimming pools, particularly if you don’t follow a regular swimming pool service program.
Cort’s Pools cares for 100’s of Temecula Valley pools each week, and there are two main elements you must consider for proper hot weather pool care which is proper water chemistry and correctly operating equipment.
Proper pool water chemistry
The powerful UV rays from summer sun will quickly cause issues on your pools chlorine concentration in just a few hours. We recommend testing the chemical levels in your pool more often during the high heat to help you know when and how much chlorine to add and once a week at minimum.
Maintaining correct water chemistry levels in your swimming pool involves four major processes:
- Balancing your water (Water Balancing)
- Maintaining proper pH levels
- Maintaining proper Total Alkalinity
- Maintaining proper Calcium Hardness
The following list outlines the proper water chemistry levels for optimal swimming pool functionality and comfort:
- pH: 7.2 – 7.8
- Chlorine: 2.0 – 4.0 ppm
- Total Alkalinity: 80 – 150 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 200 – 400 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid: 30 to 90ppm on chlorine pools
and 70 to 90ppm on salt pools
- Total Dissolved Solids: 500 – 5000 ppm
- Salt pool level –2700 to 3500 ppm
If you don’t have a pool service technician that comes weekly, it’s necessary to test the chlorine, pH, and cyanuric acid each week.
The biggest mistake we see from pool owners who do their own pool care is they don’t test enough or if at all and assume they can judge water chemistry by just looking at the water. You have to test regularly just like the pros. You can also bring a sample of pool water to your local pool supply store for them to analyze it for you if needed.
Chlorine is far more useful if your pH level is at 7.2 than it is at 7.6, so try to keep your pH in the lower half of the range (7.2 to 7.4) and your
chlorine on the higher side at 2.0 or above and don’t let it drop below that level.
If your brand of chlorine doesn’t contain cyanuric acid (CYA), consider adding the recommended amount for your pool size to avoid excessive chlorine dissipation. A chlorinated pool with cyanuric acid will remain chlorinated in direct sunlight; vs. without a stabilizer, chlorine will evaporate and leave the pool unprotected without chlorine in a matter of hours.
pH is unstable, and everything from swimmers to virtually everything that penetrates the water can have an influence on pH level. When your pH is low, your water is acidic, and when it’s high, your water is basic. So try and maintain the ideal pH level of 7.4 to 7.6
Alkalinity is a pH buffer with and ideal level of 100 to 150 ppm, which helps to keep the pH from moving up and down the pH scale by absorbing significant changes to the water before affecting the pH.
It’s important that your pool equipment is operating efficiently when the weather is hot. It is crucial that your main pool pump is running at least 10-12 hours per day depending on your pool and for a salt system even longer. The pump must run for the pool water to remain clear.
Make sure to keep your filter cleaned and backwashed regularly to ensure its filtering the pool correctly.
BUT ITS HOT! How do I cool off my pool water?
The simplest way to cool your water down is to use an attachment called an aerator that screws or plugs into the side of your pool and sprays a fountain of water back into your pool. The aerator adds oxygen to the water that can help reduce the pool temperature a few degrees and work great in this dry climate.
Although expensive, you can use a pool cooler. Similar to a home AC unit when water flows through the cooler it passes by cold air from the coolers fan and then pumped back into the pool. It can have a 10-15 degree difference when the unit is running and is more effective than an aerator.