How Can I Cut Down Swimming Pool Maintenance Expenses?
Swimming pool ownership is one of the most fulfilling accomplishment. But maintaining its crystal clear water is a lifelong challenge for most. Most pool owners aren't aware that they spend a lot of money on maintenance. So in this blog, I'll discuss how I keep my costs to a bare minimum.
Every pool owner's goal is to keep the pool water crystal clear and safe, in the least expensive way possible. In order to achieve that, the owner should know the fundamentals of pool maintenance.
The Pool Maintenance Pyramid
This pyramid shows that if you focus on the filtration and hydraulics of the pool, learn how and when to use fresh water, you can save on chemical consumption by up to 80%. How is that possible?
Let's define filtration and hydraulics first.
According to sciencedirect.com, water filtration is the process of removing or reducing the concentration of particulate matter, including suspended particles, parasites, bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi.
In pools, Water Hydraulics is making sure that pool water is moving and there are no dead spots (stagnant water). To show how water movement can clear water, we'll take pond as an example.It has stagnant water. It is green in color. It has all sorts of bacteria and parasites. But look at a river. It has mostly clear water, and has been the source of drinking water for thousand of years.
How can a properly sized filter and hydraulics reduce chemical consumption?
If you use a good size filter according to your pool volume, that can trap as many small particles as possible, and design the pool hydraulics in a way that there are no dead spots, you can drastically reduce chemical consumption by up to 60%. (60% savings for you. yey!)
So what filter is the best?
Choose a filter that can filter really fine particles. There are filters that, if designed properly, can filter down to 1 micron (1 micrometer). For comparison, human red blood cell is 10 microns. Imagine using a filter that has such superior filtration quality. The goal here is to filter out small things like bacteria, and algae spores so that you use minimal chlorine for disinfection. For a properly filtered pool, even 0.3 ppm of chlorine is enough for disinfection. (They're doing this in most European countries)
Disclaimer: I don't use 0.3ppm of chlorine. I still use 1ppm of chlorine for disinfection and algae prevention. I also use Spark Pool Conditioner for my pools.
While I'm in no position to claim what is best, I can definitely say that I like to follow the European version more than the American one (American standard of keeping pool clear relies heavily on chemicals). European countries emphasize filtration using big, deep sand filters, and operate at slow filtration speed to filter out as many particles as possible. To aid the filters, clarifiers are also used. This process allows pool water to be crystal clear, without much chlorine usage.
Personally, I use sand filter but instead of filling it with sand, I use AFM® Activated Filter Media. It is a special coated glass media that filters particles as small as 1 micron at 97% efficiency. We've achieved 25 meter underwater clarity (I can see you as far as 25 meters while submerged in water) by using Clear-Up Clarifier.
Fresh Water Addition
Fresh water is a great equalizer of chemicals. 70% chlorine (calcium hypochlorite) adds calcium in the water, 90% chlorine adds cyanuric acid, bleach adds TDS. There are times when these chemicals get concentrated in the pool, and the easiest way to balance them out is to partially drain the pool and replace it with fresh water. Again, the better the filtration, the lesser fresh water replacement is required. Next time when your pH is low, instead of running for soda ash, consider partially draining the pool, and fill it up with fresh water. Do this properly, and you can save up to 80% on pool chemicals.
Disclaimer: This step depends on the source water quality. If your water source is dirty, then I would not recommend this step.
Most pool owners have no idea what's the required dosage based on their pool size, which mostly results in overdosage of many chemicals. There are already many pool chemical dosage calculators, so I request that you use them.
For example, take low pH. What I've noticed is that pH increasers are seldom required, because the pool's pH tends to rise, instead of dropping. But because pool owners don't know the exact amount of acid to use, they end up overdosing, and pH increasers are required to raise the pH again. To avoid this problem, use pH dosing calculators whenever possible. We've created a dosage calculator (click here) for our clients who use Spark Pool Conditioner & Algae Preventer.
Another thing I've noticed is that most pool owners think all chlorine are the same. That's not true. Always opt to buy high quality chlorine, and other chemicals, whenever possible. This saves you from filler products (claim to be 70% but they are actually 50%, mess up with the computation, and don't mix well either), and their wrong concentrations
Always prioritize filtration and hydraulics of the pool. Also, these processes can be automated. So take advantage of them, and you'll find yourself saving some serious cash. Fresh water is your best friend in equalizing concentrated chemicals in your pool. And use high quality, and proper dose of chemicals for water balancing. Do this, and you'll end up with 80% savings.
If you need personal help with filtration, kindly leave us a message.