Causes and Cures of Algae Growth in your Pool:
Whether you have a pool service in Sarasota or maintain the pool yourself, when everyone thinks of swimming season, what comes to mind? Summertime! The air is hot, kids are out of school, and the days are long. Another trait that the summer brings is: the perfect recipe for algae growth. No matter the region, algae thrives off of sun and heat. So what are some things a pool owner can do to prevent waking up to a green pool? Here are some key things to pay close attention to, ensuring you and your family will be able to swim all season:
The most important aspect of a healthy pool is well-balanced water. Obviously, water that is out of balance, is going to be more prone to being unhealthy, similar to the foods we eat affecting how we feel. Possibly, the most important chemical during the summer is Free Chlorine, which acts as a disinfectant, kicking bacteria to the curb. A minimum level that we recommend is 3ppm (parts per million), anything less than this can diminish quickly, making it difficult to monitor and stay on top of. In fact, during the hot months, it’s recommended to “shock” your pool at least once a month, to reset FC. When people think about shocking a pool, they automatically think this refers to the bags of ‘shock’ bought at the pool store. Shocking can be done with virtually any form of chlorine, the key is to get the level to 10+ppm. Chlorine is broken down by sunlight, humidity, and from the breakdown of organic material.
While chlorine is crucial, it isn’t the only chemical that matters. To protect chlorine levels, your water must have an optimal level of CYA (cyanuric acid). This is a weak acid, which acts as SPF for your chlorine level. Without an optimal CYA level, the sunlight will eat up chlorine before you know what happened! We recommend keeping CYA at 50 – 80 ppm during these Sarasota summer months. However, if CYA gets too high, this can be detrimental as well. Once CYA get’s over 100, it can make it very difficult to shock in the result of algae.
pH is another chemical which is crucial, not only in the summer, but year-round. This chemical refers to how basic or acidic your pool water is. pH that isn’t balanced can make swimming less desirable, wreak havoc on equipment, and cause water to scale. Needless to say, when pH is an at optimal level (7.4 – 7.6), it aids the pool in feeling healthy. It will also enable free chlorine to do it’s job properly. Total alkalinity goes hand in hand with pH, and acts as a buffer for pH levels.
Another common cause of algae growth is a pool that doesn’t have strong flow. Your pool’s pump, pump basket, filter, and skimmer basket all contribute to the water health. Make sure to always keep your filter clean, an easy way to do this, is to monitor the filter pressure shown on the gauge. While, all filters have a different pressure reading, the best way to monitor this is to take note of what the pressure reading shows after installing a new filter. When the pressure increases 8+psi it is time to clean. Here in Sarasota, filters generally last about one year, before needing replacement. Also regularly cleaning the skimmer and pump baskets will ensure your pool is flowing the way it should.
Everyone likes to save money, however time is also a valuable asset, often overlooked. The time it takes to get a green pool back to blue, could take 6hr for a homeowner, and even up to 4hr for a professional pool service. Obviously running your pool pump longer, requires more electricity, however running your pump motor at least 8 hr during the summer months is very important. This will ensure the water will filter thru the circulatory system at least once, maybe twice depending on the size of your pool.