Several customs and practices in pool and spa chemistry are reliable, although some are becoming obsolete. Unfortunately, some of these habits were ineffective in the first place despite being approved by industry professionals. Present information on water and pool chemicals is continuously changing with time. Therefore, it is proper for us to evolve as well; we must stay up to date with the latest information on chemicals and pool water treatment. Misconceptions on pool and spa chemistry may lead to devastation when figuring out how to deal with specific issues and eventually result in inefficiencies. In this present article, we shall discuss popular misconceptions about pool and spa chemistry and explain what happens in reality.
Sanitization and disinfection versus oxidation
Although sanitization/disinfection and oxidation are two different terminologies, industry experts employ these terms exchangeably. Complete sanitization of pools is obtained by destroying harmful microbes to ensure safety for human use. An essential sanitizer should do away with 99.9% of microorganisms in the swimming pool in 30 seconds. Disinfection, on the other hand, destroys all detrimental microbes in 10 minutes. The process is anticipated to have at least 99.999% kill, also known as a 5-log reduction. Disinfection is crucial, particularly in commercial pools where the pool is more vulnerable to outbursts of cryptosporidium, giardia, and antibodies. The majority of pool owners, therefore, prefer using high levels of chlorine and employ consistent draining processes.
Oxidation is vital in disintegrating and eliminating non-living impurities and pollutants existing in swimming pools. The process entails more than just using chlorine to burn out microorganisms in swimming pools, and it is a complicated procedure involving several reactions. In simple terms, chlorine, the oxidant, gets rid of electrons from a contaminant, which in turn decreases its oxidizing power. Most industry experts miscalculate the degree to which oxidation leads to depletion of chlorine. Conversely, some theorists state that the sun can lead to loss of chlorine, and specific amounts of cyanuric acid, say 30 ppm, can prevent this. However, 30ppm is considered too much stabilizer, and there is no proof that the sun causes loss of chlorine. For instance, in the human body, a lot of reactions, including oxidation, take place. During the excretion process, eliminating waste like urea and ammonia in sweat or urine requires hypochlorous acid (HOCL). Getting rid of 1ppm of ammonia requires 15ppm of hypochlorous acid. It is thus possible for the oxidation process to consume vast amounts of chlorine. Ultimately, it is safe to conclude that despite chlorine being an effective sanitizer; it is a relatively weak oxidizer.
Breakpoint chlorination: Not necessarily what you think
Breakpoint chlorination and super chlorination (also referred to as shocking) are two distinctive processes though one may think of them as the same thing. It is achieved after all chlorine has reacted with all the contaminants like urea in the pool, forming a free chlorine residual at the end. Once a chlorine-free residual is created, it indicates regular and proper oxidation of ammonia. However, at times, chlorine does not reach its breakpoint; this is where super chlorination comes in. The shocking process enables chlorine to continue reacting with pollutants until a breakpoint level, and a chlorine-free residual is obtained.
Micronutrients can indirectly contribute to chlorine demand
Microbes require nutrients to survive and procreate. Specific micronutrients affect pool treatment in a variety of ways. For instance, nitrogen manifests in distinct configurations like ammonia, ammonium, urea, and nitrates and provides food for living microorganisms in water. Nevertheless, the substance also reacts with chlorine through a complicated procedure involving several phases leading to increased demand in chlorine. Consequently, chlorine gets depleted due to over-usage.
Phosphate, another micronutrient, indirectly causes an increased demand for chlorine. These micronutrients foster the flourishing of algae, which in turn, use up chlorine. Contrary to popular belief, phosphate does not react with chlorine while in water; instead, it facilitates the growth of algae, which in turn exhaust chlorine in the water. Think of it, have you ever come across a pool dominated by algae? Did chlorine levels reduce after a certain period? Even if there was no chlorine after some time, high chances are that algae destroyed chlorine. Yes, chlorine is very useful in eliminating algae, although these microbes keep reproducing hence using up all the chlorine.
The nourishing nutrient of algae, phosphate continually encourages the growth of algae, which reduces the efficiency of chlorine. Not to worry, phosphates in water can be eliminated through phosphate removers. It is now evident that the sun does not lead to the use of chlorine; it could be the existence of nitrogen, phosphates, or oxidation of bather waste. Therefore, we suggest complementing chlorine with other elements since we largely depend on it to perform our duties. Additionally, doing this will ensure complete disinfection and sanitization of swimming pools within a reasonable time frame.
Pool Metals and Metal Staining
Metals are naturally existing elements found in every place; in water, soil and stones. Metals in soil and stones dissolve in acidic rainwater, which is then carried to surface water and groundwater. Through this, the dissolved metals find their way to pools and tubs when filled. Exposure of metals to water cause staining on pool surfaces and equipment. This article discusses the techniques to control the presence of pool metals. It also discusses the different kinds of metal staining and the relevant chemicals to eliminate and hinder stains.
Metals in pools and hot tub water
There are 91 existing metals, but only 6 are problematic to hot tubs and pools. The 6 metals include magnesium, copper, cobalt, iron, manganese and calcium. Here we will only discuss 4 that are cobalt, copper, magnesium and iron.
Fill water, inclusive of almost all municipal and well water supplies that fill hot tubs and pools, contains a few metals. It is advisable to test for metal concentration in source water before filling the hot tubs and pools.
Tests for iron and copper are easily accessible, though the majority only measures the free form of the dissolved metals. They also do not test the sequestered and complexed forms of dissolved metals. A two-phase metal test containing adequate reducing and releasing agents give better results on free, complexed and some oxidized metals.
Sources of metal contamination in the pool and hot tub water are plaster and pebble surfaces, water features, decking materials, metal equipment, galvanic corrosion, chemicals and runoff.
In addition, flagstone, marble and stone contain iron that leaches into the pool after every rainfall. Imbalanced water may cause the introduction of copper from heat exchangers found in gas-fired water heaters. Moreover, copper-based algaecides and mineral-based water treatment may be a source of pool metals. Plant fertilizers can also introduce metals when incorrectly applied or due to uncontrolled flooding. More sources of metal include irrigation methods with well water.
Avoid using untreated water with high metal concentration (higher than 1ppm) in hot tubs or pool. Treat the water when the metal concentration is higher than 0.2 ppm. Sediment filters (10 microns or less) eliminate the majority of the bigger oxidized particles. Use filters that have metal adsorbents to treat water, to minimize dissolved metals concentration.
Primary Sanitizers and Stabilizers
Maintain proper concentration of primary sanitizers and other similar stabilizers to prevent organic contaminants. These include; pathogens, non-hazardous bacteria and algae minimizing the need for a copper-based algaecide.
Bonding of Metals and Water
The majority of the pool and hot tub equipment are metal-made. For example, electrolytic halogen generators, the heating core of electric heat pump, gas-fired pool and hot tub heaters, ladders, light rings and handrails.
To enhance chemical and electrical safety, install a bonding system in the hot tub or pool. The bonding system involves joining the copper wire with all the metal elements and water combined. This minimizes electric potential difference. Lack of this system, enables dissolution of pool metals, causing staining that damages the equipment. This is the process known as galvanic corrosion and can heighten due to several factors such as salt water, stray direct current as well as its power supplies. Anodes (zinc metal) reduce the damage on the equipment but don’t deal with the cause of corrosion. Test the bonding system every year, or any other time there is corrosion.
Pool & Hot Tub pH
pH is the most vital yet most ignored factor in preventing metal release in water. Low pH water (below 7) is acidic and corrosive. Acidic water dissolves metals from the pool equipment.
Improper water chemistry harms pool surfaces and machinery. Always ensure to maintain an accurate pH, alkalinity (carbonate) and calcium (hardness). If inadequate, water draws carbonate and calcium from cementitious surfaces, discharging metals into the water.
Sequestering agents join with the dissolved pool metals to reduce oxidation hence reduces staining. They chelate the metals, not eliminate them. They require a complex modern ultra filtration system to remove sequestered metal particles as the particles are too small for the pool filtration system. Add this agent on a regular basis, as a secondary disinfection and primary sanitizer systems keep on destroying them.
Ways to reduce metal concentration in hot tubs and pool water
- Bind the metals using polymer and water-insoluble natural adsorbents
- Filter the water through a reverse osmosis system
- Remove and replace a part of the water with fresh metal-free water
Removing stains from the pool and hot tub surfaces
1. Metal stain removal from the surface
2. Chelation of the dissolved metals in the water with a sequestering agent
3. Elimination of the metals from the water.
To get rid of pool metals and metal stains, add oxalic acid, ascorbic acid and citric acid or a similar product into the pool water. An experienced pool service expert should only execute the use of Muriatic acid in the removal of metal stains as it can lead to permanent damage to the pool surface. Chelation of dissolved metals and minimizing concentrations of dissolved metal have been earlier tackled.
Figuring out the difference between metal stains and those by organic contamination can be difficult. For evaluation, establish the origin of the stain, asses the water chemistry and test the stain with either citric acid or ascorbic acid.
Note: Some organic stains, similar to those brought about by iron bacteria, vanish after treatment with ascorbic acid but return with the introduction of chlorine residuals.
Selling Automatic Pool Cleaners Online
Amidst the pandemic this summer, Rene Huston, president of Patio Pleasures acknowledges an increase in their sales, of up to 10 pools in a day, if available. The unanticipated pandemic that led to the cancellation of travel plans had people invest that money for their backyard luxury. This is no wonder; there is an increase in the sales of automatic pool cleaners, especially high-quality robotic models. Clients also opt to invest cash they would have used elsewhere to enjoy the benefits of the long-term, cost-efficient APC’s.
Since their introduction in the 1950s, automatic pool cleaners have become part of pools in North America due to their personality and efficiency. They move around the pool on their own, cleaning the pools, hence minimizing the need for manual vacuuming and sweeping.
Jeannie Pearcy, owner of SwimFun Pool & Patio in Olathe, Kansas, United States, tells her clients a pool cleaner is similar to a Roomba for your pool.
Recently, online competition affected APC sales at brick and mortar vendors. Reacting to retailer’s complaints, APC producers began making ‘trade-only’ products. These products are only physically accessible through pool and spa shops. These products come with extra features like additional supplies longer warranties or refundable offers. Furthermore, you can access and depend on service from the vendor and manufacturer. Discussing with pool and spa vendors, there are varying opinions on the sell of automatic pool cleaners.
Store manager for Outback Pools & Spas in Wichita Falls, TX., Jimmy Cooper, appreciates manufacturers for looking out for their welfare too. Clients get to experience what a brick and mortar can do. Customers can purchase these pool products online though you can have horrible encounters with them. This gives the stores a chance to enlighten clients on what they can do.
Online vs Retail stores
It may seem like the ideal service to request for a robotic automatic pool cleaner from your home and have it brought within two days. However, their satisfaction can be short-lived either with the delivery of the wrong product or early failure of the product.
Most clients come to Huston’s store, complaining of an ineffective online product. They use this opportunity to explain the advantages if they had bought it from them. Such discussions and encounters build the confidence of customers in brick and mortar vendors.
Moreover, when online clients take their automatic pool cleaners to Cooper’s store for maintenance or service, he cannot do anything about it because the product is not from his store. He instead offers to sell them a similar product from his store. To ease their frustrations, he explains the benefits of buying from stores.
With this approach, Cooper believes he has changed the opinion of half of the online buyers to in store clients.
For years, Huston has avoided servicing online bought goods. However, now her opinion has begun to change. At times, it depends on how busy they are at a particular time though she’s still unsettled. She’s a bit receptive, taking into consideration the profits they could earn.
One of the significant selling points of an automatic pool cleaner is its ability to somehow get rid of the pool guy, as Cooper states.
Cooper calculates with his clients an hour service each week for a year in comparison to purchasing a cleaner. They realise a $1000 or $1500 cleaners operating two or three hours in a day for a year is cheaper than they thought.
The service crew is not always there, and the pool requires cleaning between their visits. Even with an automatic pool cleaner, manual work like scrubbing the pool walls requires the service crew. Depending on the water environment, manual vacuuming may also be necessary.
Selling Game Plan
Since APCs are more virtually intriguing compared to other pool equipment, retailers depend on popular displays in the store to start a discussion with a client.
After capturing the customer’s attention, Huston urges would-be buyers to go with a unit home and try it out. This program at Patio pleasures permits clients day access to the unit. When returned, they do a far check to ensure the unit is clean, the baskets and other pieces still in place.
The program, try before you buy, has also worked for Pearcy. Even if the Client does not purchase the unit, then, they include it in their purchase wish list and save up for it. Furthermore, SwimFun sells the season’s trial unit at a cheaper price with a limited warranty.
Cooper recognizes that persuading clients on the advantages of an automatic cleaner has become simpler. This is due to the increase of dependence and convenience of technology though some purchasers are still ignorant.
With a number of sales strategies in place, verbal means is the most powerful convincing method in the sell of automatic pool cleaners. This is the reason the product will remain a powerful sale in the retail sector.
Huston notes that pool owners are seeking ways to maintain their pools happy and healthy. Time is of the essence; get an automatic pool cleaner as it is the ideal choice for your pool.
End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products
The end of every pool season is a vital opportunity to finalize the summer’s last good swims and ensure that the following season is better. Accurate pool winterizing techniques rely on geographical location. However, closing products safeguard pools from the off-season impacts and eases the opening period. This saves on time and cash. Worry less with the products offered below that safeguard your pool during the winter season.
Ramuc Pool Paint
Ramuc’s Clean & Prep solution is ideal for cleaning pool surfaces before closure. This helps to guarantee clean pool walls and set for the opening during spring. It eliminates debris, oil and other pollutants that form on the pool surface during the season. This product is effective in cleaning, removing grease stains and dissolving mineral deposits. It works on concrete, painted surfaces, fiberglass, gunite and bare plaster. It is a volatile organic compound with no smell nor fume and is biodegradable.
Automatic Pool Covers
Automatic Pool Covers offers the ultimate APC 365. This is a high-quality automatic safety cover system unique for vinyl-lined pools. The system uses a coping and housing structure that permits an automatic cover joined to the pool. It’s designed for easy installation with a 48-by-48-inch enclosed coping and wall cap corner to guarantee a 100% correct fit. APC 365 System utilizes a slide-on polybox shelter to saves on installation time and maintains the housing’s lid with the flush deck.
McEwen Super Solid is the toughest and puncture-repellant hard cover material, the company affirms. This strong fabric is lighter in weight compared to a traditional solid cover. This makes its installation and removal simpler as well as saves on time. It is accessible in a variety of colors.
Natural Chemistry’s Hassle Free Kit consists of 2 items that set pools up for easy openings. Pool Magic, together with Phosfree, contains natural enzymes to disintegrate remaining nonliving waste from the pool season. This is to minimize off-season scum lines. The modern upgraded kit box consists of Metal Free compounds to avoid metal staining and scales throughout winter, without including harmful phosphates.
ProTeam Winter combination offers an easy, single-step product to aid shield pool surfaces from staining and scaling over the winter. This revolutionary formula consists of ProTeam Sub-Zero Crystals that offer extra safety against popular pool winterizing challenges. Further, it offers added pool water softeners to help with easier pool openings. It can also treat up to 15,000 gallons with one application.
Accessible in 5 varying designs, this SkimSaver Lid’L Seal will fit most common broad and regular openings inground and aboveground skimmers. The product permits drainage of the skimmer, not the pool, preventing corrosion of the metallic pool walls throughout the year. Additionally, recessive lid helps to it getting removed by shifting ice. This leads to expensive freeze destruction to your skimmer.
The Anchor’s Defender mesh and Standard mesh covers have webbing that’s sewn on every cover base. This feature offers support strength and a flat, smooth surface to avoid debris build up during winter. Mesh pool covers are self-draining. They drain water from the cover throughout winter. The Defender Mesh pool cover minimizes the loss of chemicals from pool water. Furthermore, it prevents entry of debris into the water and shields children or animals from falling in.
Pool owners can get the best blend of tear strength, sunlight shade, and abrasion resistance thanks to Merlin’s standard mesh, Dura-Mesh II. Moreover, it offer a unique patented SmartMesh pool safety cover. This is the only fabric to give 100% sunlight shade and give 40-micron debris filtration.
Deck-Loc, a LOOP-LOC product, is a no-drill support system for composite decks. As the company states, owners can install pool covers on composite decks without boring any hole. It offers protection by turning the locks until they clinch beneath the deck boards. Using Deck-Loc renders the pool undamaged. Its material, 316 marine-grade stainless steel, is resistant to corrosion.
Pool experts are aware that when pool winterizing, draining less water from the pool will minimize damage to the liners, winter covers and fiberglass pools. Skimmer Plugs offer all these advantages with a fast, dependable and cost-efficient technique of pool winterizing above and inground skimmers. Furthermore, it forms a watertight seal when dipped into the skimmer’s current faceplate. This ensures there is no wastage of water, tools and time. They are accessible to fit every skimmer with sales materials and displays helping you sell more plugs.
Jack’s Magic Products
Jack’s Magic Super Pacs are a dry, unrefined multi-enzyme that prevents the accumulation of oils, grease, suntan lotions and other organic pollutants that cause scum lines in pools and spas. They work very well in high chlorine amounts, up to 50ppm. The phosphate-free product enhances filter efficiency, minimizes the use of chemicals and aids to prevent dull, unclear water. An ounce of the products treats 20,000 gallons of pool water in fourteen days. For application, place the water-soluble pouch in the skimmer basket.
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