Chemistry never was one of my strongest subjects at school and since buying our new house I’ve not got to involved with our new swimming pool other then poking a stick in the water or getting to grips with the ‘creepy crawly’, pool vac thing!
The pool is still pretty new, being installed only 6 months ago and if I’m being honest the folks who installed it did a really good job.
It’s just over 8 meters long by 4 meters wide, its not massive by any stretch of the imagination but is still big enough to have a decent wallow. Something we’ll probably be doing over the next few days as the temperatures are forecast to hit the high thirties.
It’s starts at 1 meter deep in the shallow end down to about 2 meters deep in the deep end. Theres also a safety ledge around the whole of the pool so Junior has somewhere to stand if he gets a little to tired from practicing his swimming.
Thankfully, after just over a dozen lessons Junior can now swim although the fence and gate around the pool keeps the water out of bounds unless mum or dad are around to supervise.
Because the weather is getting a little warmer junior has been getting increasingly excited about the prospect of having a swim in our pool and although although the water looks perfectly clear and the filters been running a good three hours a day it still seemed wise to get the water checked out before going anywhere near the thing.
I bought a swimming pool test kit which measures the PH and Chlorine content. I took a sample, stuck some of the chemicals in and it went a kinda yellow colour which according to the colour chart which came with the kit wasn’t particularly good.
Being honest, other than making pretty coloured water I really had no idea what I was doing. In my defense though, back in Yorkshire in good old Blighty, testing the PH of my swimming pool water wasn’t something I did on a regular basis so off to the pool shop with my water sample went I.
You’ll find pool shops pretty much everywhere where there’s a decent population of people and I’d been told that if you take a water sample in they’ll test it for you and then flog you the stuff you need to make your pool safe.
True to my Aussie friends word, the pool shops folks were very helpful. The took my water, ran numerous test and then gave me a print out detailing ‘current conditions’ and ‘corrective recommendations’. I also had a second sheet which detailed what I needed to do weekly to maintain the thing.
First things first, there was absolutely no trace of Chlorine in the pool. The PH was too high (8.2), the alkalinity was to low, there was no traces of something called ‘stabiliser’ and there was minute traces of something called ‘mustard Algae’… how nice!
How to fix it.. Well, thats easy. $175 lighter and the pool shop sold me all the stuff I needed with detailed instructions on what I needed to do with it.
Heres where the degree in chemical engineering would come on use.
Based on the volume of our pool (44,800 litres apparently) All I had to do was:
1) Add 1.12 Litres of Bioguard Salt Pool Stain and Scale control
2) Add 3.23 kgs of BioGuard Balance Pak 100 (this raises the Alkalinity)
3) Add 1.79 Kgs of BioGuard Salt Pool Stabaliser. This stuff acts like sunscreen for your pool and stops the sunlight from neutralising the chlorine levels in your pool.
4) Add 709 Mls of Liquid Hydrochloric acid (don’t mess with this stuff). You seriously don’t want to mess with this stuff. As the PH was to high this Acid is used to bring the PH down. Proper pH controls chlorine activity and swimmers comfort apparently. Splashing the stuff on your hand melts your skin, which isn’t good.
5) Add 1 bag of BioGuard Burn Out Extreme. This is what is classed as a shock treatment. As there was no Chlorine present in the pool then this stuff kills any nasties in the pool. pronto!
6) Finally, add 448 mls of BioGuard MSA11 Anti Algae treatment. This kills the nasty little algae spores that I couldn’t see. Algae is a big no no, firstly if it takes off it looks bad, can smell bad and you don’t want it being swallowed by your five year old.
Thats it! I added all the stuff as instructed last night, I’ve also increased the filter running time. Although I thought 3 hours was plenty, apparently in the warmer months when the pool is being used this needs to increase to 8 hours (4 in the morning and 4 at night).
Thankfully the pool filter has a timer on it so it’s all pretty automated.
At time of typing its 34 degrees C and well be testing to pool later today hopefully. I’ll probably just need to see what colour the water goes first though!
Now what did I do with that test kit?