In 1978 a well respected person in our industry used to call me "the pool kid". Well, I'm all grown up now but have remained in this industry. My business is Hampstead Pool,Spa and Patio Inc. I am an active member of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). Qualifications:
CPB, CPO, NSPF CPO Trainer, CPI, NC licensed Contractor, CPI, Aquatic Engineering AS degree, Pool FYI Contributor
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Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Winterized Pool But Opened to a Mess?
disappointing to open a pool after the winter and reveal a green pool with a
black bathtub ring. I have seen this
occur more often in the past few years due to winterization kits that do not
provide sufficient sanitizer and many times none at all. It is common when purchasing winterization
kits online and in discount stores that the oxidation product they sell does
not contain chlorine but a non chlorine oxidizer. Although the non chlorine oxidizer is a wonderful
product for oxidizing wastes it does not leave a residual of sanitizer to
combat bacteria and algae over the winter.
With no sanitizer in the pool it will enable bacteria to grow in a bio
film within the pool, equipment and pool piping. This bio film will then enable algae to grow
as it is producing food for the algae as well beyond what the algaecide can
Accumulated Oils at Waterline in Swimming Pool
Here is a good way to imagine what is
happening in your pool over the winter.
During the summer months your pool is used by swimmers with sunscreen,
tanning oils and body oils. These oils
are in the pool water after use. This
can be compared to making a pot of soup.
Think of that pot of soup that is put into the fridge for storage. It is not being heated to emulsify the oils
nor stirred like circulation in a swimming pool. The oils rise to the top of the soup or water
base and form a ring around the edge of the pot. This is what happens in a pool as well. The oils accumulated around the edge of the
pool are a haven for bacteria growth which consumes sanitizer. Algaecide works with sanitizers to allow them
to compromise the algae cells causing their death. The result that occurs is algae in the pool
and a bathtub ring around the winter water level. Then the biofilm starts in areas that you
normally do not brush in spring. And
they are smart (please read bio
film hyperlink for further information).
This leads to reoccurring algae throughout the year.
Decades ago when winterization kits
were not available we closed pools with a super shock to raise the chlorine
level to 5 ppm or higher and added an initial dose of algaecide. We still had a bathtub ring from the
oils. The trend to a non chlorine
oxidizer came about from a desire to lessen the bleaching of vinyl liners (
white concrete pools were shocked and this helped remove stains), and also the
ability to ship non hazardous chemicals from internet warehouses. However we have seen staining of pools from
algaecides with metals and also bleached areas on vinyl pools (as well as
blistered fiberglass pools) from floating tablet feeders that failed and sunk
to the bottom or stayed close to a wall of a pool. The chlorine tablets have a very low pH which
can cause a liner or finish to fail as
it is so very acidic. Also, the chlorine
sitting on a pool liner will cause a large bleached area. Floaters over the winter are advised to be
used only in white plaster pools.
What can you do? First of all add an enzyme to the pool to
remove the oils and bathtub ring. Many
times adding a good enzyme will remove the bathtub ring without scrubbing within
a 2 week period. Also in the spring
scrub under the ladder treads, skimmer throats and other areas of poor
circulation and raise the chlorine level to 10ppm. This will drop in a short period of
time. Add an initial dose of algaecide
to your pool. Be sure to clean your
filter media with a product made to do this.
Keep in mind that your filter media
is taking out these oils all during the summer and the bathtub ring you see
occur is intensified in your filter. The
use of an enzyme product during the summer will eliminate having to clean the
waterline area of the pool, use less sanitizing and algaecide, and keep your
filters cleaner giving you a carefree summer.
Next winter use quality products that have a sanitizer, algaecide, and