Swimming Pool Water Chemistry - The Association of Pool & Spa

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By John D. Puetz Director of Technology Arch Chemicals, Inc., now a part of Lonza A L o n z a B u s i n e s s TM Swimming Pool Water Chemistry The Care and Treatment…
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By John D. Puetz Director of Technology Arch Chemicals, Inc., now a part of Lonza A L o n z a B u s i n e s s TM Swimming Pool Water Chemistry The Care and Treatment of Swimming Pool Water www.PoolSpaCare.com Advantis®, Leisure Time®, the Leisure Time® logo, GLB®, the GLB® logo, Rendezvous®, Applied Biochemists®, the AB logo, Ultima®, Quantum Biochemical®, Oxy-Brite® and Aqua Silk® are registered trademarks of Arch Chemicals, Inc. Quantum™, Robarb™ and Spa Specialties™ are trademarks of Arch Chemicals, Inc. Advantis Technologies is a business of Arch Chemicals, Inc. © 2013 Arch Chemicals, Inc. , now a part of Lonza. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission. #ADVPOOL About Advantis Technologies Advantis Technologies, part of the Lonza ProDealer Channel, produces some of the most popular pool and spa water care products on the market today in its Alpharetta, GA plant. From the industry’s first non-chlorine shock, GLB® Oxy-Brite® non-chlorine shock oxidizer, to the latest in enzyme products and chlorine-free spa care, Advantis has always been on the cutting edge of pool and spa water care technology while consistently offering high quality products. The Advantis® family of swimming pool and spa chemical brands include the Leisure Time® spa, GLB® pool, Rendézvous® Spa Specialties™, Applied Biochemists® pool, Robarb™ pool, Ultima® pool and spa, Aqua Silk® pool and Quantum Biochemical® pool brands. Visit PoolSpaCare.com for more information. About the Author John Puetz is the Director of Technology for Arch Chemicals, Inc., now a part of Lonza. John has served for more than 39 years in the pool and spa industry and on numerous advisory panels throughout the industry including: • Current member and Past President, Board of Directors, National Swimming Pool Foundation • Past Chairman of the NSPI (National Spa & Pool Institute), now APSP Technical Council • Past Chairman of the NSPI Chemical Treatment & Process Committee, now APSP Recreational Water Committee TM ® TM LeisureTimeSpa.com GLBPool.com RendezvousSpa.com AppliedBio.net Robarb.com AquaSilkPool.com UltimaPoolSpa.com QuantumPool.com Swimming Pool Water Chemistry The Care and Treatment of Swimming Pool Water By John D. Puetz Director of Technology Arch Chemicals, Inc., now a part of Lonza PAGE INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 SECTION I – BASIC FACTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CHAPTER ONE – PHYSICAL FACTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 FILTRATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CIRCULATION & TURNOVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 OTHER FACTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 CHAPTER TWO – CHEMICAL FACTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 pH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 TOTAL ALKALINITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 CALCIUM HARDNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 STAIN PRODUCING MINERALS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Iron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Copper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Manganese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 CHAPTER THREE – BIOLOGICAL FACTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 SANITIZATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Chlorine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Bromine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Biguanide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Ozone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Mineral Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 SHOCK TREATMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Super chlorination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Shock oxidation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 ALGAE CONTROL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 SECTION II – POOL CARE GUIDELINES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 FORMULAS AND CALCULATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 PROPER POOL MAINTENANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 HANDLING POOL CHEMICALS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 POOL START-UP PROCEDURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 WEEKLY MAINTENANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 SALT GENERATOR WEEKLY MAINTENANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 WINTERIZING THE POOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter #: Title 3 The maintenance of swimming pool water is multifaceted in the number of factors that must be controlled. More often than not, pool maintenance is simply thought of as needing to periodically add a sanitizer, adjust the pH and run the filter. In reality, swimming pool maintenance is much more than that. This manual will introduce the basic factors of swimming pool water chemistry. In addition to explaining water chemistry, this reference is intended to address the most important aspect of proper pool maintenance – pool enjoyment. As pool professionals, it’s important that we always keep in mind that our primary responsibility is not the adding of treatment chemicals or the operation of equipment, but rather, to use these tools in the overall goal of providing clean and clear water. After all, our performance as a pool professional is measured largely on how well we prevent problems and keep the water looking inviting, not on how well we solve recurring problems. Our role in the industry is to help assure that clean and clear water is delivered. We are not here to merely introduce chemicals, sell filters or pumps but, rather, to use these tools to provide desirable water quality results. Rest assured a consumer with an unhappy pool experience is unlikely to purchase another pool or promote pool ownership to someone else. Additionally, if we merely sell customers more and more product in the hopes of providing a solution to a particular problem and in so doing only appear to be guessing at the solution, they will soon grow tired of this endless cycle and move on to a competitor who addresses their needs. Pool owners or operators will only continue to use our services as long as they are satisfied with the ability to use their pool, not on our ability to eliminate a problem once it has occurred. If our approach to our business is only to react to problems after they occur, then we are not doing the best possible job. The goal of this manual is to help you do your best job in keeping your customers positive about their pool experience. Section I will highlight the basic factors of pool water care: • Physical Factors • Chemical Factors • Biological Factors Then, beginning in Section II, the principals of pool maintenance including handling pool chemicals, calculating pool volume, pool start-up, and weekly care are detailed. Additional information on how to Start-up and Winterize is also included. Although many of these points will likely come as a review for you, the purpose here is to provide this information in a centralized resource that will not only help you manage pool chemistry on the job, but more importantly, help you to gain and keep loyal and satisfied customers. INTRODUCTION 4 Notes: Three basic factors are involved in pool operation. Each of these, when properly managed, will work with the others to provide clean, clear, safe and inviting water. These factors are: Physical Factors such as filtration and circulation Chemical Factors which include scale and corrosion control Biological Factors including sanitization and algae control Each of these factors requires management primarily to control what is in the water. Consider that even before we put water into a pool, it will contain solids which will require filtration in order for the water to be clear. Additionally, the water may contain naturally occurring minerals such as iron that can stain pool surfaces or calcium that can cause cloudy water or scale and these contaminants will require chemical treatment. Once the water is in the pool, it will be contaminated by rain, wind-blown dust and dirt and even the swimmers contribute to the need for biological control. A clear understanding of these factors and what is involved in each is critical to recognizing how they can be used to manage the water in a pool. To do this we will review each in detail. SECTION I: Basic Factors 5 Notes: The physiCal FaCTors inClude: I. Filtration ii. Circulation & Turnover of the water iii. other Factors including the control of oily wastes left behind by bathers and the general care for the appearance of pool walls, covers and equipment Each factor plays an important role that is all too often overlooked or considered unimportant when considering how much a pool will be enjoyed. When faced with a pool problem, we have a tendency to immediately look into the water chemistry factors. Cloudy water, for example, causes us to question water chemistry when the problem may simply be a filtration issue. The management of the physical factors should be considered the first line of defense in the prevention of pool water problems. Chapter 1: Physical Factors 6 Notes: i. FilTraTion Filtration is the term used to refer to the mechanical cleaning of pool water. It is an element in pool water maintenance that is frequently overlooked in its importance. One way to think about it would be to consider what it would be like to try to operate a pool without a filter. No amount of chemical treatment would keep the water clear! When operating properly, a filter will remove virtually all particulate matter from the water. These particles of dirt and debris are the result of environmental fallout or are left behind by the bathers and, when not properly filtered out, will cause the water to become hazy and cloudy. The filter will play a very important role even when cloudiness due to a chemical imbalance occurs. By performing properly in removing most of the cloudiness, a fully functional filter will usually allow the water to remain clear enough for continued use of the pool. This gives the pool operator, service person or dealer time to determine the nature of the problem and take corrective action. Since the pool was reasonably clear in spite of the problem, it could remain in use without a panicked customer or need for drastic chemical adjustments. FilTer Types There are three types of filters commonly used on swimming pools: • Cartridge • Sand • Diatomaceous Earth (DE) While some will argue over which type is “best”, each can be effective in keeping water clean and clear. However, they all require proper management in order to gain maximum benefit and service life. A review of how each works and an understanding of how to handle them will be of value. Chapter 1: Physical Factors – Filtration 7 Notes:Cartridge Filters Cartridge filters consist of pleated fabric, typically polyester, arranged in a cylinder form around a rigid core. The fibers of the polyester trap dirt and oils as the water passes through from around the outside of the cylinder and is returned back through to the pool from the center core. While not regarded as being as efficient as Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters, cartridge filters are gaining wider use particularly in residential pool applications because they are easy to operate and easily replaced if damaged or worn out. Cartridge filters will give long and excellent service if they are properly handled. A critical first step in keeping your cartridge operating properly is to keep it clean. Regular rinsing of the cartridge will help in removing large debris and there are spray-on cleaners specially formulated to help remove oily buildup not otherwise removed by simple rinsing with water alone. Periodic deep cleaning is important and will not only assure better looking water but longer life from your cartridge as well. Deep cleaning is best accomplished by using a cleaner specially formulated for pool filters. Such a cleaner should be capable of removing both oily and greasy buildup, as well as minerals such as calcium that may have been deposited on the fabric. A good pool filter cleaner, either specifically made for cartridge filters or one made for all types of filters, will contain a combination of surfactants for oil and grease removal, as well as agents which will readily dissolve away built up minerals. Another way to help extend cartridge life is to keep two sets, one set in use and a clean set ready to go. This allows you or your customer to quickly exchange the cartridges when needed and to clean the dirty ones at a convenient time. Once cleaned, allow the cartridges to dry before reinstalling them. This allows the fibers to expand and fluff up thus providing more effective filter area. You will also find your cartridges will last longer before requiring replacement. 8 Notes: diatomaceous earth Filters Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters come in a variety of forms. Typically they consist of a fine mesh fabric configured in a variety of shapes or forms including bags, grids or screens and “fingers”. DE is a fine white powder composed of the skeletal remains of microscopic organisms that lived millions of years ago. These skeletons are mined from the earth and cleaned. The powder is applied to the surface of the fabric and acts to trap dirt as the pool water passes through it. As the DE becomes clogged with dirt, it is washed off of the fabric and replaced with new DE to begin the process all over. While DE provides excellent dirt trapping ability, often referred to as the best of the three filter types, the removal and recoating can be a chore and also leaves a disposal problem with the dirty material. As with other filters, the fabric on DE filters must be kept clean. If oils accumulate on the fabric the DE will not adhere properly and the resulting “holes”, areas with little or no DE in place, will allow water to pass through without good dirt removal. As with cartridge filters, regular cleaning with a quality pool filter cleaner, either the spray-on or the deep soak type, is needed in addition to the replacement of the DE when it becomes clogged. sand Filters Sand filters, as the name implies, utilize sand as the filtering medium. While there are several types, they all work in much the same way. Sand grains are placed within a filter tank. Water flows down through the sand either under pressure or by vacuum. Consequently, the dirt in the water becomes trapped between the grains of sand. In fact, sand filters rely on some dirt being trapped in the filter. This condition actually improves its ability to remove very small particles. Sand is regarded as a good filtering media because it does not react to most chemicals. In addition, the particles are irregular in shape so they tend to interlock which creates a fine filtering material. As sand filters become clogged with dirt, the filter begins to lose its ability to clean the water. This is most often indicated by a change in pressure on the pressure gauge or reductions in flow rate through the filter. When the flow rate through the filter becomes restricted due to the buildup of dirt and other matter in the sand, a process known as “backwashing” is used. Backwashing involves reversing the flow of water through the filter, which in turn causes the sand and dirt to “loosen”. As this process takes place, the loose-trapped dirt will be washed out from between the sand grains and flushed from the filter. A word of caution, however: backwashing should only be performed when the pressure or flow gauges indicate the need. This is typically no more often than once every week or two. Chapter 1: Physical Factors – Filtration 9 Notes:Consult the filter manufacturer’s directions for guidance on when to backwash. Backwashing too frequently will keep the sand so free of dirt buildup that it will not have the ability to remove the smaller particles of dirt (as mentioned above) and they will simply pass through. The irregular shape of these sand grains, while playing an important role in how a sand filter works, can actually be responsible for loss in filtering efficiency over time. While the irregular shape allows the sand grains to fit together tightly and thus help to trap fine particles of dirt, it can also slowly become imbedded with the buildup of oils, grease and mineral matter removed from the water. In time, this will actually cause the grains to lose their irregular shape and begin to form smooth surfaces, which do not filter as well. Often sand in this condition is considered old and in need of replacement. However, a good filter cleaner will actually remove
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