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Prevention is better than cure: A good maintenance plan can avoid pool and spa closures

Priority maintenance plan

By completing simple pool maintenance, owners can improve the overall longevity of their investment.
By completing simple pool maintenance, owners can improve the overall longevity of their investment.

The heart of the pool is the filtration pump—without it the water would not be circulated through the filter, heater, or sanitization system, creating a potential health hazard for bathers. It is critical that regular checks and maintenance are completed on the pumps to avoid cloudy water, or even prevent an unexpected closure due to mechanical failure.

Simple things like cleaning the strainer basket (daily for an outdoor application and weekly for an indoor application) can have a drastic impact on the overall efficiency of the mechanical system. If the strainer basket is not cleaned regularly, a ‘load’ is put on the pump, forcing it to work harder to circulate the water that needs to be filtered, heated, and chemically treated before it is sent back to the pool. The harder the pump has to work, the more wear-and-tear is put on it. As a result, this can lead to mechanical seal failure, water clarity issues, as well as impact the overall performance of the entire system.

If maintenance is not completed regularly, the pump will fail and force a closure until it can be repaired or replaced. The water can become cloudy, increasing the amount of additional labour and chemicals required to get the pool back up and running. By completing simple pool maintenance, owners can improve the overall longevity of their investment.

Do not skimp on skimming

In a pool, the first 152 mm (6 in.) of water is the most contaminated. This makes the skimmer or surface water circulation (if applicable) an essential component to preventive maintenance. The powerful pull of the pump leads water into the filter; once dirt has been removed, it is heated, chemically treated, and returned to the pool through the returns.

Pool owners/operators should ensure the baskets inside the skimmers are cleaned regularly as part of a daily routine maintenance program. These baskets are used to catch debris on the surface while also protecting the pump. If the baskets are not cleaned regularly, they will become clogged with debris such as leaves, band aids, and other common waste found in pools.

This blockage will result in an additional ‘load’ being placed on the pump, forcing it to work harder to circulate the pool water and increasing the stress on the equipment.

Checks and balances

Physical pool care is integral to a maintenance program, but one should not discount the importance of water chemistry. Although it is not visible to the eye (in some cases), water care is a priority in any maintenance plan.

When calcium hardness is high, scaling can occur and will be visible along the waterline tile or on other pool components (e.g. waterslides).
When calcium hardness is high, scaling can occur and will be visible along the waterline tile or on other pool components (e.g. waterslides).

If there is an inconsistency in water treatment, there can be considerable consequences. When it comes to the chemical parameters that need to be monitored, they all have an impact; however, one of the most important and commonly neglected is calcium hardness. This water parameter measures the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the pool to determine how hard or soft the water is. It is important to keep the calcium hardness balanced to prevent the water from becoming corrosive or cause scaling.

The nature of calcium hardness has massive ramifications if it is neglected, as the acidic component can impact the longevity of a pool’s structure and mechanical system. All municipalities have a different measure of source water, and because freshwater needs to be added daily, a good preventive maintenance program should include logs of routine water test results.

When the calcium hardness is low, it has an acidic effect on the system. Simply put, it is a form of acid that slowly eats away at the pool finish causing it to slowly deteriorate. This acidity can sometimes become lost in other chemical parameters, but can easily become the culprit if not checked and balanced regularly.

On the other end of the spectrum, when calcium hardness is high, scaling can occur and will be visible along the waterline tile. Behind the scenes, the calcium build-up will also be present in the plumbing. If the calcium hardness remains high for too long, it will eventually cause obstructions in the pool piping. This will cause closures and require costly mechanical retrofits to resolve the problem. This additional cost and inconvenience can be avoided by simply adding a calcium hardness check to the pool’s regular maintenance routine.

Leave it to the experts

There are several components that impact the overall longevity of a pool and its operation; however, an experienced, knowledgeable technician will know the proper preventive measures required to ensure the pool system is running at peak performance.

Neglecting these well-known measures will inevitably impact the pool’s function; therefore, it is of utmost importance for an aquatic facility to not only have a preventative maintenance plan in place, but also ensure it is policed regularly to guarantee a safe and comfortable swimming experience for patrons

With an extensive background in aquatics, Codi Mackinnon has the knowledge and experience needed to answer technical questions and address aquatic issues promptly and accurately. She is responsible for co-ordinating the Acapulco Pools service department, including troubleshooting, scheduling technicians, and order processing. She can be reached via e-mail at codi@acapulcopools.com.

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One comment on “Prevention is better than cure: A good maintenance plan can avoid pool and spa closures”

  1. Great article I always surprised of how much pool owners know about swimming pools if you are not careful the cost really starts to add up. I was cleaning my pool but got tired and old I know have a pool company called https://bluewaterspoolservices.com/ they do a great job as well certified CPO never hand a problem.

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