On choosing a quality vinyl pool finish for your swimming pool. Sanitized treated finish resists the growth of algae, bacteria and fungus and has special U.V. (ultraviolet) inhibitors to resist fading and harmful sun damage. Vinyl is the easy care pool finish and a few minutes reading this brochure can help keep your pool healthy and sparkling clean, reducing the time you need to spend on maintenance.
Keep this guide somewhere handy (maybe with your pool chemicals) so it its easy-to-follow information at your fingertips.
Importance of Balancing the Water
Not just any old water will do for your swimming pool and as water differs in mineral content throughout Australia is important that your pool water is ‘balanced’ and ‘stabilised’ and regularly checked for chemical and mineral imbalances, which can be harmful to the vinyl finish.
What is suitable for your neighbour’s pool is not necessarily best for your vinyl pool. The following levels have been carefully researched to ensure the best care for both your pool and your family. DO NOT use levels recommended for other pool finishes.
|Total alkalinity||100-150 ppm|
|Calcium hardness||200-250 ppm|
|Free chlorine||1-3 ppm (non heated pools)|
|2-4 ppm (heated pools)|
|Saturation index||-0.1 to +0.4|
A stabiliser prevents chlorine being destroyed by the sun’s rays, helping the chlorine to kill harmful bacteria. All vinyl pools should be treated with a stabiliser (isocyanuric acid) in the range between 30-50 ppm. More is not better as over 100ppm will prevent the chlorine from working effectively, increasing your chemical bills.
Or water balance is used to describe the relationship between nominated chemical properties and the water.
The pH reading measures the acidic or alkaline content in water. For best results, the pH should be between 7.4 – 7.8. Water with low pH will tend to be corrosive and irritating to the eyes. A pH of less than 7.0 must be avoided since it can cause the pool finish to form winkles-this is more likely to occur if the water is not stabilised with isocyanuric acid. Water with high pH will also be irritating to the eyes, causing scale formation and generally yield cloudy water. To raise the pH of your water it is recommended that you use soda ash, chlorine (calcium hypochlorite) or sodium bicarbonate. Dry acid is recommended for lowering the pH. Avoid using hydrochloric acid (muratic acid) as it is too severe and can attack special vinyl print pattern. The special patterns of the vinyl’s finish are major feature of your pool and need special consideration to maintain their beautiful appearance.
Refers to the amount of alkaline materials in the pool water which can act as a buffering agent to help control pH levels. Water with low alkalinity will be sensitive to pH changes and can render the control of the pH difficult. pH will tend to bounce causing green, corrosive and eye irritating water. Water with high alkalinity can make the changing of the pH difficult because the water will want resist pH change. The water can sometimes be cloudy and generally will require contestant acid demand. Constant adjustment of total alkalinity is essential. Ideal range for vinyl is between 100-150 ppm.
Or the amount of dissolved calcium in the pool water. Keep levels between 100-150 ppm if using a salt chlorinator.
Also known as ‘available’ or ‘usable’ chlorine. It is ‘free’ to kill bacterial and algae. For effective use maintain levels between 1-3 ppm. Below 1 ppm can allow algae and bacteria to flourish, turning pool water muddy brown and staining the pool finish. Maintain at 2-4 ppm for heated pools. This only applies to pools, which are treated with chlorine compounds. Where an ionic steriliser is used to treat the water make sure copper levels do not exceed levels recommended by the manufacturer of the ionic steriliser or staining can occur.
Testing for the presence of dissolved metals such as copper and iron in the pool water as important, especially if you wish to spend most of your time in the pool and not maintaining it. Dissolved metals may cause staining of the vinyl finish directly, or may combine with calcium to form actual deposits on the vinyl finish, especially if the pH value is high. Keep down levels of dissolved metal by avoiding using algaecides, which contain metals such as copper. If this should happen, the dissolved metals can be deactivated by using a chelating material and following manufacturer’s instructions.
If the level of dissolved solids is too high it becomes difficult to obtain the best from the chemicals. There are many problems associated with this, which include scale formation, green water, odours and reduced chlorine.
Protect your unique vinyl finish by not using harsh abrasive cleaning agents, steel wool, sharp bristled brushes or scouring pads. Please check with the manufacturers of the automatic pool cleaners as to which is the most suitable unit for vinyl pool finishers as overuse can also damage the pool finish. Many pool shops and service personnel are more than happy to help you overcome any problems that may arise regarding the water, the chemicals and what’s best for your vinyl pool.
The vinyl pool finish, with a little care will enhance your home and lifestyle and give you years of trouble free leisure and enjoyment.
If covering your pool through winter, make sure the cover fits well, tightly sealing all edges. This can help stop leaves and dirt entering which can cause staining if left on the pool surface for some time. If your pool cover is a floating blanket type, lift an edge of the cover every two weeks to check no leaves or debris has entered the pool.
When using all pool covers be sure to adjust your chemical levels. Pool covers will reduce the amount of chemicals needed by up to 66%. This means automatic chemical systems need to have their time cycle reduced.
If you empty your pool, you must refill it within 48 hours, preferably sooner.
Sharp objects may damage your finish and lead to the pool leaking. Take care with pool cleaning equipment such as vacuum handles etc. (eg: don’t let the children pole vault in the pool using the handle)
Note the importance of correct pH levels is increased if your swimming pool is heated or if it is located in a sub-tropical or tropical area.
The above information is courtesy of WALCO Pool liners www.walco.com.au
- Pool chemicals, like all chemicals, can be dangerous and must be handled and treated with care.
- Always wear/use the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) and follow the handling and mixing guidelines, as specified by the chemical supplier.
- Ensure all chemicals are stored in accordance with the chemical manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Ensure all chemicals are properly labelled and easy identifiable.
- Obtain copies of the chemical manufactures SDS’s (safety data sheets) and make them readily available in case of an emergency.
- Never combine/mix chemicals together before adding to the pool water. Thoroughly dissolve, mix then add chemical to pool, one at a time. Circulate the pool water for several hours after all chemicals have been added. This is to prevent chemicals lying in concentrations, which can bleach or stain the finish.