DIY Tips

Pool of knowledge

24 August 2011

There’s certainly a lot to know when you’re a pool and/or spa owner. To make things easier, we give you some vital tips and explain some useful terms.


Handy hints and professional advice for pool and spa owners

Q. I've heard of sunscreen for my skin but not for my pool? What exactly is this?

A. In the sunnier months, the sun 'eats' your pool's chlorine. To minimise chlorine loss your pool needs what's known as 'sunscreen'.

Using sunscreen on your pool can save you up to 50% on your chlorine expenses for chlorine swimming pools and it means shorter chlorination times for saltwater swimming pools.

Some chlorine products known as stabilised chlorines contain sunscreen, while those that don't are referred to as unstabilised chlorines. Sunscreen levels should be checked monthly, regardless of which one you choose.

Q. My filtration system has lost suction again. Why does it do this and how can I prevent it from happening again?

A. Loss of suction is commonly caused from air entering your filtration system. Air usually gets in through the pump lid, through the o-ring under the pump lid, or through leaky pipes between the pump and the skimmer box.

Lack of suction can also be attributed to low pool water levels, split cleaner hoses and pipe or pump blockages. When in doubt, ask your local Swimart pool and spa specialist to check the source of the problem.

Q. I keep hearing that pool covers offer a range of benefits. Would you recommend owning one?

A. Pool covers save water by reducing evaporation and heat loss, plus they keep leaves and other debris out of your pool. Not only that but pool covers can also extend your swimming season by keeping valuable heat in.

They also help preserve the chemical balance of your pool's water and keep the pool cleaner, reducing maintenance time and saving you money.

Q. My pool is surrounded by trees so I'm constantly cleaning leaves from my skimmer basket. Do you any advice on how to make this easier?

A. Filter socks, which trap large leaves, debris and small dirt particles, offer a low-cost, easy way to keep your skimmer basket clean. Filter socks are simple and quick to replace, too. They're readily available from your local Swimart store.

Q. What is superchlorination and why is it necessary for my pool?

A. Superchlorination is an important part of swimming pool maintenance because it keeps your chlorine at just the right level to effectively kill off bacteria and other contaminants.

Your chlorine occasionally needs a boost to continue performing effectively, particularly when it comes to removing ammonia from your pool. The reason ammonia is a problem for pools is because it combines with the chlorine to form chloramines and renders the chlorine ineffective at killing the contaminants in your pool.

Testing will still show your pool to have the right amount of chlorine, but it will not actually be doing what it's supposed to. Superchlorinating your pool will take care of this problem.

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