How to reduce the amount of swimming pool chemicals that you use
Well-maintained, healthy pools require either sensor-based chemistry automation, or regular water testing and the manual addition of chemicals. In either case surprisingly large amounts and types of chemicals are typically required.
The reality is that most people do not have the spare ~$5,000 for a full pool automation system, or else, do not have the time or patience to manually manage pool chemistry as often as needed for healthy water. It’s not surprising that many people suffer from the dreaded green pool.
The good news is that Pooled Energy’s pool automation technology doesn’t just reduce the amount of energy that your pool consumes, it automates your pool’s chemistry management for just $330 (as part of the service) plus $67 per month for monitoring & maintenance. The water is outstanding, reliable and comfortable to swim in. This is how it works…
But First: The Science Bit
Here’s a quick refresher on basic chemistry for swimming pool chemicals. Fresh water is neutral at a pH of 7. On the acid side, coffee has a pH of 5, a lemon 3, and pool acid 0. On the alkaline side, soap is about 10 and drain cleaner is 14. For swimming, the most comfortable pH is about 8 to 8.5, with a workable range from about 7 to 9 – anything else will cause irritation.
The basic problem in managing water chemistry is that the natural pH of most pools, other than fibreglass, is about 8.0 – 8.5. This is where the pool water is naturally self-balancing. Pools rise quickly to this pH because alkali in the surface finish of the pool leeches into the water. In addition, liquid chlorine self-decomposes to sodium hydroxide (drain cleaner), further increasing the alkalinity when added. Salt chlorination is also alkaline. Due to all of these, the alkalinity rises in most pools until atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in the water, adding acidity till the pool finds a balance..
Unfortunately, at this typical pH 8.0-8.5, the chlorine in the water converts to a form that is a poor sanitiser. This means that you may need 10 or more times as much chlorine at 8.5 as you would at pH 7.2 and you may still get a green pool as well as unpleasant side-effects such as sore eyes and chlorine smells. If you have a salt chlorinator, you will have to run it and the energy-hungry filter pump, much longer hours.
So how do you keep your swimming pool chemically balanced so that it’s comfortable to swim in?
There are two basic ways to do this. The conventional approach used for the last 60 year, is to add pool acid to drive the pH to 7.2-7.6 and re-convert the chlorine in the pool water to a more active sanitiser. Unfortunately, the pool water rapidly becomes alkaline again in a few days to a week. The pool effectively yo-yos between too much and too little chlorine between acid additions. To try to deal with this and the fact that very few pools have sensor based control systems, quite large and expensive quantities of buffer, stabiliser, calcium lifter, algaecide and pool (hydrochloric) acid need to be added regularly with regular water testing.
The better way is to use Pooled Energy’s automation and Advanced Water Chemistry.
How Pooled Energy Reduces Reliance On Swimming Pool Chemicals
Pooled Energy automates pool chemistry while halving the number of additive chemicals and more than halving the quantity.
The water quality is markedly better, healthier and the water, purer. You still need to add normal or mineral salt for salt pools or liquid chlorine for freshwater pools, although you will need substantially less chlorine or chlorinator run-time.
We use a break-through Advanced Water Chemistry (AWC) with a (Bromine-based) combination of chemicals that you only need to add twice a year (depending on rainfall and/or water loss). You no longer need additional swimming pool chemicals like pool acid, stabiliser, buffer, calcium lifter or algaecide in the great majority of pools, nor do you need to do your own testing or pay a regular ‘pool person.’ There’s a much broader pH sweet spot and continual sensing and control ensures water cleanliness and comfort – all year round. If you do need to add salt, you’ll be asked to do so by our smartphone app. The inexpensive AWC chemicals are delivered to your door, when you need them. Just toss one self-dissolving 1 kilo satchel into the pool and the other smaller satchel into the skimmer box.
If you like the idea of reducing your usage of swimming pool chemicals (and the time spent managing them), while simultaneously saving up to 60% of your pool’s energy consumption, get a Free Pool Inspection from Pooled Energy to see how much you could save.