Do I have to test the water and add chemicals myself?
You do NOT need to test the water. You do need to add chemicals and salt when we ask you, but only then. Please do not add any chemicals of any kind unless we specifically ask you.
If you do not wish to do add chemicals yourself, please ask us and we will be happy to do it for you for an additional charge. Generally, the quantities required are small and it is usually more economical for you to add these than for us to charge you for the travel and dispensing.
Additions to the pool are in 3 groups:-
Advanced Water Chemistry (AWC). We will advise you by email or SMS, when you need more of our Advanced Water Chemistry chemicals and ship them to you for you to add to the water. The amount is usually just a few kilos and costs of the order of $100, plus shipping. Just distribute these around the pool, following the instructions. Top-ups are required after heavy rain and water loss from the pool. This typically happens once or twice a year, depending on the amount of rain and water loss from the pool.
Salt. You will need to replenish salt from time-to-time to replace that lost by splashing, rain and backwashing. Please add salt if the App shows a level below 3,500 ppm. We may also ask you by email or SMS to add Salt. Pooled Energy senses the level of salt in your pool. Our normal target level is 6,000 ppm where the taste is pleasant but discernible and where electrolytic chlorination is highly efficient. Some pool owners prefer 4,500 ppm where the taste is generally not perceptible but chlorination uses a little more electricity. Please let us know if you have a preference and read the following discussion to see if your equipment limits the salt levels you use. Salt should be topped up at any level below 3,500 ppm, unless you have a special set-up. The best time to get salt to 6,000 ppm is at the beginning of summer so that you have its benefit through the hot months.
Other chemicals. Other chemicals are seldom needed but could include phosphate remover (following run-off into the pool) or powdered chlorine (calcium hypo-chlorite) for stubborn algae in low circulation ‘dead’ spots
NEVER add any copper-based algaecide to the pool as you may damage the sensors. Warranty does not apply in this case
Understanding Freshwater and Salt-Water pools
There are often misconceptions about ‘fresh’ water pools. Most people think that a liquid chlorine pool is a ‘fresh’ water pool with a low salt concentration.
If you test the salt levels in so-called ‘freshwater’ pools however, many of them are quite salty from accumulated salt from evaporation (tap water does contain salt), as well as from the salt that is included in liquid chlorine containers as a consequence of both the way it is made and the conversion that happens to liquid chlorine while it is stored. We often see ‘fresh’ pools with 1,000- 2,000 ppm (parts per million) of salt, with some at even higher levels. In those cases you may decide that the pool water should be diluted by the addition of tap water.
Saltwater chlorinated pools typically start at 3,500 ppm (where salt is generally not perceptible to taste), average around 4,500 ppm and don’t typically exceed 6,000-7000 ppm. For comparison, the ocean is ~35,000 ppm. The salt level may be constrained by your equipment. Some salt water chlorinators require the salt concentration to be at least 6000 ppm. Gas heaters typically have a maximum salt level constraint with most being constrained to maximum salt levels of 4500 ppm. In no case should the salt level be allowed to fall below 3000 ppm as salt water chlorinators do not operate effectively below that level.
If you have a saltwater pool, you need to know the type of salt so that you can add more when required. The types are:-
1. Common salt (most pools),
2. Magnesium salt (if you have sandstone or porous stone surrounds or want a softer water which is much nicer on the skin and hair),
3. Mineral salt, which is a premium magnesium/potassium blend that is functionally the same as Magnesium but has a slightly different taste.
Common salt is widely available through hardware stores and pool shops. Magnesium or mineral salts can be purchased typically from pool shops and some hardware stores, or can be provided by Pooled Energy.