We’ve been getting plenty of rain lately, and that has led to a lot of questions about pool water. So if you’re wondering how rain affects your pool, and whether you need to do something about it, here is a rundown of what you need to know.
Rain can affect pH levels. Rain usually has a pH level that is different from your pool’s water. In particular, rain can be slightly to significantly acidic, depending upon various factors due to man-made pollution. Rainfall can lower the pH level of your pool, and alter the levels of chlorine in the water.
What to do. First, maintain your pool’s level by draining excess water. Then, check your water’s pH level with a test kit.
A safe pH level for pool water falls between 7.4 and 7.8. A pH below 7.4 is too acidic, and your pool water can become corrosive. Over time this will damage the plaster in your pool, and possibly the maintenance equipment (pump, filters, and so on). However, a pH that is too high (above 7.8) renders chlorine ineffective. So, monitoring the pH level of your pool water is important at all times, but especially after a large rainfall.
If your water’s pH has dropped below 7.4 (the most common case with excess rainfall), it is too acidic. You will need to adjust that with an alkalinity stabilizer.
If your water appears cloudy, you might need a water clarifier to remove excess dirt and oil.
Finally, after a large rainfall, you might consider adding an algaecide to the water. Sometimes rain can introduce algae to your pool, so adding an algaecide will prevent that problem before it has a chance to propagate.
Do you need to shock the pool water? Occasionally, after a significant rainfall, it might be necessary to super-chlorinate the pool (or “shock” it) to remove any remaining pollutants. This will also balance out the chlorine levels which might have been disturbed.
One last thing… If you’ve adjusted your pool’s pH and/or added chemicals to the water, run your pump for about 8 to 10 hours afterward. This will circulate those chemicals so that they’re evenly distributed throughout the pool.
Does this sound complicated? If you’re concerned about the effects of recent rainfall, give us a call. We can check your pool’s pH and chlorine levels, and help you determine whether you need to take additional steps to get everything balanced again.
You love the fun family time provided by your pool… But at times, you might wonder: Are the chemicals in my pool dangerous? After all, your family’s safety is your top priority. No matter how much fun something is, you wouldn’t use it if there were potential for harm.
We have some good news for you. A properly maintained pool does not expose your family to any chemical dangers.
If you’re worried about chlorine, let’s review the purpose of that particular additive. Chlorine is used in swimming pools to keep them clean, and prevent the growth of viruses, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens. It is also present in most municipal drinking water, at very low levels that are deemed safe for public consumption. A properly maintained pool also contains very low levels of chlorine.
Certainly, because consuming high levels of chlorine could be dangerous, we would advise you not to actually drink copious amounts of your swimming pool water! But it’s unlikely you would do that. Just remind your kids not to swallow pool water, and simply swimming in chlorinated water is perfectly safe.
If you’re worried about the effects of swimming pool chemicals on your skin and hair, remember to shower after swimming. Use a soap to scrub any lingering traces of chlorine from your skin. Regular exposure to chlorine can indeed be drying to hair, so use a shampoo that is specially formulated for swimmers.
You do want to store your swimming pool chemicals away from children, and avoid breathing in their gases when you open the containers. But as for health effects of swimming in a chlorinated pool, all evidence suggests that there’s nothing to worry about so long as you maintain the pool correctly.
If you’re concerned about whether you’re using the right amount of chlorine in your pool, please give us a call. A professionally maintained pool should provide years of safe enjoyment to your family, without any health risks from swimming pool chemicals.