Every pool requires regular maintenance, especially after a heavy rainstorm. The complexity brought by rainwater depends on several factors, including the location. Rain acidity is caused by the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, manufacturing, oil refineries, vehicles and other human-made activities. Higher acidic rain can contribute to the pH levels in the pool to drop, resulting in the use of extra chlorine to attack new pollutants brought by dirt and debris. However, maintaining beautiful, clear pool water after a rainstorm is relatively simple.
Pool Maintenance Steps after a Heavy Rainstorm
1. Drain Excess Water
The first step after a rainstorm is to remove any excess water and restore the recommended water level. This is usually done by setting the pool filter (D.E or sand) to waste, which bypasses the filter system. You can purchase a submersible pump from the local hardware store to lower the water level if needed. Set the sump pump on the stairs or in the shallow end of the pool. You should only need to drain a few inches of water, so keep an eye on the pool as it drains. Do not allow the water level to drop beneath the skimmer opening.
2. Clean the Pool
When the water level is correct, skim the surface to remove debris, leaves, and twigs. Empty the skimmer basket, and remove large debris from the bottom of the pool. Brush the sides and bottom of the pool and vacuum. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to backwash or clean the filters.
3. Test and Restore Correct Chemical Levels
Check the water chemistry using a test kit. Acidic rain can quickly drop the pool’s pH level, which will impact the chlorine levels and alkalinity. A low pH level can cause the water to be corrosive, and a high pH level can hinder the chlorine. A pH increaser will restore the water to a safe level (7.4 and 7.8), and an alkalinity increaser can also be used to stabilize the pH balance (80-120 ppm) to guard against equipment corrosion and plaster etching. A water clarifier can clear the cloudy water caused by dirt and oils after the rain. Algaecide is also a recommendation to neutralize potential algae that have been introduced by the storm.
Testing a saltwater pool is easiest with a digital pool water kit that tests accurate measurements all at once, including pH, combined chlorine, free chlorine, total chlorine, cyan-uric acid, bromine and total alkalinity. Muriatic acid or dry acid, such as sodium bi-sulfate, reduce pH levels, and alkali like soda ash increases the pH levels. These substances must be added in slow increments in the saltwater pool and should circulate 4 to 6 hours before swimming.
4. Check Chlorine Levels
Additional chlorine is needed after a rainstorm to fight contaminants. You may need to shock the pool, which will super chlorinate the water and kill any remaining pollutants. Saltwater pools also require maintenance of chlorine levels. Saltwater pools require a slightly different calibration of chemicals based on different chlorine generators, but adding or reducing salt is the first consideration after a rainstorm.
Low chlorine levels in a saltwater pool can cause cloudiness, salt chlorinator maintenance, low salinity and corrosion issues. It’s important not to add too much salt into the pool because this can only be reduced by draining the water and refilling with fresh. You do not need to add salt unless the levels fall well below the recommended range of 2500-3500 ppm.
5. Run the Filter Pump
Run the filter for 8 to 10 hours to distribute the chemicals and circulate the water.
6. Enjoy the Sunshine
Regular maintenance after a rainstorm will protect your pool from discoloration, damage and corrosion. The correct value of chemicals may differ depending on the temperature and amount of sunlight in specific geographic locations. A beautifully maintained pool offers sparkling and clear water. It’s time to get out there and enjoy the sunshine.
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