Professional Service Since 1970

(816) 532-1155

Located in Smithville and serving surrounding areas

Pool Maintenance
Pool Skimmer
Pool Skimmer

FAQ/Maintaining Chemicals

Enviromental Contamination

As a Service Company specializing in swimming pool water chemistry, we feel it's important to keep you, the consumer, informed on some of the problems that can occur with pool water. We also feel it equally important to inform pool owners, on the causes of many pool related problems. Hopefully this information will enable your pool to be a clean, clear, safe and enjoyable.Marshall's Pool Service has extensive testing resources, including a full wet lab, Accu-Scan Computerized Water Analysis and specialty state of the art testing meters. More importantly, we have the working knowledge to use the data from these tests to solve chemical problems.

Each year we analyze and study many pool water problems and identify where or what caused the problem. The information provided below is based on our personal experience as well as from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Chemists in the pool industry, chemical manufactures, NSPI, and the EPA.

What Should I Expect My Pool Water to Be Like?

Your pool water should be clear, clean, safe and have a beautiful sparkle. Many pool owners have become accustom to cloudy water or green and mustard algae. Over a period of time some pool owners perceive this to be normal since this is what they expect each year. With the proper chemicals, a good chemical program and proper filtration your pool should be clean, clear, and safe 24 - 7.

What Basic Steps Does It Take To Maintain a Clear, Clean And Safe Pool?

There are 3 things every pool must have to stay clear, clean and safe.

1. Proper Filtration: Pool water must be circulated and filtered. If your filter does not operate properly, neither will the products you add to keep it clear, clean and safe. Chemicals won't make up for lack of filtration and vise versa.

2. Proper Chemical Maintenance: The basic steps in routine maintenance are: Sanitize to kill bacteria continuously. Remove swimmers waste like urine, suntan oils and perspiration thru oxidation. Prevent algae growth. Balance PH and Total Alkalinity to keep water from becoming corrosive or scale forming.

3. Proper Cleaning Regiment: At minimum the pool should be cleaned once a week by vacuuming, brushing the walls, netting the surface, cleaning the tile or scum line and checking baskets.

Why Can't I Maintain A Chlorine Reading?

There may be a couple of reasons. Most likely it is do to a chlorine demand. The definition of a chlorine demand is: (The inability to keep adequate chlorine in the pool water even though the water is balanced and maintained. Various contaminates increase oxidation levels, consuming chlorine faster than automatic feeders or normal shocking can replace it).

Symptoms include cloudy water and even algae if not treated, however water may be clear and still have a chlorine demand. To solve or meet the chlorine demand it may only require a normal shock or oxidation.

Another form of chlorine demand is a high level of combined chlorine that cannot be broken by successive shock treatments. We refer to this as a high chlorine demand and in most cases this leads to algae. A high chlorine demand will require much more than regular oxidation. It's an all or nothing proposition when trying to solve a high chlorine demand. An analogy would be if you had a checking account balance of $0 and you wrote a check for $100, your the bank charged you a $15 service fee, thus causing your account to be overdrawn by $115. In order to get back to $0 you must deposit $115. A high chlorine demand acts in the same manner. In this case it would required 115 lbs of chlorine to have reached a 0 chlorine level, and unless the demand is met it will be difficult to impossible to keep from having cloudy water and eventually algae.

Why Do I Have Algae Problems?

Algae problems are generally a symptom or the end result of another problem that exists in the water. Used below are some examples.

Nitrogen ammonia compound entering the water. The chlorine that is in the pool is used up, destroying the nitrogen ammonia compound. Any remaining ammonia compounds have now caused a chlorine demand. In this case, now the pool is unprotected. The algae that is always present in pool water will grow rapidly.

High phosphates can also lead to algae problems. Generally as long as the pool is sanitized there is not a problem. However, it will require the usage of more chlorine and maintaining a higher reading in order to maintain a pool with a high phosphate level. During the winter, while the pool is closed, phosphates will also allow algae to grow.

Lack of filtration can also be the cause of algae problems. Mustard algae problems may occur when there is poor circulation or the pool system is not running long enough.

Other things that will contribute to algae problems include, maintaining a low sanitizer reading, not oxidizing weekly or poor pool cleaning habits.

Causes of Chemical Problems

One of the leading causes of swimming pool water problems is environmental contamination. This means anything applied to your property or home not labeled for use in swimming pools. Ammonia, Nitrogen and Phosphate contamination of drinking water, as well as pool water, is becoming a problem throughout the country. Rainwater alone will not cause a chemical problem.

There are many products that have been documented to cause major chemical problems in swimming pools. You can be assured any product that is for yards, flowers, plants and tree's, applied in liquid or granular form will cause chemical problems if they are allowed to enter the pool.

Besides the chemical problems these products cause, they many also have toxicity levels that may cause the pool water to be unsafe. High levels of some compounds such as nitrates and nitrites can affect young children and older adults.

There are two ways these products enter your pool.

The first is direct application meaning it was broadcast with a spreader or sprayed application. With liquid applications there is very little control. The slightest breeze can cause the product being sprayed to drift and contaminate the pool. If you can smell it in the air it's going into your pool. The question is, in what amount and what is the product being applied?

The second means of contamination is from run off. Generally with hard rains, 85 to 90% of pools will have some type of run-off, whether it comes out of the yard, landscaping even flowerpots sitting on the deck. If any of these areas have been treated with any product within 3 to 4 weeks, it is likely there will be chemical problems.

5 Common Misconceptions About Chemical Problem

1. A pool smells when it has too much chlorine. Actually, it's chloramines that smell – which means there is a lack of free chlorine which is what sanitizes your pool. The pool needs to be oxidized.

2. Heating your pool or the water getting warmer cause chlorine loss. Heating the pool or heat gain will not turn a pool cloudy , nor will it cause a instant chlorine drop. The water temperature will require the use of more chlorine. A general rule is that for every 10 degree heat rise it will require 30 to 40 % more chlorine to maintain the pool , this is compensated for each week by the addition of chemicals.

3. The pool turns cloudy or murky it will clear on its own. Rarely, If a pool turns cloudy or murky it's generally a sign that various compounds have entered the water in- turn using up all the chlorine.

4. Chlorine demands are caused by lack of chemicals being added to the pool. False, chlorine demands occur when the chlorine in the water is used oxidizing compounds that have entered the water such as nitrites and ammonia. If the amount of compounds that entered were greater than the amount of oxidizer a demand is created. The remaining compounds now create a chlorine demand which can only be solved thru the addition of lager amounts of chlorine.

5. Only some yard products will effect the pool. Actually, any product not specified to be used in a swimming pool can cause a chemical problem. Anything that is oxidizable by chlorine which is almost everything will put a demand on the chlorine. The extent of the problem that occurs will depend on the amount, the strength and the type of compound that entered the water.