On hot summer days the pool beckons to you. Nothing beats the relief the cool pool water brings, or the way it brings all your family and friends together. Amidst all the fun have you ever stopped to wonder what’s in the pool water after each use? Sweat, hair, dead skin cells, fecal matter and we dare say – urine! Despite the fact that most pools have a filtration system that recirculates the water, pools need to be drained and refilled once in a while to ensure efficiency. Completely draining your pool is only necessary when the circumstances absolutely require it. You should hire a professional to undertake the task to avoid damaging your pool. Knowing when to change pool water will help you avoid wasting resources, time and damaging your pool structure and liner.
So… What’s the Pool Water Turnover Rate?
There is no one answer. How often you need to change your pool water can vary from two months to as long as five or seven years. There are various factors that influence the frequency such as; number of daily users, climate, type of water (soft or hard) and pool maintenance frequency. For residential pools, industry experts recommend you replace your pool water every five to seven years.
Pool water that is too hard, old or has been unmaintained can also damage the surface of your pool. Even if you use soft water to fill the pool, overtime environmental conditions can often turn the water hard. This will eventually leave calcium and mineral deposits that can easily damage pool tiles and grout.
At the same time, swimming pools lose a significant amount of water everyday due to evaporation, splashing and carrying (water out of the pool). To substitute this water loss, fresh water is continuously added to the swimming pool. Therefore the pool water is continuously changing.
Why Should I Drain Pool Water?
Due to factors like; harsh environments, chemicals, and biological remains – pool water treatment becomes ineffective after five to seven years. Over time, calcium from municipal water tends to accumulate. Salt deposits develop on the swimming pool walls and equipment, reducing their effectiveness. Therefore, it is advised to either completely drain the pool, and refill it with fresh water, or recycle the existing pool water. The advantage of the latter method is that you can reuse 90% of the water (the environment would thank you).
When to Change Pool Water / When Should I Drain Pool Water?
As stated in the previous section, most in-ground pools should be completely drained and have the water replaced every five to seven years. Exactly how often will depend on your maintenance and upkeep, usage and environment. It is best to drain your pool during the mild seasons to prevent unnecessary sun, heat, or moisture damage to the pool surfaces and filtration systems. In almost all cases, you shouldn’t drain the pool for cleaning, as this process takes place underwater.
DO NOT drain your pool after significant rain or storms as the water table will add extra pressure to the bottom of your pool.
How Should I Drain Pool Water?
First, speak to a professional to determine whether your pool needs to be drained. Most pool maintenance can be done with the pool at least partially full. If you determine your pool does need a drain, but are not one hundred percent comfortable draining and completing the repairs yourself (most people don’t know how to drain an in-ground pool), hire a professional pool maintenance contractor or company. The consequences of a bad draining are significantly more costly to fix than hiring experts.
Chlorine kills bacteria and germs, controls organic debris from perspiration and body oils, and deters algae. However, when bathers enter the pool without showering first, the chlorine can react to a number of organic and in-organic compounds on the person. For example: sweat, makeup, sunscreen, perfume, lotion, urine, fecal matter and any other bodily residues. These reactions are the reason why some pools have a strong odor. The strong odor is a sign that there are many compounds in the pool reacting with the chlorine.
To maintain water quality and pool infrastructure, chlorinate the water on a daily basis to prevent growth of algae and microorganisms. You should also manually clean the pool using suction sweepers and brushes on alternate days. Keep pH levels balanced. The pH level you want to maintain in the water to have a pleasant experience (and avoid skin irritation) is usually around 7.2 to 7.6. The suggested amount of chlorine for pools is 1 ppm (parts per million) otherwise it ceases to be effective in killing any developed algae or bacteria.
A good filtration system is important for the recirculation of water. Water is forced through a filter and then returned to the pool. Rapid removal of filterable contaminants reduces the impact on the disinfection system thereby limiting the formation of chloramines. Read more about chlorine and find out if it’s safe for babies!
Backwashing removes organic materials from your pool to keep the water clean. Backwashing the swimming pool filter removes built up contaminates from the filter by reversing the flow of water through the filter and sending it to waste or out through a hose connected to the pump. Because backwashing the filter removes water from your pool, backwash your pool filter before adding any chemicals to the water.
If you take care of your pool on a daily basis and adhere to proper maintenance and appropriate pH levels you won’t have to change your pool water frequently! Did you know when to change pool water before reading this article? Let us know in the comments below!