What can I say 18-20 straight days of rain has played havoc with keeping any kind of pool water chemistry balanced and I have noticed some trends in our water testing. Keep in mind weather plays a big role in keeping your pool water chemistry in balance and depending on what part of the country you are living in will make a difference in what types of problems you may have to address. Here in the northeast our season has been plagued by a cold front and continuous days of rain leaving pool owners wondering if we will have a summer season at all. On the day that it is not raining and we can go out and maintain the pool I am finding our customers in need of Alkaline and PH increasers as the rain tends to make the pool water acidic. I am also finding varying degrees of chlorine issues either very high chlorine levels (I had someone with a level of 22) or no (0) chlorine levels and what we call chlorine lock. Chlorine lock can occur when your Cyanuric Acid levels are extremely high and the water will need to be diluted. With precipitation every day these levels can change on a daily basis causing various problems either visable in the form of cloudiness, or formation of algae or invisable in the form of corrosion and scaling of your pool equipment and the pool body itself whether plaster or vinyl lined pools. Rain also tends to bring airborn pollens and other particles from the trees creating odd films atop of the water clogging the filter systems.
To avoid these issues keep the following tips in mind even though you are not using the pool as much as you would like:
Keep your pool filter running 8-10 day hours a day, if you are on an automated chlorination system this is the way you sanatize your pool and if you aren't running the filter you are not sanitizing.
If your chlorine levels are extremely high remove solar cover if one is on the pool, or lower your chlorine application for a day or two.
Make sure your Alkaline and PH levels are within the proper ranges as operation at low levels can damage pool heaters quickly.
Finally, a few caveats as I had a least three new customers in the store this week who had their water tested elsewhere and where sold from $600-$800 worth of chemicals just to get their pools going, Get a Second Opinion if someone is trying to sell you everything but the kitchen sink. There are many different chemicals out there that do many different things but common sense should prevail and more is not always the answer so question why someone is trying to sell you so much. Also many will give you advice on how they take care of their pool, some only use chlorine and never put PH or Alkaline or anything else and they are always sparkling clear but remember that the life of your pool liner, plaster and equipment will last longer with proper water chemistry. Not to mention the health and safety of your swimmers requires a properly sanitized and balanced pool.
Now if you southerners could send some sunshine and warmth up to us northern folk it would be greatly appreciated. :)