If there’s a topic that everyone seems to have an opinion about, it’s swimming pools. Over the years, we’ve heard some really bad swimming pool advice that was given to our customers by well-meaning (but sadly under-informed) friends and relatives. So without further ado, here are some of the worst swimming pool advice that we’ve heard and how they can be really bad for you and your pool.
You can drop chlorine pucks in your skimmer baskets
A lot of people will say that you can drop chlorine pucks in your skimmer baskets or pump baskets because they’re the place where you’re sure to get chlorine circulating. Well, in some ways, that’s right. But what many people don’t think about is what happens when the pumps are off. The water will keep dissolving the chlorine puck but it’s not going anywhere. What happens is you’re going to get super chlorinated water stuck there, eating away at your pool system’s sensitive parts like gaskets, O-rings, and even your filter elements!
So where do you put your chlorine pucks? Well, they’re designed to be used to be placed in chlorine feeders, so there’s your answer right there. But if an in-line chlorine feeder sounds like too much plumbing work, you can opt for a Water TechniX Floating Chemical Chlorine Dispenser, it holds your chlorine pucks and slowly broadcasts it around your pool, avoiding heady chlorine concentrations in any one area.
You don’t need to run your pump for more than 1-2 hours a day
Some people will say that you only need to run your pool pump 1-2 hours a day because the natural movement caused by the return jets will naturally circulate the water in the pool. Well, in a sense that’s true, the water will circulate IN the pool, BUT what this piece of bad advice doesn’t take into account is that water is NOT being filtered. The reason why we need to run the pump to circulate all of the water in the pool is not only to move the chemicals around but to run the water through our sand filter or cartridge filter to catch all of the dirt and debris. It’s all about circulation AND filtration.
Get a bigger pump, run it for shorter periods
This piece of advice usually comes from people wanting to make a quick sale. Again, while it is technically true that you’ll need to run your pump less to circulate your pool water with a bigger pump, a huge factor would be if your pool’s plumbing can handle the higher water flow. To put it in an easier analogy, it’s like getting a race car and all you’re going to be doing is driving around in tight neighborhood streets. It’s going to be a waste of horsepower and extra money spent on performance that’s not needed. Not only that, but having an oversized pump can also cause channeling in sand filters and can damage cartridge filters.
Is it time to replace your pool pump? Opt for an ECO pump instead. True savings comes from energy efficiency and not from running a high powered pump for shorter periods of time.
Don’t get a test kit, get your water tested for free
If someone tells you to not buy a pool testing kit and just get your water tested for free at your local pool shop then you’ll probably be spending way more than what you’re bargaining for. Things to take account when being given “free” water testing.
- Your petrol and time cost driving to and from the pool shop
- You’ll have to take the pool shop owner’s word for it. Let me expound on this one. The pool shop owner (I’m not saying it’s all of them, but some) will naturally think that you can’t be bothered to learn about pool testing and pool chemicals, so they will try and upsell you on everything, I mean everything. If they can try and sell you a sink, they’ll sell you a sink while you’re inside!
- If you spill your water sample on the way to the pool shop, what then? Yep, turn around and go home and get new samples.
I mean, really, sometimes when we try to penny pinch, we end up spending more than we actually think we’re saving. If you get test strips or a home pool test kit, you can test your pool water for under a dollar per test! Why do you think water testing is free? Test kits are really affordable and they save you the hassle of grabbing a sample and driving all the way down to the store and being subjected to unrelenting sales pitches.
It takes weeks for your pool water to turn green if you neglect it
Well, no. This is so wrong on so many levels that it’s actually funny. Sure, if you have a perfectly balanced pool to begin with then maybe it’s possible for your pool water to stay clear after two weeks, but we really doubt it. We’ve had cases where pool owners would go away for the weekend and come back with a totally green pool. One of the most famous instances where a pool turned green OVERNIGHT was at the 2016 Rio Olympics which you can read about here.
When it comes to algae, it’s not about the length of time but it’s the amount of stuff in your pool. A combination of high phosphate levels and low chlorine can turn your pool from clear to green virtually overnight! So always test, balance, and treat your pool on a set routine. And to be safe, add some algaecide to serve as a shield to protect against algae.
A pool that smells like chemicals is fine
Wrong. So wrong. A strong chemical smell, specifically chlorine, means that there’s actually something wrong with your pool. Yes, chemicals have a strong smell, but with the dilution that occurs when you place them into your pool means that there shouldn’t be any sort of chemical smell if they’re applied properly. A strong chlorine smell means that there is actually a high level of chloramines in your pool and you might be experiencing what is known as a chlorine lock. A chlorine lock is when chlorine in your pool is no longer sanitising the pool properly. For more information on what a chlorine lock is and how to break it, see our blog post here.
In a pinch, use petroleum jelly to lubricate your O-rings
No, not all lubricants are built alike. Only use silicone-based lubricants on your seals and gaskets. Oil based lubricants actually break down the rubber in O-rings and can cause damage and leaking in your pool equipment that use them. It’s actually better to use no lubricant than to use an oil-based lubricant if a silicon-based lubricant isn’t available. Just make sure to immediately get a tube of silicon-based lubricant and apply it as soon as it gets there.
Yep, we’ve heard some really big ones in our time but the ones we’ve just listed out are some of the biggest ones, there are dozens more out there and the only true way to determine fact from fiction is to learn more about your pool. Since we're talking about whoppers, you can also read up on separating the myths and truths about salt water chlorination here.
Need resources? Mr Pool Man has some of the most comprehensive pool guides on the internet that have been written by pool experts and home pool owners like you to make sure that the language is easy to understand, with just the right amount of technical information to make sure that everything makes sense!
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Happy swimming :)