Pool care in winter

During the cold winter months pool water tends to stay clear with very little help. Generally algae does not appear and I hardly ever see a pool turn green. Any algae growth that does occur is extremely slow.

Of course winterizing is ideal, but many of our pools are not winterized. To these we add an occasional dose of chlorine and run the pump at least once a week. Vacuuming requirements are negligible – once every 3 or 4 weeks is plenty under normal circumstances.

Winterized pools? We cover them and forget them until April or May, which is so much easier.

At the end of the day it is the pool owner who makes the decision and either way we are happy; our pools are always clear and blue.

Calculate pool volume

Whenever you get pool supplies, the instructions say x ounces per 1,000 gallons or something similar. So how many gallons of water does my swimming pool hold?

There are a lot of sites on the internet that tell you how to work out your pool volume. These easy to use pool volume calculators from the Pool Wizard make life so much easier.

You just put in the measurements and it spits out the answer. I tested it out and it consistently gives ‘clean’ results to the nearest 100 gallons. I found this very nifty, after all, who wants a result like 11,489 gallons. It seems unwieldy and unnecessary to have such an accurate result as opposed to 11,500 gallons, which is just as good when it comes to swimming pool volume and chemical dosing.

The Pool Wizard site have also made provision for those who use metric values. You put in the measurements in meters and it gives metric pool volume results (in cubic meters) as well as the conversion into gallons.

I think the volumes are given in US gallons, though they do not say. Perhaps I’ll send them a note and get them to confirm (or deny) this.

Swimming pool chemical incident

According to the BBC, a man was treated in hospital after accidentally mixing chemicals used for cleaning a swimming pool.

Emergency services were called out to reports of a chemical incident at Glenwood High School on Saturday.

They discovered that a member of staff had accidentally mixed chemicals used for cleaning the swimming pool.

That pool chemicals are extremely dangerous is so often forgotten. I have come across numerous incidents of explosions, vapor discharges or wild, out of control reactions due to the mixing of different pool chemicals. Possibly the most frightening and perhaps the easiest mix to “accidently” make is the combination of dichlor and calcium hypo with some water added to it.

In pools where the chlorine needs to be predissolved and the pool operator mixes some dichlor and cal hypo in the same bucket, the resulting explosion and thick pungent cloud of yellow “mustard gas” is horrifying to witness. The gas explodes upwards in a typical mushroom shape. Thankfully, people unfortunate enough to be nearby when it all goes bang generally remain below the cloud of gas.