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In-Ground Pool Maintenance

Having tried and tested many pool chemicals, Barton Lake has decided that ‘Bioguard®’ products are above and beyond any other brand on the market today, offering our customers best value for money as the chemicals simply do the job they are intended to do, each and every time.  We are therefore happy to promote the ‘Bioguard®’ range and the following maintenance guide works in association with their products.

Safety First

Your health and safety and that of your family and friends is important to us, which is why this guide begins with someimportant safety information.

Chemical safety

  • Read instructions on each product thoroughly before use.
  • NEVER mix different chemicals, including cleaning products, weed-killers and chlorine products as a dangerous reaction may occur.
  • When pre-dissolving chemicals always add chemicals to water and NEVER water to chemicals.
  • Always pre-dissolve chemicals in a clean, plastic container.
  • Always handle chemicals in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors.
  • Never use unlabelled chemicals.
  • Keep chemicals away from children and animals.
  • Avoid spillage
  • In the event of a spillage, clean up using clean receptacles and dispose of in the pool. Flush area thoroughly with large volumes of fresh water.
  • Before disposing of empty chemical containers, rinse them thoroughly in the pool.
  • Always wash hands after handling pool chemicals.
  • Never dose the pool with chemicals when it is in use.

General safety

  • Do not leave children/non-swimmers unattended.
  • Make sure a first aid kit is available for accidents.
  • Do not allow diving in shallow water.
  • Do not use the pool during an electrical storm.
  • Do not use electrical appliances near the pool.
  • Avoid the use of glass in and around the pool.

A pool is for pleasure

That’s why Barton Lake wants to help you care for your pool in the simplest, most effective way possible.  So you spend time enjoying it – not working on it.

Some people become swamped when it comes to pool care because they do not have the right advice for treating pool water.  With BioGuard®, pool care is easy.  Our simple 3-Step programme takes out the guesswork.  Using the BioGuard® 3-Step Programme for regular maintenance, and having your water analysed regularly by our team here at Barton Lake means that you will spend less time and money on pool care.

The Five Keys to Pool Care

Establishing and maintaining top quality pool water involves more than just adding chemicals, in fact there are five keys to pool care; circulation, filtration, cleaning, testing and chemistry.  In this next section we will provide some details on these five key elements and give you some handy-hints to make your pool water management easier.

Circulation

Your pool will have a circulation pump that draws water from the pool and pushes it through the filter, and heater (if you have one), on its way back to the pool.  As a minimum it is recommended that the circulation pump is run for at least eight hours a day and at the height of the season when the pool is being heavily used, consider running it for longer.  To create good circulation follow the handy-hints below:

  • Empty skimmer(s) and pump strainer baskets regularly.
  • Angle returning water inlet towards the pool floor at 30° – 45°.
  • If you have a vacuum line that you don’t use, open it weekly to prevent stagnant water remaining in the pipe for too long.
  • Ensure that the water level in the pool is kept above the skimmer(s) opening to avoid. drawing air into the system.
  • Ensure that water is being drawn from both the bottom of the pool, via the main drain(s) and the surface, via the skimmer(s).

Filtration

Most in-ground swimming pools have sand filters, although occasionally cartridge and diatomaceous earth filters are used.  In this guide we are assuming that you have got a sand filter. It is the filters job to remove suspended solids from the pool water and hold onto them, this action helps to maintain water clarity. Particles that are left in the water will make it look cloudy and uninviting.  The particles that the filter collects are discharged to waste when the filter is backwashed.  Over time the filter sand can become coated with oils and greases as well as calcium scale. Normal backwashing will not remove these deposits and will greatly reduce the filters efficiency.  To restore the filters efficiency it is recommended that the filter sand is
chemically cleaned annually.  For effective filtration see the handy-hints below:

  • Run the filter for at least eight hours a day, longer when the pool is being heavily used.
  • Backwash the filter weekly or more regularly if the filters pressure gauge indicates a need to.
  • Chemically clean your filter sand annually using BioGuard® Deep Cleanse.
  • Replace your filter sand when recommended by Barton Lake.
  • To help your filter remove really fine particles use BioGuard® Polysheen Blue and/or BioGuard® Super Clear Tablets.
  • For rapid recovery of very cloudy water use BioGuard® Kwik Clear.

Cleaning

All pools do require some cleaning and a little regular maintenance will prevent this straightforward task becoming a laborious chore.  Areas that need to be considered are pool
surrounds, waterlines, filter media (see filtration for more information on this one) and covers.  Keep pool surrounds free of clutter and debris, as it will end up in the pool either being washed in
by the rain or walked in by bathers making their way to the pool.  At waterline level, cosmetics,
suntan lotion and general debris can collect, if not removed these deposits will provide a source
of food and a breeding ground for bacteria and algae. As mentioned under filtration, it is the
filters job to remove particles from the water but it is unable to do this if the particles are ‘clinging’
onto the wall or lying on the pool floor, so regular brushing and vacuuming is needed.  Pool covers should be cleaned before being stored away and ideally after an algae attack. Our handy cleaning hints are:

  • Keep pool surrounds swept and free of debris.
  • Clean waterlines weekly using BioGuard® Off The Wall. Never use household cleaners
  • for this job as they may not be compatible with your pool water chemistry.
  • Brush the sides of the pool weekly using a nylon bristled pool brush.
  • Vacuum or brush the pool floor weekly.
  • Before putting your summer and winter cover away clean it with BioGuard® Stowaway.

Testing

Another part of regular maintenance is routine water testing.  If you’re new to pool ownership test your sanitiser and pH daily but as you get used to looking after your pool this could be reduced to twice a week. 

Without testing your pool water you really don’t know what condition it is in or even if it is safe for bathers to swim.  Using the BioGuard® 1200V Test Kit or 4-Way Test Strips, it’s easy to test the water yourself and takes very little time.

BioGuard® 1200V Test Kit – this kit gives you the facility to check free chlorine or total bromine, pH, acid demand, alkali demand and total alkalinity.  This is an ideal kit for pool owners who really like to know what is going on with their pool water.

BioGuard® 4-Way Test Strips – a quick and easy way to test your pool water, these strips will
check free chlorine or total bromine, pH and total alkalinity.  Simply dip a test strip into your pool
water and remove it immediately, wait for just 15 seconds and compare the colour of the pads with the standards printed on the bottle.

AquaChek TruTest –combines the ease and accuracy of AquaChek test strips with advanced digital technology. The large, easy to read LCD screen displays the test result in 15 seconds without the need for any colour matching! It tests for Free Chlorine/Bromine, pH and Total Alkalinity giving a "low", "ok" or"high" indicator for each test parameter. It is water resistant and even has a memory function and will store the last 9 test results.

In addition to the water testing that you do at home, it is recommended that you take a 1-litre
pool water sample to us here at Barton Lake every four to five weeks for a full analysis to be carried out.  Using their comprehensive test equipment your dealer will be able to check free chlorine or bromine, total chlorine, pH, acid demand, alkali demand, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid, copper, iron, manganese and total dissolved solids.  This valuable service, together with your own home testing, should give you total peace of mind that your pool water is safe for bathers as well as being in a condition that is not going to cause damage to your pool finish or support equipment.

Here are some handy-hints on pool water testing:

  • Test your pool water at least twice a week, more often when the pool is being well used.
  • Keep your test kit clean and always return it to its box after use.
  • Replace test reagents every year to ensure the accuracy of your tests.
  • If using test strips check the expiry date and replace them if it has passed.
  • Keep test kits, test reagents and test strips in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
  • Always follow the instructions that are supplied with the kit or test strips.

Chemistry

The fifth key to successful pool management is water chemistry and under the BioGuard® programme chemistry is split into four main areas; water balance, Step-1, Step-2 and Step-3.

For more information on pool chemicals click here.

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