Online Pool Chemicals Blog

  • OPC blog for Winterising Swimming Pools – Part One

    With the Autumn fast approaching our focus now turns to preparing the swimming pool for the winter, in this blog we will be focusing on in-ground swimming pools, smaller above ground pools “Splasher Pools”, soft sided swimming pools and wooden style swimming pools will be covered in a further blog at a later date.

    Winter places a number of stresses on a swimming pool from high levels of rain fall, the wind and prolonged periods of cold weather; preparation is the perfect remedy to minimise damage.

    In the first instance, before you start the Winterisation process ensure the water is clear and clean free from any debris and anything which shouldn’t be in the swimming pool is removed.

    For most swimming pool owners you will be provided with a manufacturers / installer user guide which must be followed at all times specifically when dealing with items such as mechanical pumps, heaters, filters and associated equipment, this blog concentrates on preparing and treating the water for and during the winter period.

    Ensuring the water is clear and clean before the Winterising process begins which will include the following

    • Backwash the filter to ensure the filter media is clean and ready for the decommissioning period over winter

    • Use either the OPC Pooltester or Test Strips to ensure correct reading for pH, and Free Chlorine

    • Ensure pH is between 7.0 and 7.5 adjust with OPC pH Plus (pH Increaser) or OPC pH Reducer (pH Minus)

    • Shock Dose the water to between 5 and 10 PPM and maintain this reading for 2 – 4 hours. Use OPC Chlorine Shock Granules or Fi-Clor Superfast Shock Granules to increase free chlorine readings.

    • There may be a slight loss of clarity after adding the Chlorine Shock Granules we recommend using OPC Pool Sparkle to restore water clarity.

    • Check the Total Alkalinity (TA) of the water, this reading can often be found on testing strips and ensure the reading is between 80 – 180 ppm, if the reading is too high, reduce the TA with OPC TA Reducer or if too low increase with OPC TA Increaser.

    • Depending on the advice in the swimming pool manufacturers guidelines; it is often recommended to reduce the level of water in the swimming pool to just below the skimmers however you must refer to operator manual(s) before undertaking this procedure.

    After 24 hours and when the water is crystal clear you can now start the final close down procedure on the water.

    • Add a Winterising Algaecide such as OPC Winteriser Copper, Klearpool Long Life Copper, OPC Winteriser Copper Free or Fi-Clor Winteriser / Multifunctional Algicide.

    • Ensure the circulation is running during the application of Winteriser Algaecide to throughout distribute the solution in the water.

    In the next edition of this blog we will cover maintaining your swimming pool through the winter and what you can do to help minimise the water turning green (algae infestation)

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  • How frequently do you backwash the filter?

    Often overlooked but the simple process of backwashing the filter ensures the filter media is kept clean and efficiency of the filter is maximised. Every last drop of water passes through the filter media so over time it becomes dirty and reduced efficiency, if left water conditions deteriorate leaving the water cloudy and generally not unpleasant.

    During periods of warm / hot weather and heavy usage of the swimming pool its recommended backwashing on a weekly basis, this will ensure maximum filter efficiency and refresh the water with clean water when topped up; this is vital for the life of swimming pool water and helps ensure the water is not over stabilised with chlorine stabiliser (Cyanuric Acid)

    We recommend when the backwash is completed and water topped up check the water chemistry balance (pH 7.2 – 7.4 and free chlorine 2 – ppm) adjust pH with OPC pH Plus or OPC pH Minus and shock dose with OPC Chlorine Shock Granules.

    Finally, to add extra clarity to the water add OPC Pool Sparkle for that extra fine polish to the water.

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  • Is my swimming pool suffering from Chlorine Lock (over stabilised)?



    This summer has been a record breaker and swimming pool owners having been getting the most of their investment, the weather forecasters inform us the good weather will stay with us until the end of August if not beyond. Most swimming pool owners use a number of sanitisers during the peak swimming season Stabilised Chlorine products are the most popular however prolonged use of these will increase the chlorine stabiliser reading and can result in chlorine lock.

    To avoid this we recommend increasing the frequency on backwashing the water (if possible), this process cleans the filter media with dirty water going to waste and switching sanitiser to an un-stabilised sanitiser until chlorine stabiliser (cyanuric acid) levels have dropped.

    To measure Chlorine Stabiliser readings we recommend OPC 5 in 1 Test Strips  or Palintest 6 in 1 Test Strips both products test and measure chlorine stabiliser readings.

    Test chlorine stabiliser readings regularly to avoid chlorine lock in the future.

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  • Biocidal Product Regulations – BPR

    The Biocidal Product Regulations (BPR) impacts everyone using swimming pools, spa pools and hot tubs. This piece of legislation has already impacted a number of industries such as timber treatment and insect control and now impacts our industry.

    The products list legislation impacts are biocides, these include Chlorine, Bromine, Algaecides, Non Chlorine Treatment in fact anything which kills and controls biocides.

    OPC took the decision to ensure compliance in 2015, 3 years before the legislations came into force and pleased to confirm all biocides sold conform to this legislation thus ensuring our customers have peace of mind, in fact recently our copper algaecides were the first to receive approval; Klearpool Long Life Algaecide, Summerguard Copper Algaecide and Winterguard Copper Algaecide all received the approval number UK-2018-1126

    There are a number of reference points that offer a wealth of comprehensive information including

    https://echa.europa.eu/regulations/biocidal-products-regulation/understanding-bpr

    https://echa.europa.eu/regulations/biocidal-products-regulation/product-types

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/eu-bpr/product-types.htm

    http://www.spata.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/M73-Biocidal-Products-Regulations.pdf

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  • Introducing the new PoolLab® 1.0

    Owning a pool comes with great rewards and a number of responsibilities. You need to be confident that the sanitiser concentration are at the correct levels and controlled for the health and comfort of your bathers. The disinfection of a swimming pool is typically achieved with the use of chlorine, when using chlorine, it is important you monitor the levels regularly to avoid infections and irritation to the bathers. Another form of sanitiser is bromine, this sanitiser is predominately associated with indoor domestic swimming pools, hot tubs and hydrotherapy pools. It is equally important these levels are regularly monitored to provide an exceptional bathing experience.
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  • Britain’s Best Lidos for Summer Swimming

    As you know, Britain doesn’t get a lot of sunshine. So, when the sun does decide to come out, people take to the beach with their boogie boards and beachwear to make the most of it. However, if you want to steer away from wet sand and the cold sea, why not head to some of Britain’s best lidos instead?

    Take a look our pick of the best outdoor pools so you can truly enjoy some summer swimming.

    Nick under CC by 2.0

    The Lido, Bristol

    Clifton is not only home to Bristol Zoo and the world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, it has The Lido too. If you haven’t been before, you’ve been missing out. For just £20, you can make the most of the pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room between 1pm and 4pm Monday to Friday.

    The pool is heated accordingly throughout the year, so you can always enjoy swimming in this open air pool regardless of whether the sun is shining or not. To truly make the most of The Lido, go for a post swim bite to eat at the restaurant or relax with a spa package. A visit to the oldest surviving lido in the UK is a must.

    Chris Sampson under CC by 2.0

    Tinside Lido, Plymouth

    Tinside Lido has been voted one of the top 10 best outdoor pools in Europe, and it’s no surprise why. The pool overlooks the sea, making it a popular place for both locals and tourists to visit for a spot of summer swimming.

    A swimming session at Tinside Lido costs just £4.75, making it one of the cheapest lidos in the UK. If that’s not a reason to visit, we’re not sure what is! Don’t miss out on a visit to this grade II listed outdoor pool.

    Image Source: thermae_bath_spa

    Thermae Bath Spa, Bath

    While this isn’t essentially a lido, it’s an outdoor pool we just had to include in our pick of the best. The beauty of this open air pool is that it’s surrounded by spectacular views of the city, so as you swim in the mineral-rich water you can take in the beautiful buildings nearby.

    For a 2-hour spa session, which includes access to the roof-top open air pool, the Minerva bath and the wellness suite, it’ll cost you just £35. Unless you’re visiting on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case it’s £3 extra. Be sure to visit the Thermae Bath Spa when you’re next in the city, it’s worth every penny.

    Image Source: cardigankate

    Saltdean Lido, Brighton

    This lido has recently reopened after a seven-year revamp and, if you haven’t managed to make a visit yet, you need to. Saltdean Lido is located right on the seafront and has a heated swimming pool, paddling pool and play area, making it fun for the whole family!

    The innovative design, which resembles a cruise liner, further attracts swimmers to Saltdean Lido and for just £7.50 per swim session, you can’t go wrong. Head to Brighton and swim in one of the best lidos in Britain.

    If you’re planning on heading to these outdoor pool this summer, be sure to read more of our blogs for some tips and tricks.

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  • How to Chlorine shock dose your swimming pool or hot tub

    Shocking dose your pool is a critical process to make sure your pool has that crystal clean look! This process will raise the chlorine level by approximately 5 times, killing bad organics, unfilterable waste, algae and bacteria making your pool a safer environment for you and your family. Shocking dose your pool is important and should happen on a regular basis, ideally during the peak season on a weekly basis or sooner after heavy use of the swimming pool.

    Here are 4 handy tips to help you make the most of your pool:
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  • Do You Actually Sweat When You Swim?

    Do swimmers sweat?

    It’s a curious wondering that has plagued us all at some point in our lives.

    Thankfully, we’re here to put an end to the speculation. Here’s an in depth analysis of the perspiration habits of swimmers.

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  • How to Treat Chlorine Damaged Hair

    Swimming may be great for mind, body and soul, but too much chlorine has been known to have an adverse effect on your hair.

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  • Going Greenclear: Say Goodbye to Algae and Mould

     

    Both algae and mould are a fence enthusiast’s nightmare, it can really take the shine off the summer décor that you had worked so hard to achieve throughout the months of spring.

    Fortunately, we here at Online Pool Chemicals have a passion for ensuring that you gardeners have the best chance of completing your dream landscape.

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