We are on the tail end of our winter season with water temps in our pools about as cool as they will get. A couple of things to pay close attention to are the low alkalinities and high chlorine levels these low temps bring on.
Low alkalinities can create a corrosive condition in your pool to not only the plaster and grout but to your equipment as well. Depending on your calcium hardness and other factors, the alkalinity should be kept between 70 to 80ppm. For an accurate determination, run a full water analysis and apply those readings to the SI (saturation index) or simply bring in a water sample to our counter for a complete analysis.
The high chlorine levels are generally a result of the overchloration by a manual chlorine feeder. The most common feeder in our area is the Rainbow but all the others have the same issue. The cold water and minimal use of the pool causes a very low demand. Many manual feeders simply cannot be turned down low enough to keep a pool at the recommended 2.0ppm. Once the feeder is set at the lowest setting and is still overchlorinating, a couple of solutions are to reduce the number of tabs in the feeder, or turn the unit off until the chlorine drops to the desired level. The best alternative to all of this is automation. It cost a little more but what a difference it can make. Controlling the chlorine level in your pool coming from tabs, will not only create a beautiful and safe pool but will also reduce the spot etching issue associated with high cynuraic acid coming from the tabs. The bottom line is automation will SAVE you big dollars in the long run!
The whole issue of high chlorine and low alkalinities is getting ready to reverse itself as the spring winds and high temps return. So get ready and in the mean time —