With summer in full swing, any problems with your pool systems, especially your Chlorination systems, will usually show up now.   Heavy pool use, warm weather, sunny days, all play a factor in need to monitor your pool chemical balance more frequently.  Weekend service in some cases should be added.

Shortfalls of Tablet Chlorination

Unfortunately, most HOA's have pools and spas with "tablet" chlorination feeders.  They are the least expensive to purchase and install, and are inadequate in most cases for commercial and public pools.  Tablet feeders have several short falls including the following;

  • They do not adjust to increase pool use or weather conditions.  Unless "manually" adjusted daily and in some cases several times a day, it is nearly impossible to maintain a legal and healthy level of chlorine in your pools.

  • The tablets also have chemicals in them that reduce the PH in water.  Low PH if not monitored carefully will harm your heaters and plaster over time.

  • Tablets also contain chemical solids that build up over time, rising your total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water which will in time reduce the effectiveness of the chlorine, and require frequent water changes in your pools.  (Chlorine tablets are not the only source of TDS in water) The Health Department will now tag pools for closure if the water is found to be high in these dissolved solids.

Total Dissolved Solids

TDS - Total Dissolved Solids - may be the most misunderstood factor in the whole field of pool & spa water chemistry. It's misunderstood because no one knows exactly what effect it is going to have on any particular body of water.

When everything else seems to be all right, and the water still acts screwy, check the TDS.

  • High TDS can result in corrosion of metal equipment and accessories, even though the water is balanced.
  • High TDS can cause eye and skin irritation, even though the pH is right and there are no chloramines in the water.
  • High TDS can permit an algae bloom, even with a 2-3 ppm chlorine residual.

But none of these symptoms will necessarily occur. It is the uncertain nature of problems caused by TDS that makes it such a headache to deal with.

But at high levels - above 3,000 parts per million - you are welcoming problems. The National Spa & Pool Institute, in its standards for both swimming pools and spas, recommends an ideal TDS of between 1,000 and 2,000 ppm, with a maximum of 3,000 ppm.

What to Do

So what to do?  Have your pool contractor propose a liquid feed system that is monitored electronically 24/7.  Systems such as the Polaris L1 system will monitor the chlorine levels and PH levels as the water passes by inserted probes in the pipe system.  As needed only, the probe will signal the pump to inject chlorine or acid into the water.  Your pools will be perfectly balanced at all times.  Generally, each system can cost from 2 to 3 thousand each, but are well worth the investment.  Have your pool contractor check the levels of TDS in your pool prior to the summer months so that if water replacement or partial replacement is needed, it can be done prior to the high use time.

ResCom Services Inc. is a D-35 pool contractor as part of our portfolio of licenses for many years.  Don't hesitate to call or email any of our staff if you have questions or concerns about your water features.  Also, visit our web site at www.ResComServices.com for additional information on our services and news information.