No matter if you have pool automation or not, your pool still needs you (or your pool service provider if you’re lucky!). Here’s a schedule that will ensure you stay on top of your pool maintenance year-round.
Every few days:
Every four to six weeks:
Twice a year:
What you DON’T need to do.
Pools that are automated by Pooled no longer require:
Please do not add these chemicals to your pool unless one of our technicians recommend it in response to specific concerns.
Media filters that use sand or crushed glass for filtration, require regular backwashing, typically between every 4 and 8 weeks, depending on filter and pool size and environmental factors.
The Pooled app will recommend a backwash roughly every 4-6 weeks in summer, based on sensor readings of the water flow through the filter. The exact frequency will depend on the pool, its situation and usage.
More frequent backwashing offers little benefit in energy consumption but does increase the consumption of pool chemicals and tends to destroy the filter media. Please do not backwash more than once a month, unless otherwise requested by Pooled, or if it is obviously needed.
Please note that your pressure gauge is not a good indicator of when you need a backwash if you have a Pooled system or you use variable speed pumps. The reason is that variable speed pumping uses a much lower pressure during normal operations.
Sand/media filters have a sweet spot where they filter best and, surprisingly, this is when they are slightly to moderately dirty. As the filter dirties up, the gaps between the grains of sand (or the glass filter media used by preference), get smaller and the filter operates better…until it finally clogs up and has to be backwashed.
How often you vacuum your pool is largely dependent on the environment surrounding your pool. For some there is a requirement to vacuum every few days because of heavy leaf load, while for others, fortnightly vacuuming is all that’s required to keep your pool clean and healthy.
If your pool is surrounded by large trees, hedges, or garden beds there will be a need to vacuum your pool more frequently, this is dependent on the leaf volume entering your pool.
For those lucky enough not to be impacted by heavy leaf loading there is still a need to vacuum fortnightly as most pools continually accumulates dirt and dust which will affect the clarity and health of your pool water.
What happens if I don’t vacuum my pool?
Vacuuming your pool is critical in maintaining sparkling water. Leaves and dirt sitting on the floor of your pool can negatively impact sanitation levels, affecting the pool’s capacity to sufficiently sanitise the pool water.
Another consideration is that leaves left on the floor of the pool over an extended period of time seep tannin’s which will stain the surface of the pool. Rich soil can promote the growth of algae and blackspot also.
What does vacuuming do?
Vacuuming your pool utilizes the suction generated by your filter pump and will remove debris from your pool that is not attached to your vertical or horizontal surfaces, for items attached to your pool surface a brush with your pool broom may be required prior to vacuuming.
Unless you are trying to diagnose a specific problem, you should not need to get your pool water tested. If you have any concerns, please contact Pooled and we can advise.
The Pooled app will advise you if you need salt, acid or magnesium minerals.
If you have persistent summer algae problems, you may need to test your water for high phosphates.
You will need to add pool salt or magnesium minerals as you currently do, which your chlorinator requires to operate. The Pooled app monitors your salt levels and will advise when you need to add salt.
You should not add calcium hardener, buffer or cyanuric acid, or copper-based algaecides. Flocculants, clarifiers and phosphate removers can be used as required. We recommend against the use of algaecides as they can cause eye irritation, but spot treatments with non-copper algaecides can be used as required.
See below for more detail. If you have any concerns, please contact Pooled and we can advise.
Calcium, buffer and cyanuric acid
You should not need to add calcium hardener, buffer or cyanuric acid.
Swimming pools at high pH need very low levels of calcium and buffer to remain in balance. There is sufficient calcium in the water supply, and sufficient buffer from atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolving from the air, to keep the water balanced. Cyanuric acid does not stabilise bromine, so is not used.
Some pools, particularly those with very active surfaces such as Marblesheen or Quartzon, may occasionally require acid. If your pH rises above 8.8 you should lower it to pH 8.0 with acid. The Pool app will notify you if acid is needed.
We recommend against the use of algaecides as general pool additives as they can cause eye irritation.
However, algaecides designed for spot treatments on the pool surface can be used without problems. This is particularly effective for black spot algae.
Copper based algaecides should not be used as they can interfere with the sensors.
Flocculants, clarifiers and phosphate remover
Flocculants and clarifiers and phosphate remover (“starver”) can be used as required.
The Pooled system does not monitor phosphates. Advance Water Chemistry includes a mild phosphate suppressor, but some pools may require a heavier treatment. If you have persistent algae problems, you may have high phosphates. A water test will reveal this, and a lanthanum-based phosphate treatment is recommended.
What is calcification?
Calcification is the name for the chalky white patches that occur when there is too much calcium in the pool water.
Pool surfaces that contain large amounts of calcium, leach that calcium into the water. The water then becomes overloaded with calcium and deposits the excess around the pool, causing unsightly white patches.
Calcium deposits can also appear on chlorinator plates that may require cleaning if it is not a self-cleaning system.
Are all pool surfaces susceptible to calcification?
Calcification happens when the calcium in the water is out of balance with the lining of your pool – your pool surface.
How can I prevent calcification?
Calcification of pool surfaces is generally due to tiny defects in the pool lining exposing the underlying concrete to the pool water. Calcification on chlorinator plates is due to high calcium levels, or an older style chlorinator that does not have a self-cleaning function.
For pools surfaces suffering from calcium deposits, we have had good results with the addition of magnesium mineral and a product called Cal-Stop, over time both will soften the calcium deposit and aid with its removal.
How do I get rid of Calcification deposits?
For calcium deposits in the pool
The above treatments soften and weaken calcium deposits so they can be brushed away. The process is slow and make take weekly brushing over several months.
What is black spot?
Black Spot is the appearance of black spots on the surface of your pool. There are several types of algae that cause Black Spot. You will know it is Black Spot because it is very difficult to remove them with standard brushing.
Why does Black Spot occur?
Black Spot is the result of a contaminant entering your pool and, poor circulation or not enough chlorine. The contaminant can be anything that blows in off the wind, dropped by a bird or vegetation that falls in. During really hot weather and intense sunlight, Black Spot can take hold within a couple of days.
How can I prevent Black Spot?
The most efficient way to prevent Black Spot is with sensor-based chlorination that responds to the changing conditions of your pool. Pooled’s Pool automation has two in-built solutions for preventing Black Spot:
As with all pool maintenance routines, the basics apply to Black Spot prevention:
How do I remove Black Spot?
Black Spot can be hard to get rid of without the help of muscle and chemicals.
Small patches of green or black algae are prone to form in shallow areas exposed to sunlight where pool sweeps do not reach, such as steps and areas of poor water circulation. It is important to regularly brush these areas to prevent build-up of biofilms which can harbour algae and protect them from disinfection. If necessary, please sprinkle a small amount of powdered chlorine (calcium hypochlorite) on any such patches and brush the area.
Many pools have badly placed Return-to-Pool outlets resulting in “dead zones” with insufficient circulation of water. These are unfortunately common, especially on swim-outs, stairs and other flat surfaces where the pool sweeps and/or the chlorinated water cannot reach adequately.
If you find persistent problems with algae, please contact us and we can adjust the operation of your pool to a more intensive chlorination cycle. Alternatively, you can increase your sanitation settings via the app, which will incrementally extend your chlorination run time and assist with reducing growth in the pool.
Persistent algae patches are typically the result of equipment failure or water-flow blockage.
Heavy rain or flooding can cause excess water and flow in your pool, which leads to the pool chemistry becoming heavily diluted. To correct the pool chemistry and ensure the pool stays blue, there are a few steps you need to follow.
Heavy air pollution that is thick with dust and ash can lead to cloudy, and even green pools, if it isn’t managed carefully. Regardless of whether you’re a Pooled customer or not, excess dust and ash in pools requires human intervention. There are a number of steps you can take to help avoid the negative effects of pollution:
1. Perform a backwash
For pool owners without Pooled, you will need to follow the guidelines on your filter.
For Pooled customers, go to the main menu and select Pool Maintenance and then Guided Backwash. If you have cartridge filter, you should turn your system to Manual via Pool Controls and clean your cartridge filter with a hose.
2. Keep the pool clean at all times
If there is debris, sand or other foreign matter in your pool, it needs to be cleared quickly. Your pool equipment will help, but if it is excessive due to extreme environmental events such as bush fires and storms, you will need to manually clear, clean and brush the pool.
3. Remove excess phosphate
Excess phosphate leads to algae growth if it isn’t kept under control. Bushfire smoke is a leading cause of increased phosphate because the smoke has all the minerals from the original plants, which includes phosphate. If you pool starts to look cloudy, you may need to add a phosphate remover that you can buy from your local hardware or pool store.
Follow the directions on the label.
4. Don’t forget the microscopic particles
Microscopic particles in the pool can get missed by the pool filter. A pool that remains cloudy after it has been manually cleared, may need a pool flocculant to drop suspended matter to the bottom of the pool, ready to be vacuumed up.
Again, follow the directions on the label.
Your pool can use any type of filter that keeps the water clean.
Pooled recommends sand filters (media filters) which should preferentially be filled with glass media rather than sand media. We believe these are also the easiest to maintain and operate. If you have an old or inappropriate filter at the time of installation, we may recommend that you replace it. Please use 50mm plumbing for energy efficiency.
It is essential that the filter is correctly chosen to match the pump and pool. If the pump is too large for the filter, it may fracture under the pressure, as well as run inefficiently using too much electricity. If the pump is too small, it will be unable to backwash the filter correctly. This can lead to a build-up of dirt and bacteria in the filter media as well as problems that require the media to be swapped.
Pooled does not recommend non-chlorine-based methods of disinfection for the following reasons:
Ozone does not maintain residual disinfection in the pool, that is, ozonators only work when they are running and the ozone sanitiser may not penetrate into corners and far-reaches of the pool. Chlorine and bromine can be active for days after the system is switched off, giving you long-lasting protection.
UV sanitisers work only where the UV touches, that is, inside the pipe. They have no penetrating power into the main body of the pool.
Silver and copper ion systems may kill the algae but require supplemental sanitation to kill bacteria and viruses and have had several Government warnings to this effect. They are not safe without supplemental sanitiser.
Pooled DOES recommend chlorine-based methods of disinfection.
Chlorine and Bromine based sanitation is used in some 99% of all pools for good reason. They work best and that is why we use them. We currently do not offer a service for other types of sanitiser.
Why do I need a mechanical pool cleaner or robot?
Leaves and debris in the pool release phosphates that cause algae blooms. Therefore, not only does it look bad, but the vegetable matter also causes issues for your pool chemistry. Several kinds of pool cleaner are used to help with this job.
What are my vacuum options?
There are two types of pool cleaners we recommend. The key to a great cleaner is that it promotes good circulation in the pool and doesn’t clog the main filtration circuit.
Pressure Cleaner Sweeps promote good circulation in the pool as they clean the bottom and do not clog the main filtration circuit, instead filling their own little bag. They also have their own independent pump. A Pressure Cleaner we like is a Jet Vac.
Robots, such as the Dolphin Pool Robot, also promote good circulation in the pool as they clean the bottom and do not clog the main filtration circuit, instead filling a cavity in the robot. They do not need a pump.
In both instances you will need to regularly empty the pressure cleaner bag and the robot cavity, just like you have to empty your home vacuum cleaner!
Which cleaners should I avoid?
We do not recommend Suction Cleaner Sweeps such as the Barracuda and Kreepy Krawlie, because they plug into the skimmer box and quickly clog the main filtration circuit with everything from the bottom of the pool. With Pooled the intention is to automate your pool equipment for you – a suction cleaner means you will need to keep on top of cleaning the filter circuit. They also only use the main filtration pump which means it will need to run at 100% and you won’t benefit from the energy reduction.
I have a cleaner, but it doesn’t get to all sections of the pool. What do I do?
It isn’t uncommon for a cleaner to miss tricky corners of the pool and the same areas will experience low water circulation. These areas will be prone to algae. To maintain clear water, it is important to manually brush these areas of low circulation to prevent an algae bloom. In summer you will need to do this more regularly as the warm weather promotes algae growth.
Your pool can use any type of filter that keeps the water clean.
Pooled recommends sand filters (media filters) which should preferentially be filled with glass media
rather than sand media. We believe these are also the easiest to maintain and operate. If you have an old or
inappropriate filter at the time of installation, we may recommend that you replace it. Please use 50mm plumbing for energy efficiency.
It is essential that the filter is correctly chosen to match the pump and pool. If the pump is too large for the
filter, it may fracture under the pressure, as well as run inefficiently using too much electricity. If the pump is
too small, it will be unable to backwash the filter correctly. This can lead to a build-up of dirt and bacteria in the filter media as well as problems that require the media to be swapped.
Repairing the surface of your pool is a specialised process and depending on your pool surface type, may require multiple tradespeople with different skills.
At Pooled our focus is the reduction of your energy consumption and cost via our pool automation and Advanced Water Chemistry. While we are not directly involved with pool repairs.
It is important to dispose of pool chemicals safely.
First, what to keep?
You will continue needing salt and magnesium. On occasion you may need flocculant.
Your pool automation subscription includes the monitoring and alert for when you need to add salt. It’s best to add it as soon as you get the notification, so you don’t forget!
What to lose?
Please dispose of any copper-base algaecide safely or ask our installation technician to remove them for you during your installation.
Dispose of any old liquid chlorine down the sewer. It is not effective after four months because it decomposes. Old chlorine converts to caustic soda solution with time.
You no longer need stabiliser or buffer. They will need to be disposed of safely also.
The cost savings for strata pools are typically larger than for residential pools as the automation of the system usually saves paid labour cost as well as electricity.
In addition, the chemical management of the pool is usually much better because of Pooled’s Advanced Water Chemistry, as well as the continuous monitoring and control. The continual electronic sensor monitoring of such pools provides a high level of confidence to body corporates that the water quality will be good for swimming. Strata pools are shared pools with a potentially wide range of possible swimmers, and it is therefore important that a higher level of care be taken with their sanitation and water quality.
Please call us during business hours. We can help to determine whether Pooled will be a good fit for your new property and make arrangements to end the services being provided at your current address.
We can help to pause your pool automation service for the period when your pool will not be in use. Please call us during business hours if you would like to arrange this.