Is My Pools Solar Cover Causing Algae in My Pool?
SUBURBAN LEGEND OR REALITY?
Can my solar cover be causing algae in my pool? This is a question we get every year about this time of year when the temps creep up into the high 80 low 90's. The answer simply is no, your solar cover and your automatic pool cover cannot cause an algae outbreak in your pool.
An algae outbreak in your pool is strictly caused by not having a properly balanced pool water chemistry. The science can get more nuanced than that so lets get into it. First off, there are several factors that can lead to an algae outbreak but the number one reason pools experience algae outbreaks this time of year is pool water temperature. Hmmm? that seems weird right? Well not when you consider how water temperature affects chlorine. First off, no one wants to swim in a cold pool right! So its a nice change of pace when your pool starts holding its own temps in the mid 80's. What can be so bad about that? Well hold on one second, here is a well forgotten fact about pool water temperature and chlorine efficiency. Once a pool hits 84 degrees the efficiency of chlorine is cut in half. Thats right. It's the equivalent of cutting the chlorine you put in the pool by 50% and expecting it to stay crystal clear and clean. The worst part is that most pool owners dont realize this or have forgotten this and continue to treat their pool as they have all spring. Then boom one day they wake up and the pool is green.
Mid summer we field calls about algae blooms and chlorine usage and for some reason there are pool people out there that claim its the solar covers fault. The reality is that typically the number one culprit for algae outbreaks is pool water temperature above 84 degrees. So be sure to not only keep your pool water balanced but don't forget to factor in your pool water temperature when calculating chlorine demand. This will prevent a lot of headaches and a big chemical bill from the local pool store to rid your pool of algae.
DON'T FORGET TO CONDITION!
You wouldn't forget to condition your hair after shampooing am I right? The same needs to be said about your water. Another culprit that affects the chlorine levels in your pool is called Cyanuric Acid, aka Stabilizer or Conditioner. This product helps lock the chlorine in your pool. So as you are testing and balancing your pool water be sure to keep the cya levels in range as well.
Lastly, dirty filters are to blame as well. This time of year its easy to forget to keep a close eye on your pool filters but if your filters are dirty they arent collecting as much dirt and debris as they should. So be sure to keep those filters clean.
There are a few things you can do to make your pool life easier and that is the use of an Ultra Violet Sanitizer along with proper chlorine levels. @ Pool Pros we always recommend equipping your pool equipment with the Pentair Bioshield UV Sanitizing System. It helps keep the chlorine that is in your pool working at higher efficiencies by breaking up combined chlorine molecules, killing bacteria and slowing the spread of viruses. This wont guarantee an algae free pool but it will make keeping your pool clean and clear much easier. Its also simple to use. Just plug an play. The UV system will turn off when the pump turns off and back on when the pump turns on.
MORAL OF THE STORY
At the end of the day solar covers or automatic pool covers are not blame for algae outbreaks. It generally is as simple as low chlorine levels and pool water above 84 degrees. So keep a close eye on your pool chemistry and keep your filters clean. Just don't blame the solar cover.