Since water consumption for swimming pools can be quite costly, there are several things a residential pool owner can do to cut back on the waste. Typically, we first think of leaks, but water evaporation causes just as many problems.
Here are six ways to reduce water loss in your swimming pool:
1.Water leaks. Up to 30 percent of all pools have water leaks of some type. If your pool has a fill valve that automatically refills your pool as water drops, then you may not notice a water leak immediately. Monitoring your water bill should give you an indication if water consumption begins to rise for no apparent reason – not the cost each month but the actual consumption amount.
There are a variety of reasons a pool may leak water:
- Cracks or loose tiles in the pool or the decking
- Plumbing issues, especially around the pump and including improper seals
- Leaking joiners, pipes (especially PVC pipes), valves, skimmers, main drains, lighting fixtures, or return jets
If you believe you may have a leak, place a strip of tape at the current water line, with the bottom of the tape right at the water line. Do not use the pool while monitoring the water level. Check it after 24 hours to see if the water level has lowered more than a quarter of an inch. If yes, you could have a water leak and should call a pool leak detection specialist who also can do any pool repairs. If there is no leak, you probably have a water evaporation issue.
2.Water evaporation. A typical swimming pool can evaporate enough water in a year to completely refill the pool. Sunlight and weather conditions can affect evaporation with the most happening during the hottest times in the summer months. You actually can lose an inch of water in a week with an uncovered pool.
One of the best ways to reduce weather evaporation is by using a pool cover when the pool is not in use. Not only does it reduce water evaporation, but a cover also makes your pool safer from accidents involving children or the elderly and keeps debris and animals out of the water, which reduces the need for backwashing the pool. And if you use a solar cover, it will heat the water for you, saving dollars from pool heater use.
Also, lower the temperature of the pool heater during the summer months. Just like the sun can cause water to evaporate, so does heat from a pool heater during hot weather.
3.Proper pool maintenance of chemicals. Proper pool maintenance for water quality will lessen the need to drain the water due to poor water quality or needed pool repairs. Calcium, for instance, can damage the plaster of the pool. Too much leaves deposits of crystals on the plaster, creating spots and shadows on the surface. Too little causes calcium to be drawn from the plaster itself, etching grooves and blemishes on the pool surface.
4.Proper equipment maintenance. There are several ways to save water with equipment:
- Clean the filter only when needed. Frequent backwashing wastes about 200 to 300 gallons of water with each backwash. When you do backwash, monitor it and shut it off when the water runs clear.
- Convert your current filter to a cartridge model, which does not require backwashing to clean it. You just easily remove it and wash it with a garden hose. Using an oversized cartridge filter will require cleaning less frequently, as well.
- Another way to reduce backwashing is to use skimmer socks and in-line leaf traps. This lessens the amount of debris that accumulates in the filter.
- If you use a fill valve, check it frequently. They can get stuck in the ‘on’ position and run continuously.
- Turn off waterfalls and water slides, as well as any other water feature, when you are not using the pool.
5.Water level. Lowering your pool’s water level can save water, especially if you have children. Splashing and cannon balling into the pool may be good fun for children and adults alike, but it causes a lot of water waste. Never overfill your pool, since even minimal romping will splash water out.
If water reduction becomes a big problem, you may need to institute some strict pool rules to lessen the energetic play that causes water to splash outside the pool. Creating different games to play for children that does not include splashing is another idea.
6.Do not drain. Unless absolutely necessary, never drain your pool. Even at the start of a new swimming season, it is not necessary to drain the pool water if you have properly maintained your pool the season before and closed the pool correctly. Properly maintained pool water is good for three to five years without draining and refilling.
The only reason you should ever need to drain your pool is if pool repairs or renovations are required or there is a severe problem with the water quality.
It only takes a bit of forethought to save on water consumption. These six tips presented here can help you save not only water annually but money, as well.
Contact Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches today to discuss all your pool maintenance and repair needs.