The maintenance of proper water balance is the single most important factor to maximizing the life and appearance of the liner. Proper pH levels, for example, allow the chemicals to perform their function. Chlorine needs a certain pH level to kill bacteria and algae.
Proper technique is important for water testing. See your pool professional for test kits and testing procedures. Be sure to read and follow the written instructions from the chemical manufacturer.
The following table shows ranges for the basic water chemistry parameters that work in most areas of the county:
|pH||7.2 - 7.6||Daily||Allows other chemicals to operate properly|
|Free Chlorine Residual||1.0 - 1.5/pp*||Daily||Kills bacteria|
|Total Alkalinity||60 - 125/ppm*||Weekly||Ability of pool to counteract change in pH levels|
|Cyanuric Acid||30 - 75/ppm*||Monthly||Stabilizes water chemistry|
|Calcium Hardness||175 - 250/ppm*||Monthly||To avoid corrosive conditions in pool systems|
*PPM = parts per million
Not only do proper pH levels allow the other chemicals to do their work but also it is important to note that low and high levels can cause damage to the liner. Under the right circumstances with pH below 7.0, the liner can actually grow and develop unsightly wrinkles. High pH greatly accelerates the aging process and shortens the life of the liner.
In most areas of the country, the circulating range of 1.0-1.5 ppm of chlorine will do the job of killing the bacteria in the water. Above this range high concentrations will attack the liner, bleach it, and shorten life. Below the range may not kill the bacteria causing unsanitary conditions and possible staining.
Never let chlorine come into contact with the liner before it has fully dissolved. This means that granular or tableted chlorine is dissolved first into a bucket of water, and likewise liquid chlorine is poured in various locations around the pool and is immediately agitated, dispersed and circulated. The broadcasting of tablets, granules, or concentrated chemicals can bleach the liner and shorten the life of the liner.
Particular care is required for introduction of gas chlorine since the concentrations is so high.
Never mix chemicals together, instead add chemicals to pool water separately and circulate throughout pool before adding second chemical.
Clean the Water Line
Another major contributor to shortening the life of a pool liner is dirt and grime at the water line of the liner. The "bathtub ring" is usually caused by the accumulation of airborne contaminants, combining with dirt and body and suntan oils to settle on liner and can be baked into the liner by the sun. If the scum line gets baked in, it acts on the vinyl to prematurely dry and crack it, especially in the "sun corner" of the pool.
There is a simple and inexpensive way to reduce the problem. Routinely wipe the water line with a sponge (or a sponge with a recommended vinyl cleaner) to eliminate grime build up.
If grime build up has occurred, be sure to use only vinyl cleaners recommended by your pool dealer. NEVER USE ABRASIVE CLEANERS OR PADS ON THE LINER. DO NOT USE GASOLINE, KEROSENE, OR OTHER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS EITHER, AS THEY CAN CAUSE RAPID DETERIORATION OF THE LINER.
Protect the Water Line
A good, non-alcohol, non-petroleum based vinyl protective liquid applied to a clean vinyl surface will reduce grime build up and ultra violet deterioration. Be sure to talk to a pool professional. Select a product specially suited for this use.
Don't Drain the Pool
Never lower the water level of the pool to less than a foot of water in the shallow end. If water pressure is removed from the liner, it may shrink, causing, at the least, an unsightly liner, and up to tearing around fittings or in the corners. DO NOT DRAIN THE POOL; FIRST CALL YOUR POOL PROFESSIONAL.
Automatic Pool Sweeps and Maintenance Equipment
Only use vacuum head, pool sweeps, brushes, or other maintenance equipment that has been specifically designed for vinyl liner pools. Never use the telescopic pole in the pool without the attachment.
Vinyl Liner Repair
In the case where a tear or cut occurs in the liner, it normally can be repaired with special pool vinyl repair products available from your pool dealer. The adhesives are made to work under water or in the air. Consult your dealer for the proper repair procedure indicated.
Closing Your Pool
Using the proper procedure for closing your pool is very important to extending the life and beauty of the liner. See your pool dealer for specific instructions and assistance.