Seems like just yesterday we were heating our pools and applying pool covers to prevent serious overnight losses. Now, all of the sudden, many pools are over 90F, and we’re wondering how we can cool them down.
There are a couple of issues associated with excessively warm water.
- Warm water and water chemistry:Warmer water is detrimental to water chemistry in several ways. First, it coincides with higher chemical consumption, so the owner must make sure to keep track of stabilizer levels as detailed in the last two newsletters. (May 26th, June 4th). Next, high temperatures limit the amount of minerals that the water can keep in solution (invisible), so copper, iron, excess calcium, etc. can fall out of solution quicker in higher temperatures, potentially staining the pool finish. To help counteract this, make sure that your CES control system is set to hold a pH of 7.3-7.4, instead of 7.5-7.6. That small change, still within DOH standards, will help balance the water under higher temperatures.
- Warm water and bather comfort:Pools above 90F are too warm for many patrons, and they complain that the water is no longer “refreshing.” Also some studies have linked higher temperatures with involuntary urination in pool water, and NO we don’t have a chemical that will turn the water “blue” in those circumstances.
What can be done about excessively warm water? Forget about the old adage of throwing ice in pool water as that doesn’t work. But here are a couple of solutions for your review:
Natural Solutions: There are only a couple of ways that Mother Nature helps keep pool temperatures down. The first is via higher wind at the pool surface that increases the evaporative losses in swimming pools. If you see whitecaps on the pool surface, you’re getting the best possible help in keeping temperatures down. Since the highest winds sometimes come during the winter months, this isn’t a great help to many pools. The second is a natural cooling process as a result of larger waterfall or “sheer water” spray systems. Since many DOH codes limit the pool deck obstruction (AKA waterfall) to 10% of the pool perimeter, there are few pools that really benefit from this natural pool cooler.
Heat-Cool Heaters: Some larger pools have utilized water-to-water heat pumps to help keep the pool temperature down. While most of these had traditionally been used for competition pools that MUST be kept at 78-82F regardless of time of year, some commercial pools, condos, etc. have installed these “heat-cool” heaters, and have direct control over their pool temperatures. On smaller pools, one might even get away with an air-to-water heat pump to keep the pool from getting too hot. For decades, we have always admired the work of Symbiont Service Corp as a full service designer – installer – and service center of these time tested systems.
Pool Coolers: Some sites with perfectly functioning gas heating systems have opted for a completely different method of cooling the pool water… a pool chiller. These stand-alone devices look and work a lot like a traditional “cooling tower” used to provide A/C cooling in larger condominiums, hotels, and office buildings, etc. They are pretty simple in that the pool water is pumped through the pool cooler, it is sprayed over the cooling coils, and cooler water is returned to the pool. They have been around for decades, and can be engineered and installed successfully in most pools.
Deck-Mounted Aerators: These are not quite as common as the other forms of pool chillers, but they are dolly-mounted pumps that sit on the pool deck, draw the water from the pool and spray the water across the pool, cooling it through evaporation. These cannot be used while swimmers are in the pool, and there are some limitations on how many degrees they can keep the pool under the “normal” temperatures. However, they work well, are quick to install, and provide good results.Excessively warm water can definitely cause issues for operators and patrons alike and the (3) best alternative to cool the pool are discussed above. Other than some higher winds, waterfalls, cooling rainfall or thick cloud cover, pools that are continually beaten by the hot Florida sun can reach temperatures of 95F or higher.
Please contact your CES rep for more information on these cooling systems, and we can provide a free evaluation to see if one of them might help keep you out of hot water.