Pool maintenance often focuses on what’s inside the water and the best ways to keep swimmers safe while they’re in the pool. This isn’t an easy job, either – balancing and safely storing chemicals can be a major headache, but neglecting to take care of your pool’s water safety can pose just as many problems.
However, pool maintenance should be concerned with each and every piece of equipment connected to the pool. Your facility is an interconnected system of heaters, filters, pumps, drains and so much more, which means that management needs to stay on top of all of these devices to ensure a clean swimming environment. Running a pool day after day places a great amount of strain on the devices that keep the water clean and swimmers safe, and every pool manager should know just how corrosion can affect their facilities.
What is pool corrosion?
Just think of all the contaminants and reactive chemicals that the dozen machines connected to your pool are exposed to every day. There’s the acidic cleaning agents in the morning, followed by several straight hours of swimmers inadvertently depositing contaminants into the water. Some pools might treat the water overnight for added safety, while others choose to perform spot shock treatments as necessary.
DHS Water Systems explained that, though these chemicals are necessary to run a pool properly, they can erode your heater over time. It doesn’t matter if you dump all your chemicals in at once or mete them out uniformly – the temporary pH shift will still interact with your heater when water passes through it. You can turn your heater off during water treatment periods to reduce the volume of water that flows through it, but all this does is slow down an inevitable process.
A broken heater can make your water unsafe to swim in, but Aquatics International magazine explained that corrosion can pose serious threats to your facility’s physical structure as well. When water in your pool evaporates due to higher temperatures caused by greater numbers of swimmers, the chemicals contained in that water enter the atmosphere as well. In small quantities, these vapors aren’t a serious concern to humans. However, corrosive chemical fumes can corrode steel supports holding up your pools’ housing over time. While the worst that happens in most cases like this is unsightly, rusted support structures, there have been cases of complete roof collapses due to chemical corrosion in pools.
How can you avoid it?
Pool managers who want to protect their facility’s equipment can avoid the dangers of corrosion through regular maintenance. While there’s no sure-fire way to protect your heater and filter from harmful chemicals, cleaning these units regularly will reduce corrosive buildup and lengthen operational lifetimes.
You can’t be expected to wipe down the entire physical infrastructure of your facility daily, though, so what can pool maintenance do to protect themselves from structural damage? Aquatics International explained that, while not fool-proof, coating steel structures in corrosion-resistant layers can help your facility fight back against structural degradation. These coatings not only protect struts and girders from erosion, but some in high-gloss or colored versions that can keep your facility looking brand new well after your grand opening – a fact that swimmers will be sure to pick up on as soon as they come to your pool.
When pool managers plug one leak, it can feel like two more spring up. Eventually, the corrosive chemicals that are absolutely necessary to regular maintenance will erode some piece of equipment or another. Fighting back against this process is just a matter of keeping your pool in good shape for as long as possible.