With the heat, evaporation and hard water in Arizona, a frequent part of swimming pool maintenance is having to change out the water. On average, we completely refill the pool just from evaporation every year. Sadly, however, evaporation doesn’t get rid of the total dissolved solids (TDS). Total dissolved solids come from the fillers in the chemicals we add to the pool as well as the minerals already in the water.
So let’s say you start out in year one with a fresh water fill (and the TDS level starts out at 500 parts per million in just the fresh) and add the proper chemicals … throughout the year, your TDS will climb to 1,000 parts per million thanks to chemicals and evaporation. As you add chemicals in the following years, the level climbs by about 500 each year. By year four or five, you end up with a TDS level of 2500 parts per million. And that’s when what we at Pool People call the “all of a sudden syndrome” starts. That’s when our clients start complaining that, despite sticking to a normal maintenance routine, all of sudden the pool gets cloudy or turns green.
That’s because as the water gets thicker and harder, it will require even more chemicals with less margin for error to balance the pool. Of course, adding more chemicals just adds more TDS to the pool, bringing the complete water change on even more quickly.
TDS levels are also the reason Pool People isn’t a fan of salt water pool. On day one when you fill the pool, you immediately add 150 – 200 pounds of salt and have doubled or even tripled the TDS level immediately. And you’ll probably have to add that much salt again at least one more time that year. Add that to the evaporation level and you’ve got a pool that needs a water change every couple of years.
When in doubt, come into Pool People and ask us to test the total dissolved solids level in your pool to see if you need a water change. Located in Glendale, Arizona, Pool People provides regular pool and spa cleaning, pool and spa maintenance, pool remodeling, pool and spa repairs, as well as tile cleaning for residents of the Northwest Valley on Phoenix. We also have a fully stocked pool store at 5830 W. Thunderbird Rd., Suite B-6, Glendale, AZ. We carry the highest quality chemicals, with the fewest fillers possible for the health and well being of your pool.