9 Tips for Looking After Your MagnaPool | MagnaPool
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9 Tips for Looking After Your MagnaPool

There are many reasons why pool owners choose MagnaPool. Not only does it make your pool water soft, silky and mineral-rich (no wonder they call it a day spa in your backyard), but it also cuts down on yearly pool maintenance. That’s right, unlike traditional chlorine pools, where you spend most of your time tweaking chemicals, rinsing filter cartridges and running your pool cleaner, MagnaPool’s powerful hydroxinator, minerals and glass media do most of the hard work for you.

Having said that, there are a few things you need to do to keep your MagnaPool performing at its best. Some are simple maintenance tasks, while others are more specific to your MagnaPool. Either way, you won’t need to hire a pool professional or give up your weekend to do them. An hour or so every week or month should do the trick – and prevent any nasty surprises down the track! Here are our top tips for looking after your MagnaPool.

1. Check your water chemistry

Like chlorine and saltwater pools, mineral pool systems need to stay chemically balanced to clean and sanitise your pool. To achieve this, check your water balance with a test kit once a week. If you’re taking a water sample to your pool shop, let them know you’ve got a MagnaPool as the chemical balance for a MagnaPool is slightly different to a traditional pool. See the table below for ideal chemistry parameters for chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid (CYA) and salinity. (Hint: Print this table and keep it somewhere handy.)

Another thing you’ll need to do is measure magnesium levels with MagnaPool Test Strips. If you’re not sure how to do this, see this video with step-by-step instructions. Once you’ve tested the water, the chart will let you know where your reading sits. If it’s too low, you need to conduct a salinity or Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) test (See Tip #2). If it’s too high, don’t worry. This will correct itself with evaporation and use.

Testing magnesium is important because traditional testing kits can’t tell the difference between calcium and magnesium. As a result, you’ll get inaccurate calcium hardness levels that may lead to unnecessary use of calcium reducers or increases (which produce a whole new set of pool problems!). For an accurate reading, deduct the magnesium hardness from your calcium hardness level and check this number against the water chemistry parameters. 

Water chemistry parameters - MagnaPool

Source: MagnaPool Water Test FAQs

2. Ensure that mineral levels are correct

The beauty of a MagnaPool is that you don’t have to manually add chlorine. The hydroxinator produces it for you using MagnaPool Minerals. But there are times when chlorine levels run low, which is when you need to add more minerals. So how do you know when it’s time? Simple. An LED warning light on the hydroxinator lets you know that minerals are running low.

When this happens, it’s time to test the salinity or TDS levels with a home kit or take a sample to your pool shop. The bags of minerals you require will depend on the readings you get or the pool shop’s recommendations. Below is a table with the bags required for the size of your pool and your current salinity or TDS measurements. For example, if your pool has a capacity of about 60,000 litres and your salinity is 4,500, you need four bags of minerals to get the right chlorine output in your hydroxinator.

Maintenance measurement - MagnaPool

Source: MagnaPool Water Test FAQs

3. Clean your skimmer and pump baskets 

If you live in a leafy area or your pool is heavily used, you may get large debris entering your pool. This could be anything from leaves and blossoms to insects and hair! Debris usually gets sucked in your skimmer or pump basket, leading to clogging and poor water circulation, which is why you need to empty your skimmer and pump baskets weekly. 

The process is simple. First, turn off the pump to stop filtration, then open the lid of the skimmer or pump and pull out the basket. Next, remove any debris and give the basket a hose down. If there are cracks or other damage, replace the basket. When you’re done, return the basket to its canister and turn the system back on.

4. Backwash your filter

When you have a media filter, it’s important to backwash regularly to remove impurities captured by the media. Unlike sand, which needs to be backwashed every two weeks or so, MagnaPool Glass Filtration Media only needs to be backwashed every 2–3 months – or whenever your pressure gauge is 10 PSI above the base number. 

What’s more, you won’t have to do it for long because glass media is loosely packed. This means that it uses the entire depth of the filtration media, making the flow rate faster. Plus, glass crystals have a weak static charge that releases particles quickly during backwashing (unlike sand, which can be porous and trap bacteria, even when you rinse repeatedly). 

To backwash your MagnaPool, turn off the pump and set the filter valve to ‘Backwash’. Turn the pump on and backwash for a couple of minutes until the water runs clear. Turn off the pump and set the filter valve to ‘Rinse’. Turn on the pump again and rinse for a couple of minutes. To finish, turn off the pump, set the filter valve to filter and turn on the pump again. 

5. Top up water levels when they drop

If you’ve lost pool water due to wind, heat evaporation or heavy use, you’ll need to top it up. The optimal level for pool water is halfway up your skimmer recess. Why? Because if water levels drop below this level, the skimmers can’t circulate and filter water. Not only does this leave your pool water cloudy and unsanitary, but your skimmer may suck in air. Not only does this damage your skimmer, but it can also overheat your pump and lead to costly repairs or replacements.

To avoid this scenario, check your water levels weekly and top up with hose water if necessary. If you find this time-consuming or you’re worried about overfilling your pool, use a pool water leveller. This will top up your pool automatically and shut off when it’s done. Alternatively, encourage swimmers to avoid dive-bombing and splashing, and use a cover when the pool isn’t in use. 

6. Cover your MagnaPool

Every swimming pool can benefit from a pool cover – and MagnaPool is no exception. Not only do pool covers increase the temperature of your pool water and minimise heating costs, but they can also stop up to 97 per cent of evaporation, particularly in summer. This means you need fewer water top-ups and/or chemical adjustments throughout the swimming season. What’s more, covers do a great job of keeping out leaf litter on windy or autumnal days, minimising the load on your skimmers.

To protect your pool, choose a thermal, hidden, automatic security or roller cover, depending on your budget and needs. These covers will provide high UV protection, minimising chlorine evaporation or overuse of CYA (which stops chlorine from being depleted by the sun). If you’re after speed and convenience, consider an automatic security pool cover. It allows you to cover your pool with just the turn of a key or the push of a button. No elbow grease – or helpers – required!

7. Use a robotic pool cleaner

While MagnaPools don’t require as much cleaning as chlorine pools, there are times when your filter may have trouble keeping up with heavy use, dust or seed fall. To minimise pressure on your filtration system (and reduce manual scrubbing or skimming), consider using a robotic pool cleaner. Fast and energy-efficient, it keeps your pool free of debris and maintains the unique clarity of your MagnaPool. 

Note: If you’ve just added minerals to your pool, wait two weeks before operating the cleaner. The minerals can make the surface of the pool slippery, preventing your robot from climbing the pool walls.

8. Check your electrolytic cell every month

Just like saltwater chlorinator cells, the electrolytic cell on your hydroxinator is prone to calcium build-up or scaling. This can happen when calcium levels in your pool are too high. Over time, this can lead to damage to your pool shell, equipment and hydroxinator. To avoid this, check your cell every month and remove any deposits. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off the pump and hydroxinator.
  2. Close the valves and remove the cell terminal cap.
  3. Unscrew the retaining ring and remove the electrode cell.
  4. If you see calcium build-up (it usually looks white and flaky), the cell needs cleaning.
  5. Using Zodiac Salt Chlorinator Cell Cleaner or one-part muriatic acid and ten-parts water, soak the cell for about 10 minutes. (Wear protective eyewear and gloves while you do this to avoid injury.)
  6. Rinse the cell in clean water and replace it in the cell housing.
  7. Reset the valves and switches.
  8. Turn on the pump and hydroxinator.
  9. Check output and settings and adjust as necessary.

Note: Don’t pour the cell cleaner or acid solution down the drain. Store it in a safe place and re-use it later. Alternatively, find a chemical disposal centre near you or contact your local council.

9. Close your pool in winter

If you live in a warm climate, you may want to swim in your MagnaPool all year round. But if the temperature drops to below 10°C, it’s best to winterise your pool until you’re ready to use it again. To do this, follow the same procedure as you would for chlorine or saltwater pools. This includes turning off your pool pump and hydroxinator, dropping the water level, draining the pipes and putting a well-fitting winter cover on your pool. When it’s time to re-open it again, here are a few things to remember: 

  • Ensure your pool equipment (e.g. pump, filter, hydroxinator) is in good working order
  • Empty the pump baskets and pool skimmers
  • Test water or take a sample to your pool shop
  • Check salinity levels (they should be between 4000–4500 ppm) and adjust as needed
  • Check for phosphates and remove with Zodiac Phosphate Remover
  • Backwash your filter
  • Add minerals or chemicals as required
  • Turn on your hydroxinator and run your filter for 24 hours to circulate water.

 

FAQs

Find below the most frequently asked questions about MagnaPool. For a more extensive list, visit our FAQ page.

 

Q: Is MagnaPool expensive to maintain?

A: While the upfront cost of buying or converting to a MagnaPool is high, ongoing costs are low. That’s because MagnaPool Glass Filtration Media and MagnaPool Minerals keep your pool debris-free for longer, reducing the need for automatic pool cleaners and chemicals like pool shock, clarifiers and algaecide. Also, the shorter and less frequent backwashing can save you hundreds in water bills every year – and you can even use the backwash (diluted) in your garden. For more information, see Does a Mineral Pool Make a Good Investment?

Q: Do I need to shock a MagnaPool with chlorine?

A: The hydroxinator produces all the sanitiser you need for your MagnaPool, so there’s no need to add chlorine, not even to shock your pool. If you want to increase or decrease chlorine output, use iAqualink via your phone or tablet to control and monitor your chlorine levels. No messy chemicals required!

Q: Why is there white foam in my MagnaPool?

A: It’s not unusual to see clouding and frothing after you add minerals to your MagnaPool. This is just part of the hydroxination process and can take anywhere between a few hours and a few days to clear, depending on the size of your pool. Once the pump starts circulating the water and minerals, you’ll see the froth diminish and clarity improve. While the water is sanitary at this stage, it’s best to avoid swimming as visibility could be affected and make the pool unsafe. 

Q: Why can’t I get chlorine readings after adding minerals to my MagnaPool?

A: There are two reasons why you can’t get chlorine readings after adding minerals. First, there’s a lot of activity happening in the water, so it’s hard for testing equipment to pick it up, and second, magnesium can mask chlorine. As a result, you won’t get accurate chlorine readings for at least two weeks. But that doesn’t mean your pool isn’t sanitised. The water is still safe for swimming, as long as the foam has gone and the water has circulated for at least 24 hours. 

Q: Why is there yellow discolouration at the bottom of my pool?

A: This can happen when minerals clump at the bottom of your pool due to poor circulation. To avoid this, use a pool broom and move the minerals around while the pump is running. And make sure the pump runs for at least 24 hours for maximum circulation. If the discolouration persists, use Zodiac All-In-One Stain Remover and follow the instructions on the label. 

 

Final thoughts

There are many advantages to buying or converting to a MagnaPool. Not only does it provide a soothing bathing experience and reduce pool running costs, but it also requires less maintenance than a traditional pool. 

But that doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax! You still need to perform weekly tasks like checking your chemical balance, cleaning your skimmer basket and covering your pool. Other jobs can be scheduled less frequently, like backwashing the filter, topping up water levels, checking the electrolytic cell and running your pool cleaner. By following our simple tips (and troubleshooting with our FAQ guide), you’ll minimise running costs, avoid common issues and keep your pool swim-ready all year round. For more information about MagnaPools, check out our blog or have a chat with one of our approved dealers.

MagnaPool® is a registered trade mark of Zodiac Group Australia. Zodiac is a registered trademark of Zodiac International S.A.S.U., used under license.