If you have an Ultraviolet system (UV), you should always be aware that the systems require regular servicing to maintain the proper UV dosage. Failure to maintain the units will cause them to not dose the water with the correct UVC.
UV is a good secondary disinfectant system. By using it, you will keep you combined chlorine down, which will also keep chloramines in check. Chloramines are what cause that nasty “chlorine” smell in pool rooms and corrode everything. It’s critical to maintain a low combined chlorine. UV will also inactivate chlorine resistant algae, bacteria, viruses, and more.
Each UV system is different and will have different methods of servicing. Some UV systems, like ours, are easy to maintain. Using TMI system as an example, you just have to replace the lamps and clean the sleeves once a year. The lamps pull straight out of the reactor, and the sleeves are held in place with a retainer and o-ring you can remove. The sleeves are then cleaned with a cleanser, and then it’s all reassembled. Some systems are more complicated, and require more skills, but all of them will include a manual which should go over maintenance.
What tends to happen over time is that the sleeves which contain the lamps get a calcium buildup, like most equipment that’s in contact with the water. As the calcium builds up, less and less UV can pass through the sleeve and into the water. If not maintained, eventually not enough UV light will pass through at all and you’re essentially no longer treating the water. Most UVs will have a sensor that measures the UV light and will alarm out if the UV drops below a certain threshold.
In addition to cleaning the sleeves, the lamps require regular replacement. This differs from system to system. Consult your manufacturer’s manuals for details on when the lamps should be replaced. As the lamps age, they will output less UV and eventually die and no longer produce anything. Again, there’s usually sensors to detect this.
The last item you should be aware of is that you don’t want a leaking UV system. If it’s leaking water, that water could touch some of the wiring and connectors and damage them. This will lead to costly repair.
By properly maintaining your UV system, you can ensure that the pool area will not smell bad, won’t corrode, and will be free of viruses like Crypto. You can also avoid expensive repairs.