Maintaining your pool can be a tedious job, but it's an important part of keeping your pool sparkling clean and safe for years of enjoyment.
This is the ability of your water to resist changes in the pH. If your total alkalinity is too low, the pH level will be very sensitive and could swing drastically. Also, if the total alkalinity is high, it can make the pH level too high and contribute to cloudy water and scaling. If your total alkalinity is too high, add muriatic acid. If it's too low, add a pH decreaser.
pH is a basic measure of acidity or basicity in your water, and it's one of the most important factors in balancing your pool. On a scale of 0 to 14, 7 would be considered neutral with an ideal range falling between 7.2 and 7.6.
Hard water contains excess calcium and magnesium, and those levels can vary throughout the country. No matter where you live, calcium and magnesium are left behind as your pool water evaporates, and that increases water hardness. If the calcium hardness level is too low, add a calcium hardness increaser. If it's above 250 parts per million (ppm), add a scale and stain control product to prevent possible scaling. If it's above 500 ppm, drain off some of the water and dilute with fresh fill water to bring the level down.
Free Available Chlorine
Free available chlorine kills bacteria, algae and most viruses. It also eliminates grease and oil. If the free available chlorine is too low, add a shock treatment. A shock treatment is a high concentration of chlorine. Shocking adds 5.0 to 10.0 parts per million (PPM) of free available chlorine to pool water. Test and balance the pH before doing a shock treatment. Shock-treat after sundown with the pump and filter turned on. After a shock treatment, test the free available chlorine. Don't enter the pool until the reading is 1.0 to 3.0 PPM. If it's too high, allow the chlorine to evaporate naturally.
While pool chemicals are available to solve almost all water problems, they can be dangerous to humans and animals if handled improperly. Chemicals can cause skin and eye damage and can be fatal if swallowed. To keep yourself and your pool safe, follow these pool chemical safety precautions:
Clean water and balanced water chemistry are the keys to pool maintenance. Establish a weekly routine to clean the pool and maintain the chemical balance. A shock treatment solves and prevents the majority of pool problems. Test the pH and free available chlorine in the pool water and shock-treat, if necessary, on a weekly basis. Do an additional shock treatment if any of the following occurs:
Balance Your Pool
When we talk about properly balanced pool water, we mean it has just the right pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness levels. Maintain correct levels and everything should run smoothly. Proper balancing keeps your metal equipment and accessories from corroding and plaster surfaces from etching. It also prevents scale formation that can damage pool equipment, stain surfaces and cloud your water. Best of all, it prevents eye and skin irritation.
Chlorinate Your Pool
Bacteria and algae are unwanted guests at any pool party. Your continuous chlorine level should always fall between 1 and 4 ppm for proper sanitation and to prevent bacteria and algae. There are a variety of options available to help you keep your pool clean.
Shock Your Pool
Shocking should be done weekly, without fail. It can get rid of contaminants that cause cloudy water, chlorine odor and eye irritation, while also preventing future problems and reducing the need for other chemicals. There are a variety of shock products for use in any pool.
Add Algaecide to Your Pool
Like an alien invasion, millions of tiny microscopic plants in the form of algae can march into your pool by rain, wind and fill water. Leave it unchecked and your water will quickly become unusable due to clogged filters, low water circulation and reduced effectiveness of pool chemicals. Algaecides prevent algae from taking over the pool, and they treat algae growth if gets started.
Looking for fast results? Some algaecides quickly kill all types of algae and prevent them from returning. Other algaecides focus specifically on preventing and removing green algae, which is the most common kind found in a pool. Prevention is the key to an algae-free pool. In the case of an algae outbreak, algaecides can quickly and efficiently eliminate the problem and restore your pool to sparkling clear.
Clean the Pool
1. Skim debris out of the pool.
2. Clean all skimmer baskets during swimming season.
1. Test the water.
2. Clean the walls and floor. Use cleaners, brushes and vacuums recommended by the pool manufacturer. Start at the shallow end and continue to the deep end. Overlap each stroke when vacuuming and brushing to cover all areas thoroughly. Always keep the vacuum head under water while in use. To speed up the process, dedicate 10 minutes a day to brushing down the walls.
3. Hose down the pool area after cleaning and before using. Direct the spray away from the pool to prevent dirt from washing into the water.
Use pool chemicals exactly as directed. Follow all precautions for storage as well as use of protective equipment and clothing.