General Pool Maintenance
Establishing a weekly cleaning routine for your pool, is meant to work towards a clean and balanced water chemistry. A shock treatment can be very beneficial as it can solve and prevent many problems concerning your pool. A shock treatment is a high concentration of chlorine. Smoking adds 5.0 to 10.0 parts per million of free available chlorine to pool water. You may want to test the pH and available chlorine in the pool water and shock- treat it on a weekly basis. Shock treatments are also necessary if any of the following problems arise:
- Murky, slimy water
- Extreme temperatures
- Heavy rains and windstorms
- More swimmers than usual
- Swimmers with burning, or red eyes
- Algae growth
- Fowl odors
Need-To-Know Pool Terms
pH: a basic measure of acidity or basicity in your pool water, and a very significant factor in balancing your pool. On a scale of 0 to 14, 7 is considered neutral. An ideal range falls between 7.2 and 7.6.
Free Available Chlorine: Kills bacteria, viruses and algae. It also gets rid of grease and oil.
Calcium Hardness: Hard water has excess calcium and magnesium. When your pool water undergoes evaporation these left over chemicals can increase water hardness. If calcium hardness drops too low, try to add a calcium hardness increaser. Here, you want to pay attention to the numbers. If it’s above 250 parts per million try adding a scale and stain control product. If it’s above 500 part per million, you want to drain some water and weaken it with fresh water to bring that level down.
Total Alkalinity: This means your water’s capability to oppose changes in it’s pH. When the alkalinity is too high, the pH will also rise and this can cause cloudy water and scaling. In this case add muriatic acid, If its too low add a pH decreasing product.
Pool Chemical Safety:
So far we’ve discussed many different chemicals that can solve almost any pool problem. However we must also talk safety. These chemicals can be used improperly and quickly become dangerous. They can harm your eyes, skin and even be fatal. To keep yourself, your pool, and others safe read through these chemical safety precautions.
- Wear rubber gloves and goggle, and always wash clothes and hands directly after handling any chemicals. If your skin is contaminated with any chemicals, flush immediately with cold water or 15 minutes and call your doctor.
- Keep all pool products away from children and animals.
- Keep open flames away from any chemicals
- Use clean and dry measuring equipment for chemicals. Always rinse after using the containers.
- Don’t mix any chemicals together.
- Do not add any water to chemicals. This contaminates the container.
- Do not allow dry chlorine to become damp or wet.
- Do not reuse empty containers, and learn the proper regulations for disposing of the containers.
- Store chemicals according to the manufacturers instructions.
- Follow the dosage directions and safety precaution provided on the product label itself.
Balancing Your Pool:
Keeping your pool balanced, draws together previously defined terms. Your pool water is balanced if it has the correct pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels. As long as you maintain the correct levels, it will prevent scaling, along with eye and skin irritation.
Chlorinating Your Pool:
Chlorine levels should always fall between 1 and 4 ppm to properly prevent bacteria and algae. To aid in your pools cleanliness:
- Chlorinating tabs- Dissolving chlorinating tablets found in different sizes, can clear out your pool water.
- Liquid chlorine- This is basically bleach on steroids. Its stronger because its used for pools, but its basically the same thing. Its very easy to apply, and very effective.
- Chlorinating Granules- These products can perform multiple tasks at once by chlorinating, shocking and killing algae when used once daily.
Shocking Your Pool:
Get rid of cloudy, smelly water when you shock treat your pool! This should be done weekly and can also prevent eye irritation and any future problems. Consider these shock products for your pool:
- Basic shocking products- Kill bacteria, and breaks down skin products that may have been washed off during swimming. For example sunscreen, lotion, and makeup.
- Multifunctional shock products- This also kills bacteria and breaks down waste. However it also balancing pH, adds algae protection, and boosts filtration quality.
Algaecides prevent algae from taking over your pool. Some algaecides quickly kill all types of algae and prevent them from returning in the future. While others just focus on green algae.
Clean and leaves and other remains out of the pool.
Clean the walls and floor and test the water.