The number one question we are asked every day is about swimming pool chemicals. Their job is to do the fine tuning to help make your pool water safe, look amazing and feel comfortable for you and your family. Investing in quality pool chemicals will extend the life of your pool.
Today we will talk a little bit about the primary jobs of your pool products – to sanitize, to oxidize and to maintain the neutral balance of your pool water.
Tip 1 – Swimming pool Chemicals are to Sanitize
Chemicals are used to keep pools clean and sanitized. A pool without chemicals is not a safe place for a person to swim. A pool filled with untreated water would be a perfect place for disease carrying microorganisms to move from one person to another. Bacteria thrives in water, and your pool products are what kills them. Chlorine – eliminates bacteria and algae by disinfecting (killing) action.
Chlorine comes in forms of sticks or pucks that go into your skimmer basket of your pool or can be generated with the ECG of your mechanical system in a saltwater pool. Use of a slow dissolving chlorine stick or a properly functioning salt system will keep your chlorine residual consistently in the 1-3 ppm range on your test kit and ensure a safe swimming environment at all times.
Tip 2 – Swimming Pool Chemicals are to Oxidize
While having a chlorine level of 1-3 ppm is good at killing bacteria and algae, we still need to oxidize the dead stuff. Think of it like killing a mosquito. You slap the bug and it dies (the chlorine killing things), the dead bodies are still there and accumulate over time.
Oxidizing, or “shocking” gasses those dead bodies away to keep your pool looking sparking, smelling fresh and avoiding red eyes and itchy skin. It also makes your swimming pool chemistry more efficient so you need less chemicals.
The proper way to oxidize varies by pool type and your personal preference but one thing is consistent -you should be “shocking” your pool once per week. Many folks love the new style ‘blended’ oxidizers. These innovative swimming pool chemicals are practically chemical free and require no mixing, can be used any time of day and you can swim within 15 minutes of adding them.
Tip 3 – Swimming Pool Chemicals are to Prevent Algae
Swimming pool chemicals are also for keeping your pool water algae-free. When your water is properly sanitized and the water is cleansed with oxidation then we have only one weekly care item left – prevent algae. Algae are in all pool water -even when it is clear. They are little geniuses that have evolved over about 2.1 billion (yep, billion with a b) years.
The goal in your pool is to stop them from replicating and making the pool green as well as to keep your family and friends safe by destroying those pesky plants. Sometimes we use algaecide weekly; other clients choose to prevent algae by making it so is has no food and cannot breathe.
However you choose to prevent algae in your swimming pool, work with your pool professional for the right dose and application method. Most quality algaecides require very little product to do a very big job and save you really big chlorine dollars – if your algae prevention regime is working your chlorine does not have to kill it and can use itself to get rid of the bacteria you want it to be destroying.
Tip 4 – Swimming Pool Chemicals are for Balancing
There are many other factors that can play a role in affecting your water like rain, changes in weather, the trees in your backyard, Mosquito fogging, dust, etc.
Improperly balanced water can irritate your eyes and skin. Water with wrong chemical balance can damage various parts of the pool like your liner and pool equipment. Swimming pool water without the proper balance will also make the water cloudy.
Keeping your chemistry in the right parameters for Ph, total alkalinity and calcium hardness will save you time, money and give you more swimmable days. There are many other factors that effect water balance and they are all intertwined to yield a well balanced swimming pool. Have your water tested at least once a month with your chosen pool professional.
Keep in mind these 4 simple tips and you will certainly work less, spend less and enjoy your pool more.