A Primer on Swimming Pool Chemicals
4 Simple Steps to Economically Keep
Your Pool Maintained and Your Water
Clear and Clean . . .
Basic Pool Water Chemistry
Keep the Pool Chemistry Balanced!
Well balanced pool water is
essential for swimming enjoyment, prolonging the life of your pool
equipment (pool liner, ladders, pumps, etc.), the life of your
accessories (pool toys, rafts, inflatables), and decreasing the amount
of work and maintenance that you must do to keep the pool looking nice
Balancing the water is simply maintaining the proper amount of chemicals in your swimming pool.
This can be as simple as doing the following:
1.) If you use chlorine tablets or sticks, always keep an ample supply of them in your chlorine reservoir.
2.) Shock the
pool regularly. Depending on pool use and the time of year, you may
need to shock your pool weekly, monthly, or even not much at all (in
the winter). Most importantly, though, if your chlorine tablets or
sticks run out make sure you shock.
3.) Add any balancing chemicals as needed.
ever in doubt, simply have your water tested. The results will dictate
what needs to be added to bring it up to optimal conditions.
The amount of chemicals to add is based on pool test results and the your pool size.
Prevent algae at all costs! Keep your pool sanitized.
What do we mean by sanitized? We mean chlorine, bromine or Baquacil-type sanitizer. Sanitizers both prevent algae and kill bacteria.
Why should you prevent algae at all costs? Algae is a group of microscopic organisms which start out in your pool virtually invisible to the naked eye. If left alone, it will multiply and grow and pretty soon you will have a murky, cloudy water.
Algae can be very difficult to get rid of.
It can clog your filters, stain your pool liner and wreak all
kinds of havoc for you. So, in other words, you don’t want it to start
grows best in out of the way areas or where water circulation is poor
and then spreads from there. It also grows quickest in warmer water.
Once you have it and don’t completely get rid of it, it can come back
in all, algae is a relatively common problem, but it is definitely one
you don’t want, because, in addition to the other problems, it
can also be a very expensive problem. Do everything necessary to keep
your pool water sanitized. By doing so, not only will you not get sick
from bacteria and the like, but it will keep you from getting algae
How can you prevent algae growth:
Keep your pool properly sanitized with chlorine (or a non-chlorine sanitizer) and keep your water chemistry correct.
Add an algae inhibitor (algaecide) to your water (not necessarily needed if everything else is in balance)
Make sure your pool toys or rafts don’t have any algae on them when you bring them into the water. This could be this start of your worst nightmare.
noted previously, if you go swimming in a lake or pond, make sure you
wash off your toys, floats and swimsuits before you bring them into
your pool. You can introduce algae directly into the pool if you don’t
clean them off, first.
Keep Your pH and Total Alkalinity (TA) Properly Adjusted
is probably the most important thing to keep properly maintained. It
not only effects the physical aspects of the pool, like the pool liner,
ladders, lights, but it also has a great influence on achieving the
proper chemical balance in the pool.
pH of the water is is very important. It can become unsafe to have pH
too low. Low pH is acidic. You know what acid does. So water with a low
pH can begin to eat away at parts in the pool, like screws and other
metallic pieces. If you have a light in the pool, the light ring might
begin to rust. These are all expensive things to fix or replace.
the other end, a high pH can lead to murky water, filter problems and
perhaps stain your liner. Again, things you don’t really want to deal
If your pH is too low, you should add pH increaser as necessary. Similarly, if your pH is too high, then you should add pH reducer.
alkalinity is difficult to explain. In overly simplistic terms, Total
alkalinity (TA) keeps you from having wide variations in pH every time
a different chemical is added. In pool talk, total alkalinity buffers
If your total alkalinity begins to be too low, add total alkalinity increaser as necessary.
are some of the things they will check for when the pool water is
tested. Also, you can and should be testing these on your own.
By testing regularly (weekly), and adjusting your pH and TA as needed, pH and TA will usually be okay.
Keep Calcium Constant
is important both for liner and gunite pools. Calcium keeps the liner
flexible, if it gets too low, the liner can begin to get brittle so
keeping your water balanced will help your liner last longer.
Furthermore, calcium helps to prolong the finish on gunite pools.
High levels of calcium also cause scum and/or cloudiness.
To keep calcium constant, test for calcium at least once a month, and add calcium increaser as needed.