Pool water can be a tricky creature. One day it can be crystal clear and the next, it may be green or cloudy. Swimming in water like this can prove uncomfortable and gross, to be honest. If the green gunk that suddenly appeared doesn’t disappear quickly, it can rake over your entire pool in just a matter of days.
It’s important to keep track of the pH, chlorine, can calcium levels in the pool as this is the indicator as to whether or not your pool water is safe.
According to Poolinspec, if you’re having a problem with your pool water or just want to take preventative measures, we’ve gathered some helpful information that may come in handy when you need it to.
Keeping Your Pool Clean & Safe
A swimming pool is a major investment in property value and family fun. If you’ve just purchased or opened your pool, you may be tempted to jump on right away, but this is actually a very bad idea. A pool must be properly prepared, which includes treating it with the proper balance of chemicals.
It’s important to check the pH level of your pool at least twice per week. The pH balance in your pool indicated how acidic or alkaline the water is. Your pool should have a pH level of 7. This indicates a normal level. Anything above 7 is alkaline and anything under is acidity. You should aim for a level between 7 and 7.6. Anything higher than 8 and the swimmer or swimmers are at risk for skin rashes and if it’s lower than 7, it can cause eye stinging. The pH balance can be thrown off by heavy rain, the number of swimmers in the pool, and chemicals.
Chlorine keeps bacteria out of your pool and should be at a level between 1.0 and 2.0. Although some individuals suggest a level of 3.5, this can burn or irritate the skin and eyes.
It’s a great disinfectant and helps remove debris. Chlorine requirements are affected by a variety of factors including your pump, filter system, water temperature, amount of debris, number of swimmers, and water level. \
A chlorine stabilizer can extend the chlorine’s half-life. It’s important to remember that the longer your filtration cycle is, the less chlorine you’ll need. However, the more chlorine you use, the shorter your required filtration cycle is.
Calcium hardness refers to how much mineral calcium is dissolved in your pool water. If the calcium levels are too low, it can deteriorate pool surfaces and high calcium levels can leave a disturbing scale or scum on surfaces and equipment. If your calcium levels are out of balance, and too low, you can drain and replace some water, use a pool flocculant or you can try muriatic acid. If calcium levels are too high, you can add calcium chloride.
In order to keep the water clean, your pool requires the use of a filter and pump. The water is pumped through the filter to remove debris and particles. The amount of time you run the filter depends on the size of your swimming pool and the horsepower of your pool pump. Most pool filters can’t filter all the water in the pool, so chlorination is a must.
General Pool Maintenance
Along with chemical balancing, it’s important to keep up in general maintenance as well such as cleaning and proper filtration. You should always make sure you’re skimming, brushing, and vacuuming your pool on a regular basis. Use the hand skimmer to clean the surface, brush the walls and vacuum the floor.
You should also keep your pool filter clean. If you have a cartridge-based filter, clean or replace it when it’s dirty. If you have a sand filter, make sure to backwash and clean the screen when it’s needed.
Common Pool Problems
There are some pretty common problems that can arise with swimming pools. Some are easier to fix than others. Here are some of the problems you can come across when it comes to swimming pool use and ownership.
Algae is the biggest nuisance there is in a swimming pool. Once it starts growing, it’s pretty difficult to stop, especially if it’s black algae. Algae are single-celled organisms that grow very quickly in the right conditions. Within hours, your pool will turn green. Chlorine can help keep it at bay, but if you aren’t keeping up on the chlorine levels, you can’t control the algae.
You can use a brush and garden hose to remove algae from pool surfaces. After a day, vacuum the settled algae from the pool. Never try to remove it by running the filter. It’s important to check the TA, pH, and calcium hardness before swimming in it again.
There are actually four types of algae including green, pink, yellow, and black. Black is the toughest to remove once it has begun to form.
Strone Chlorine Smell
Contrary to popular belief, a strong odor does not indicate too much chlorine. A strong chlorine smell is an indicator that there’s not enough chlorine in the pool. Too little chlorine allows chloramine compounds to form. These compounds are responsible for the strong smell oo much like chlorine, you may need to add more. Much like chlorine, you may need to add more.
As you can see, there are many issues that can come with owning a swimming pool. Most of these issues can be solved easily if caught on time. It’s important to remember that people in the swimming pool are the main source of contamination. The key to good water quality and keeping your pool safe is maintaining filtration, chlorination, pH level, total alkalinity and calcium hardness.
At most retail stores, you can purchase test kits that will tell you how the levels in your pool look. This will give you can idea if you need to add or remove chemicals. Don’t swim right away after you’ve added chlorine and be sure that the levels are perfect before allowing anybody to swim.