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Understanding Basic Chemical Levels

Owning and maintaining a swimming pool can seem overwhelming at first because there are a lot of new tasks and concerns to deal with. New swimming pool owners often feel overwhelmed by all the new information. One important aspect of the process is understanding the chemicals involved in managing a swimming pool. It seems like a lot to learn, but there are five basic chemical elements that pool owners should understand.

The first chemical pool owners need to understand is free chlorine. It is often referred to as FC.  This is the sanitizer that keeps your pool water free of germs and safe. The free chlorine has to be chlorine has to checked and replenished on a regular basis. pH is an important part of taking care of a swimming pool. It is often as the aciditiy or alkalinity of the water. Maintaining the pH of the water is important because if it is out of balance, it can irritate swimmers’ eyes and skin. Appropriate pH levels also protect your pool equipment.

swimming-instructionsTotal alkalinity is key to managing a clean, clear swimming pool. The total alkalinity measures the amount of alkaline substances in the water. If you maintain the appropriate levels of total alkalinity, it will help to keep your swimming pool’s pH levels in balance. If the total alkalinity levels become too high, the pH levels will rise. You should test the total alkalinity regularly but it should stay stable in a well-maintained pool.

Many people don’t understand the importance of calcium hardness when it comes to taking care of a pool. Calcium hardness is particularly important if you have a plaster pool. If the calcium hardness is too low, the water will become corrosive. The pool’s floor and water can become stained and the pool’s surfaces can be etched by the corrosive water. If the calcium hardness is too high, calcium scale will form. The pipes and filters will get clogged which affects water filtration and efficiency.

Cyanuric acid is the final basic chemical element that pool owners need to understand. Chlorine is significantly affected by the UV rays in sunlight. Balanced water can lose its chlorine level quickly in strong sunlight. Cyanuric acid is often referred to as a stabilizer and protects the chlorine in the water from sunlight.

Testing Water: What to Look For

Why is it so important to test your water? You need to ensure the health and safety of your swimmers. Sanitizers keep the swimming pool clear of contaminants. Without the right chemical balance, algae can grow quickly. Improperly treated water can increase the risk of infections or illnesses. When swimming pool chemicals are out of the appropriate range, they can cause problems with your equipment including the pump, pipes, filter and heater. Imbalanced swimming pool water can cause corrosion and ultimately lead to expensive repairs.

Indoor big blue swimming pool interior in modern minimalism styleWhen you test water, you can use the information to determine which chemicals you need to add and in what amounts. You should always test the water before you add chemicals. When you add chemicals to the water, it may take up to 24 hours for the water to adjust. Keep this in mind before you retest.

Water testing methods come in a variety of styles. You can purchase testing kits that use vials of water to test for different chemicals. Testing strips have become popular in recent years. You can also purchase electronic testing kits but these tend to be quite a bit more expensive.

If you decide to test swimming pool water using testing strips, always buy new strips each year. The strips lose their effectiveness over time. Keep any type of testing kit out of the sun and protect it from water so that you can get accurate results. Always test the water about one foot to one and a half feet below the surface.

What should you look for? If your chlorine levels are high, it can affect the results of the total alkalinity and pH in the pool. Check the cyanuric acid levels. It protects the chlorine from the sun, but if the levels are too high, the chlorine will become completely ineffective at sanitizing the swimming pool.

The pH level of the pool is just as important as the chlorine level. You’ll often find that the pH level of the water is high and you’ll need to lower it using muriatic acid or granular acid. If the pH level is continuously high, check the alkalinity which is probably low. Once you adjust the alkalinity, your pH level should be in the appropriate range.

How to Eliminate Algae in Your Swimming Pool

Algae is one of the most problematic issues in owning a swimming pool. Pool owners struggle with it throughout the swim season, especially when they are first opening the pool. It’s also a problem when the weather changes rapidly. Fortunately, there are swimming pool chemicals that help pool owners manage even the worst algae problems.

eliminate pool algaeAlgae become extremely unattractive when it begins to grow. It gives the pool water a greenish tint and leaves a film on pool stairs and the sides of the pool. Often, pool owners can manage algae by the appropriate use of regular swimming pool chemicals like chlorine. However, algae can get out of control if the pool is neglected. That’s when it’s important to use the appropriate swimming pool chemicals to treat the algae before it gets worse.

The first step in dealing with algae is to use a brush and thoroughly brush the sides of the pool and other surfaces, such as stairs, where it has built up. It’s a bad idea to vacuum the pool before using the appropriate swimming pool chemicals to treat the water. This will simply spread the algae instead of killing it. Instead, you should use a good algae treatment like Aqua Pure to kill the algae. This type of treatment can be used as a three-month treatment which kills the original algae problem and prevents algae from returning as long as the appropriate chlorine levels are maintained in the pool.

Users should apply the algae treatment all around the edges of the pool. They should then mix the swimming pool chemicals in the water so that the algae treatment thoroughly mixes with the water. The appropriate dosages of algae treatment depends on the size of the pool and the degree of the algae problem. The next step is to add chlorine in the appropriate amount for the pool. Next, the user should run the pool filter for one to two days.

Often, bad algae problems require a second application of algae-killing swimming pool chemicals. This application should be followed by additional chlorine. Then, run the filter again and check the results. The dead algae should float to the bottom of the pool and can then be vacuumed.

Closing Your Pool for the Winter

winterizing poolIf you close your pool properly at the end of the summer, it will make opening your pool in the spring much easier. It will also reduce the number of swimming pool chemicals you’ll need to get your pool up and running next year. There are some important steps you should take to close your pool properly so it will be safe throughout the winter. You should take these steps to prepare for closing down the pumps, heaters and other equipment you use to run your pool.

You should ensure that your pool water is properly balanced before you begin the closing process. Check the pH, calcium hardness and alkalinity of the water. If it is out of balance, add the proper swimming pool chemicals and wait four to five days before you close the pool. The pool chemicals will protect your pool over the winter by preventing scale build-up and corrosion.

One of the most important swimming pool chemicals you will need is an algaecide. In many cases, this will eliminate the existing algae in your pool and prevent more from growing over time. Killing algae is one of the biggest challenges in opening a pool for the spring. If you use an extra-strength algaecide when you close the pool, you will prevent algae growth over a long period of time.

Chlorine is one of the most important swimming pool chemicals in the pool closing process. You should use a chlorine shock to kill the bacteria living in the pool water. You should use a stronger shock product than the one you use during the swimming season. The shock should be strong enough that swimmers can’t get in it right away. A strong shock like this will kill all of the existing bacteria so that it will not grow while your pool is closed.

There are several other things you need to do after you balance the swimming pool chemicals. You should remove all the toys, ladders, hoses, pumps, decorations and any other items from the pool. Next, you should skim the pool to get rid of leaves, bugs and other debris that has accumulated on the water. This will help to keep the swimming pool chemicals at the appropriate balance during the winter. You should also vacuum the pool so that it is thoroughly clean.

Pool Chlorine and Your Dog

swimming pool dogSome dogs love water. Swimming with your pet can be a great way to enjoy your pool. It’s also good exercise for the dog. However, you need to take care to ensure that your pet isn’t exposed to high levels of swimming pool chemicals. This can make your dog ill or uncomfortable; if this happens make sure to contact your veterinarian for assistance.

Dogs are more sensitive to chlorine than people. A dog’s ears, eyes and nose can easily get irritated by levels of chlorine that won’t bother most humans. It’s a good idea to limit the amount of time the dog is in the pool, especially if your pet seems particularly susceptible to skin irritation. Make sure the levels of chlorine and other swimming pool chemicals are balanced in your pool. This will benefit both people and the dog. You can rinse off the dog after a dip in the pool to wash away the swimming pool chemical residue from its skin. A full bath may not be necessary, unless your dog’s skin is extra sensitive; a clean water rinse should sufficient.

Some dogs assume the pool is a large bowl of water. Small amounts of water won’t hurt the dog, but you do not want your pet to ingest large quantities of swimming pool chemicals. You should discourage the dog from drinking out of the pool. It may help to keep a regular bowl of water nearby so there is an alternative source of water.

You shouldn’t allow a dog to swim in the pool right after you use chlorine shock. The high level of chlorine can make the dog sick. Wait 48 hours before allowing the dog back in the pool. Take extra care to prevent the dog from drinking water after you shock the pool. Your pet could vomit or have diarrhea if it ingests high levels of chlorine or other swimming pool chemicals. If the dog shows any of these symptoms, watch it carefully. If the problem doesn’t go away, contact your veterinarian.

How can you tell if your dog is reacting to swimming pool chemicals? The animal may have problems with itching. Its eyes may become itchy and irritated and its nose may begin to water. Your pet’s coat may also become dull. In these cases, it’s important to rinse your pet off or give it a bath after swimming to minimize the effects of swimming pool chemicals.

Dealing with Too Much Chlorine

Swimming pool chemicals are an important part of maintaining the health and cleanliness of your spa water. Chlorine is one of the most important swimming pool chemicals because it is effective at killing a wide variety of bacteria and viruses that can contaminate your water. It also stops the growth of algae in the water. It can help you keep the spa safe and clean for users. However, if you have too much chlorine in your spa, you may have problems as well

Spa users can get a rash from the chlorine in a hot tub. The odor is strong and can sting your eyes and nose. Many people will not want to use a spa that has too much chlorine in it. Chlorine can bleach swimsuits and even hair if the level is high enough. It is important to keep all of the swimming pool chemicals in a spa in balance so that the chlorine level is not overwhelming. You should regularly check the pH of the spa. This is an important counterbalance to the chlorine level. It also helps to keep the water safe. There are bacteria that can live despite chlorine levels if the pH is not correct. There are swimming pool chemicals that can help you keep the pH in balance. You should also test the water regularly.

There are swimming pool chemicals that can help you remove excess chlorine from your pool. Bio-Dex Chlor-ex is a non-toxic and non-corrosive chemical that can help balance your water once chlorine levels get too high. After you get the water back into balance, it should smell less strongly of chlorine. In the future, you should test your water carefully before adding swimming pool chemicals like chlorine. This will help ensure that your spa water is in the best possible condition each time you use it.

Salt Water Maintenance Tips

Salt Water Pools

Salt water pool chemicals are fairly easy to understand once you learn the basics about maintaining a salt water pool. They are also much cheaper to run since they use a chlorine generator to turn the salt in the water into chlorine rather than requiring traditional swimming pool chemicals. Many people find that this is a much more economical way to take care of a pool. Salt water pools are not completely free of swimming pool chemicals; they just use them in a different way. The swimming pool chemicals involved in this type of system are not complex. It is important to use chemicals to clean the pool surfaces. You will need to use swimming pool chemicals to remove scale from your pool, which builds up over time and causes white discoloration. You will need to use a swimming pool tile cleaner to remove calcium buildup from the tile on your pool.

Removing Foam

You can use swimming pool chemicals to remove foam from the water. This foam is caused by the buildup of oils and soaps on people that use the pool. If you ask people to shower before using the pool, you will have fewer problems with foam. It is important to keep the swimming pool chemicals balanced so that your pool equipment works properly and so that your water is free of any dangerous bacteria.

Spa Chemicals

Spa chemicals and swimming pool chemicals are often the same products but they are used in very different concentrations. It is important to read the instructions and test the water to ensure that you are maintaining water safety properly. Since a spa is at a much higher temperature, it is easy for bacteria to grow in the water. It is important to maintain an appropriate chemical balance in spa water for this reason. If the water isn’t properly treated, it can lead to rashes and infections.