6 Tips To Help Balance Your Pools Chemicals
It’s finally swim season, which means your pool should be ready for daily use! But before making a splash, there are important steps pool owners need to follow, so their pool remains clean and safe. According to National Swimming Pool Foundation, chemicals harmed over 10,000 American workers in 2018. Because pool chemicals are dangerous and caustic, it’s best to have a pool service professional properly balance your pool water chemicals.
Maintaining your pools’ pH level is not only necessary for the safety of your swimmers but for the look and longevity of the pool itself. If you want to be in your pool every day this summer, here are 6 invaluable tips from the Shoreline Pools experts so that your pool’s chemical levels are accurate and safe for swimming.
1. Understanding pH Balance
A pH level measures the acidity of your pool’s water. It runs on a scale of 0-14, with 7 being neutral. Ideally, your pool’s pH level should range between 7.2 and 7.6. Pool owners need to monitor the pH level frequently and maintain a constant neutral level. When your pool pH level becomes too acidic this can cause surface corrosion. Further, a pool’s acidity greatly affects swimmers’ skin potentially causing irritation, itching, and redness. If your pool level is too high (basic not acidic), your pool water will be cloudy, leaving swimmers’ skin feeling dry.
2. Chemicals to Balance pH
Pool professionals use specific chemicals such as dry acid or muriatic acid to reduce the pH level. You can also help maintain pH levels using a product called soda ash. All these chemicals can help maintain the pH level in pools. But take heed! These chemicals require careful handling and should be kept in a hard to reach area, and always out of direct sunlight. To be safe, consult a pool maintenance professional to dispense these products into your pool and monitor your pool’s pH levels regularly.
3. Invest in a Pool Testing Kit
Test kits measure 4 important chemical levels in your pool: pH, chlorine, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. It is imperative to purchase a reliable testing kit for your pool to make sure that the levels are up to regulation. This way, you can identify which chemicals need to be added to keep your swimming pool pristine with the correct pH level.
Using the testing kit is relatively straightforward. First, retrieve a sample of your pool’s water, from 18 inches below the surface of your pool to ensue an accurate reading. Using the supplied kit instructions, add the specified amounts of reagent or indicator solution to your water sample. Next, shake the test tube to thoroughly mix the reagent and water sample. Your water sample will turn a certain shade, which you can compare to the testing chart and assess the chemical levels in the water.
4. Purchase Swimming Pool Test Trips
Another way to check your pool’s chemical levels involves administering a test strip with litmus test technology. With a simple stick, you can dip it into your pool water and receive a reading based on a color chart. This method is fast and convenient; however, it does not provide the most accurate information in comparison to the drop style method found in pool testing kits.
Once you’ve tested your pool’s water, refer to the manual provided in the test kit package. This chart will allow you to deduce the right amount of chemicals to disperse into your swimming pool.
4. Swimming Pool Chemicals to Keep Accessible
You may choose to store basic chemicals in your garage or pool house such as chlorine tablets, pH increasers, reducers, and test kits. By having these chemicals readily available, you’ll be prepared for your weekly pool level check. If you have children or pets, you may prefer to hire a pool maintenance professional on a weekly basis to dispense and monitor these harmful chemicals on a regular basis.
5. When to Check Pool Chemical Levels
Pool professionals recommend checking the chemical levels between two to three times a week. There are three important factors that can disrupt the accuracy of a reading; pool temperature, surrounding air, or rainfall and debris that fall into your pool.
6. Other Important Pool Chemicals to Use
In order to keep your pool running smoothly, there are several chemicals you need to add. These chemicals come in powdered form and can be poured directly into the pool.
- Calcium Hypochlorite: a pool shocking chemical that sanitizes the pool water, boosts chlorine levels, and kills any algae
- Chlorine Free Shock: a quick-acting oxygen based sanitizer that burns with no residue and allows for swimming to occur right after treatment
- Lithium Shock: used for pools that do not contain a liner. Also a fast-acting agent and allows for swimming directly after treatment
- Alkalinity Increaser: granular sodium bicarbonate is responsible for raising the total alkalinity of the water
- Calcium Hardness Increaser: raises the calcium hardness level
- Chlorine Neutralizer: is used when the chlorine levels are too high, aid in stabilization of the levels
- Algaecides: helps prevent algae from growing in your pool
- Enzymes: these are in charge of breaking down any odor, oils or non-living contamination found in the water
- Phosphate Removers: these break down any phosphate found in the water, without phosphate algae cannot survive
Swim Safely This Summer with Professional Pool Maintenance
With summer quickly approaching, making sure that your pool is safe and clean to swim in is the number one priority. Balancing your pool is important as a variety of chemicals work to help keep your pool water sanitary, safe, and clear. Residents in New York and Connecticut are welcome to contact Shoreline Pools today! Our pool service professional will do all the maintenance work to balance your pool so you can enjoy a fun-filled summer.