The pool water looks dirty and feels slimy. You toss in some tablets, wait a day, only to realize that now your eyes are stinging. If you have trouble keeping your pool in check, don’t despair.
Despite what you might think, keeping your pool healthy doesn’t require a chemistry degree. There are a few basic things you need know about chemicals to maintain the longevity of the pool surface and keep the water crystal clear. Once you know what you need, regular maintenance is simple.
First, test the water to determine the current state of your pool balance. These are the ideal ranges:
- pH: 7.2 to 7.6
- Free Chlorine: 2 to 4 ppm
- Total Chlorine: No higher than the Free Chlorine
- Total alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium hardness: 200-400 ppm
- Cyanuric acid: 30-50 ppm
If your pool is above or below these number you will need to restore the balance. Since there are many things that affect the ecosystem of your pool on a daily basis, there are some additional steps you should take before just adding chemicals.
Rain, people swimming with dirty feet, pets, floating debris on the pool surface, and even the sun can alter the chemical balance. The first line of defense is establishing a weekly routine to stay on top of pool maintenance.
Here’s what you need to do to maintain that perfect score:
- Clean regularly. Use a skimmer to remove all debris and brush the pool surface once a week. If needed, add a clarifier to group unwanted particles together, making it easier for the filtration system to remove them.
- Maintain water levels. Sunlight and temperature lead to evaporation, so the water level will need to be monitored. Low water levels can cause the pool pump to draw in air instead of water. This will cause the pool pump to run dry, reducing effectiveness and potentially causing it to overheat. When water is added, it will change the water balance.
- Circulate the water. Use your pool pump to circulate pool water. Circulating water will aid in distributing chemicals throughout your pool and removing debris on the pool surface. Run your pump at a minimum of 8 hours a day and adjust as necessary – the hotter the temperature, the longer the pump should run.
- Keep chemicals balanced. Each chemical plays a specific role in keeping your water safe and your pool surface To balance chemicals use these weekly guidelines:
Dissolve or dilute all chemicals in a bucket of water prior to adding to the pool.
pH – To increase pH levels, use small doses of soda ash. Decrease pH levels with muriatic acid.
Chlorine – If chlorine levels are low, use either liquid chlorine (formulated for pools) or non-stabilized granular chlorine to raise the chlorine level. Tablets are to maintain a slow feed of chlorine into the pool for sanitation during the circulation of the pool.
Total alkalinity – To increase alkalinity, use sodium bicarbonate. To decrease alkalinity, use muriatic acid.
Once a month, the calcium hardness and cyanuric acid should be tested. These two levels will increase over the summer due to water evaporation. If they exceed the ideal ranges, the pool will require some draining of the water and refilling to dilute the problem.
These steps will help keep your pool clean and water clear. If your crystal clear water has made you notice your pool surface is lacking, Pebble Technology International® can help. Explore our pebble pool surface options and contact us to discuss your pool renovation.