One of the best ways to keep your pool water sparkling and clean is through the use of pool chemicals. Testing your pool 2 – 3 times a week is important for maintaining adequate water balance and sanitizer levels as well as ensuring swimmer comfort and longevity of your pool surface and equipment.
Test strips are a quick and easy way to test the pool for adequate sanitizer levels as well as pH and total alkalinity. Proper testing also ensures that calcium levels are maintained and that there are no metals present in the pool water.
People are most familiar with chlorine as a means to sanitize their pool. Stabilized chlorine products sanitize your pool water and kill bacteria. Stabilized chlorine products are protected from sunlight degradation and are an ideal for keeping your pool clear and clean. They are available in a variety of forms: 3” chlorinating tablets, 1” chlorinating tablets, chlorinating sticks, and chlorinating concentrate. A professional pool retailer or service company in your area can help you determine the best type of sanitization for your pool to help you maintain a free chlorine level of 1-3ppm.
You can also sanitize with bromine. Bromine provides a reliable method for killing bacteria and keeping the pool clear and clean. It generally works better than chlorine in warmer water and is ideal for spas. Bromine remains active longer than chlorine, so the volume of bromine needed to sanitize a pool is less than chlorine. To utilize bromine effectively, an automatic brominator should be installed in your pool.
Shocking the pool on a regular basis is a critical step in keeping the pool clear and clean. Swimmers and the surrounding environment add waste to the pool that must be eliminated on a regular basis in order to prevent problems such as algae and cloudy water. Chlorine combines with bacteria in the process of sanitizing the pool and this combined chlorine is removed by “shocking”. This drastically raises the chlorine level of the swimming pool for a short time so that the combined chlorine is burned up.
Preventing algae is the key to fun in your pool. While lack of proper circulation, out-of-balance water chemistry, and low or no sanitizer levels typically lead to the growth of algae in pools, even carefully maintained swimming pools can sometimes experience algae growth. Algaecides act as a backup to your normal sanitization program and prevent algae from growing in the pool. Algaecide should be added after every shock treatment.
There are many other chemicals that can help with specific issues such as metals, alkalinity, calcium hardness and pH balance. The best way to prevent these issues is to test your pool water regularly and enlist the help of your local pool professional whenever necessary.