In our first article in this series, we focused on the importance of keeping your pool clean. This involves a number of steps, such as daily skimming, bi-weekly scrubbing, weekly filter basket cleaning, and monthly filter pipe backwashing. Though these cleaning steps are necessary, they’re only one aspect of pool maintenance. In this second article, we’ll explore three of the other crucial areas of pool maintenance: chemical balance, water level, consistency, and shocking.
1. Check your Pool’s Chemical levels Regularly
Keeping your pool chemically balanced isn’t just a matter of comfort or aesthetics, but of pool safety. If you fail to maintain your pool’s chemical levels, you could end up allowing harmful bacteria to thrive in your pool, which could make people sick. If you add too many harsh chemicals, the water could irritate swimmers’ eyes and skin.
The pool chemical levels can seem complicated at first. If the thought of keeping track of cyanuric acid, free chlorine, total alkalinity, pH levels, and calcium hardness makes you feel a bit bewildered, don’t worry. Pool supply retailers do their best to make it easy for pool owners by selling handy test kits that are designed to keep track of the chemical levels for you. Make sure you always have some test kits on hand. Two to three times a week use a test kit to check your pool’s chemical levels.
The kits come with instructions and are easy to use. Add water from your pool to the kit. Then place the included solution from the kit into your water sample. The test kit will change color according to the chemical makeup of the water. Once the test shows you which chemicals you’re low on, you can add the indicated amounts to reach safe, balanced chemical levels in your pool. Never swim or allow others to swim in your pool when it’s not chemically balanced. Properly balanced pool water shouldn’t irritate the eyes or skin, should be practically odorless, and ought to appear very clear. Cloudy, strong smelling or irritating water is a sign of chemical imbalance.
2. Keep Water at Correct Levels
Your pool may get too full of water when there’s a heavy rain, or it may get too low after a rambunctious pool party with lots of splashing. Either scenario can pose a problem if not addressed quickly. Make it a habit to look each day and see if your pool’s water is at the proper level. It should be right at the halfway point of your pool’s skimmer opening. You can increase the water level with a garden hose. Use a submersible pump to decrease the water level. Some pool filters are designed with a multiport valve that can be used to decrease the water level as well. Don’t forget to re-test the chemical levels in your pool after adding or taking away water.
3. If Your Pool gets Cloudy, Shock It
After a large gathering, you may notice that your pool water appears cloudier than usual. That’s because the extra amount of swimmers in the pool can leave a larger than normal amount of bacteria behind. You don’t want the bacteria to grow and spread, so it makes sense to shock the pool with an extra dose of chlorine. Slowly pour a mixture of between three and five times your pool’s normal chlorine dose and water into the pool right up to the return line. Then allow your pool’s filter to run. Slowly refill your pool with water after shocking. You’ll need to shock the pool a couple of times during the swimming season to keep your pool clean and safe for swimming.
Keeping your pool’s water and chemical level properly balanced may seem tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, this step will become second-nature. It’s absolutely necessary to master this step if you want to keep your pool environment pleasant, attractive, and safe.
Continue reading with Part 3.
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