Pool cleaning and maintenance, in general, are two of the most tedious tasks known to man, but are very important in keeping the swimming pool safe and clean so it can be enjoyed for several years. Here are the things you should know about these tasks:
This refers to the ability of the pool water to withstand pH changes. If the alkalinity of the pool is very low, its pH level will become so sensitive and can swing drastically. Scaling, the water becoming cloudy, and the pH level becoming too high will happen if the opposite happens. The overall alkalinity of the swimming pool can be changed in different ways.
This is the measure of the basicity or acidity of water or any substance, and is a very important factor in balancing the pool. A pool’s pH is measurable using a scale of 0-14, with 7 being considered neutral. The ideal pool water pH lies between 7.2 and 7.6.
As the water in your pool evaporates, magnesium and calcium are left. Thus, it is very important that calcium hardness is measured. Keep in mind that since there is no universal scale of calcium hardness, not only can you find so many ways to measure calcium hardness, as you will also have a hard time knowing if the hardness of the water is high. Your safest bet is adding a stain and scale control product on pool water if the calcium level is above 250 PPM or parts per million to prevent scaling.
Free Available Chlorine
This kills algae, many viruses, and bacteria and also eliminates oil from the pool. If free available chlorine in the pool is so low, shock treatment (a high chlorine concentration) is needed. This adds 5.0-10.0 PPM of free available chlorine to the water. To know if shock treatment is required in the pool, test the pH of the water first, and when you shock-treat the pool, do so after sunset with both the filter and pump switched on. Test the chlorine level again once you have shock-treated the pool, and avoid entering it until the reading ranges from 1.0-3.0 PPM.
Swimming Pool Chemical Safety
Although swimming pool chemicals may be purchased to solve nearly all problems with water, they pose a danger to both humans and animals if not properly handled. Chemicals can damage the skin and eyes and may prove deadly if swallowed. To keep yourself and the swimming pool safe, follow these precautions below:
* Keep every pool product away from kids and animals.
* Wear goggles and rubber gloves, and wash your hands and clothes right away after using these chemicals. If these come in contact with your skin, wash with cold water right away for 15 minutes. Head to the nearest emergency room afterwards.
* Follow dosage directions to the letter.
* Also, follow manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to storage of chemicals.
* Spilled chemicals should be washed away instead of returned to their original containers.
* All measuring equipment for your chemicals should be clean and dry before and after using.
* Spa/pool and household chemicals should not be mixed together.
* Add chemicals to water instead of doing the reverse.
* Never allow dry chlorine to get wet or damp.
* Open fire should be kept away from chemicals.
* Empty containers should be disposed of properly, not reused.
General swimming pool maintenance
The point of pool maintenance is ensuring that swimming pool water is clean and chemically balanced. Maintenance needs to be done weekly and, in most cases, involve shock treatment, as it prevents and solves so many pool water issues. The first thing you will need to do is to test the pH as well as the free available chlorine in the water first, then shock-treating it as needed. Do more shock treatments in the event of/after the following:
* Severe rain and windstorms
* Foul odour from pool water
* Many swimmers just swam in the pool
* Swimmers whose eyes turned red
* Murky and slimy water
* Extremely high and cold temperatures
* Growth of algae
Step 1: Balance the pool
Balanced pool water not only has the right pH, it also has the right calcium hardness and total alkalinity. Follow the tips mentioned above to achieve a balanced pool.
Proper balancing keeps metal accessories and equipment from corrosion and prevents the etching of plaster surfaces. Also, it prevents the staining of surfaces, the clouding of water, and the scaling of different parts of the pool. Lastly, proper balancing prevents skin and eye irritation.
Step 2: Chlorinate the pool
Bacteria and algae are the bane of pool parties. Prevent their growth by ensuring that the continuous chlorine level of the pool is between one and four PPM all the time. The options to keep your swimming pool clean are:
* Basic chlorinating tabs: Slow-dissolving chlorine tablets, available in one- and three-inch sizes, help keep the pool water clear. Many have built-in stabilizers, which protect the chlorine from getting burned-off by sunlight. You can use chlorinating tablets in a skimmer, automatic chlorinator, or floating dispenser.
* Liquid chlorine: It is similar to household bleach, only stronger. Though easy to apply and very effective, its shelf-life is shorter unlike other chlorine products. Do not keep this in your storage for two weeks.
* Chlorinating tabs: Many kinds of chlorine sanitizers have a multifunctional approach when it comes to pool care. There are many chlorinating tabs available to keep the pool clean and safe for swimming, and these shock the pool to eliminate any contaminants. Other variants control algae and kill bacteria, while softening the water and protecting swimming pool equipment.
* Chlorinating granules: These chlorinate, shock, and kill algae at once.
Step 3: Shock the pool
The pool needs to be shocked each week, without fail. Shocking gets rid of any contaminants that cause chlorine odor, eye irritation, and cloudy water, while preventing any future problems and eliminating the need to use other chemicals. There are many shock products you can use in pools.
* Basic shock products: These help break down suntan lotions, sweat, cosmetics, and other wastes which cannot be filtered from swimming pool water. Shocking the pool with these products reduces eye irritation and chlorine odour, and helps to ensure that your swimming pool stays clear all the time.
* Multifunctional shock products – These restore the clarity of water quickly by destroying swimmer wastes and bacteria, while also enhancing filtration, adding algae protection, and balancing pH. Several products are fast-acting, thus enabling you to plunge back into the swimming pool as fast as fifteen minutes.
Step 4: Add some algaecide to the swimming pool
Millions of microscopic plants called algae can get into your swimming pool through fill water, wind, and rain. Leaving them unchecked quickly renders your water completely unusable, as it clogs filters, reduces the effectiveness of chemicals, and prevents water from circulating. Algaecides keep algae from taking over your swimming pool, and treat algae growth once it starts.
While a few algaecides kill every type of algae quickly and keep them from coming back, others particularly focus on the prevention and removal of green algae, the type that you often find in a swimming pool. Prevention truly is effective so you have a swimming pool free of algae, but should an algae outbreak happen, algaecides can efficiently and quickly remove the problem and make your swimming pool sparkling clear again.
Step 5: Cleaning the swimming pool
Cleaning the pool daily:
1. Skim all debris from the pool.
2. During swimming season, clean all of your skimmer baskets.
Cleaning the pool weekly:
1. Test the water.
2. Clean up the floor and walls. Use brushes, vacuums, and cleaners recommended by pool makers. Begin at the shallow part, and then go deeper. Overlap every stroke when you vacuum and brush so all areas are covered. Always keep the head of the vacuum cleaner under the water while you use it. Speed the process up by spending ten minutes each day to brush every wall down.
3. Hose the pool area down afterwards. Aim the spray away to keep dirt from getting into the water.
Step 6 (do this to prepare the pool for summer): Remove the pool cover
When removing the cover, clean it by spreading the cover and spraying it with the most pressure allowed by your hose. Then let the cover dry. Before you fold and store it, though, sprinkle some talcum powder over it so it does not bind or stick while in storage. Make sure to store it in a cooler storage so it does not get damaged.
Keeping the swimming pool clean requires a lot of effort from you or your helper. But all efforts to clean the pool will be rendered useless if the pool is not of high quality and not properly installed in the first place. High-quality swimming pools for your home can be found here: http://www.premierpools.com.au/.