Maintaining Swimming Pool

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You may have heard this quote from the movie Spider Man. “With great power comes great responsibility.” Similarly, with great fun in the swimming pool comes greatly boring maintenance. While pool maintenance is can seem tedious to a beginner, it’s quite simple when you know how to. And if you do it often, within a short time, you’ll get used to it.

Following is a guide on how to maintain a swimming pool.

The first step in proper maintenance of the swimming pool is to become familiar with its water contents and properties.

Chlorine: It is used to kill the bacteria and algae in swimming pools. It’s also used in household cleaners. Although the amount used in household cleaning products is far lesser than what is put in pools. The amount of chlorine to use in pool water depends on many variables such as pool usage, rain, temperature, proximity to trees, and PH levels. Use the pool calculator website app to find the right amount for your pool.

PH: The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. If the PH is 7, the water is neutral, if the it is above 7, the water is basic, and if it is below 7 the water is acidic. According to the swimmingpool.com, “The ideal range for pH in swimming pool water is 7.0 – 7.6. The pH of our eyes is typically 7.2 – 7.4. In our experience, if the pH is kept at the same level as that in our eyes, the side-effects of burning red eyes is kept to a minimum.”

For more information on how PH level in swimming pools, go to this link: PH and pool water.

Alkalinity: It is the amount of dissolved particles in the water with pH of more than 7. Side effects of low total alkalinity are: etching of the plaster and tiles, corrosion of metal parts, staining of the pool’s surfaces, burning eyes and itchy skin, etc. Ideal TA range is 80 – 120 ppm (Parts per million).

Cyanuric acid: It is used for chlorine loss in swimming pools. It protects the chlorine from UV rays from the sun. It’s also called CYA or a conditoner. Normally 40 – 80 ppm is ideal amount of Cyanuric acid in the pool, but for the areas exposed to sunlight should maintain 60 – 80 ppm.

Calcium hardness: The measure of all the dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium is called as calcium hardness. The right level of calcium hardness should be maintained in the pools. The recommended level is 200 – 400 ppm.

These chemicals and properties should be regularly tested. The timeline for testing each of them is as follows.

PH – test twice a week.
Total alkalinity – twice a month.
Chlorine – twice a week.
Cyanuric acid – twice a season.
Calcium hardness – twice a season.

Use a pool testing kit to test the water. They are available online.

Once you’ve tested your pool for all the about properties, you’ll know if anything is excess or less than required. You’ll have to use chemicals to adjust the levels.

This is a link to an article on maintaining water chemistry in pools: How to properly maintain swimming pool water chemistry.

Other tips:

Use a tennis ball to clean the pool. Toss a soft, new tennis ball into your pool. It’s soak the oil residue and dirt from the pool.

Follow manufacturers guidelines when using chemicals for the pool.

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