Swimming weather is something to enjoy. But for pool owners, few things are more of a headache than wanting to jump into the pool only to find that the water is cloudy, green and uninviting. Clean pools are safe, and that safety requires periodic maintenance. Homeowners may need to periodically revisit pool water chemistry and cleaning techniques in order to maintain clean, healthy and safe pools.
Maintaining a satisfactory level of disinfectant will help prevent the multiplication of bacteria and algae in the pool. Many pools are kept clean through the use of chlorine products. The ratio of chlorine to water needed to maintain the clarity of the water depends on the size of the pool, the sanitizer used, weather, sunlight and evaporation, and the pH. In many instances, the available free chlorine in a pool when tested should be between 3 and 4 ppm to offer adequate sanitation. Frequent testing will help pool owners gauge how well the pool water is holding chlorine and how to compensate if extra is needed.
Nearly every pool owner has had to deal with algae at some point in his or her life. One of the best ways to minimize algae spores in the pool besides high-sanitation levels is through routine brushing and vacuuming. According to Leslie’s Pool Supplies, pool walls, floors and steps are the most common places to find algae in a pool. If left untreated, algae can burrow their roots inside the cracks on these surfaces, making them very difficult to remove. That’s why weekly (or more frequent) brushing and vacuuming can help keep surfaces clean and algae-free. Vacuuming also helps remove debris that has fallen into the water and sunk, which can decompose and contribute to water cloudiness.
Maintaining the proper chemical balance of pool water will help keep it clean and protect system components from damage. The pH level of pool water measures its acidity or alkalinity. The pH level should be between 7.4 and 7.6 for best results. Latham Pool Products says water that is too acidic can cause eye and skin irritation and damage liners or equipment with corrosion. High pH may cause cloudy water and make chlorine less active. Again, frequent testing helps pool owners understand their water chemistry better and make adjustments.
For cleanliness, water circulation and filtration is essential. This helps spread the chemicals to all areas of the pool and also helps to remove debris. Filters come in different types, including sand, diatomaceous earth, or DE, and cartridge. Each has its pros and cons. How long to run the filter depends on water temperature, gallons of water in the pool and the estimated water turnover rate of the filter. Pool owners can start with longer filter run times and gradually cut down until they find the right rate based on water appearance, according to popular pool forum Trouble Free Pools. Pools can be great places to spend warm, sunny days. With care, pools can remain clean and clear throughout warm weather seasons.