Having your own backyard swimming pool offers plenty of potential for fun! But that fun will be short-lived if you don’t make sure to maintain your swimming pool. Not only can poor maintenance habits reduce the lifespan of your pool, but negligent maintenance can also make each swim less appealing and even cause irritation or illness. For these reasons, any pool owner needs to have a cursory understanding of pool chemicals and make sure to keep both chemical levels and water levels consistent.
Check These 5 Pool Chemicals
To keep your pool from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria, looking murky, or causing skin and eye irritation, take a moment to learn about 5 key pool chemicals. First on the list, free chlorine is probably the most commonly known pool chemical. It serves to keep your pool’s water free from germs.
Second, cyanuric acid protects the above-mentioned chlorine from sunlight, serving to determine the level of free chlorine needed. (Ideally, outdoor pool levels of this chemical should read between 30 and 50.) The third chemical component is acidity or the PH level. Acidity should measure between 7.5 and 7.8, in order to protect pool equipment from erosion and to prevent irritation.
The fourth chemical level helps keep PH in balance; total alkalinity should measure between 60 and 120. Lastly, calcium hardness is necessary to prevent damage to the plaster; levels should be between 220 and 350, unless your pool has a vinyl liner; in that case, the levels should be a tad lower.
Conduct a Weekly Water Test
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) considers weekly testing of pool chemicals to be an important step in preventing Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs). But don’t worry: you don’t need a chemistry degree in order to conduct a routine water test! Just purchase a handful of testing kits (you can find them at your local pool store as well as through many online retailers) and fill each part of the kit with a sample of pool water. Then add the solution provided in the kit and close each vial.
In only seconds, your sample water will change colors. Compare your samples to the colors provided with your testing kit to determine the levels of each chemical. Then adjust your pool chemical levels as necessary in order to achieve the proper balance. When pool chemicals are in proper balance, your pool water should look clear, leave little residue, and offer no noticeable odor.
Consider Baking Soda
Getting your pool water in proper balance doesn’t have to mean purchasing expensive chemicals. Sometimes you can fix the issue with a common, inexpensive household product: good old baking soda. Chemically, baking soda is identical to much more pricey “sodium bicarbonate,” so it can be used as a stand in to help control your pool’s alkalinity without allowing PH levels to drop too drastically. Since baking soda has the same amount of sodium bicarbonate per pound as does the pool chemical, the amount you’ll need to use will be identical.
Since 1979 Lyon Financial has made the backyard resort dream come true for over 400,000 families across the U.S. Through our solid relationships with more than 3,000 pool contractors and our continued commitment to putting our clients first, we have built a reputation as the first choice in providing pool financing solutions. For more information, visit lyonfinancial.net or call (877) 754-5966 today.