How do I keep my pool clean & crystal clear?
There are a few important things to remember when taking care of your pool all summer to keep it crystal clean & clear! Here is the recommended routine maintenance and the items you will need to have to make that happen!
- Metal Control – This product goes in at the first of each spring before any other items are added to insure that all the metals (iron, copper, rust etc) are protected and taken care of before any chlorine is introduced into the water. In the Omaha metro area we have a high metal content even in our city water and especially in the rural and well water systems. Once this product has been added, it’s important to wait 24 hrs before adding any chlorine, shocks, clarifiers, or pH adjusters to the water.
- Chlorine (tablets or granular) – You should always maintain a chlorine level between 2-4 ppm in your pool to insure safe and crystal clear water. Chlorine tablets should be kept either in the skimmer basket, auto chlorinator, or chlorine floater. If using granular chlorine instead of tablets, you will need to sprinkle the granulars into the pool near the return jet to allow proper dilution. It’s important to not let the granular sit in one single spot on the floor to prevent bleaching.
- Test Kit – You should test your pool every couple of days to insure that your chlorine (sanitizer) level and your pH level are at the proper ranges to prevent bacteria and algae growth, along with skin irritations. pH is very important to maintain as it will cause skin irritations if it is too low as well as start to corrode pool equipment such as pumps and heaters. If the pH is too high, it will cause calcification on the liners as well as around the pumps and heaters. High chlorine levels will cause discoloration of the pool surface and liner and will be very irritating to the skin. Low levels of chlorine, as you can guess, will cause algae to form and is not safe to swim in.
- Pool Shock – Should be used once per week, only in the evenings after dark for the most effectiveness. The shock is added to help finish the kill of the dead bacteria that is left in the pool once the chlorine has killed it. Without this burnoff, your level of free chlorine that would be available to kill more bacteria would be very low or non-existent, causing a continually low chlorine level which would be hard to get to the correct range. It’s important to always sprinkle this shock around the outside of the pool and near the return jet, so that the shock does not settle all in one area. ALWAYS add this product to the water, not water to the product (this is important information if you like to pre-dissolve your shock before pouring it in – never put the shock in a bucket and then add water to it or it will cause an extreme amount of gas fumes that can be very dangerous.)
- pH adjusters – The ideal pH range is between 7.2-7.4. It’s important to have both pH Up & pH Down products on hand at all times. You will typically go through one more than the other, but after rainfalls and other unforeseen circumstances, the pH in your pool can turn the opposite direction.
- Clarifier – Using a clarifier on a regular basis helps to aide your filter in pulling out finer particles in the water that otherwise would pass right thru and back into the pool. This product is most effective by adding it directly down your skimmer, so that it can adhere to the sand particles or paper cartridges of your filter. This item will need to be replaced after each backwash or after rinsing off your cartridges.
By following these guidelines you will always have a crystal clear & clean pool – free of algae and worries all summer long!