Chemicals for Weekly Pool Maintenance  

by Pool Builders on 03-25-2012 in Articles

While filter and pump systems can do the majority of the cleaning, it takes chemistry to really decontaminate your pool and keep it fresh (not only pools but hot tubs, spas, wading pools, and whirlpools). Your filter will pump out the heavy material, but won't catch all the disease carrying microorganisms that thrive in untreated water.
There are many different types of chemicals that can be used to clean pools. There are certain chemicals that work to kill existing bacteria as well as chemicals that don't actually kill any bacteria, but create an environment that makes it is very difficult for it to grow. The appropriate type and amount of chemicals for your pool depends on a couple of factors: your geographical location (average temperature), the size and type of swimming pool, as well as the surrounding pool area. It is extremely important to maintain a proper chemical balance in order to provide a safe swimming environment. Without the proper balance your pool water can cause irritation to both the skin and eyes of swimmers- most commonly noticed when your eyes are itchy or sting after exiting the pool.
The most popular pool disinfectant is chlorine. Chlorine can come in liquid form (sodium hypochlorite), solid form (calcium hypochlorite) or in gaseous form (although this is primarily used in larger swimming pools). Chlorine mixes with water to form a hypochlorous acid that destroys the structure of the bacterial cells from the inside- rendering them harmless. While it is true that too much chlorine will case a potent odor, the opposite is true as well. Too often people think the odor from their pool is caused by too much chlorine when it is actually caused by the lack of chlorine.
There are a couple different way you can go about adding chlorine to your pool. You can add it manually (simply pouring it into the pool), although this will often case the chlorine to concentrate itself in the area while it is poured. You can also add chlorine to your pool through a chemical feeder. There are two different types of chemical feeders. The simpler, and cheaper, type is the feeder that floats around your pool slowing releasing chlorine. There are also automated chemical feeders that hook up to your pool filter/pump system. They are certainly more expensive and difficult to install, but are also more effective as they are consistent and precise.

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