Maintaining Your New Pool With Swimming Pool Chemicals  

by Pool Builders on 08-14-2013 in Articles

When investing in a new swimming pool it is important that you understand how the water should be treated and which swimming pool chemicals will be required to keep the pool clean and safe. The most commonly used and well known chemical for sanitising pools is chlorine. This chemical comes in two formats, either tablet or granular, each type is equally as affective at killing bacteria and algae; they are simply distributed in different ways. To dose the pool with chlorine granules you will need to scatter them across the surface of the water. Chlorine tablets however are placed into a skimmer basket; from here they will be dissolved into the water over a course of a week. Exact guidelines on the measurements and methods will be provided on the packet. Chlorine can also be stabilised or unstabilised. The simple difference between the two, is that stabilised chlorine is best for daily sanitising, whereas unstabilised is best for a weekly €shock treatment'. The term €shocking' is used when treating the water with unstabilised chlorine due to the quick, high chlorine concentration put into the pool which is then dissipated over the course of a day. Initially the concentration of chlorine will be too high however it should be safe to dive into the pool around 24 hours after treatment.
Algaecides are a second pool sanitizer however unlike chlorine, they solely kill algae and have no affect on bacteria within the pool; therefore they cannot be used as an alternative. It is possible to purchase a one off dose of algaecide, which is often regarded as the easiest form of algae treatment. As the name suggests, here you will treat the pool with algaecide once in the spring and this should see you through the remainder of the swimming season. Some bathers are cautious about using long term treatment however due the fact it contains copper. If this is the case for you, then regular algaecides are available for purchase; these do not contain any copper. Your pool should be treated with regular algaecides fortnightly. Specific winterising algaecides can also be purchase to maintain the pool over the winter months. These are useful as it reduces the amount of work needed before the pool is ready for use the following year. As longer term algaecides however, they do also contain copper.
The third types of swimming pool chemical you need to consider are pH balancers. In order to prevent reactions with the skin along with irritated eyes of the bathers, it is vital that the pH is kept at a neutral level. PHdescribes the acidity levels within the pool and works on a scale of 0 to 14; 0 being highly acidic and 14 being highly alkaline. Pool water should ideally be kept at a pH of 7.2 to 7.4 and is unsafe should it fall below 7 or above 7.8. In order to maintain this balance, special chemicals can be added to the water accordingly. For example if the water is too acidic, which is more common in areas surrounded by mountains or further north in the UK, soda ash (an alkali) can be added to raise the pH until it is neutral. If the water is too alkaline, common in the south of England, dry acid should be used to lower the pH. The necessary doses are often quite high so it is recommended that pool owners buy in bulk. Along with causing irritation to bathers, highly acidic pH levels can lead to damage of the pool as grouting and plaster is leached out. Metal objects will also corrode. Water that has a high pH will cause walls and equipments to scale up due to calcium deposits. Other swimming pool chemicals are also designed to work most efficiently at a neutral pH. Test kits can be purchased to monitor pH levels and amounts of chlorine. They are simple to use and will ensure that the chemicals within the pool are kept at a safe level for bathers therefore it is highly recommended that you use them.
A final chemical you may wish to use is a clarifier. They coagulate small particles in the water in order to make them big enough to be collected by the filter. This stops the water from looking cloudy.

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