Taking Care of Your Pool Part Two  

by Pool Builders on 05-18-2008 in Articles

The other day, I wrote an article explaining how to take care of your pool's PH and chlorine levels. However, analyzing and maintaining the PH and chlorine levels are just the first of many steps in your pool's maintenance. To have a really healthy pool, you need to remember some of these pool care tips.

Check the hardness levels of the pool water annually. Take a pool water sample to your local pool salespeople and have them test the hardness for you. Most likely they will advise adding baking soda to your pool if the water is too hard. It's pretty easy to find baking soda, but keep in mind that you will need several pounds of it. Once they check the hardness of the water, the pool professional will help you figure out and purchase the exact amount of baking soda that you will need to take home and put in your pool. Once you add the baking soda, be sure to stir your pool well with the pool skimmer and let it sit for a day.

The PH of your pool will be altered as a direct result of adding the baking soda. Baking soda acts as a base and will reduce the acidity of the water. In order to cancel out the baking soda's affect on the water, you will probably have to use an increaser. You will not have to worry about sending in more water to be tested, however, because the extra increaser will not change the water hardness.

You should also look for algae. A different chemical is required to kill each one of the three types of bad algae. The more common algae will be red or yellow; black algae are deadly. Mustard algae, which look like green dust in the pool, are exceptionally hard to eradicate. These algae cannot be killed by normal chlorine; therefore you may have to shock the water several times in order to eliminate it. If you find colors on the side of your pool, you may have missed your twice-yearly checkup for algae. Your pool service personnel are available to advise you on which chemicals to use for each type of algae, and these chemicals are available at most pool stores.

Murky water is commonplace in all pools. It is when the water becomes opaque or has a whitish cloud in it. You will need to buy water clarifier when this happens. When you add the clarifier, it attracts the substances causing the clouds, forming small white balls that drop to the bottom of your pool. With a Polaris or other specialized pool vacuum, these balls can be removed effortlessly. These efficient machines can be bought at your pool store, and some even live in the depths of your pool for constant cleansing.

Check your filters often, especially if you have a diatomaceous earth filter. It is important to maintain constant upkeep of the filters, and to refill them with dirt every week or so. However, they are probably the highest-quality filters on the market. Even though paper filters don't have to be checked so frequently, you have to buy many of them because they need to be changed out constantly. One of the most cost effective filters is a sand filter, which doesn't need to be inspected or changed as often as most others.

Inevitably there will be a dead animal or insect in the pool. Don't panic. Small animals and bugs will want to drink from and swim in your pool, so many times when you remove the cover to your pool, you will find them caught in the water. Part of pool maintenance is checking the filter baskets weekly as flies, spiders, frogs, mice, or perhaps a gopher or two will get stuck and drown. Having a skimmer with an extended handle is useful in these situations.

Try not to be overwhelmed; just remember that there is hope. A lot of pool companies do not charge you much to upkeep your pool, especially during the winter months. You will probably end up spending more money buying the filters, testing kits, chemicals, reagents, chlorine tablets, baking soda containers, clarifiers, and algaecides per year than it would cost if you just had someone else do it for you. Take some advice from another pool owner - if there is a pool company around, utilize their services.

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