Learn About Swimming Pool Chemicals Tips

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Why shouldn't you mix pool chemicals?

Don't Mix It Up

People like to find shortcuts to do things (like presetting a coffeemaker to make a fresh pot right when you wake up or finding the shortest back road route to work so you don't have to suffer with traffic on the highway). In most cases, shortcuts can really be a big help. However, you shouldn't use “shortcut” plans when dealing with pool chemicals.

If you know you have to add chlorine and a number of other chemicals, do it exactly as the instructions instruct—one at a time. Don't even think about mixing up a batch of every chemical you need before placing it in the pool just so you can save time doing everything at once. Mixing chemicals before they hit the pool water could cause chemicals to have bad reactions with each other. This could have an incredibly bad reaction with your pool.

*In the long run, shortcuts with pool chemicals could cause you lots of pool problems.

Is there an alternative to chlorine for swimming pools?

Get Rid of Chlorine

Chlorine is easily the most popular of the swimming pool chemicals. For some, however, it is just too irritating. In fact, chlorine byproducts may be linked to asthma and certain other health problems. Still, swimming in an unclean pool can be just as hazardous to your health.
Fortunately, there are viable alternatives to using chlorine in your pool. One such alternative involves the use of an ozone generator. Ozone is actually a more powerful oxidant than chlorine. However, the use of ozone does have its limitations. Ask your pool dealer for information about using ozone to reduce or eliminate the need for pool chemicals.

How do you shock a swimming pool?

Shock Value

Shocking a swimming pool is not telling it you are leaving your job to join the circus (that's how you shock your parents). Pool shocking is actually a much needed process you should try and do at least once a week. Though, if you're a family of heavy swimmers you might want to consider doing it a bit more frequently.

The purpose behind pool shock treatment is to make sure everything is chemically balanced in your pool. This pool chemical comes in powder form (which you just sprinkle in the pool).

*Just to be on the safe side go with granny's revised eating/swimming motto, “No swimming right after you eat—or after shocking the pool!”

Whatdoes it mean when water is too hard or too soft?

Hard & Soft Facts Of Water

Water—you probably don't give it a second thought when you guzzle it down or use it on your plants. However, when H2O is in your pool you really need to take a closer look at its characteristics. See how much minerals (like calcium) your water contains (pool chemical pros will sometimes refer to this as seeing if water is too hard or too soft):

• Too hard means too many minerals—this will make the water cloudy
• Too soft means a lack of minerals—this could actually cause damage to the plaster in concrete pools

If your current tester doesn't test water characteristics, you should buy one that's more advanced. And, if you're worried you won't read it right, you could always bring a sample of your water to your local pool store for testing.

What is a pH test?

Balancing Act

Want to learn about swimming pool chemicals? You'll know if a pool isn't chemically right before you even nail your first cannonball. If the swimming pool walls look deteriorated or the water is cloudy, you could have yourself a pool problem. Using a pH test is a bit more accurate, however, than eyeballing your pool's status.

A pH test measures the acid-alkalinity balance in the pool (this is done by taking a sample of water and adding pool chemicals to it). You compare the sample to a chart that ranges from 0 to 14 (each number represents a shade of color). The best reading you can get is somewhere in the middle like a 7.2 or 7.8.

*Other than this “mad scientist” method of adding chemicals to pool water, you can also use pH strips. These are strips of paper that you just dip in the pool. Then, you compare its color on a similar chart—easy, and no mess.

What is bromine used for?

Bromine: Chlorine's Cousin

Aside from the occasional irritated eyes and skin, chlorine is your best “pool chemical” bet for keeping your outside swimming pool in peak condition. However, if you're dealing with inside inground pools, there is another less irritating option – Bromine.

Swimming pool chemicals like Bromine pretty much work the same way as chlorine ( by killing algae and microscopic pests). However, Bromine's chemical make-up is a little more user-friendly. Adding bromine means you don't even have to shock the pool.

*Unfortunately, sunlight causes Bromine to break down too fast to be used for outside swimming pools.

What happenes when you have too much chlorine in a swimming pool?

Chlorine Clean Up

Another way you'll know if the swimming pool water is off is right at the moment you dive in. If you surface with stingy eyes and itchy skin you could have a chlorine problem.

If you own a pool or occasionaly swim in one, you still should learn about swimming pool chemicals. Chlorine is essential in the pool cleaning process. Add this pool chemical to kiss algae goodbye (as well as those lovely disease-filled microorganisms you can't even see). Probably the easiest way to add chlorine to your pool is by buying chlorine tablets. Though, keep in mind that chlorine isn't the most human-friendly chemical on the planet.

*Add chlorine to your pool as quickly as possible so you won't inhale any fumes or sting your hands. Your best bet is to consult a pool expert before handling.

Do I have to hire a company to maintain my pool?

Don't Just Guess

Though some pool owners enlist the services of pool maintenance companies to care for their pools, doing so is not necessary. You can handle most of the necessary pool tasks all on your own. There are an abundance of pool stores and online companies that offer an array of pool chemicals designed to keep your pool in tip-top shape. Many offer pool-testing kits as well.
A reliable pool-testing kit can make your job easier. These kits are generally easy to use and come with detailed instructions. Ask your pool supply dealer which testing kits are best for your particular needs.
*For the most accurate results, be sure to take your pool sample at the same time each day.

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Sherril Steele-Carlin