A swimming pool is a structure that is designed to hold water so that people and their loved ones can swim, party, and engage in other fun activities. Swimming pools can be fitted into the ground (in-ground pools) or built above the ground (above-ground pools).
The above-ground pool is an outdoor swimming pool that sits totally on top of the ground; both the pool walls and water line of the pool are above ground level.
Why You Should Get Pool Chemicals
When you decide to get a pool, you’re thinking about pool parties, kids frolicking, swimming, and other leisure activities. But once you fill your swimming pool with fresh water, you can’t just leave it that way forever.
Keeping your swimming pool from bacteria, algae, and skin irritation can be a very tasking and time-consuming job if you don’t know the needed chemicals for the regular maintenance of the pool. Health problems may also arise when you do not know how to use the right chemicals.
Pools tend to grow algae and get dirty from the chemicals and skin cells from all those swimmers. Debris and other natural contaminants can also cloud the water and create an unfit, bacteria-infested environment. The last thing you want is to go for a pleasant dip and find that the water is too dirty and might even make you and your friends or family sick.
Sometimes it seems like you need a degree in chemistry to make sure your pool chemicals are perfectly balanced. But, that’s not true. It doesn’t have to be hard to make sure your pool is always clean, safe, and ready for a good time. Once you understand the basics of pool chemicals and maintenance, it becomes easier and less time-consuming to make sure your pool is balanced and safe.
It’s essential for you to check your chemicals often and to perform regular maintenance.
- You won’t have long-term issues like algae blooms or bacterial infections that might create health issues for you and your loved ones.
- You’ll avoid problems that might require draining and refilling your pool or even more serious repairs that are expensive and will have your swimming pool out of commission for a long time.
- Your swimming pool will always be ready and waiting for you to dive in and enjoy.
So, I have decided to compile a list of pool chemicals that you should get and be familiar with before deciding to construct or use your above-ground swimming pool.
Sanitizers keep the pool disinfected and safe from organisms. They combine with bacteria, viruses, algae, and other natural contaminants in your pool to get rid of them. Sanitizers are the most crucial pool chemicals. The two most popular pool sanitizers are chlorine and bromine. The level of these two chemicals in the pool water should remain constant.
- Chlorine neutralizes bacteria and viruses (algae, fungi, etc.) by clinging to them and changing their chemical properties. Once the viruses and bacteria cling to the chlorine, the chlorine loses its effectiveness, but the contaminants will be eliminated.
The ideal target balance for chlorine is 3ppm (parts per million). If you are under 3ppm, your pool is probably starting to become a petri dish. When you have anything more than 3ppm, you probably need to dilute the chemicals in your water.
Chlorine usually comes in a granule form which you can drop right in the pool. Granular chlorine has to be added to your swimming pool and tested almost daily, so it’s a little more time-intensive to manage.
- Bromine is similar to chlorine, but it tends to work better in pools that run at warmer temperatures. The ideal target balance for bromine is between 3ppm (parts per million) and 5ppm. Bromine is an excellent option for people whose skin is sensitive to chlorine, although it is chlorine-based, in case you have anyone who is allergic to chlorine.
Bromine is less stable than chlorine when exposed to the sun. So, you need to make sure you are constantly checking your pool chemical levels. Bromine can be more expensive than chlorine; however, bromine ionizes bacteria and viruses and then continues to work, unlike chlorine. That’s why bromine lasts longer than chlorine. Bromine usually comes in tablet form and must be introduced into the pool using a chemical dispenser.
- Biguanide: or more specifically polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), is a non-chlorine, hydrogen peroxide-based alternative to chlorine or bromine. It is a positively charged polymer product containing 15-20 percent PHMB sold in its liquid form. Although it is gentle on the skin, it is not usually used in pool sanitization. The ideal target balance for biguanide to reach is between 30ppm (parts per million) and 50ppm.
To ensure that the water in your pool is balanced, you should test the pool for chlorine and pH several times per month. The chlorine and pH should be adjusted to their normal level after every test. Test total alkalinity every few weeks.
A pool’s pH level is sensitive. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to maintain your pH levels with consistent monitoring. Keep a pH increaser and a pH decreaser in your stockpile of pool chemical management tools.
pH: This has a great impact on the overall chemical reactions that take place in the swimming pool water because it is a measure of the acidity or basicity of water. Chlorine will cling to and kill bacteria and fungi only if the acidity or basicity of the pool water is kept in check. When the pH rises, the chlorine is limited. pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. They are divided into Acidic, Neutral, and Basic (alkaline).
At a pH over 8.0, the pool water may become cloudy. If the pH is under 7.0, the pool water will irritate your eyes and nose. Low pH will also damage the metal and plastic parts of a pool, damaging the pool altogether. The standard pH is from 7.2 to 8.0. But it is advisable to make it between 7.4 to 7.6.
When you notice an increase in the pH, metric (hydrochloric) acid should be added to the pool. The desired amount of acid to be added to the pool must be diluted before adding to the pool. Please note that acids stain the wall of the pool. When you notice a decrease in pH, add soda ash (sodium carbonate) to the pool water.
Alkalinity: Alkaline is present in all freshwater. Alkalinity exists as a bicarbonate material within the 7.2 to 7.8 pH range. Test kits are used to check for the alkalinity in pools. The alkalinity of water determines the capacity of the water to withstand the small change in pH.
The alkalinity level for swimming pool water should be between 90 to 120ppm. When you notice that the alkalinity of your pool is below 90ppm, baking soda should be added to increase it. Note that three (3) pounds of baking soda will increase the alkalinity of 20,000 gallons of water to 20 ppm.
Cyanuric Acid: When the sun hits your pool, the temperature increases, causing the chlorine to decompose. The decomposition of chlorine can be reduced by adding cyanuric acid. Using test kits, always check for the level of cyanuric acid in pool water weekly.
The recommended level is 30-50 ppm. If the level of the cyanuric acid rises above this point, the water in the pool should be drained because the concentration of cyanuric acid in a pool cannot be reduced and managed.
Adding more chlorine does not make it more effective. Instead, the chlorine level increases and becomes over 100 ppm causing more problems for your pool. In other words, more is not better. Because a lot of powdered chlorine in stock has a percentage of this acid in them, the concentration of the acid in pool water may increase when you do not want it to.
These types of chlorine should be avoided. You should always check before buying to see if the chlorine you want to buy contains cyanuric acid. If any of the chemical listed below is found on the pack of the powdered chlorine, then you should know that it contains cyanuric acid:
- Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione (sodium dichloroisocyanurate).
- Potassium dichloroisocyanurate.
- Trichloro-s-triazinetrione, also known as trichloroisocyanurate.
Since you now know that cyanuric acid prevents chlorine from killing bacteria and algae, therefore, when you stabilize your pool, the chlorine residual must always be above or exactly 1.55mmp to offset this phenomenon.
How to store pool chemicals
You must always take care and precautions seriously when storing and handling pool chemicals. They should always be stored in warm and dry spaces. The chemicals should be stored in different compartments to prevent harmful chemical reactions from occurring.
Chemicals should be properly diluted before they are added to the pool. Do not add chemicals while people are inside the pool. The chemicals should be allowed to circulate the pool before people are allowed into them (when you are adding chlorine, this rule does not apply).
At temperatures above 24-26 degrees Celcius, the chlorine in the pool depletes faster, causing algae to grow in the pool water. The deposition of calcium carbonate on the pool wall is also likely to occur at this temperature. There are no laws that govern temperature increases in a pool, but high temperature is mostly used in spas.
Having a good knowledge of the chemicals you need to maintain your pool is priceless. These chemicals will keep your pool clean, fresh, and uncontaminated. With the help of these chemicals, you will enjoy your pool with your family and friends and won’t bother getting skin irritation or falling sick.