Your swimming pool provides endless hours of fun, relaxation, and entertainment for you and your family. However, in order to keep that water crystal clear and sparkling, you need to understand the basics of keeping the pool water in tip-top condition. To do that, you need to maintain the proper water chemistry. The right levels of your pool chemicals play a vital role in keeping your pool water clean, balanced, and safe for your family. Juniper has put together a list of what we think are the seven best pool chemicals to keep your family safe.
A Water Testing Kit
While not precisely a chemical, keeping a water testing kit or test strips on hand is essential. Water testing is the first step in determining your pool’s chemical levels and knowing what adjustments you must make to achieve proper balance. Test your pool water frequently two or three times a week during the summer months. Also test after a heavy bather load, a rain storm, or if your pets have joined you in the pool. A chemical dosing chart is helpful in indicating which chemicals you need to add to get to the right levels.
In order to keep your pool water balanced all season long, there are seven chemicals to keep on hand at all times. There is also a particular order in which you should add the chemicals used to balance the water.
1 & 2) Alkalinity Increaser/Decreaser
The first order of business is to get the alkalinity level to the correct level, which is between 80-120 ppm. Having the correct alkaline level helps control fluctuations in pH. If you need to raise the alkalinity you will need an alkalinity increaser. If you need to decrease alkalinity you need a pH decreaser.
3) pH Adjustment
Next, you will need to adjust your pH levels. Alkalinity and pH work hand in hand. Often, just by getting your alkalinity level correct, the pH will follow. The correct range for pH is 7.4-7.6. To lower the pH level of the water, use a pH decreaser. If you need to raise the pH, use a pH increaser. It is important to adjust your pH level before adding pool sanitizer because having the proper pH will make your sanitizer work more effectively.
4) Pool Sanitizer
Pool sanitizer is the next step in maintaining a safe swimming environment for your family. Chlorine is a widely used and effective pool sanitizer. It does the job of killing harmful bacteria, viruses, and algae in the water, preventing the spread of infection and diseases. There are sanitizer options besides chlorine, including bromine and salt sanitizing systems as well.
5) Cyanuric Acid (CYA)
Cyanuric acid stabilizes your sanitizer and makes it last longer so you don’t have to add more chlorine. If you use a chlorine tablet-type sanitizer, it may already have a CYA in it, so you may not have to add extra to the water.
6) Calcium Hardness
Check your calcium hardness levels and adjust them if necessary. If the calcium levels are out of balance it can have a negative effect on your pool’s equipment, causing corrosion to equipment and pool surfaces.
7) Pool Shock
Once your pH and alkaline levels are at the proper level, shock the pool at least once a week. Shock is an extra dose of sanitizer that raises the “free chlorine level” to a degree that contaminants such as bacteria and algae are destroyed. Adding shock to the pool can clear up a cloudy water situation and keep algae growth at bay. Ideally, add pool shock at night and let it do its magic overnight or for at least eight hours.
Proper pool maintenance is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of your family. Juniper has listed what we believe are the seven best pool chemicals to keep your family safe. When used after regular water testing, they will play a crucial role in maintaining clear, clean, and safe water in your swimming pool. Juniper is an authorized Poolife™ dealer, and we carry the full line of products that make caring for your pool easier than ever. Poolife has a handy Water Care Guide you can download and keep on hand for reference with their products. The professional team at Juniper is also available to you to answer any questions about pool chemicals and water care. Stop in any of our four locations for free water testing and expert professional product advice. Our goal always is for you to have an enjoyable and safe swimming experience with your family.