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How Do You Test For Phosphates In Pool Water

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How To Remove Phosphates In A Pool

How to Test your Pool Water Phosphates – Master Touch Pool Service

In most cases, you wont need to address phosphates for a very long time. However, there are several things that you can do to prevent phosphates from building up or to remove them. Keeping organic materials, such as leaves and yard waste, out of your pool prevents phosphate buildup. As organic material breaks down, it releases phosphates into the water. Another option is to prevent algae buildup as much as possible.

If you need to remove phosphates, there are chemicals that you can use. Phosphate removers should be used sparingly if at all since they pose a health risk. Always consult a professional before considering phosphate removal chemicals.

How To Test Your Pool Water

You take pride in your pool, for a good reason. Now youre ready to open it for the season, and you want to keep your pool safe, sanitary, and crystal clear. Pool water testing, while it may seem somewhat trivial, is the best thing you can do to assure safe and clean water.

First, lets cover why testing is so important, and what kinds of tests you should be doing. Youll know everything you need to know to have confidence in your swimming pool.

How To Test Pool Phosphate And Stabilizer Levels

Since it takes timesometimes months or even yearsfor phosphates levels to become excessive, it is easiest to take a water sample and have your local pool store check it for you instead of buying a test kit. However, if this is not possible, or you want to do your own phosphate test, you can always buy your own phosphate test kit. This will be a separate kit from the one for the other pool chemical measurements. If the phosphate levels are around 100 ppb or above, you should consider using a phosphate remover to reduce the levels.

To test stabilizer levels, I highly recommend a professional DPD test kit such as the Taylor Complete Swimming Pool Water kit. It is the same test kit the pros use and will give you very accurate readings. It tests for pH, total alkalinity, free and total chlorine, bromine, stabilizer, calcium, and acid demand. Although test strips are cheaperand most of the 6-way test strips do provide a stabilizer readingI don’t usually recommend them. You will never really get an exact reading they just give you a general idea whether a chemical is high or low. If your stabilizer is high, it will need to be lowered to a more manageable level .

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If Algae Growth Has Happened

Brush the algae off of the walls and floor. Clean the filter, then shock the pool with chlorine. After that, add the phosphate remover. Keep in mind that phosphate remover is hard on the filter, and you will notice reduced ow after a day or two. Clean the filter again after 24 to 36 hours of circulation.

How To Lower Phosphates In Your Pool

REVIVE! Swimming Pool Phosphate and Algae Remover 32 oz ...

If your pools phosphate levels are actually nearing 1,000 ppb, you might want to consider doing something to lower them a bit.

One of the methods pool owners sometimes use is adding a product called a phosphate reducer, such as PHOSfree, which continually cleans the filter media and uses a rare earth metal to bind and remove phosphates upon use.

And if you have tried everything else and feel that needs to be done, you certainly can.

But it is my opinion that you should NEVER have to use this product!

For the most part, you can control phosphate levels by keeping the pool clean from debris and other organic matter. It also helps to keep your pool filter cleaned and the surface brushed.

After all, the main effect you want to prevent that phosphates lend to is algae growth. So, if you are keeping the algae population under control, you probably dont have a phosphate problem.

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Ending Thoughts On How To Lower Phosphates In A Swimming Pool

You may find a lot of misinformation and myths about phosphates and what is their role. Surely, some phosphate levels are inevitable. Yet, we recommend you focus on the pool chemistry balance and prevent algae growth. Stop worrying about phosphate levels. Pool owners have various other things to monitor, measure, and test in their pools. So, keep in mind maintaining chemistry balance levels to ensure your pool stays clear and free from algae during summer.

If you enjoyed reading this article on how to lower phosphates in a swimming pool, you should read these as well:

Phosphate In Pools And Spas

Phosphate must be monitored because it is undesirable in pools and spas as it promotes the growth of algae. This is especially important for outdoor pools and spas. The level of total phosphates in pool and spa water should be 0.01 mg/L or below. Other key tests for pool and spa include pH, chlorine and turbidity.

For an overview of key testing parameters, guidance on recommended levels and the effects of poor water monitoring download our pool chemistry guide.

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What Do Swimming Pool Water Test Strips Do

In our teams opinion, swimming pool test strips provide accurate readings of your pools chemical levels. We believe that overall pool testing strips can be a more reliable method of testing your pool water, especially for new pool owners, than a liquid test kit as pool test strips eliminate the risk of human error and can be easier to read. Pool water test strips usually have a color chart that lets you know the different levels of your pools pH, chlorine, alkalinty, and more depending on the kit you purchase.

What Are Nitrates And How Did They Get Into My Pool

How Do Phosphates Get Into Pool Water?

Nitrates and Nitrites are products of Nitrogen gas. Nitrate, which consists of a single nitrogen atom connected to three oxygen atoms , is extremely stable or hard to remove. Nitrogen can enter your pool water from a variety of sources. It combines with oxygen to form a Nitrite . This extra oxygen atom is not just free floating around the pool , so the agressive Nitrogen Oxide will steal another O atom from our chlorine molecule, HOCl. This makes our chlorine less effective and increases your chlorine demand. This continues as Nitrites take on another oxygen atom to become Nitrates, .

Nitrates have many of the same sources as Phosphates. Lawn care products, Acid Rain, Perspiration and Urine or other types of Ammonia . One study done in Miami found a higher incidence of Nitrates in community pools and pools which allow children, and lower levels in adult only pools. Nitrates cannot be removed from a pool except by dilution. AskAlan suggests draining 20% and refilling, repeatedly, until Nitrate has been lowered to manageable levels. You can test your pool for Nitrate levels, using a test strip for Nitrates.

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Lowering Phosphates And Chlorine Stabilizer

Do you have green and cloudy pool water? You could have an algae bloom, a common problem plaguing many pool owners with unbalanced water chemistry. Algae is more likely to grow in warm temperatures, low chlorine levels, and high phosphate and nitrogen levels. Keeping your pool’s chemicals balanced can be a challenge, but it’s important for your pool’s hygiene.

In this article, we will focus on phosphates in your pool, how they get there, how they affect the water, and how to reduce high phosphate levels. We will also discuss how using too much chlorine stabilizer can cause similar problems.

Phosphates In Pool Water: What They Wont Tell You

  • |July 24, 2019

For pool owners who naturally want to control algae in their pools, taking steps to control phosphates just makes sense. Or does it?

Most people started to pay attention to phosphates in the 70s and 80s, when news of algae blooms and their effect on drinking water started to hit the news. There was a sudden awareness that phosphates are in everything.

Today Ill be looking at the facts behind phosphates in pools, and what you really need to do to keep your pool water healthy and algae-free.

Skip to:

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How Do I Test Pool Phosphate Levels

To test pool phosphate levels, you can buy a phosphate testing kit or take a pool water sample to your local pool supply store. Since phosphates take a long time to build up, having the store technicians test your water every time that you go to the store is an easy way to monitor your phosphate levels.

Should Phosphates Be Removed

HTH® Phosphate Remover

Some pool professionals and chemical salespeople sell the idea that algae bloom can only be controlled by removing phosphates from your pool. Because of this, many pool owners overspend on swimming pool phosphate remover, thinking that this solves the problem. Because there are other components factored into the relationship between phosphates and algae, merely using a swimming pool phosphate remover is not the answer.

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How Does Phosphates Get Into Pool Water

4/5PhosphatePool WaterPhosphates can enterpoolwaterpoolpoolpool canread here

They are found in lawn and garden fertilizers, decaying vegetation, municipal water, cosmetic items on bathers, and even other pool chemicals. This means a fresh batch of phosphates enter your water when any of the following occur: The wind blows dirt into your pool.

One may also ask, do phosphates eat up chlorine? Phosphates are food for algae. For operators using granular or liquid chlorine, for example, high phosphate levels can result in unnecessarily high chlorine bills, due to using more chlorine than otherwise would be necessary to kill the algae in the water.

One may also ask, what removes phosphates from pool water?

Phosphates are a misunderstood issue in pool chemistry because 1) they are difficult to test for, and 2) they cannot be removed by chlorine alone. In fact, chlorine does not even interact with phosphates. To remove phosphates, you will need a phosphate remover.

What does PHOSfree do for pools?

Natural Chemistry Pool Perfect + PHOSfree is a weekly maintenance product that continually removes phosphates and organic contaminants from pool water. Pool Perfect is a powerful enzyme that reduces the need for maintenance by breaking down organic contaminants, surface oils and prevents scum lines.

Six Tips For Keeping Phosphates At Normal Levels

  • Concentrated Formula – Only 1 oz. treats 5,000 gallons
  • Clears cloudy water fast & prevents future hazy appearance

Since I dont necessarily advocate using phosphate reducers, what I do recommend is keeping them at manageable levels by doing a few key things:

  • Keep your pool free from debris by skimming out leaves and other plant life.
  • Brush your pool weekly to remove spores and buildup on the pool surface.
  • Use a good algaecide regularly.
  • Clean out the skimmer weekly.
  • Keep your pool covered when not in use.
  • Keep your chlorine, pH and alkalinity levels within normal ranges.

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When And How You Remove Phosphates From Your Pool

Whenever you have an imbalanced pool, one of the first things you should do is test your water. Before you can remedy the issue, you first need to determine what the issue is, right? So what happens when the store clerk tells you your water has a high amount of phosphates? Naturally, the first thing pool owners do is go out and purchase a phosphate remover and add it into their pool.

If youve already experienced this, you already know that this wont solve your green pool. Now, you have a green pool AND white sediment at the bottom of your pool. The first thing pool owners should focus on is removing the algae. In this particular case, once the pH and alkalinity levels were correct, the water was clear. To be honest, there probably wasnt a need to purchase the phosphate remover. In most cases, you wont have a need for phosphate remover.

In fact, there is no scientific evidence that even proves that phosphates actually increase algal growth rates when phosphate levels are below 1000 parts per billion . McGrayel Water Technologies completed a study and it was determined that algal growth rates are unaffected at each phosphate level. They also determined that phosphates are not likely to be a problem until after levels are above 1000 ppb.

How To Address Algae If Phosphates Arent The Issue

Swimming Pool Phosphates

While high levels of phosphates in the hot tub or swimming pool are not ideal, if you address other algae growth components, its unlikely to be a concern. Phosphates are inevitable, no matter how much testing you do or how many chemical controls are applied. This is especially true in outdoor pools. So it isnt necessary to waste money on swimming pool phosphate remover.

Instead, take these simple steps to prevent algae growth:

empty the skimmer and pump baskets frequentlykeep the filter cleanvacuum dirt and debris as needed

Also, products like Pool Marvel and Spa Marvel create a less-than-hospitable environment for algae by naturally breaking down and inhibiting components that contribute to algae growth.

The bottom line is that while high phosphates in a pool or phosphates in the hot tub are food for algae, theyre not the sole cause of algae bloom. So spending money on a swimming pool phosphate test kit or swimming pool phosphate remover to eradicate phosphates is unnecessary. In both pools and spas, some phosphate level is inevitable. Its far more effective to implement good overall pool and spa maintenance habits and include a product that addresses other algae bloom factors. These steps will ensure a clear, attractive, and most importantly, a healthy place for you and your guests to swim and play.

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Ideally You Will Also:

  • Restrict runoff from lawns, landscaping or washing decks entering the pool

  • Remove leaves and other debris from the pool regularly

  • Use a long-life algaecide such as MSA Extreme or AlgiGuard all year round in conjunction with their phosphate removal treatment

  • Get us to regularly test your pool water for phosphates and treat when necessary

We have special test kits to check the level of phosphate in your water, so, should the result of the test exceed the recommended level then we have BioGuard Phos Kill to remove the excess phosphate is now readily available in store.

Bring a pool sample into us today and we can check your Phosphate levels along with all your other pool chemical balances for FREE! Alternatively, you can use the button below to book one of our highly trained pool technicians to come to you.

Is Removing Phosphates Even Worth It

Generally speaking, most pool owners dont need to test for or control phosphate levels in their pools. If your pool water is otherwise healthy and balanced, phosphates wont affect water quality.

If you have an algae problem, an algaecide is a much more direct and effective method of correcting it, than independently testing and trying to control phosphate levels.

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What’s The Best Brand Of Phosphate Remover

One of the first cons on phosphate removers is the price.

After I purchased a phosphate test kit and found my levels towards the high end I started searching for the best phosphate remover to use. I found there to be a rather large difference in quality from my searching. A liter of Natural Chemistry will only remove 2000ppb phosphates from a 10,000-gallon pool while a product such as Orenda PR-10000 will remove 10,000ppb phosphates from a 10,000-gallon pool. Both are in the $40 range while the Natural Chemistry is sold as a 2-liter compared to Orenda which is sold as a quart. Regardless the Orenda brand is considerably the better dealbut how costly is it truly to use?

For me and our 24,000 gallon pool I started out my phosphates were roughly 1500ppb, so I needed to add roughly 15 ounces or roughly ½ a bottle. Now as expected the pool became cloudy within minutes which cleared up after a day of filtering. After adding this initial dose last year I needed to add another dose once at the start of this season which was another 10 ounces. As I sit today I still have just over 10 ounces remaining even after 2 years of use now. If the pattern continues in our pool this means the initial purchase of a $40-dollar bottle of Orenda phosphate remover will last me roughly 3 seasons and make the product about $13 a season.

How Do I Know If I Have A Phosphate Or Nitrate Problem In My Pool

HTH® Phosphate Remover

The first clue to you, may be that persistent algae that keeps coming back. If you have tried everything and the algae keeps returning, you probably have some amount of Phosphate or Nitrate contamination. If suspected, you can use the test strips to determine the level present in the water. Your local pool store may be able to test for this, or alternatively, perform a Chlorine Demand test, which can be an indication of a Phosphate or Nitrate presence in high concentrations.

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Can You Swim In A Pool With High Phosphates

As mentioned before, high phosphates in a pool can promote algae growth, leading to a green and cloudy pool. However, as long as phosphate levels are below 100 ppb and youre maintaining proper pH, water level, chlorine level, and total alkalinity, algae growth shouldnt be a problem.18 2019 .

No More Ring Around The Collar

Synthetic laundry detergents contain a few primary components: a surfactant , a builder, and other ingredients like brighteners and perfumes. Were going to focus on the builder.

The builders function is to soften water and to release hard-to-clean stains and calcium buildup. Because phosphatesin particular, STPPare especially good at removing calcium deposits, the soap industry began using it as the primary builder in laundry detergents, and eventually in other industrial and domestic cleaning products such as dishwasher detergents.

The first company to create synthetic laundry detergent was Procter & Gamble with their brand Dreft®, launched in 1933. They soon found it didnt clean heavily soiled clothes very well, though, so they marketed it as a gentle detergent for delicate fabrics and baby items, which it continues to be today.

Their next experiment was much more successful. With the addition of phosphates, they created an efficient detergent that cleaned better than any formula that had come before it. The result was Tide, launched in 1946. By 1949, P& Gs production of detergent far exceeded that of soap.

As a result, laundry wasnt as difficult a chore as it once had been. It was easier to get clothes clean, and with less effort. The laundry detergent industry boomed. Everything seemed peachy keen. That is, until the late 1960s.

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