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How To Check Pool Chemicals

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Testing For Iron: Banishing The Brown

How To Test Your Pool Chemicals.

You walk out, all ready to dive into your pool and cool offand find the water is brown or rust-colored. Gross! No one wants to jump into that. Sounds like you may have too much iron in your pool water.

Just like copper, iron levels can rise if your pool waters pH balance is low, so theres another good reason to make sure youre testing pH balance on a weekly basis.

Also, if you get your water from a well, it may have higher iron levels than tap water which, in turn, will mean high iron levels in your pool. And as happens with copper, as your pool water evaporates, the iron is left behind only to increase each time you add water to your pool.

If youre unsure of the minerals present in your well water, you can test it, or have it tested by a certified water testing lab in your state.

How To Balance Pool Chemicals For The First Time Opening Your Pool

Whether youre using your swimming pool for the very first time, or opening up for the season, youll need to take some extra precautions to ensure that youre balancing pool chemicals correctly. For example, if your pool has been closed since winter, you might encounter thick algae on reopening day, which could require treatment with double or even triple the normal amount of pool shock.

If youre opening a new or seasonal pool, we recommend consulting a pool dealer for assistance testing and balancing your water, which can be a tricky process even for experienced pool owners.

A Beginners Guide To Pool Maintenance

Your swimming pool needs regular upkeep. Thats why it pays to develop a strong basic understanding of pool maintenance essentials.

When you know how your pool works, the best ways to care for it, and how to plan for it, youll be ready to solve just about any potential pool problem that floats your way.

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When And How Often To Test Your Pool

You can test pool water yourself, but if you dont feel super comfortable doing that, you can also take a sample in for professional testing when you open and close your pool. A second set of eyes keeps it safe and clean. On the whole, you should be testing your pool at least once a month in addition to when you open and close it for the season.

Regular testing is essential for your chlorine, alkalinity, and pH levels. Its so significant, the CDC calls chlorine and pH your disinfecting team. The minimum testing schedule for pH and chlorine is weekly, starting before you open your pool.

There are other times that you should test for balanced levels though, including:

  • After a rainstorm
  • Before you close your pool
  • If you notice any issues with your water, like cloudiness or color changes

Some other necessary testing you need to do to maintain excellent pool water is for cyanuric acid and calcium hardness. You also test for copper, iron, and calcium. Well also cover testing for phosphates and salt. Well give a schedule for these tests in the instructions below.

Measure Cyanuric Acid Levels

Swimming Pool Chemical Test Kit

CYA is a stabilizer that gets added to certain pool shocking chemicals, such as di-chlor. Its purpose is to prevent ultraviolet rays from burning off free chlorine, making sanitization more efficient especially on hot, sunny days. The ideal CYA measurement for your swimming pool is between 35 and 60 ppm, unless you have a saltwater pool. In that case, aim for 60 to 80 ppm.

Step Six

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Adjusting The Alkalinity And Ph

  • 1Ensure the alkalinity is between 80 and 120 ppm. Alkalinity buffers the pH and can prevent large increases or decreases in the acidity and basicity of the water. Test and adjust the alkalinity before adjusting the pH. If the alkalinity is too low, mix baking soda with water and pour the mixture into the pool to increase it. If the alkalinity is too high, adjust it along with the pH using muriatic acid.XResearch source

    Tip: Add 1.5 pounds of baking soda to a 10,000 US gal to raise the alkalinity 10 ppm.

  • 2Maintain a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8. The term pH refers to how acidic or basic your pool water is. Typically, the tap water you use to fill your pool has a neutral pH of 7, but additives or contaminants can change the pH. A pH of 7.2-7.8 is the ideal range for pool water, so if your reading is above or below these levels, it’s important to adjust it. Having the right pH ensures the water won’t irritate your skin or eyes and will also keep the water clear.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • If swimmers are having a problem with burning eyes, the pH is probably to blame, not the chlorine.
  • Pool owners with zero CYA will notice that the chlorine is more effective at a low pH while owners who have CYA in their water will see similar kill times even at a high pH.
  • A Beginners Guide To Pool Chemistry

    If youve recently bought a pool or are thinking about doing so, youve no doubt heard a lot about pool chemistry.

    And with good reason.

    Maintaining the right chemistry in your pool water could be the most important job youll have as a pool owner.

    That along with proper sanitization is how you keep it crystal clear and safe for swimmers.

    But what is pool chemistry, you ask?

    It does feel a little science-y with the cool little beakers and test strips, but truthfully, its really not that hard.

    In fact, with a little help from us, youll be the Bill Nye of your back yard in no time!

    Before you know what all these fancy chemistry terms are, its important you know how to test them.

    Check out our infographic and guide to help you get started!

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    Testing For The Basics: Ph Alkalinity Chlorine Cyanuric Acid And Calcium Hardness

    Testing for chlorine, pH, and alkalinity are very similar actions. Here, well cover how to test for everything you should.

    Testing for Alkalinity

    Alkalinity testing measures buffers, your pools ability to maintain a steady pH level. Too much, its really hard to change pH, and too low, pH will change very often people can change the pH simply by going into the water if theres no buffer.

    Testing alkalinity first is the best practice, as it affects your ability to change pH. However, if your pH is below a 7.0, you want to raise it first, and then test alkalinity again.

    If you use test strips, then the chances are that they test for this. Follow the instructions for how to use test strips above. If you purchase a liquid testing kit, its more complex.

    After taking the water sample, as explained above, you will use three testing liquids at different times.

  • Read your tests instructions, know how many drops of the first two test liquids, and how much water you need.
  • Add first test liquid drops to the water, Sodium Thiosulfate, and swirl to mix
  • Add the second, the total alkalinity test liquid, swirl to mix until the color is green
  • Add drops of the sulphuric acid one at a time, counting and circling each in, until the color changes to red
  • Take the number of sulphuric acid drops, times 10, to tell you the total alkalinity. Eight drops mean an 80 total alkalinity, that is low, and 10 drops is high.
  • Take action to raise or lower your alkalinity if needed.
  • Where Should You Store Pool Chemicals

    Pool Water Chemical Testing

    Many pool cleaning products contain chemicals that can be hazardous or even deadly if stored improperly. As the Environmental Protection Agency points out, various pool chemicals can potentially be highly reactive and capable of generating high temperatures, as well as releasing toxic vapors if improperly handled or stored.

    Avoid fumes, fires, chemical reactions, and other hazards by following the storage instructions on each cleaner carefully. The ideal storage space should be well ventilated, clearly organized, free of leaks or spills, and protected from excessive heat or sunlight.

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    How To Convert To Baquacil

    Now that you have a better understanding of the Baquacil products, its important to know what will be involved in the conversion process. If you think this chemical could be the best choice for your pool, then you need to be careful in how you introduce it. Here are some of the steps you should follow to ensure that your pool water is ready to be switched to a Baquacil treated pool.

    How Long To Wait Between Adding Pool Chemicals

    A pool is a wonderful addition to a home and a delight for an outing. Pools promote relaxation and fun between friends, family, or just yourself. Seeing as a pool is a stagnant body of water, and pretty much anyone can take a dip in it, it is vital that the pool is maintained as a clean, bacteria and algae-free environment. To do that, swimming pool chemicals become relevant.

    Adding pool chemicals can seem like a daunting chore. From knowing the chemicals involved to applying them, wait times, appropriate swimming time, and more, it can be hectic. In this article, we will provide answers to some of the most nagging questions, how long to wait between adding chemicals and what are the dangers involved when adding pool chemicals.

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    What Is Baquacil Made Of

    The most important ingredient in the Baquacil is the Biguanide. This is the chemical component that will bind the contaminants together and send them through the filter media. The Biguanide was discovered back in the 1970s, and it is used in several pool companies products.

    Baquacil is not the only company that makes a Biguanide pool sanitizer however, it is the most well known.

    The Short Short Version

    How to Test Chlorine &  Pool Chemicals

    Test Chlorine levels at least twice per week. Also make sure to test after heavy use or rainfall, as Chlorine levels have likely been depleted.

    Pool chlorine is responsible for sanitizing your pool and hot tub water to make it safe to swim. Therefore, theres really no such thing as testing pool chlorine too frequently. The easiest way to check your chlorine levels is with test strips. Of course, constant testing is impractical. So, what is the minimum frequency pool chlorine should be tested to ensure free chlorine is at a safe level?

    The answer to this question depends heavily on how often your pool is in use, who uses your pool, and weather events that may introduce a large amount of fresh water into your pool.

    This article outlines common factors that affect how frequently you may should test your pool chlorine.

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    Get The Care Your Pool Needs From A Trusted Latham Dealer

    In order to enjoy your pool for years to come, proper and attentive maintenance is important. If you have questions about maintaining your pool, contact your local Latham dealer.

    While these resources can help guide you, enlisting the help of a pool professional can ensure that one of your largest backyard investments gets the care and protection it deserves.

    Stain And Scale Remover

    If you have metals in your water, like copper and iron, you can use a metal remover or stain and scale remover to keep those metals in solution so that your filter can filter them out.

    If metals come out of solution that can attach themselves to the walls and other parts of your pool and produce unsightly stains.

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    Why Test Pool Water

    A swimming pool is just a hole in the ground without water, and swimming is no fun if not experienced in clean, clear and healthy water.

    Since swimming pools are generally used by multiple people at any given time, it is imperative that pool water is tested and treated regularly to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and enhance the pool experience.

    Find A Neighbor Or A Friend

    How To Test Your Chemicals In Your Pool.

    This is the key to success when it comes to keeping your swimming pool clean while youre away.

    The ideal candidate is someone who owns a pool themselves. They should already know what to do. Tell your friend or neighbor to check on the pool once a day and provide them with a simple checklist, including:

    • Empty the skimmer basket
    • Skim the surface of the pool
    • Check the filter pressure
    • Test the water with a test kit or test strips
    • Add any necessary chemicals

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    How To Add Chemicals Safely

    • Always read and follow the chemicals instructions to ensure safe use of chemicals.
    • Wear appropriate protective equipment and clothing including gloves, footwear and eyewear.
    • Handle chemicals in a well-ventilated area.
    • Use separate, clean metal or plastic measuring cups for each chemical to transfer or measure chemicals. Never use wood scoops.
    • Protect chemicals from moisture and watersuch as a cup of water or coffee. Even putting the wet scoop back in the pail may cause a reaction.
    • When applicable, always dilute chemicals by adding to water, never the other way around unless the containers label instructs you to do so.
    • Do not mix different chemicals together.
    • Do not put spilled chemicals back into their containers.
    • Do not smoke when handling chemicals.
    • Do not expose to heat or flames.
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    How Do I Test My Pool Chemical Levels

    There are four basic ways to test your pool water. Test strips are the easiest and quickest choice. You could also use a liquid test kit, which will give you more detail than strips. A digital testing kit is like an advanced version of the liquid kit. Or, you can take a sample to your local pool store and ask them to test it.

    Get a sample of the pool water. The best place to grab that sample is from the middle of your pool, away from skimmers and jets. Use a clean cup or bottle to collect your sample. Hold it upside down and insert it about elbow-deep into the water. Turn it right side up before bringing it to the top of the water and pulling it out. This gives you the cleanest possible sample.

    There are recommended levels for some of the tests you, or your pool supply store will perform:

    • pH:7.2 7.8
    • Total Dissolved Solids:below 5000 ppm

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    The Order For Testing Pool Water

    Whatever tool you choose, test the pool water every week.

    Each level affects the others, so if you test and adjust water chemistry levels out of order, you’ll have to backtrack and fix the levels multiple times.

    Save yourself time and effort by following this order:

  • Total alkalinity
  • Each pool typeconcrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglasshas its own pros and cons.

    Concrete pools look classic but are the most difficult type of pool to maintain because of how alkaline and porous the surface is. The water chemistry can easily get out of whack, and algae sets in. They also require acid washing every 35 years, resurfacing every 1015 years, and a professional cleaning each season.

    Vinyl liner pools don’t have so much trouble with the water chemistry, but they have a different set of issues: you need to replace the liner every 59 years.

    The gelcoat surface of a fiberglass pool is inert: it doesnt affect the water pH. You still need to test your water chemistry each week, but youll rarely need to add acid to balance the water. And as long as the pool is well manufactured and well maintained, there won’t be any required maintenance to the pool shell for many decades.

    Of all 3 pool types, fiberglass pools require the least maintenance over the life of the pool. They cost $45,000$85,000 upfront, but they have incredibly low lifetime expenses, which saves you money in the long run.

    Wait Times For Adding Pool Chemicals

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    The wait times between adding pool chemicals is usually around 10 minutes each, as that is also sufficient time for the chemicals to mix in the water. Users also under normal conditions can swim roughly 10 minutes after adding chemicals. If you turn on your pump on high and pour the chemical slowly in front of the return, you would find that they mix pretty quickly. In the same way, if you turn your pump on low and pour the chemical the wait time will be much longer.

    Dye added to pool in front of return at high speed. The videos are saved as 10x so each min represents 10 min real time.

    A good practice to hasten the mixing of chemicals in the pool, reduce the wait time between adding chemicals, and ensure they are thoroughly mixed is brushing. Brush after each application and mostly with the pump on high to get the best and quickest results. For more information on adding pool chemicals and which ones your should use in your pool please .

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    How Often To Test For Salt

    Because its not as delicate to keep balanced as other chemicals and substances in your pool, salt can be tested just once a month.

    However, you may want to test salt levels after certain events such as a rainstorm, adding fresh water to your pool, or after youve had a lot of guests swimming and splashing around in the pool.

    Can I Use Baquacil In A Hot Tub

    Luckily, the Baquacil company decided that you may like a sanitizer for your spa that is also chlorine-free in addition to your pool water. Baquacil is available for spas, but they have a complete line of chemicals that make up their spa products. You wont be using the same things you use in your pool water, yet you will still have a chlorine-free solution.

    Remember that when you purchase the Baquacil spa sanitizer, you will need some other chemicals to keep the spa functioning at all times. Traditionally it is a three-part system that keeps the spa algae and bacteria-free.

    Many people struggle with the harsh bromine smell that traditional hot tubs and spas have. Switching to a Baquacil hot tub could be well worth the change in routine.

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