The ABC’s of Pool Care
As students prepare to head back to school this fall, we thought it would be a great time to brush up on the ABC’s. The ABC’s of Pool Care, that is. We’ve put together this list to help you brush up on common pool care terms to help keep your pool sparkling clean – even as you dive back into the routine of the school year.
A – Alkalinity – Water balance is important. Total alkalinity (TA) is a measure of the total amount of dissolved particles whose pH is higher than 7.0. TA should be kept at 80-120 ppm otherwise plaster can etch, metals can corrode and pool surfaces can stain.
B – Bromine – Is used in swimming pools and hot tubs, much like chlorine, to sanitize the pool water. It is effective in killing contaminants and inexpensive to use.
C – Chlorine – Chlorine is the most common chemical used for swimming pool sanitizing. It is available in liquid, tablet or granular form.
F – Filter – Swimming pool filters are used to remove dirt and debris that enter the water through swimmers and the environment. The three types are sand, cartridge and diatomaceous Earth (DE). The type of pool filter you choose can depend on the size of your pool, type or even your geographic region.
G – Green Algae – Algae (green being the most popular) is a common pool water problem because it is visibly obvious. It can become a feeding ground for harmful bacteria. Algae can be treated with pool shock, proper water circulation and vacuuming.
H – Hardness – The measure of all dissolved minerals in a pool’s water is known as total hardness. If the hardness is low, it could result in corrosive water. High levels of hardness can result in scale formation. The recommended level is 200-400ppm and can be increased with calcium chloride or decreased with draining some of the water.
I – Iron – Metals like iron can find their way into pool water from fill or ground water and by metal accessories corroding. You can shock the pool to oxidize the metal and the resulting “rust” can ben vacuumed out of the pool. You can also use a “metal out” product to fight off any new metals.
J – Just Ask – Many pool owners opt to leave the work to the professionals. If you have any questions regarding pool care, it is wise to just ask a pool professional. They are available to make suggestions and provide solutions.
M – Main Drain – Connects to the pool pump for circulation and filtration. They are located in the lowest part of the pool so that the dirt and debris can exit the pool.
N – Neutralizer – This is the chemical used to destroy excessive amounts of chlorine or bromine, making them harmless to swimmers. It is also used in test kits to counteract the bleaching effect.
O – Oxidizer – A non-chlorine shocking compound that removes or destroys built-up contaminants and chloramines in pool water without raising chlorine levels.
P – Pump – The pump moves water from the pool and sends it through the filter to remove dirt and debris before moving it back into the pool. You should consult your pool professional to learn how long to run your pump, as this will depend on the type, size and swimmer load of your specific pool.
Q – Questions about Maintenance – Your swimming pool is a big investment. If you have any questions regarding certain pool issues, you should always consult your local pool professional before attempting to remedy any issues on your own.
R – Rain Cleanup – Rain can wash debris into the pool and increase the demand for sanitizer. You should rebalance the water after circulating it for at least 24 hours following a large rainfall.
S – Saltwater Chlorination– Basic table salt is converted into chlorine when the water passes through a saltwater generator cell – turning the salt into hypochlorous acid. When the water returns to the pool, this newly produced chlorine creates a safe and healthy alternative to traditional chlorine.