Home & Garden Swimming Pools & Water Fountains & Ponds

Maintain Your Swimming Pool

The single most important factor that directly affects your health is, of course, the pool water! Your filter system keeps the water clean and the pump keeps it circulating through the filter.
So far so good, but what else should you be doing to ensure that your pool water is good enough for you and your family to enjoy hours of fun? The answer is that you need to be especially vigilant about water chemistry of your pool water, particularly the level of sanitizers and germicides.
To maintain your pool, checking the level of various chemicals on a regular basis is a must.
You add a sanitizing agent to your pool to get rid of biological contaminants which means microorganisms, bacteria and algae.
Chlorine and bromine are commonly used sanitizing agents.
Chlorine levels should fall in the range of 1.
5 to 3.
5 ppm (parts per million).
While a level of less than 1.
5 ppm would allow bacterial growth in the pool water, levels of more than 3.
5 ppm would irritate a swimmer's skin, lungs and eyes.
Chlorine, used as a disinfectant and water purifier, is added to a pool in the form of sodium hypochlorite which comes as powder, granules or tablets.
Chlorine granules and tablets are added to the skimmer when you are ready to open your pool for the season.
Testing the chlorine levels on a weekly basis is recommended so you always have a clean pool.
To maintain your pool hygiene, topping up the chlorine levels immediately is a must if they are found to be deficient.
Chlorine compounds dissolve in water to form an acid called hypochlorous acid which oxidizes bacterial cell structure, thereby killing them.
So, chlorine actually plays a dual role in your pool - that of a sanitizing agent and an oxidizing agent.
You measure the chlorine levels in your pool in terms of 'total chlorine' which is a combination of free chlorine and combined chlorine.
Free chlorine is the active pool cleaner that does the real germ and microorganism killing.
Combined chlorine is formed when the free chlorine has combined with contaminants and is 'tied-up' with these, so it is no longer actively available for further action.
The combined chlorine compounds are also called 'chloramines'.
The point is that if your total chlorine levels are higher than your free chlorine levels, you need to shock your pool.
Shock treatment for the pool means you are going to be adding huge amounts of chlorine to the water in a bid to rid it all biological contaminants.
  Bromine can also achieve the same results as chlorine, but is a bit more expensive.
It is preferred in spas and hot tubs as its chemical make-up is more stable allowing it to remain functional in warm and hot water.
However, since it is more sensitive to UV rays than chlorine, it is generally not preferred for pool treatment.
  With these two sanitizing agents and a kit to test their levels, you can effectively maintain your swimming pool through the season.

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