The most important thing that will keep your swimming pool in top-notch swimming condition at all times is maintaining the chemical health of your water. Pools big and small, private and public, above ground or in ground, water maintenance is essential. Here are the basics!
There are some elements that need to be checked daily, some that are checked weekly, and some that need to be checked monthly.
• Chlorine: Your chlorine levels will go up and down daily depending on how much use your pool gets. The level should stay between 7.2 and 7.8. Add or hold off on the addition of more chlorine to maintain these levels.
• pH: Your pH levels are another element that can change daily depending on the level of use. This level should be kept at a reading similar to the chlorine level. Think of them as partners that should stay within the same 6/10ths of a reading.
• Chlorine: Yes, it should be monitored daily, but it you will often only need to add chlorine once a week. If your daily readings are fine, be sure to add chlorine once a week to maintain those good readings.
• Chloramine: These levels should not go above 0.4ppm. Many things can raise the chloramine level, such as sun tanning oils, sun block, extremely hot weather, or other contaminants. High levels can often be detected without a test, as your water will begin to have a strong smell. If your chloramine level is above 0.4ppm, you’ll need to hyperchlorinate your pool to bring the levels down.
• Alkalinity: An alkalinity testing kit will allow you to test whether your water is balanced. A low reading can indicate corrosive water conditions, while high readings can explain why your water is cloudy. Follow the test kit procedures and correction advice.
• Calcium Hardness: This test measures how much dissolved calcium your water contains. Levels should be maintained between 250ppm and 500ppm.
• Chlorine & pH should also get a monthly evaluation. If you are having constant issues maintaining healthy levels of these two elements, take a water sample to your local pool store for analysis and advice.
Those are the basics! Healthy water chemical levels not only ensure a more physically pleasant swimming experience for the people who enjoy your pool, they also increase the lifespan of your pool. Poor chemical maintenance can lead to surface corrosion, fixture damage, and unsightly contaminant or algae growth. Maintain your pool’s water health and you’ll have sparkling swimming conditions at all times! Happy testing!