Basic Swimming Pool Care

If you own a home with a swimming pool, then you already know that your pool needs great care. If you are looking at purchasing a new swimming pool for yourself then you too can learn the basics of proper pool care. Now beware of what some people might tell you. I have had some people say how much they hate taking care of their pool, they consider it a chore and it doesn’t have to be that way. If you take all the right steps in taking care of your swimming pool then you will have no problems at all. It’s all about understanding the basics and finding your routine. Our website is dedicated to providing you the best way to care for your pool and offering the best answers to all your questions.

Our Swimming Pool Care Method

Caring for your pool is simple, a piece of cake if you will. You may run into some folks who keep having problem after problem and that person may be your neighbor. If I could start off with one piece of advice “don’t listen to your neighbor.” More importantly only listen to one trusted person (or website written by one person, like this one). Whichever you choose make sure you feel you are getting the best advice. What we say someone may not agree with but that’s because we have different methods. I’m sure all methods have the same results but ours, we feel, is proven and we stand behind it firmly.

The First Step In Proper Pool Care Is a Balance.

Your pool is a giant body of water that needs to be balanced to achieve perfect tranquility and harmony. It’s simple, you must make sure your pH and Alkalinity are in the target range. If you can achieve that simple step then you are well on your way to a great swimming pool year. It’s the most important because it affects everything you do from here on out.

  • The Target Range for pH in a swimming pool is from 7.4 to 7.6;
  • The Target Range for Alkalinity in a swimming pool is from 100ppm to 150ppm.

Obviously you have a lot more play room with alkalinity. That’s a good thing because within this step, alkalinity controls the pH, it’s pH’s bodyguard. Without alkalinity your pH would constantly go up and down like a roller coaster not keeping it balanced. So first make sure your alkalinity is balance and then adjust your pH from there.

For any musicians out there reading this I like to think as the alkalinity as the big tuners tuning to the note you want and then the pH being the more fine tuners to get the perfect pitch.

You now need to keep a close eye on this balance all season long. You can bring your water into your local pool store to get tested every week or buy a home testing kit. Either way it’s important you keep up with it.

Note: No matter which type of pool sanitizer you use, you must always maintain a good pH and Alkalinity balance.

Proper Sanitation

The key to a crystal clear and healthy swimming pool is proper sanitation. The first thing we need to know is the different kinds of sanitizers you can use in your swimming pool. The most common is of course chlorine. People give this a bad rap but the truth is that it’s the most effective means of sanitation in a swimming pool. And it’s also the cheapest. There is also a ton of myths about chlorine that you need to understand are not true. For one it doesn’t burn your eyes. What burns your eyes is low pH. You can read more about The Chlorine Myth.

Now we understand that chlorine is the most popular and effective means of pool sanitation but some people just don’t want to use it for a number of different reasons. Therefore, we have to turn to alternative means of sanitation.

Bromine is a sister chemical to chlorine without the harsh smell. More bromine is required to effectively reach the level of sanitation that chlorine provides. But most indoor pools use it because it doesn’t have that “chlorine smell”.

Baquacil is another sanitizer that uses a liquid chemical to sanitize. Baquacil is a brand name, so you can find it else where under different names. The only other one that I am familiar with is Bioguard’s Soft Swim. This is an all liquid sanitation package that people use because they say it feels better on the skin and doesn’t dry it out. It’s probably true but there are chemicals that can make any pool feel that way. More about that in other sections.

Now Bromine and Baquacil are really the only two other popular methods of sanitation as opposed to chlorine, however there are two more methods I would like to explain. These methods use the power of chlorine but in a little different way. I’m sure you’ve heard of salt water pools. Salt water pools are exactly what they say they are, salt water. But it’s not the salt that sanitizes. The (very minimal, you can barely taste it) salty water runs through an electronic pipe that turns the salt into chlorine. So salt water pools use chlorine to sanitize but it’s built into the pool water. You never have to add outside chlorine to your pool (unless your having a problem).

Another method is using a mineral system. These are becoming more popular each year. They use minerals to sanitize your swimming pool however, they only work so far. They still require a small amount of chlorine to instantly kill the bacteria that the mineral system may take too long to kill. These systems are cheap and easy to install.

Pool Maintenance and Cleaning

The third and final step is actually keeping it clean. Keeping it balanced and sanitized will keep it from turning green and getting cloudy for sure but, not without the final step. Your job is now to make sure that your pool is clean by vacuuming and skimming your pool constantly. By doing this you are preventing that debris and dirt from contaminating your swimming pool. Your proper chemical balance and sanitation is only your back up to the war on debris. You need to get it out before you pool get its chance to fight it, that way you are always on top of your game.

If you follow these three important steps, then (weather providing) you will have a great swimming pool season. Our website is a great resource for all things pool care and we hope that you use it to help you keep your swimming pool in top shape. It’s a worthy investment that you need to care for, like you would an expensive car.