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Pool Cleaners and Accessories

 
Pool cleaners and Accessories

Nothing beats a dip in the pool on a hot day. Dive right in and the cares of the day seem to evaporate away — that is, unless you encounter water that is cloudy or laced with algae, bacteria, germs or other contaminants.

 

Luckily, keeping your pool clean can be as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4. Here’s what you need to know to keep your pool clean, and to keep the enjoyment flowing. 

 


Caring for Your Pool


The first three aspects to caring for a pool are circulation, filtration and cleaning.
 
Water circulation is controlled by a pump that should run for a minimum of eight to 12 hours each day. Stagnant water will not be clean no matter how many chemicals are added. The pump forces water through the filtration system, then back into the pool once clean.
 
Filtration occurs when a filter removes debris suspended in the water so the chemicals can work effectively to keep the water clean. The three most common types of filters are sand, cartridge and DE.
 
Sand is the most common type, however, DE and cartridge are growing in popularity because they conserve more water and filter more efficiently.
 
Cleaning the pool involves skimming the top of the water, brushing the inside walls of the pool and vacuuming the bottom. Most people are adept at skimming and vacuuming, but often neglect the pool walls.
 
Compare cleaning your pool walls with brushing your teeth. You can use all the mouthwash you want, but until you brush your teeth, your mouth is still unclean. The same can be said of your pool walls. Until they are scrubbed, the walls can be layered with bacteria and algae biofilm.
 

Treating the Water


The fourth aspect of properly caring for your pool is maintaining water chemistry.
 
To achieve a healthy mix for your water, you’ll need to undergo these four steps: water balancing, sanitizing, shocking and algaeciding.
 
Consistent and frequent water testing is key to a well-maintained pool. Testing the current water levels will determine your treatment needs and the appropriate actions to take. Test and adjust as necessary to keep your pool water within the ranges listed below.
 

Test

Frequency

Pool Type

Ideal Range

pH Twice weekly All types 7.2 - 7.6
Total Alkalinity Monthly Plaster, Gunite, Concrete,
Vinyl, Fiberglass, Painted

80-125 ppm
125-150 ppm

 

Total Hardness 2-3 times per season Plaster, Gunite, Concrete,
Vinyl, Fiberglass, Painted
200-250 ppm
175-225 ppm
Chlorine Twice weekly All types 1.0 - 4.0 ppm
Stabilizer 2-3 times per season All types At least 30 ppm

 
Test Stripes

For accurate test readings, always obtain your pool water sample from “elbow” depth, away from water return lines. Sunlight and other environmental conditions affect water at the surface and close to water returns. Testing water samples from these areas can provide inaccurate results.

 

Be sure to replace test strips at the beginning of the pool season. Age, heat and humidity can affect the accuracy of old strips.

Stabilizer

Water Balance: This provides the foundation for all other pool care. Without proper water balance, the water won’t be clear, equipment can be damaged, and the chlorine or salt generator won’t work effectively.

 

Water balance includes pH, total alkalinity, hardness, and stabilizer, which is sometimes called conditioner, with the first three determining how corrosive or scale-forming the water is.

 


Corrosive water will cause you to:
 
        • Use too much chlorine
        • Encounter broken-down pool surfaces and equipment
        • Experience eye irritation
        • Think that clear water is an indication that it is OK when it may not be;
          you may fail to test regularly as a result, which enables acidic water to destroy the pool
 
Scale-forming water will:
 

• Leave behind white crusty deposits that damage pool surfaces and equipment
• Make the water hazy
• Make chlorine ineffective, even when it tests in the ideal range
• Cause itchy skin and eye irritation 


Water balance is affected by everything in the environment, especially rain and sunlight. Chlorine breaks down very quickly as a result of the sun. A stabilizer helps protect chlorine from breaking down and extends its lifespan by up to 10 times longer.
 
Sanitizing

Sanitize: Sanitizing is most often accomplished with chlorine as it kills bacteria and makes it safe to be in the pool. Most of the time, chlorine is added to the water in 1 or 3-inch tablets that slowly dissolve in the water. Quality tablets provide high levels of chlorine to protect the pool against bacteria and algae growth.

 

Keep in mind that when the heat of summer sets in, it takes more chlorine to maintain the pool than it does in the milder months. Plan accordingly by using more tablets or turning up your chlorinator.

Shocking

Shock: This process is necessary to remove the build-up of used chlorine and other waste in the water. When water has a strong chlorine odor, it turns cloudy and irritates swimmers’ eyes. It is an indication of too much waste in the water and shocking is necessary.

 

Dosage rates and benefits of shock can vary dramatically, so choose one that covers the amount of water in your pool.

Algaeciding

Algaecide: If algae is present, or to keep it at bay, algaecide can be applied. Typically, the least expensive form of algaecide is a great choice to prevent algae if applied regularly. To deal with aggressive algae problems, however, it is recommended you select one of the premium formulas.

 

Don’t forget to read the directions carefully as many algaecides will require the use of shock in conjunction with the algaecide to be most effective.

 

When dealing with an algae problem, run the pump 24 hours a day until the issue is resolved and clean the filter afterward.


Salt Water Pools


An alternative way of sanitizing a pool is with an electrolytic chlorine generator, more commonly known as a salt pool or salt generator. This sanitizing method is gaining popularity because of its simple and easy upkeep.
 
The generator basically makes its own sanitizer rather than having to use tablets. A non-chlorine shock oxidizer, pH decreaser, cell protector and stabilizer all help contribute to clean water and a clean pool.
 
Another product many salt water pool manufacturers recommend to protect pool equipment is a phosphate remover. It can be used regularly to protect the warranty of your equipment.
 

Pool Accessories


Pool Accessories

Having a variety of pool accessories will make for a more enjoyable pool experience and aid in pool upkeep.

 

Choose from upgraded pool lighting and fencing, covers and cleaning equipment.

 

LED pool lights will save you money as they last for years, use less electricity and help lower your electric bills.

 

Pool fencing will keep out uninvited and roaming animals and help secure your pool when you are not around to supervise.


Protect your pool from UV rays and extend the life of the water with a solar blanket cover. These covers retain heat and cut chemical usage by as much as 50 percent. They also stop water evaporation by as much as 60 percent.
 
Help make your pool maintenance easier with such products as a robotic pool cleaner, jet vacuums and skimmers.
 

Toys and Games


Toys And Games

Take your pool enjoyment to the next level with classic toys and games. Choose from all-time favorites such as water volleyball, basketball, tubes and floats, noodles and more.

 

Have even more fun in the pool with items such as dual-squirt floats with built-in water guns, aqua-slides, inflatable water wheels and water cannons.


Keep the Little Ones Safe


Keep the little ones safe

Make sure your children and the neighborhood kids are safe with swimming aids like Coast Guard-approved swim vests, arm floaters, goggles and floatation suits.

 

Other products, such as kick boards, snorkeling gear and feet fins help children learn to swim while keeping them from sinking under water when used with proper adult supervision.

 

Never leave small children unsupervised and take proper precautions to ensure no child can enter your pool when you are not present or access your pool when you are not home.