Get To Know Your Swimming Pool Chemicals

Get To Know Your Swimming Pool Chemicals

Water Chemistry

From 1 Stop Pool Pros

It’s easy to assume that a swimming pool is “set it and forget it”, but that really is not the case.  Anyone familiar with swimming pool water chemistry understands that to achieve balanced, healthy water, one needs to understand the differing measurable components of the water saturation index.  The important levels of pH, Alkalinity, Hardness, Temperature and Free Available Chlorine are all integral to achieving a safe, sanitary swimming pool environment.  This post from 1 Stop Pool Pros gives a good primer on the different chemicals that are utilized to achieve balanced water in these important areas.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Cal Hypo
Cal Hypo‘s proper name is Calcium Hypochlorite, which comes in granular form and tablet form. Cal Hypo is approximately 65-70% free chlorine strength. Cal Hypo can be used in feeders, but due to the calcium in the formation of these tablets it can cause temporary clouding of the water as calcium takes time to break down and dissipate. Cal Hypo is also one of the more dangerous sanitizers and requires special licensure for storage as it can be easily combustive.
Isocyanuric Acid
Isocyanuric acid- also known as conditioner or cyanuric acid. Technically, cyanuric acid is basically a stabilizer or sun screen for chlorine. Cyanuric acid is used to help keep chlorine in the pool water and is used to deter evaporation. it is recommended that cyanuric acid levels be kept at levels below 60 parts per million. Higher levels have been show to cause health risks. In addition, higher levels of cyanuric acid reduces the oxidation potential of the chlorine. The lower the cyanuric acid the more of an oxidizing effect the chlorine will have.
Muriatic Acid
Muriatic or sulphuric acid is used to adjust or lower pH in the water. Muriatic acid is used to keep your water chemistry in balance. The pH level should be in the range of 7.5 to 7.8. When the pH falls below 7.5, it becomes acidic and aggressive, etching the metals in the internal components of the pool equipment and plaster. When pH raises above 7.8 it becomes alkaline and becomes scale forming causing scale or calcium build up on tiles, plaster and interior of equipment, especially in heater tube bundles also know as the heat exchanger.

When you see green and yellow algae, don’t panic. These algaes are easily removed and are caused by high levels of phosphates in the water. So how do phosphates get in there? Algae is caused by rain, dirt, usage and the biggest culprit fertilizer! So how do we get rid of this yellow and green algae nightmare? There are several different scenarios but here’s a few:
* Roller coaster your chlorine value or parts per million from 1.0 to 3.0 avoid keeping it at a constant. It is important to brush the walls, steps, etc whenever the algae is present.
* Algaecides- please read the label. Copper based or metal based Algaecides can stain plaster so it is best to discuss this with a pool technician prior to adding an algaecide.
* Brushing with either vinyl bristle or stainless steel brush.
*Phosphate Remover. 1-Stop Pool Pros does not use this method but many companies do and find good results from it.
The above four methods should keep your pool free from slime and the embarrassing just downright awful appearance of green and yellow algae.

Black Algae, ok should you panic? Maybe a little.

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