Pool Water Chemistry Introduction
We believe education is key to owning and maintaining a swimming pool. Check back frequently to this section for new educational articles. Also watch our great videos in the projects section of the website to see how our technicians take care of pools. One subject that customers will often ask us about are the most important aspects of pool maintenance they should be focusing on to keep their pool looking great all season long. Other than regular vacuuming and keeping your filter clean, maintaining the proper pH is critical. Balancing your pool’s water chemistry is like building a new house. For example, adding algaecide would be like putting in new windows or adding chlorine would be like putting up the frame of the house. Using this analogy, adjusting the pH is similar to building the foundation for your new house. Without the foundation pH in place, the other chemistry will not work properly. Most of the chemicals you add into your pool (especially chlorine) are designed to work in a certain pH range (normally 7.2-7.6). If you add chemicals to that pool and the pH is either too high or too low, then these chemicals will not react with the water the way they’re supposed to and thus not work properly.
Proper Water Chemistry When Opening
Every year during the spring while pools are being opened after their long winter nap many people simply forget to have their water tested and balanced before trouble moves in.
Unbalanced pool water can have many effects on your pool and pool equipment from deterioration of metals and pool finishes to discomfort of the water to swimmers. At The Swimming Pool Store we recommend you bring water in for a comprehensive (FREE!!) water analysis within the first week of opening your pool. Doing this will ensure that your pool starts the season off on the right foot. Our team will test your water using the most up to date technology for ten different qualities and give you a step-by-step procedure to follow including how to add chemicals, in what order to add them and the time between chemicals, all important in the balancing of your water.
The first thing any pool owner should do upon opening their pool is and has always been to shock the pool. This step should be done very soon after the pool is opened (all openings done by The Swimming Pool Store include five gallons of shock as we open the pool) and should be done carefully due to the corrosive nature of chlorine. Make sure the pool is running and add chlorine slowly and in the deep end of the pool (if applicable).
We recommend you keep the pool running for a few days to make sure the water is well circulated also giving time for any underlying problems to hopefully come to light. At this point your pool is ready for balancing chemicals. After bringing a test you will have the instruction and product to make sure your pool is off to right start and you are off to a great summer.
The Amazing Benefits of Borate
Borate or Sodium Tetraborate Pentahydrate, is an additive you can add to your current pool chemistry regardless of your type of sanitizer, that will not only astound you with its amazing feeling but also with its many other benefits.
To some the first and most noticeable effect borate (sold as Pro Teams Supreme Plus, the ONLY Borate EPA registered for human contact) will have on your pool will be the amazing look and feeling it gives your pool. Being a mineral borate is not only safe, being used in products such as Visine eye drops, it also gives your pool a very soft feeling and a noticeable sheen often related to that of a saltwater pool.
Borate is not only for comfort and appearance, it also has many benefits to water chemistry the first being the reduction of chlorine needed by up to 50%. Borate does this by working against algae, the leading cause of chlorine consumption. Unlike traditional algaecides commonly used which attempt to kill living algae borate is an algaestat which inhibits the algae’s ability to photosynthesize. Put simply borate makes the water inhospitable for algae to ever have a chance to start growing minimizing the need for algacides and lessening the work load for your sanitizer and filtration of all types.
Yet another great benefit of adding borate to you pool is its ability to stabilize your PH much like bicarbonates (sold as Alkalinity or Phoenix’s Buffer Plus at The Swimming Pool Store). Unlike bicarbonates Borate is renentive in the water meaning you add it once at the beginning of the season and only have to replace it in small amounts due to dilution from rainfall, splashing, and evaporation. While borate works similarly to alkalinity it is not a replacement, but does reduce the amount of both alkalinity and PH adjustment needed throughout the season as well as protecting your pool from the harmful effects of sudden PH Swings.
Don’t be a Stranger to the impressive benefits of what is becoming a major element in pool chemistry and get some borate in your pool to feel the difference yourself.