Pool chemicals play a critical role in your swimming pool maintenance. The chemicals work with the pool’s filter system, which works to distribute and circulate the chemicals throughout the swimming pool. It is important and extremely useful if you have the right chemicals on hand, as well as the necessary tools you will need to measure their level in the pool water.
Why do you need to keep pool chemicals in the right balance?
Aside from the general and obvious reasons for keeping the pool water clean and sanitized, there are other more specific reasons why it is extremely important for you know how to manage your pool’s chemical balance.
- To treat the pool water and eliminate dangerous bacteria and other disease-carrying microorganisms. These may already be present in the water that you use to fill your pool or they may come from the skin of the people who use the pool. Wherever they come from, don’t make it easy for them to thrive and develop in your pool water by leaving it untreated or chemically unbalanced.
- To protect other parts and aspect of your swimming pool. Untreated or chemically unbalanced pool water may damage other parts of your swimming pool. Too much chlorine may cause problems to your filter and other equipment used to maintain your swimming pool.
- To prevent skin and eye irritation. A chemically unbalanced swimming pool may irritate the skin and eyes of those who will use the swimming pool, especially for long periods of time.
Managing Pool Chemicals
The primary and most important role of these pool chemicals is to treat your swimming pool water and prevent the buildup of algae, bacteria and other disease-carrying microorganisms. Hence, the most important of these chemicals are the disinfectants, chlorine and bromide. Other chemicals that you add in your pool serve to complement the effects of chlorine and keep the pool water in the right pH level.
Chlorine serves its purpose as a disinfectant by reacting with the pool water and forming other chemicals which would actually kill the bacteria and other microorganisms in the pool. These chemical by-products include Hypochlorous acid which destroys the bacteria from the inside out as a result of an oxidation process.
Chlorine can be added to the pool water in liquid, powder, tablet, and even gas form; (only professionals are allowed to handle the gas form). Although there is no specific part of the cycle that you need to add chlorine to the pool water, professional pool technicians suggest it is best to add the disinfectant after the filtering process. It is also highly suggested that you use chemical feeders in adding chlorine to ensure the chemical is equally spread out in the pool. However, directly adding chlorine tablets to the skimmer basket may not deliver the same results. In fact, it may result in having too much chlorine in specific areas of the pool.
An important thing to remember in handling chemicals is that some of them are not stable, such as the hypochlorous acid which is the bi-product of chlorine after reacting with your pool water. Aside from having the ability to combine with other chemicals and form new possibly dangerous compounds, hypochlorous acid can react with the ultraviolet light from the sun and degrade.
You can opt to use a stabilizing agent along with chlorine. A common stabilizing agent is a cyanuric acid which forms a more stable compound that doesn’t change when exposed to ultraviolet light. Some chlorine bi-products like hypochlorous acid may still combine with other chemicals and form other compounds even with the presence of a stabilizing agent. The compounds produced may not only be ineffective sanitizers but may also be dangerous to the skin and eyes.
If you notice a change in smell and color of your pool water after adding certain chemicals, call your pool technician immediately and refrain from using the pool. If the technician finds your pool to have extremely unbalanced chemicals, the only solution is shock the pool by adding a strong dose of chemicals. This will remove any organic compound that was formed and all other useless and harmful chemical compounds.
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Elko Spas Billiards & Pools
4718 Northgate Blvd
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
Your experts on pool chemicals!