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Posts by Mark Battalini

Why is Pool pH important for Swimmers?

We all know that the PH scale ranges from 0 to 14, zero being the lowest and 14 being the highest level. The highest level of PH (14) in the water is the indication of high alkalinity and on the other hand, if that level is 0, it would be an indication of high acidity. Hence, if you want to keep a perfect balance between alkalinity & acidity, keeping the PH level of the water at around 7 (7.2 to 7.6) would be the best practice.

Below we have put a light on the disadvantages and risks involved in not maintaining a balanced PH level in the pool water:

Disadvantages of Low PH level

The skin of the swimmer swimming in the water with a low PH level (<7) can get red, irritated, and itchy. It is just like getting shampoo or soap into your eyes. If the pool water is too acidic, it may have even worse effects on the swimmer’s health, leading to a medical emergency.

In addition, this level of PH may also cause the metallic ladder of the pool to erode, thus leading to a more dangerous situation for the swimmer.

Disadvantages of High PH level

A higher PH level (greater than 7.6) usually makes the water dirty or cloudy, which can eventually lead to risks for the swimmer’s health. Further, it may also cause some issues in the plumbing equipments of the pool.

Maintaining the PH level in the pool

When it comes to the maintenance of the pool PH, it is necessary to keep checking its level daily on a regular basis with the use of test strips in order to make sure that it is fine, healthy, and acceptable. It should be kept in mind that not only the things like leaves & other debris but also the people swimming in the pool can cause a disturbance in its PH balance. Maintaining the right level of PH in the pool water is a continuous process.

Final Words

As mentioned above in this article, both low as well as high levels of pool PH are harmful to swimmers. So it is recommended to keep it in check. An unbalanced PH not only causes health hazards for the swimmer but also makes the swimming uncomfortable. On the other hand, a balanced PH (or the PH maintained within the recommended limits) would ensure the safety and comfort of the swimmer.

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swallowing pool water

Can Swallowing Pool Water Make You Sick?

While swimming in a swimming pool, you might accidentally swallow some pool water when trying to breathe in by opening your mouth. Though immediately spitting the swallowed water is possible, but you will still end up consuming a little bit of it. Now the question is whether this swallowed water can make you sick. The correct answer is ‘YES’.

The diseases that you can get due to swallowing the pool water are mentioned below:

  • Chlorine Poisoning

As far as Chlorine is concerned, it is a chemical that is generally used to stop bacterial growth and perform the task of sanitation. It possesses a pungent smell and there are many household products in which this chemical is used. Chlorine poisoning is the poisoning caused by chlorine when it is swallowed. Chlorine reacts with the water present outside and inside of your body and ends up producing Hypochlorous acid & hydrochloric acid.

Usually, the swimmer doesn’t face any sickness in short term but in long term, there are chances for him to get affected by mild chlorine poisoning if he keeps on swallowing chlorine on a regular basis. The symptoms of this disease include digestive issues, difficulty in breathing, low blood pressure, fluid in the lungs, high level of acid in the blood, etc.

Though there is very little risk of chlorine poisoning if you choose to swim in a well-maintained pool. The presence of this chemical in the pool water can be easily evaluated with the use of the test strips which also comes in handy when it comes to testing the acidity levels and PH levels in the water. Most of the swimming pools generally have a chlorine level of 4 ppm.

  • Recreational Water Illness (RWI)

The illnesses that are spread by getting in contact with the contaminated water are referred to as RWIs. Pool water is also generally contaminated water as it contains various bacterias like E.Coli, Shigella, Giardia, etc. The water gets contaminated with such bacterias due to the swimmers’ carelessness. That’s because we don’t bother taking a shower beforehand when we go to the pool, causing the transmission of such bacterias to the pool water.

The symptoms of a Recreational Water Illness include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, stomach cramps, etc.

Final Words

There is no doubt that swimming brings a lot of fun when the day is too hot but the water of the pool may also bring in many health issues if swallowed, as explained above. So it is recommended to seek medical help in such cases.

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saltwater pool

How To Maintain A Saltwater Pool

There is no doubt that you don’t need to purchase chlorine if you have a saltwater pool, since such a pool produces its own chlorine by electrolysis. Moreover, a saltwater pool offers softer water and there is no issue of smelly chlorine as well. But it doesn’t mean that such pools require zero maintenance. In fact, you will have to properly maintain it to keep it in a good condition, though its maintenance is easier as compared to the traditional pools.

Maintaining a Saltwater Pool

Below we have mentioned the various tasks that you should perform on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis to keep your Salt Water pool well-maintained:

  • Daily Tasks

For saltwater pool maintenance, you should perform the tasks like cleaning the pool, cleaning the skimmer, cleaning filters, and emptying the pump bucket on a daily basis. If you perform the above-mentioned daily tasks carefully on a regular basis, your monthly and weekly tasks will become easier.

  • Weekly Tasks

The weekly tasks for the maintenance of your saltwater pool include checking the free chlorine level and pool water’s PH level. These tests are performed with the use of test kits or test strips. Now the question that might arise in your mind is, what the level of free chlorine and pool’s PH should be, right?

The PH level should range between 7.2-7.6 and on the other hand, the level of free chlorine should be anywhere between 1 to 3 ppm. In case, you find that these levels are not within the recommended limits, you should take appropriate measures to bring them to normal levels.

  • Monthly Tasks

The things like alkalinity, salinity, calcium hardness, and stabilizer should be checked on a monthly basis. The recommended level of alkalinity ranges from 80 to 120 ppm. In case you find it lower than 80 ppm, you can raise it with the use of baking soda. Similarly, muriatic acid is handy when it comes to lowering the level of alkalinity if it is above 120 ppm.

As far as the calcium hardness is concerned, the recommended range is 200 ppm to 400 ppm if you want to avoid the issues of corrosion, scaling, etc. The salinity of your pool water should be somewhere between 2700 ppm and 4500 ppm and the stabilizer should range between 70 ppm and 80 ppm.

  • Quarterly Tasks

The manufacturers of the salt cell recommend that it should be checked every three months. You should inspect it for debris or scale buildup. If any deposit is noticed, make use of a garden hose for flushing the cell or put the wood or plastic to use for scraping the deposit off.

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cold water swimming

Ways That Cold Water Swimming Benefits Your Body

For some people, swimming in the cold water might be the last thing they must have dreamt of doing. Cold Water swimming not only avails you of an exposure plan to get used to the cold water but also offers many health benefits.

How cold water swimming benefits your body

Below given are some of the ways that swimming in the cold pool water can benefit your body:

  • Boosts Immunity

If you swim in cold water on a regular basis, the antioxidant process of the body is regulated, thus boosting the body’s immune system. As the cold water swimming forces your body to respond to the changing conditions, the white blood cell count in the body is also increased. Further, the increased count of these cells, no doubt, strengthens the body’s defense system.

  • Burns Calories

Swimming in cold water maintains your body temperature helps in burning calories. That’s because while you are swimming in the cold water, your heart will have to pump faster, thus making your body work harder and eventually, causing more calories to burn. Another reason for the body to burn more calories in such situations is that the body’s temperature goes down when exposed to cold water and in response to it, it becomes necessary for the body to produce heat by burning more calories.

  • Maintains body shape

Another one of the most crucial advantages of cold water for swimmers’ bodies is that it also works as good physical exercise, thus keeping your body in shape.

  • Relieves pain

When a body with sore muscles or inflammation is dipped into cold water, the water reduces the pain by narrowing the arteries.

  • Improvement in lymphatic circulation

Lymphatic vessels get contracted when forced by the cold water and that contraction further leads to the pumping of the lymphatic fluids to the entire body.

  • Stress Reduction

It is very well known that the human body makes use of endorphins with the purpose of compensating its own pain reliever and the presence of endorphins helps in the reduction of discomfort and stress. The exposure of the body to cold water gives rise to the explosion of endorphins and thus, reduces stress.

  • Increases libido

The production of testosterone in men is also increased when they swim in the cold water, which eventually improves libido.

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pool remodeling

Budget Friendly Pool Remodeling

A pool provides welcome relief from the hot and humid days of summer, but if the pool came with the home it may need to be updated. The same is true if a homeowner’s tastes have changed. Pool renovations can be expensive, but there are ways to change a pool and make it more interesting, even for individuals on a budget.

LED Lights

Highly cost-effective, LED lights are efficient to operate and can also function as a safety measure at the pool. The lights use little electricity, are available in any color desired, and can be installed below the pool water line or anywhere surrounding the pool. They’re great for setting a mood and providing pool safety. With technological advances, many features can be automated or operated via a phone app.

Fire Pit

Fire and water may not normally mix, but many pool owners are installing poolside fire pits. The features set on a pedestal on the edge of the pool and small waterfalls can even be incorporated into the design.

Tanning Ledge

Homeowners can bring one of the most popular resort features to their own backyard with a tanning ledge, also known as a Baja shelf. It’s a flat, shallow surface on the edge of the pool that’s usually about 6 inches below the water line. They provide a way for individuals to enjoy the pool without completely immersing themselves.

Water Features

While water features aren’t necessarily the least expensive addition to a swimming pool, they certainly make an impression on guests and increase the “wow” factor. Homeowners can add waterfalls and cascades, along with fountains and sprinklers. Keep in mind that water features do increase the cost of maintaining a pool due to the electricity required to operate them and pool water will see an increased rate of evaporation.

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saltwater pool

Smart Pool Upgrades that Make Life Easier

Anyone that has a pool knows the work that goes into maintaining it. With the technological advances available today, there are multiple upgrades that can make life easier for pool owners and allow them to spend more time enjoying their pool. Many can be operated with a convenient phone app.

Automatic Cleaning

The systems save a significant amount of time for pool owners and reduces the amount of effort spent in manual cleaning. Bear in mind that periodic manual cleaning will be required by homeowners or by a pool professional since the vacuum systems can’t reach into corners.

Energy Efficiency

LED pool lights, eco-friendly cartridge filters and multiple speed pumps reduce electric bills and can save pool owners up to 90 percent on costs, depending upon the pool and equipment. Energy-efficient pool systems also reduce the time spent cleaning and back washing filters.

Salt Water Chlorinators

A saltwater chlorinator excels at convenience. It eliminates the need for liquid, granular or chlorine tablets. The technology is especially beneficial now with the current chlorine shortage. Chlorine levels are automatically monitored, substantially reducing the potential for itchy eyes and green hair that often occurs as a result of imbalanced chlorine levels.

Smart Controls

Accessing controls for pool lighting, heaters, water features and cleaning can be extremely inconvenient and it’s even worse when someone forgets to turn everything off at the end of the evening. Smart control systems can be operated directly from a mobile device to take care of all those tasks.

UV Sanitation

Pool owners can reduce the amount of time spent adding chemicals – and cleaning – with a UV sanitizing system that uses ultraviolet light. The systems won’t affect the appearance of the pool or cause damage to it. The sanitizers will kill a majority of the microorganisms that inhabit pool water and reduce the number of chemicals required.

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Is a Plunge Pool Right for Your Yard?

One of the advantages of a plunge pool is that it will fit in almost any space, even if your yard is small. With an average length of 20 ft. long, 8 ft. wide and 4 ft. deep, they can be placed virtually anywhere in your yard. Since they have a flat bottom, you don’t have to worry about dropping off into a “deep end.”

A plunge pool is essentially a mini pool. They’ve enjoyed extensive use in Australia and Europe and are one of the hottest trends in the U.S., especially where space is at a premium. They’re eco-friendly, using far less water than a traditional pool, and can be designed in multiple shapes to accommodate property lines and preferences.

Plunge pools provide an excellent way to cool off and have some water-based fun. An added benefit is that plunge pools can be designed with massage jets for relaxing or resistance jets for low-impact aerobic exercise to maintain health. The pools are also beneficial for those that require aquatic therapy after an injury and are particularly popular with athletes.

Just like a full-size pool, you can opt to install a variety of extras that includes LED lighting, heaters to extend usage time, and small water cascades or waterfalls. If you have children, it can be helpful for teaching them to swim, letting them splash around, or become more comfortable in the water.

Depending on the available space, you might also want to add a small patio or area for grilling. If you have a deck, a plunge pool can be incorporated into the deck itself. Even though a plunge pool requires far less space, the installation is similar to a full-size pool. Drains, filtration and skimmers will need to be installed for a safe and hygienic environment. Even though they’re smaller, plunge pools should never be viewed as a DIY project.

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new pool

Can You Really Afford a New Pool?

A backyard swimming pool is a dream for millions of people. They provide fun, relaxation, beneficial exercise, and relief from heat and humidity. However, most people greatly underestimate the cost of installing the pool, not to mention any of the available options and extras.


The type of material used in the pool’s construction will affect the cost. A concrete pool can cost between $50,000 to $100,000, while a vinyl pool will run between $28,000 to $40,000. A fiberglass pool will cost, on average, between $28,000 to $60,000. The type of finish is another important aspect. Tile is the most expensive.

Access and Landscaping

A variety of other factors will affect the cost that includes the amount of landscaping that needs to be completed to ready the site. Access can be a problem and increase the cost. Areas in which access by machinery and equipment is difficult may require the services of a crane or other specialized equipment that will increase costs.


The size of the pool will significantly contribute to the cost. More soil will need to be removed and extra dirt will need to be hauled away. Larger pools will obviously require more materials for construction and larger filtering and cleaning systems.


The larger the pool, the more expensive it will be to operate, even with automatic, eco-friendly systems. A pool requires regular cleaning and the addition of chemicals for a hygienic environment. Even though many tasks can be automated, you’ll still need to spend some time on cleaning or hire a pool professional.


You can have your pool designed with a wide range of options and features ranging from LED lighting and heating to fountains, waterfalls, cascades and even poolside fire pits.

Safety Measures

Pool safety features aren’t negotiable – they’re the law. You’ll have to erect a fence that meets certain specifications that prevent access to the pool by children, along with specific types of gates and alarm systems may even be required. There may also be pool covers to consider.

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New Pool Construction

Pool Construction Start to Finish

Anyone that’s having a pool installed is understandably excited and anxious to use it for the first time. Individuals need to understand that a great part of the construction will depend on the time of year and prevailing weather conditions. Weather is the primary factor for delays.

Pool construction takes, on average, 60 to 90 days providing the weather is perfect. Bear in mind that the vast majority of pool installation requests are during the summer months and installers always have a backlog of projects. Don’t wait until the last minute.


No pool is installed without a plan and that requires the installer to physically see the area where a client wants their pool. The area may require a retaining wall or a significant amount of existing plant removal before excavation can begin.

Type of Pool

Much will depend on the type of pool to be installed. Vinyl pools can typically be installed in as little as two weeks, while a concrete pool can require 3 to 4 months. Fiberglass will usually take 14 to 30 days. If there will be water features such as fountains, falls, slides, outdoor kitchens and other items, it will increase the build time.


The installation of any kind of pool requires permits and those can take time to obtain. It can require a single permit, a series of several to accommodate different type of approvals, or a meeting with local government officials. Construction can’t begin until those permits are issued and that will depend largely on how quickly the local municipalities and entities move on them.

Breaking Ground

Florida pool contractors are in high demand and typically have several jobs waiting for them. The wait before the installer breaks ground can be anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks.


The installation of the actual pool is a relatively quick process. It’s typically the patio area that takes the longest time to finish. A hole bigger than the pool must be dug to accommodate the construction process, then backfilled when the pool is in. The soil will also need to settle before the patio is created and the pool filled. Installation of pavers can take a couple of days, while stone can take 2 weeks, depending on the size of the patio.

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At What Age Can Swimming be Taught?

Learning to swim is an essential skill that every child should know. At the very least, they need to know basic water survival skills. However, not all youngsters learn at the same pace or are ready for lessons at the same age of their peers. Parents need to be aware of those variables before trying to force their child into swimming lessons.

Infant Classes

Despite what many people claim, there’s currently no data that indicates children one year and younger have the ability to learn to swim, nor does it reduce the risk of drowning. Babies don’t have the ability to raise their head out of the water well enough to breathe. Many infants demonstrate rudimentary reflex actions similar to swimming, but it’s not actual swimming. Water play classes can be a good way to introduce babies to water, help them feel comfortable in the water, and it can be fun for parents and babies.

Ages 1 to 4

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children ages 1-4 begin learning water survival training skills that include floating, treading water, and how to find an exit point. It’s the first step toward learning how to actually swim and the classes are designed to help reduce the risk of drowning. Choose classes in which parents and children both participate.

Ages 4 and Up

Most children will be ready for actual swim lessons at the age of four. They have the physical ability and can follow instructions. Youngsters can learn survival skills if they haven’t already and by the age of 5 or 6, most children can learn the front crawl.


It’s critical that parents understand that swimming classes don’t make a child drown-proof. Every precaution should be taken to prevent children from gaining access to ponds, kiddie pools and other bodies of water, even if they’ve taken a swim class.

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