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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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pool maintenance

Hire a Pro for Pool Maintenance

It’s possible for individuals to maintain their pool themselves, but there can be a steep learning curve when it comes to chemicals, cleaning and testing. All it takes in one mistake and a pool can quickly become unfit for use and be extremely expensive to rectify.

Regular Inspections

A pool professional does far more than simply add chemicals. They inspect all the pool-related equipment to ensure it’s working correctly and identify any potential issues before they become costly problems. They also have the knowledge and experience to make repairs when needed. A pool professional has the high-tech equipment to inspect every inch of the pool for cracks, leaks, and other below-the-surface issues.

Time Savings

Caring and maintaining for a pool requires a considerable amount of time, especially for those that have little or no experience in doing so. It’s a definite benefit for those that have little time or travel frequently. Pool professionals are quick and efficient.

Chemical Balances

Chemicals can create more problems than they solve if applied incorrectly. Pool professionals know how to test, the chemicals to use to rectify any problems, and the quantity of chemicals to add.

Save Money

A pool professional can actually save money. One small mistake in a DIY pool maintenance plan can be extremely expensive to fix. The water can become unsanitary or it could lead to an algae bloom. Either condition can be costly and render the pool unusable.

Less Stress

Maintaining a pool can be very stressful, particularly for new pool owners. The services of a pool professional relieves the anxiety of caring for the pool and provides peace of mind knowing that it’s always ready to use.

Value

A pool that’s been well-maintained adds value to any property. That’s a particularly attractive and appealing element for potential buyers if a home or business goes on the market.

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pool maintenance

The Role of Your Pool Skimmer

Simply put, your pool skimmer is designed to remove contaminants from pool water before they sink to the bottom. That includes leaves, hair, sunscreen, perspiration, along with other bodily fluids and contaminants such as rain runoff and bird droppings that pose a health concern to swimmers.

Both in-ground and above-ground pools have skimmers and they serve the same purpose. In-ground pools have skimmers built into the sides of the pool. Above-ground pools will have a free-floating skimmer that roams the surface of the water and performs the same function.

The skimmer is the beginning point for your pool circulation system. Skimmers draw approximately 1/8 of an inch of water from the surface. While a pool can function without a skimmer, its value is significant. Skimmers prevent a wide variety of debris from being sucked into the pool’s water pipes that can result in clogs.

The removal of debris by a skimmer aids in preventing the water in your pool from becoming cloudy or experiencing a major algae outbreak. Maintaining your skimmer in good condition helps reduce wear and tear on your pool pump that can extend its life and delay expensive replacement costs.

Frequent pool usage and the number of swimmers involved increase the number of contaminants entering the water. Those impurities encompass a multitude of products that are routinely used every day. They include shampoo, makeup, soap, body lotions and deodorant, along with dead skin cells. That’s why it’s a good idea to have swimmers shower before they use the pool, or rinse down at the very least.

Your skimmer removes surface debris, but don’t forget to regularly vacuum your pool to remove contaminants that adhere to the bottom and sides. However, be aware that automated pool cleaners aren’t able to adequately reach the corners of pools so you’ll have to clean them manually or hire a pool professional.

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The Pros and Cons of a Pool Cover

An increasing number of individuals are opting to include a pool cover for their aquatic oasis. There are four types to choose from, solid, mesh, solar and winter. Any of the four can be beneficial, depending upon the intended purpose.

There are covers that must be applied manually and those that are automated. Some types of pool covers can even be walked on and provide an added level of safety for households with children and pets. It’s important to note that pool covers aren’t without their own maintenance requirements and pool owners will need to decide if a pool cover is right for them.

Pros

Swimming pools lose a significant amount of water through simple evaporation when they’re not in use. That means owners will need to replenish the water supply and that infusion can upset the chemical balance of the pool. A pool cover reduces water lost through evaporation when the pool isn’t in use.

A solar pool cover is the most common and popular type of cover. It works by absorbing the heat from sunlight and transferring the warmth to the pool water. They’re effective for saving money on heating costs and can be used in conjunction with a pool heater. A solar pool cover can increase the warmth of the water by up to 8 degrees.

Pool covers prevent leaves and debris from falling directly into the pool, which lessens the burden on filters and skimmers. They’re also helpful for preventing damage that can occur to pumps if the water level falls below the height of skimmers.

Cons

Pool covers require care and maintenance to keep them looking good and to ensure they’re performing their intended task. Unless owners have installed a solid pool cover, individuals will need to physically remove leaves and debris that accumulate on the cover. Rainwater will also need to be pumped off to prevent the cover from incurring damage from debris and to keep it from sagging.

Depending on the type of cover used, if left on over long periods of time, the cover can contribute to the build-up of algae, precipitating the need for additional chemicals. Other types of covers have the reverse effect. They prevent UV rays from entering that feeds algae growth, thereby reducing the need for vacuuming and chemicals.

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Keeping Algae at Bay Between Maintenance

Summer heat and humidity levels mean swimming pools are used more often and there may be an increased number of people jumping in. Sunlight and the number of people in the pool will have an effect on maintenance requirements. Of particular concern is algae growth, but there are measures that individuals can take to keep algae at bay between regular maintenance.

Pool Covers

Algae spores are continually being brought into the pool environment via multiple methods. The spores enter through wind and rain, dirt and dust, and even on the bodies of swimmers and their swimsuits. Nothing can completely prevent algae spores from entering the water, but using a pool cover will certainly aid in minimizing contamination.

Filter Usage

Stagnant, unmoving water is a prime breeding ground for algae growth. Increasing the use of filters will help move the water and filter out more debris. An increase in electric costs for additional filtering is worth the cost of trying to treat and eradicate an algae bloom in the pool. Increasing pool usage will also stir up pool water and bring contaminants closer to the surface where they can be removed by the filters.

Chemical Levels

Owners can help mitigate the potential for an algae bloom in their pool by closely monitoring chemical levels. Some people find it helpful to shock the pool at least once a week, particularly during the hottest part of the summer. However, doing so will necessitate knowledge of the use of other chemicals in conjunction with the shock treatment.

Frequent Cleaning

Keeping the pool clean is a vital step in minimizing algae. Establish a weekly brushing and vacuuming routine. It prevents spores from hiding in crevasses and stirs up the water for better filtering. Professional pool service is worth the expense to keep pools clean, prevent algae, and maintain the proper chemical levels.

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pool maintenance

How Often Should my Pool be Maintained

People with pools know the aquatic features must be maintained on a regular basis, but exactly what that schedule looks like can depend on multiple variables. Maintaining the pool is critical for ensuring cleanliness and hygiene. Professional pool companies recommend that pools be cleaned and chemical levels checked at least once per week.

There are a number of situations and circumstances that can have an impact on the water quality in your pool, such as water levels, rainwater, and the amount of sun the pool receives every day. In between regular maintenance visits by a pool professional, there are a number of actions you can take to aid in preventing outbreaks of algae, bacteria, and other contaminants.

If you enjoy a hands-on DIY approach, don’t wait until the weekend or your next day off if you notice a potential problem developing. Pool maintenance is essentially an everyday task. Resolve issues as soon as possible to prevent larger problems later on.

You should be running a pool vacuum at least once a week, performing regular cleaning of filters, and skimming the pool for debris. Brushing the pool walls is an essential part of cleaning. You can do it manually with a long-handled brush made for the task or employ a high-tech cleaner that has the ability to climb pool walls instead of simply staying on the bottom.

Testing of pH and chlorine levels are critical. It will tell you what chemicals you need to add and how much. Many people perform a routine weekly shock of their pool as a preventative. You may also want to utilize a weekly algae preventative and treat the pool periodically for cloudy water.

Pool maintenance should never be taken lightly or approached with a cavalier attitude. Pool maintenance is serious business and failure to perform the right actions will render the pool unusable and a danger to others. If in doubt, always call in the pool professionals for weekly maintenance.

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commercial pool

Leave Commercial Pool Maintenance to the Pros

Commercial pool and spa owners have very stringent operating rules and regulations. A commercial pool is one that’s used by the public for recreational or even medical purposes. It encompasses community-owned pools, those provided at condos and clubs, at fitness centers, and pools utilized for therapeutic purposes.

Cost is a major factor for pool managers and they’re often tempted to take on the duties of pool maintenance themselves or delegate them to on-site maintenance workers. However, every commercial endeavor should know their pool manager must be CPO or AFO certified.

Proper maintenance for commercial pools requires far more than simply having a good filtration system and a supply of chemicals. It’s time-consuming, entails a lot of work, and must adhere to very specific standards. It’s also a significant source of stress for commercial endeavors. Hiring a professional ensures that chemical levels are optimal, the pool is clean, and meets hygiene standards.

Improper maintenance and unacceptable chemical levels damage pools and make them unsafe for public use. Commercial pools require constant monitoring and maintenance. Companies and organizations can face serious lawsuits for compromising health and safety. Maintaining a commercial pool is extremely specific and remedies for any problems are time-sensitive.

A professional pool maintenance company is able to handle all the day-to-day testing and chemical applications. They can diagnose problems and make repairs when necessary. They also have the high-tech tools for physically cleaning the pool and conducting scans to identify leaks and other types of damage. Hiring a pool professional means there’s no need to store potentially dangerous chemicals on-site.

A pool professional understands that a commercial pool environment is a highly changeable ecosystem that can change significantly from day-to-day. They’re highly-trained, certified, and aware of all the health codes and standards to which commercial pools and spas must adhere to remain healthy and safe.

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pool owner

Preparing your Pool for Summer Fun

A pool is an excellent focus for summer fun, but it will require some preparation before jumping in. It’s essential that pools be prepared correctly to provide a safe environment for swimmers. While you may be familiar with the tasks that must be accomplished to ensure a safe opening, if you don’t have time or are new to pool ownership, it’s a process best left to the professionals.

Don’t Drain

Never drain the water from your pool in the expectation of changing out the water or cleaning it for the new season. You risk damaging the pool or having it lift out of the ground in areas with a high water table.

Cleaning

Ensure all of your filtration and water circulation systems are in working order. Clean out the skimmer baskets, remove any plugs from when the pool was closed, but don’t remove the pool cover yet. It will provide protection against early-season storms and pollen.

Water  Levels

Your pool has an optimal water level at which it operates. If water levels have dipped over the winter, add water to bring levels up where they should be.

Chemicals

You’ll need to add some chemicals to ensure the pH is balanced, calcium and chlorine levels are accurate, and to adjust alkalinity. Your pool may have developed an algae growth over the winter and it’s essential that the pool be shocked. It’s imperative that the filtration system be operated until the water is clear before anyone attempts to swim.

Hire a Professional

Preparing a pool for summer fun is a task that you may not want to tackle on your own and that’s understandable. Performing regular maintenance throughout the season can be difficult enough. The easiest and most effective solution is to hire a pool professional. The highly-trained experts are experienced in traditional chlorine pools and saline pools to prepare and maintain them while you reap the benefits.

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