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Maintaining the proper pH levels

Keeping your Pool Clean During a Chlorine Shortage

For those that haven’t yet heard, there’s a nationwide chlorine shortage and it’s going to impact the way pools are opened and maintained. The shortage is affecting private and public pools in every state. The chlorine crisis came about as the result of a fire in a Louisiana plant responsible for making chlorine for swimming pools.

The loss of that manufacturing left people in the U.S. with only two plants that produce the chemical. Another factor impacting chlorine was the pandemic. Thousands of people installed pools during the height of the pandemic and it increased demand for chlorine at the same time that production was reduced due to the fire.

The Louisiana plant doesn’t expect to resume operations until Spring 2022. Chlorine is in short supply and it’s going to be far more expensive than in the past. Professional pool maintenance companies and pool supply houses are employing multiple strategies in an effort to obtain the chlorine they need.

In many instances, individuals and pool maintenance professionals will need to use powdered chlorine rather than tablets. At some point, they may also need to transition from powdered chlorine to liquid chlorine. They may also have to resort to non-chlorinated products to shock pools.

While pool professionals will have the knowledge and experience to make the necessary conversions, if you’re among the many pool owners that manage their own pool, you may not be able to make those changes in a way that’s safe for swimmers.

Another alternative is converting an existing chlorine pool into a saltwater pool. While a saltwater pool still uses chlorine, it requires far less of the chemical than a traditional chlorine pool. The same is true of pools that employ ozone, UV and ionization systems.

Keep your pool cleaner by showering before swimming and don’t let pets in the pool. Don’t neglect regular maintenance. For the best advice on how to keep your pool clean during the chlorine crisis, definitely consult with a pool professional.

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Pets in Pools? Pros and Cons

Many individuals share their pool time with their canine companions. A great many dog breeds enjoy the water and there are benefits and disadvantages when allowing dogs in the pool environment.

Exercise

Swimming is a low impact aerobic exercise that can be as beneficial for dogs as it is for their human companions. Younger and high energy dogs can burn a lot of energy through swimming. The buoyancy of water supports movement for older dogs and those with joint conditions. When attended by a human, the pool can be therapeutic for canines recovering from injuries and surgery.

Pool Chemicals

Chlorine and other pool chemicals can result in watery eyes or a burning nose in dogs. It can dry out their coat and adversely affect their skin. Dogs should be rinsed off with warm water after getting out of the pool. Swimming also increases the potential of dogs developing an ear infection.

Pool owners should also know that dogs can bring more debris into the pool than humans, especially long-haired breeds. Loose hair will come off in the pool and that will have an impact on filtration systems.

Damage to Liners

Dogs have sharp nails that can damage pool liners and pool toys. Even trimmed, well-groomed nails can be injurious to swimmers due to the way that dogs paddle to stay afloat.

Dog Safety

Unlike people, a dog won’t automatically know how to exit the pool and it requires training to teach them where the exit is located. A pool that’s not equipped with steps or a shelf-type entry will be a death trap for dogs. They won’t be able to climb a ladder and will simply swim until they’re exhausted.

Any dog that enters the water should be wearing a canine life jacket. The same safety measures should be taken for dogs as for small children. Never leave dogs unattended in or near a pool and ensure they can’t gain access to the pool through safety fencing. Don’t use a floating pool cover. Children, dogs, and other pets don’t understand that it’s not a solid surface and can easily become trapped under a floating cover.

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Top 5 Things that Destroy Pool Chemistry

There are a number of factors that can disrupt and destroy the chemistry of a pool. A swimming pool is its own self-contained ecosystem that requires monitoring and the correct application of chemicals to keep it clean, healthy, and sanitary.  Anything that enters the pool has the potential to alter and destroy pool chemistry – and it can be expensive to correct.

People

When people use a pool, they bring a variety of unseen elements with them that includes sunscreen, makeup, dead skin cells, bacteria, fungi, and viral contaminants. Those all increase with the frequency with which the pool is used and the number of individuals that are swimming.

Sunlight

Rays from the sun reduce the amount of chlorine in a pool, allowing bacteria and algae to grow. Sunlight can easily reduce the amount of chlorine by up to 90 percent in just two hours when the pool water is directly exposed on a highly sunny day. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun breaks down chlorine, allowing it to gas off into the air.

Rain

The rainwater that falls in your pool contains acidic properties that will affect pH balances, alkaline levels, calcium and other chemicals. Heavy rain can significantly dilute the chemical balance of a pool. It’s further compounded if runoff from a house, porch or deck gets into the pool. The pool chemistry will also need to be tested and adjusted if individuals need to add water to the pool.

Vegetative Material

When removed right away, leaves won’t have a substantial effect on the pool water. However, if they’re left very long they’ll begin to use chlorine, stain the pool, and can result in an algae bloom. Even if there aren’t any plantings close to the pool, leaves and pollen can easily be displaced by the wind where they will be deposited into the pool. The same is true of mulch.

Too Many Chemicals

Maintaining the correct ratio of chemicals can be a balancing act. Adding too much, not enough or the wrong chemical can lead to pool chemistry that only a professional can remediate. Any of those situations can also result in injuries, and even emergency situations, if swimmers breathe them in or swallow even small amounts of pool water.

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pool maintenance

pH Destroyers

The pH level of a pool is more important than most people realize. It ensures that the pool is clean, sanitary, and safe for use. Maintaining the proper pH levels aids in keeping pumps and other components working properly and from becoming damaged or corroded.

Even with careful monitoring, there are some things that will adversely affect pool pH levels and owners have no control over them. It’s just one of the reasons why it’s important to have a pool professional perform regular checks and maintenance.

Wind

While wind won’t directly affect pH levels, it can indirectly deposit chemicals and other types of contamination from a neighbor or other nearby sources through drift. Owners should be especially vigilant in areas where spraying or aerial dusting is conducted for pests such as mosquitos, gypsy moths or Japanese beetles.

Rain

A summer rain can drop a significant amount of water into a pool. It dilutes chemicals and disrupts pH levels. After it rains, it’s not uncommon to see an algae outbreak or the water become cloudy. The same things can occur by replenishing pool water levels with water from sources such as well water.

UV Rays

The sun’s rays can contribute to heating a swimming pool, but quickly rising temperatures in pool water due to UV rays can reduce chlorine by up to 90 percent. Bacteria breeds more quickly in warmer water and the pool will deplete its chlorine content more rapidly. There are chemicals that can be used to reduce the effects of UV rays, but they should only be applied by a professional.

Pollen

In addition to aggravating allergies, pollen in the pool creates an increased demand for chlorine that will result in a pH imbalance.

Sun Screen

The use of sunscreen is necessary, but it also dissolves when worn in the pool and reacts with the pool’s chlorine and other chemicals. The more sunscreen that’s in the pool, the more unbalanced pH levels become and owners may notice their pool water becoming cloudy or swimmers may complain of eye irritation. The same is true of haircare products cosmetics.

Usage

The more swimmers there are that use a pool and the frequency with which they do so, will contribute to a pH imbalance.

Staying Safe

The health of a pool is dependent upon many factors, including pH levels. A balance ensures safety and sanitation for swimmers and less cost for owners. A pool professional has the experience and knowledge to keep pools healthy, sparkling clean, and maintain a proper pH balance.

Pool Guys of Palm Beach | Lake Worth, FL

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