Keeping Pool Water Sparkling Clean

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 20, 2009)

Our parents were motel managers, affording my siblings and me the summertime advantage of a large swimming pool for our use. Our tanned bodies and chlorine-bleached hair evidenced the hours we spent at the pool from the day it opened to the day it closed each season. The four of us found ourselves poolside and alone one hot summer afternoon, and the oldest of us—my brother—produced a watermelon and threw it into the deep end of the pool. Seconds later, the melon buoyed to the top. We all exclaimed with amazement that something so heavy could float, and he repeatedly threw the melon into the pool, always with the same result. I think it was my sister who ran to fetch Dad so that he, too, could be astonished at the watermelon trick. Instead, he was horrified to see the melon explode the very next instance it hit the water, spraying seeds and melon throughout the entire pool.

Over the next several weeks we all learned how to keep pool water sparkling clean. It was relatively simple for Dad to arrange to have the pool drained of water and then refilled. The subsequent green slime and algae that bred in the water was a more difficult problem to solve. I remember Dad adding numerous boxes of baking soda to the pool water as well as pool chemicals. I also remember him showing my brother how to take water samples and how to add the chemicals over those few weeks, finally returning the water to crystal clarity.

It doesn't take a watermelon incident to provide you the know-how to keep your pool water sparkling clean. Instead, follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Buy a water testing kit at your local pool or home improvement store and then measure how hard or soft your pool water is. The calcium hardness you want to achieve is the range between 200 ppm and 400 ppm.
  2. If your water isn't within that range, then add calcium carbonate dehydrate to raise the harness, or add sodium hexametaphosphate to lower it. When you add chemicals to your pool, pour them in various spots about a foot away from the sides of the pool.
  3. Now test the alkalinity of the water. The optimum range is 100 ppm to 120 ppm. Add baking soda to raise the level, or dry acid to lower it.
  4. Finally, test the pH levels and adjust to a range of 7.2 to 7.6. Add liquid muratic acid to lower the pH, or soda ash to raise it.

Run your pool filter while adding chemicals, and then daily for at least three hours. Clean the filter twice a week. Keep your pool physically clean by netting leaves, bugs, and twigs away, and vacuuming the bottom as needed. Remove pool toys after each use, as bacteria can grow on them. All of these tips can help to keep your pool water sparkling clean.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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