Swimming Pool Cleaning And Maintenance Tips
But a dip in a swimming pool can have other health concerns, too. There is, for instance, the presence of germs that a swimmer has to worry about. Also, the kind and amount of chemicals used to keep the pool clean is something that shouldn't be taken too lightly.
To keep swimming pools clean and germ-free, most owners use chlorine. The chemical is known to bind with germs to kill them. Generally, a couple signs about the condition of the water will tell us the chemical is effective: it is clear and has almost no odor. Does it mean then that when a swimming pool emits strong chlorine odor, too much of the chemical has been used in it? Not necessarily.
In fact, a strong chlorine smell may even be an indication that there isn't enough of the chemical used. Often a swimming pool will give off a strong chlorine odor only after the disinfectant has been consumed by the germs. Therefore, a pool that emits strong disinfectant odor is likely lacking in the amount of that chemical.
Chlorine or such other disinfectants will function effectively provided the pH level of the pool has a neutral value of 7 (ideally, it should be 7.4 to 7.6). A higher value indicates strong alkalinity, while a lower value indicates strong acidity. Any of the following may be a sign that the pH balance is off: scales form on the walls of the pool; the water is greenish; or the water causes irritation to the skin or a stinging effect on the eyes.
It is important for pool owners to run the filter for about 10 hours or more, two times each day, in order that the contents of the pool are fully processed. For those with new pools, it may be necessary to test the water every day. The purpose of this is to make you familiar with all that your pool requires.
The following factors should guide you as to how often you should test your pool's water:
• The prevailing temperature (note that chlorine, for example, evaporates quickly in hot weather).
• Your pool's location (foreign materials, such as tree leaves, can upset the pH balance).
• Number of swimmers (more bodies can bring in more foreign substances).
This is the reason why, based on the last factor, all those who want to use the pool should be required to shower first. The efficiency of swimming pool chemicals is greatly lessened if body oils and dirt are introduced into the pool. Children should be required to use the bathroom before plunging into the pool and also at regular intervals.
Some pool owners are even stricter, requiring small children to wear watertight plastic pants. This is to lessen the risk of passing along infectious organisms from fecal matter.
It is likewise important to take a water sample to a pool store for analysis at least once a month.
A good alternative to chlorine is bromide, which is equally effective and is gentler. Others install an ozonator, a device that reduces the need for chemicals.