Tsue ~ That's What She Said: 6 Best Tips For Keeping Pool Balanced For Less

Sunday, July 8, 2012

6 Best Tips For Keeping Pool Balanced For Less

Nothing can send a pool owner into a frenzy faster than finding their cool, blue pool water has changed to a green swamp seemingly over night.  Maintaining the balance of your pool water can be a chore and a half, not to mention quite costly.  After becoming an in ground swimming pool owner a few years ago, our first trip to our local pool store for balancing chemicals nearly sent this Mom into shock.

Tips for balancing pool, saving on pool chemicals, swimming pool, in ground swimming pool

Realizing our monthly electric bill would be seeing a significant spike from regularly running our filter and pump, let alone the pool heater, I did a bit of research regarding pool chemicals and how to keep our pool balanced and blue.  I was thrilled to discover fantastic resources for saving on pool balancing products online  through various forums full of helpful tips and advice from veteran pool owners.

Tip:  Invest In A Quality Water Testing Kit
This Mom recommends the Taylor Profession Test Kit -2005 which provides the reagents you'll need to test chlorine levels, available free chlorine, pH and alkalinity levels, CYA and water hardness as well as testing containers, a handy storage case and helpful guide.  Although you can certainly have your pool water tested at your local pool supply store, your collected pool water will change during the time it takes to drive to the store, altering your results.  The cost of purchasing the kit is far outweighed by the convenience to accurately test your water at home.  I've found The Pool Calculator an excellent resource for gauging the quantities I need to add to keep the water balanced.

Tip:  Learn About Pool Water Variables 
Adjusting your pool water alkalinity level will affect the pH level.  High chlorine levels can create false test readings.  Regularly using chlorine tablets to sanitize your pool may add to the CYA level, causing issues that will result in the need to replace a significant amount of your pool water.  Spend some time educating yourself about how all the levels in your pool work together to create a pleasant swim environment.  Understanding how the chemicals you add to your pool function will help you to make the right decisions and save you time and money in the long run.

Tip: Use Common Household Products And Save
The most surprising discovery I made in researching pool balancing techniques was the ability to use common household products to handle many of my water balancing need, as opposed to pricey pool store purchased products.

  • To Raise pH, use Borax (aerating your pool will also gradually raise pH)
  • To Lower pH, use Muriatic Acid
  • To Raise Alkalinity, use Baking Soda
  • To Raise Water Hardness, use calcium chloride (ice melt - ensure composition is 100% calcium chloride)

Using my new found pool water balance knowledge, the only specialty pool products I purchase are liquid balancer (CYA) and liquid chlorine.

Tip:  Add Water Balancing Products In Moderation
For collecting water to test for balance needs, be certain to use a clean container with a pop lid.  Collect water from as deep in the pool as possible, opening the pop lid to take water into your container from deeper in the pool.   Take notes of your water levels, input the quantities and desired ranges into The Pool Calculator.  Adjust alkalinity first, then pH.  Even though I have found the suggestions of The Pool Calculator to be quite accurate, especially when larger quantity additions are called for, I add balancing products gradually, retesting after a few hours and adjusting as my level readings change.  It is much easier to change levels slowly than to overshoot, adding too much product.

Tip:  Add Chlorine In The Evening To Reduce Consumption
Maintaining a proper level of stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid CYA) will help reduce your pool's chlorine consumption, holding the chlorine in the water longer, giving it more time to work for you, keeping your pool water sanitized and clean.  Sunlight works against the power of chlorine.  Adding chlorine to your pool in the evening will allow it to work through the night, as opposed to losing much of it to the sun's bright rays.

Tip:  Shock Pool As Needed
A properly sanitized pool does not smell heavily of chlorine.  As chlorine is "used" in cleaning your pool water, the free chlorine (chlorine available to 'work' in your pool) is converted to combined chlorine.  High combined chlorine levels will result in the familiar heavy chlorine smell which will irritate your swimmers.  When your free chlorine level tests low, it will be necessary to 'shock' your pool water by raising the chlorine level to 10 parts per million and allow it to naturally lower to preferred levels of 3 ppm.  A shocked pool will generally be ready for swimmers within 24 hours or less.  Always recheck your chlorine level after shocking before allowing swimmers to enter your pool.

Swimming Pool, Pool Water Balance Tips, In Ground Swimming Pool

Using the tips above will help you to keep your pool water balancing expenses at a minimum, allowing you to purchase fun items for your pool area and guests!


Pam said...

These are great tips. I want a pool this summer so badly with the temps staying over 100. We're using one of our friends but we don't visit them but once every few weeks. Sigh.

Crystal said...

Great tips. I, like Pam, really need to invest in a pool

Samantha said...

can i just have a pool???? lol

Susan said...

Great tips for a pool. I want to thank you for this awesome sweep and hope to win :) Thanks !!! corrysue@yahoo.com

Closer to Lucy said...

Great tips...wished I had the pool

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