Test and maintain your pool’s water for a cool, refreshing summer.

Above-ground Pools
Nothing beats a swim on a hot summer’s day – it’s relaxing, refreshing and revitalising to mind and body. But to really enjoy it, the pool needs to be clean. Not only is a clean pool great to swim in, but it’s also pleasing to the eye. Luckily, pool water maintenance is as easy as testing it, treating it and cleaning it. Here’s how…

The key word here is balance and the things you need to worry about are alkalinity, pH levels and chlorine, in that order of importance. If this is sounding confusing already, don’t worry – we’re about to explain it!

In-store pool water analysis
Alkalinity is a measurement of dissolved alkaline substances in water and is measured by parts per million. Low alkalinity is below 80, high alkalinity is above 120. The side effects of high or low alkalinity include corrosion and staining of pool surfaces and equipment, the pool water turning a shade of green, and burning or itching of the eyes and skin, to name but a few… Ideally, the pool’s alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm.

pH refers to the degree of activity of an acid in the water and it is the most important chemical factor to be maintained in swimming pools. When you measure pH, you’re looking at how acidic or alkaline the water is. The scale goes from one which is extremely acidic, to 14 which is very alkaline, with 7 being neutral. Ideally, The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8.

In-store pool water analysis
Chlorine is simply a sanitiser – it works by breaking down the toxic elements in the water. It’s primary role in a pool is to disinfect the water by attacking any organic and inorganic compounds with which it comes into contact. Without chlorine, your swimming pool would be a breeding ground for microscopic contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and algae – making the water unhealthy for humans.

When adding chlorine, you need to maintain chlorine levels of between one and three ppm (parts per million). You will need to know the volume of your pool to determine how much chlorine to add on a weekly basis. You may find that your pool will need more chlorine on hot summer days or days when there’s been a lot of swimming.

In-store pool water analysis

Talking about the rays of the sun, a stabilised floater actually helps to slow down the rate at which the chlorine evaporates. However, too much of the stabiliser will give your water a chlorine block, which basically means that it stops working – to remedy that, simply top up your pool with some fresh water.

Now that you understand alkalinity, pH levels and chlorine, the next step is to have your water tested. The easiest way to do this is to take a sample of your pool water to Builders, where they have an in-store pool water analysis service. Use a sterile water sample bottle, fill it up with pool water and take it into the store immediately (or within the hour) for an accurate test result. On your first visit, the staff at Builders will ask you to fill them in on the size of the pool, the pool type and whether it is a chlorine or salt-water pool.

In-store pool water analysis
This information will be captured before the test is run and saved for subsequent tests. After the test, you will get the results immediately – they will tell you if there is an imbalance and also suggest suitable treatment to remedy this. You might be told to use pool alkaline, pool acid, chlorine, metal stop or a stabiliser. Another option is sparkle blocks, which give your pool an extra level of clarity by removing tiny particles of dirt.

Now that your pool water is spot on, the only thing left to do is clean the pool of things like leaves and do a backwash. That’s all there is to it.

In-store pool water analysis
Remember, whenever you need pool assistance, make Builders your first stop. Builders in-store water testing is more than just a test, as the consultants can guide you on remedies to get your pool looking good and ensuring the water is healthy. Builders stocks all the chemicals and pool-cleaning accessories you could ever need, both in-store or online.
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