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Back to Discussing Pool Chemistry

by Felicia A. Williams

Because finding the right recipe for clean pool water can be overwhelming (especially for someone new to the world of chlorine pool chemicals), I’ve decided to take it one step at a time.

My pool is showing signs of improvement from an 'I can almost see the bottom of the pool’ point of view. I’m working diligently with the filter to accomplish this, but that’s just one side of the coin. The other side is mixing the right chemical cocktail.

Correct the Water's the pH First

In my brief interaction with chlorine pool products, one of the first things I’ve discovered is that in order to optimize chlorine’s effectiveness, the pool pH level must be within an acceptable range. Having it too high prevents the chlorine from working effectively and a pH that is too low will cause the chlorine to dissipate more quickly. This doesn’t take into account the fact that an improper pH level is uncomfortable on swimmers' eyes.

Freddie the Frog

I’m not quite sure how organic matter such as dead leaves on the bottom of the pool affects the pH, but between removing all of the dead leaves and juggling with pH Decrease, I managed to get the pH into a normal range.

Adjusting the Chlorine Levels

I’m finding adjusting the chlorine levels to be trickier than I thought. First of all, I discovered that I’ve got to use stabilized and unstabilized chlorine. What?? I thought once you added chlorine you were good to go, but now I’ve got to understand the two different types. From my research this is what I’ve learned:

Stabilized Chlorine: The type of chlorine added to the pool on a daily basis for cleaning and sanitizing. It lasts longer in the pool than unstabilized chlorine. The goal is to get the stabilized chlorine level to read anywhere between 1 and 3 ppm with the ideal number being 1.5. You don’t have to memorize that because all of the chlorine testers will indicate the ideal number you’re trying to achieve.

Unstabilized Chlorine: The type of chlorine used to give the pool a mega-dose of sanitizing power, also known as Shock. Shock will quickly raise the pools chlorine levels to give a boost of cleaning but since it’s unstabilized, it doesn’t stay around for very long. The average recommendation is to shock the pool about once a week. You may need to shock it more frequently after a heavy rainfall. I guess I’ll get the hang of it once the pool is finally clean and in use.

Oh, while I’m talking about the necessary chemicals, I’ve also got to throw algaecide into the mix. It helps to kill and prevent growth. No one likes to swim in a green pool. Since my pool has a green tinge to it, it’s obvious that I haven’t mastered how to use the algaecide just yet.

Chlorine/Algaecide – Not the Whole Story

Reaching the right chemical balance and hitting the target numbers on the pool testing kits does not mean that you are guaranteed a clean pool. I just tested my pool water and all of the numbers are spot on. However, my water is cloudy, green and I know for a fact, the water is still dirty.

Green Pool Water

By the way, the dark stuff you see on the right-hand side of the picture is not entirely from the reflection of the tree.  Some of that darkness can be attributed to dead leaves at the bottom of the pool.

Next: Getting rid of the green and the clouds (oh and always getting rid of those darned leaves).

About the Author: Felicia Williams is a wife, mother and grandmother who likes to write about a host of topics.

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Last Modified: 24 March 2020

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