How to Maintain Swimming Pool Water - Part 2

Applying Granular Shock to your pool

Granular shock should be mixed with water before adding to the pool.  Otherwise it could reduce the life of your vinyl liner.  When mixing granular shock, wear safety glasses and rubber gloves.  Using a 5-gallon bucket, insert 1 pound of granular shock. Be careful not to inhale the vapors or dust.  Add water to fill about ½ way with a hose (be careful of splash back) and stir very well with a wood stick.  Pour the mixture slowly into the water on the pool steps. If there are any granules left on the bottom of the bucket (there usually is) then add more water and stir and pour this in again. As with all pool chemicals, keep children and pets away from the bucket when mixing and keep everyone out of the pool when adding to the pool.  The best time to apply is in the evening because the chlorine won’t escape/evaporate (sunlight causes this).  Also, you must keep everyone out of the pool for about 8 hours after shocking to allow time for the shock to circulate throughout the pool.

On a routine basis, apply one pound of shock about every 10 days to keep the pool chlorine level active.

Applying Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tablets can be added to the chlorinator.  Usually 2 or 3 at a time should last about a week before you need to add 2 or 3 more.  You can also put chlorine tablets in a floater basket but remove the floater basket before swimming.  Do not put tablets in the skimmer basket.  When you open the chlorine tablet container, avoid inhaling. .  Keep children and pets away also.  After handling the tablets rinse your hands off in the pool water.  Avoid touching your eyes.

Adjusting the pH and Alkalinity

If the alkaline is low, try add baking soda to the skimmer in the morning.  You could also add ‘alkaline increaser’ or ‘alkaline up’ if you don’t want to use baking soda.

Keeping a pH reading around 7.4 and 7.6 is the best level for your swimming pool.  It is easiest on your eyes and the pool parts and equipment.  If it is lower than 7.0 then most likely the alkaline is also low. Adding baking soda or ‘alkaline up’ should raise the pH also.  If the pH is still low after a day or two, then try adding pH increaser.

If the pH and alkaline are too high, then the water tends to get cloudy and this condition could invite algae growth.  Under these conditions, I would get the ‘alkaline decreaser’ or the ‘pH decreaser’ from the pool supply store. 

If the cyanuric acid is too high, then I suggest backing off on the chlorine tablets since these contain cyanuric acid.  Shock doesn’t have cyanuric acid and can be used temporarily until the cyanuric acid levels come down to normal.  If this is the case, try adding 1 pound of shock (using the mixing method in the bucket and apply to pool steps) about every other 3 days for about 2 weeks.  Then return to the tablets.  Ask your pool supply store for more advice on this if the condition continues.  They may recommend draining a few inches of water from the top of the pool.  The cyanuric acid tends to hang on the top.

Green Water Trouble Shooting Tips

If you pool water turns green, this could be caused by algae growth if the pH is too high or if the chlorine level is too low. Adding chlorine tablets (sanitizer) should alleviate this. If the pH remains high then add ‘pH decreaser’ or ‘pH down’ and follow the instruction on how to apply. 

If the pH is low and the chlorine is 3.0 ppm and the water remains green, then this could be an indication that your water has a high copper level.  Have your water tested at the pool supply store. There are products at the pool supply store that can remedy this situation.

Green water could also be an indication your filters are dirty or coated with tree pollen.  This usually happens a day or two after you add shock because it breaks down the yellow/green pollen material collected on your filter that is eventually pushed back into pool.

To remedy this, pull the filters and hose them off. Add baking soda and within a day or two the water should clear.

Routine Maintenance to keep pool water crystal clear

On a daily basis, remove any leaves and debris from the skimmer basket.  Also check the pump trap basket to see if this has a lot of debris floating around.  Occasionally empty this as well.

Remove leaves and bugs that are floating on top of the water with your hand held leaf net or hand held pool skimmer. 

Also keep the filtering system clean.  Backwash filters or remove filters from housing and hose off about every two weeks or so.

Test the water with test strips to check the component levels.  Make any necessary adjustments that are needed.