APCO Pools Specialties, Inc.

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Pool Service: Adding Chemicals to Your Pool

Dress the part. Because you’ll be dealing with harsh chemicals, you should wear clothes that can handle some serious wear and tear. Don’t wear any clothes you aren’t willing to throw out, and make sure you cover as much of your body as possible. That includes gloves and eye protection.

Get your gear. Aside from the pool chemicals themselves, you’ll need a measuring cup and a clean bucket, both of which should be reserved only for this job. You’ll also need pool test strips, so you can tell if your pool water has the proper chemical levels. It also might help to have a chart that helps you calculate the proper levels of pool chemicals.

Make sure the pool is filled. Don’t add the chemicals before you add the water, and don’t add the chemicals until you’re sure the water level is exactly where you want it. Undiluted chemicals can potentially damage any above-ground or inground pool liners, so make sure your pool is full before beginning the process.

Test the acidity. Use your strips to test the water’s pH, or balance of acidity vs. alkalinity. Ideally, your pool should have a pH of 7.2.

Test the softness. The water in your pool should be soft, meaning it shouldn’t have an overabundance of minerals like calcium or magnesium. Use strips to test the softness; your pool should have an ideal calcium concentration of about 300 parts-per-million.

Alter the pH or softness if need be. To alter your pH, add sodium bicarbonate. To soften your water, add calcium chloride. Use a pool chemical chart to determine how much of each chemical you need for your pool.

Add chlorine tablets. When you’re ready to add chlorine tablets to the pool, add them directly to your skimmer basket. An ideal chlorine composition is two parts-per-million.

Add algaecide. If you want to retard or prevent the growth of algae in your pool, you can use algaecide to do so. If you add it, do so in front of the pool’s water return, or the spot where filtered water is returned to the pool. This way, the motion of the water will distribute the algaecide throughout the pool.

Wash up. Be sure to rinse your hands thoroughly when you’re done adding the chemicals. And don’t touch your face or eyes until after you’ve done so!

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    Dr. Jason M.
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