Residential pool cleaning can be a tedious job, especially during the oppressive heat experienced locally in Tampa over the summer. Unfortunately, it’s required to keep your swimming area safe to enjoy and sparkling clean.
Common Pool Terms
Let’s start off by familiarizing ourselves with some of the terms associated with residential pool cleaning.
Hard water contains magnesium and calcium, but the amount varies from region to region. No matter where you’re located, magnesium and calcium are left behind as water evaporates, which increases water hardness. Calcium can be added if levels are too low.
One of the most important factors in balancing your water is pH, which is a basic measure of acidity. 7 is considered neutral on a scale 0-14 with 7.2 and 7.6 being the ideal range.
This is your water’s ability to resist changes in pH. The pH level could be sensitive and swing dramatically if your total alkalinity is too low. Alternatively, if your total alkalinity levels are too high, this can make the pH level too high, resulting in scaling and cloudy water.
Free Available Chlorine
Free available chlorine kills algae, bacteria, and most viruses. Add shock treatment (a high concentration of chlorine) if the free available chlorine level is low. Test the free available chlorine after shock treatment. Refrain from entering the water until it is between one and three ppm. Allow the chlorine to evaporate naturally if levels are high.
Pool Chemical Safety
Residential pool cleaning chemicals can be dangerous to animals and humans if handled improperly. They can cause eye and skin damage, and could potentially be fatal if ingested. Follow these chemical safety precautions:
- Follow safety precautions and dosage directions listed on the label of the product.
- Keep products away from children and animals.
- Wear rubber gloves and goggles and wash your hands after use.
- Flush skin immediately if coming into contact with chemicals and call a physician.
- Store chemicals according to manufacturer instructions.
- Never place spilled materials in household garbage or try returning them to the original container.
- Use clean, dry measuring equipment for chemicals. Rinse measuring equipment after use.
- Don’t mix pool, household, or spa chemicals.
- Add chemicals to water, not the other way around. Otherwise, you’ll contaminate the container.
- Don’t allow dry chlorine to become wet.
- Keep open flames away from chemicals.
- Refrain from reusing empty containers. Reference Federal, State and local (Tampa) regulations for proper disposal.
General Residential Pool Cleaning
Balanced water chemistry and clean water are the keys to pool maintenance. Establish a weekly cleaning routine to maintain the chemical balance. A shock treatment typically prevents the majority of the problems you’ll experience with residential pool cleaning in Tampa. Test your free available chlorine and pH levels on a weekly basis and shock-treat as needed. An additional shock treatment may be required if any of the following occurs:
- More swimmers than usual
- The water has a foul odor
- Heavy windstorms and rain
- Extreme temperatures
- Swimmers experiencing severe red eye
- Algae growth
- Slimy, murky water
Step 1: Balancing Your Pool
A properly balanced pool means it has the right calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and pH levels. Everything should run smoothly if you maintain the correct levels. Ensuring a proper balance keeps your plaster surfaces from etching and your metal equipment from corroding.
Step 2: Pool Chlorination
Algae and bacteria are unwanted guests at any pool party in Tampa. To prevent algae and bacteria, ensure your continuous chlorine levels fall between one and four ppm. You have several options to help achieve this:
- Chlorinating Tabs. Chlorinating tabs can keep your Tampa pool sanitized for swimming while shocking your water to remove containments. Some control algae and kill bacteria while protecting equipment and softening water.
- Liquid Chlorine. Liquid chlorine is two to three times stronger than household bleach when formulated for residential pool cleaning. This product has a short shelf life compared to other chlorine products, but it’s a useful sanitizer and easy to apply.
- Chlorinating Granules. Daily application of multifunctional granular chlorine products can help you perform several tasks at once by chlorinating, shocking, and killing algae.
Step 3: Shocking Your Pool
It’s important to shock your swimming area in Tampa on a weekly basis. Shocking rids water of containments that cause cloudiness, eye irritation, and chlorine odor, while also reducing the need for other chemicals. Many shock products available for use in residential pool cleaning:
Step 4: Adding Algaecide to Your Pool
Millions of microscopic plants (algae) make their way into your water through wind, rain and fill water. Left unchecked, your water will quickly become unusable due to low water circulation, clogged filters and reduced effectiveness of chemicals. Algaecides help treat growth once it has started and helps prevent algae from taking over.
Step 5: Residential Pool Cleaning
Daily tasks include skimming debris from the water and cleaning skimmer baskets during swimming season.
Weekly tasks include testing the water, using brushes, cleaners, and vacuums as recommended by the manufacturer to clean the walls and floor, and hosing down the swimming area after cleaning and before using. Direct the spray away from the water to keep dirt from washing in.
Choose Triangle Pool Services for Residential Pool Cleaning
Residential pool cleaning is tedious work that’s better left to professionals. Start enjoying your summer and leave the hard work to us!