Do You Really Need All These Chemicals For A Pool Or Are They Just Trying To Get Your Money?
(Clear Blue Pool eBook)
We bought chlorine, pH up, pH down, algaecide, shock plus, and test strips. Overall like a ton of money was spent.
It says we have to have stuff for total hardness, stabilizer, and total alkalinity too, but we don't have any more money to spend because we are broke!!!!
Do you really need those 3 things, or are they just trying to make you spend more money? Because according the test strips we have to have those things.
BTW, my water reading was:
Total Hardness: Very Low
Total Chlorine: Ok
Free Chlorine/Bromine: Very Low
Total Alkalinity: Very Low
Stabilizer: Very Low
Now, I have no idea how to take care of a pool or what to put in it or anything. It's so confusing.
Someone please help me!! It isn't that big of a pool at all. It's a small one from walmart with a small filter and it's about 2ft deep and 8 ft wide.
I don't want to spend all that much money on a pool this small, I just want one to play in! Please help me on how to care for my pool water.
P.S.: If NEED to have those things, are there any cheap substitutes? I really can't buy them. I'm just curious in case we get more money somehow.
Please help. I really hope we don't have to have those things, because we really can't buy them.
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for the question Madison, and I'm sure many people feel the same way you do.
I'm going to try to be as diplomatic as I can.
First, you do need to test the water. This is were a good pool test kit comes in handy. I've always used and recommend a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit.
Pool Water Testing
Water Testing Kit
For a little play pool, something to just splash around in, you can use the strips. If something goes wrong with the water, it's very easy to drain, clean it, and refill.
This might surprise you, but some "pool chemicals" can be purchased at your local grocery store in the laundry isle. You can use bleach instead of liquid chlorine. It's the same thing, called sodium hypochlorite.
Bleach (at about 6.5% sodium hypo., water, and a little salt) is just a watered down version of chlorine (about 12 - 16% sodium hypo., water, and a little salt). But, being that bleach is at a lesser strength, you'll use more of it and it may cost you a little more in the long run than using regular liquid chlorine.
Swimming Pool Chlorine
Next is the pH and alkalinity up. You can use regular Arm & Hammer baking soda for both. This is called sodium bicarbonate. It just depends on how you put it in the pool that matters.
Go to these links to see how to add the sodium bicarb. to raise either the pH or alkalinity:
Proper pH Pools
Swimming Pool pH Levels
Alkalinity in pool water
Or, if you just want to increase the pH, you can use 20 Mule Team Borax. This works great.
Next is the stabilizer, also called cyanuric acid (CYA). This is
where you might need actual pool chemicals. A stabilizer helps the chlorine by buffering it from the sun and heat. You find this in Trichlor tablets.
Pool Chlorine Tablets
There are different size tablets, ranging from 1" to 3". With a smaller pool, you can buy a tab floater and 1" chlorine tabs. This will help chlorinate the pool all week.
When you want to use the pool, simply take the floater and put it in a bucket or empty coffee can. Don't put in on the grass because the chlorine will kill it.
When you're finished swimming, place the floater back in the pool. You will be getting a small dose of CYA with the tablets and the only way to reduce the CYA is to drain 1/3 - 1/2 of the water, refill, and balance the chemicals again.
Next is the algaecide.
When I had my route of 50 pools in Arizona, only on rare occasions did I use an algaecide. The only time I ever shocked a pool is when a pool owner called me and said his pool turned green.
I never shocked my regular customer's pools. Didn't need to. I maintained the chlorine levels each week so algae blooms and green pool water never happened.
This is because I kept the chlorine level between 1.5 - 3.5ppm and the CYA between 30 - 50ppm. It's the chlorine that kills the algae and bacteria.
If the chlorine is kept in check, and it's doing its job, and I'm testing the pool water twice per week, then why do I need to shock the pool? Or use an algaecide? Take a sample of your pool water to you local pool store and have them test for chloramines.
This is the organic matter that gets into pools in the way of sweat, urine, dead bugs, leaves, grass, etc...
If your chloramine level is not above 0.6ppm, there's no reason to shock the pool. Your chlorine is doing its job in killing off everything.
To keep the chloramines down, take a hot soapy shower before swimming, try to keep grass and leaves out of the pool, and have your kids (if you have any) use the bathroom.
Hardness is mainly for plaster pool. This is because water is hungry for calcium and will try to get it wherever it can. A plaster pool will experience pitting when the calcium is low. This is when big chunks are ripped away and you'll have a hole in the plaster. By adding calcium to the pool, you'll eliminate this.
You don't need to spend alot of money. You can spend around $15 - $20 per month on chemicals on a normal 25,000 gallons pool. Your pool is a bit smaller, so $15 - $20 is more than enough, once you get the pool water balanced out.
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Hope this answers your question and have a fun and safe swimming season.
Your post can be found here:Swimming Pool Questions and Answers