Protect Your Pool Heater from Mice

Protect Your Pool Heater from Mice

Does your swimming pool have a heater installed? If so, then you probably have problems with it all the time, right? The reason for these problems might surprise you.

It is not a bad electrical wire or outlet that you need to worry about. Instead, the problem could be due to rodents, particularly mice.

When it gets cool outside during the fall and winter seasons, the rodents will want to find someplace warm to a shelter. What better place to go than your pool heater? It provides all the warmth they’re looking for.

Heater Damage

Rodent infestations happen fast. Once rodents get into your pool heater, they won’t waste any time damaging it. Mice and rats will do everything, from chewing on the electrical wiring to filling the heater up with feces and debris. Most people never check the inside of their pool heater until the pool stops getting heated. By that time, it is too late.

You need to take precautions and shield your pool heater from outdoor rodents. Otherwise, they will cause damage to your gas pool heater, and then it won’t work anymore. You also neck to inspect your pool heater periodically to ensure everything looks okay. You can never be too careful.

How to Get Started

To begin building the barrier for your pool heater, you will need to obtain some basic tools from your local supply store or hardware store. These supplies include:

  • Rubber snakes
  • Chicken wire
  • Steel wool
  • Mothballs
  • Wood panel

It shouldn’t cost you too much money to purchase these supplies. Just think about how much money you’ll save by protecting your pool heater. After all, it is greatly expensive to repair a pool heater. The supplies to protect it have a minimal cost in comparison.

Once you have the supplies, you can start adding protection to your pool heater. Follow the steps below.

Step #1

Grab some mothballs and put them inside of the control panel. The aroma of mothballs will help deter rodents away.

Step #2

Look for small holes, cracks, or other openings in the pool heater. Place steel wool inside of these areas to cover them up. Make sure there are no openings whatsoever because rodents like to crawl through them, even when they’re tiny. The rodents will attempt to chew their way through the steel wool, but it won’t work. The wool will hurt their mouths and make them give up trying to get through. If they continue, they will eventually die from trying to get through.

Step #3

Now you’ll want to create an additional barrier around the sides of the heater. Use hardware cloth to create the barrier because rodents won’t be able to chew through it. This makes a total of two unchewable barriers.

Step #4

To ensure all these barriers stay securely in place and protected from the wind and rain, you need to add wood paneling to the sides of the pool heater. The panels will cover the cloth and steel wool barriers that you previously made to keep them inside.

Step #5

You’re pretty much done at this point. If you want to go one step further, you could put down a couple of rubber snakes around your heater as an extra deterrent. Rodents won’t want to go near something that looks like a snake out of fear of getting eaten alive. It might not work always, but it cannot hurt either. Give it a try and see what happens.

Last Word of Advice

When you’re ready to turn on your pool heater, you must remove all of the mothballs and barriers you added before. They should only be installed while you keep your pool heater off. Don’t turn on your heater with all of those materials installed or else it’ll cause problems for the heater.

If rodents have already damaged your swimming pool heater unite, then shut off all the electricity to the heater. Have an exterminator come and remove the rodents and their nest from your backyard. After the rodents are exterminated, you’ll have to repair or replace the damaged wires or components of the heater.


What Size Pool Heater do I Need Sizing Calculator

What Size Pool Heater do I Need

Sizing a heater for a swimming pool is no easy task. Most people try to avoid it altogether because it involves a lot of measurements and calculations. Instead, it is simpler to purchase a large heat pump and heater because it has a better chance of successfully heating the pool.

However, a big heat pump and the heater could mean higher electrical costs than necessary. If you’d rather have power efficiency from these heating sources, then it is better to size your heater so that you consume just the right amount of power for it.

The Sizing Process

When you go shopping for a pool heater, don’t just purchase the first one that you come across. There are a few considerations to make before selecting a pool heater. Some of those considerations include:

Most people don’t have a problem figuring out the manufacturer and fuel source they need for their desired pool heater. However, their biggest concern is choosing the right size heater. They don’t know which size is the right size for their swimming pool. The lazy way to solve this problem is to choose a large heater. You’ll then know it can heat your pool water no matter if it is a big or small pool. For instance, you could purchase a large 400K BTU Pool Heater and heat your pool water at twice the speed that a 200K BTU Pool Heater could heat it. On the downside, the 400K BTU Pool Heater burns double the amount of gas. But if you have a spa integrated with your pool, then it’ll require the biggest BTU Pool Heater you can afford. Because of this, you’ll end up consuming more electricity because the heater has to heat two different bodies of water. If you only have a swimming pool, then you’re better off calculating the heater size so that you can have better power efficiency.

How to Perform the Sizing Calculations

1. Calculate the Area of the Pool Surface

What is the surface area of your swimming pool? You must figure this out before moving forward. It is a simple calculation because you only have to multiply the pool’s length by the width of the pool. Then you will have your answer.

Example: Let’s say the dimensions of your pool are 20′ x 30′. The surface area would be 600 square feet.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t factor in the number of gallons in your swimming pool to calculate the heater size. Even though it is important to know the gallon size, the surface area size is more important. After all, bigger surface areas give heat more of a chance to escape. It also means you have to heat more water because it covers a much larger area, even if the water is not high. Therefore, you must purchase a pool heater that can heat the entire surface area.

2. Calculate the Minimal BTU Size Needed

Now that you know the surface area of your swimming pool, divide the answer by three. The new answer will give you the “minimal BTU size” to accommodate that particular surface area size.

Going back to the previous example, you have 600 square feet for the surface area of the pool. Divide 600 by three, and you have 200. That means you should purchase a pool heater with at least 200,000 BTUs. Of course, you can go higher than 200,000 BTUs if you want. It is only the smallest recommended size, so don’t go lower than 200,000 BTUs in this case.

Most swimming pools lose heat during the night because there is no sunlight. If you don’t have a solar cover, your only way to retain heat is to have a pool heater with a huge BTU size. Gas heaters work well for this.

3. Other Considerations

Okay, so you know the minimum BTU size recommended. If you choose to purchase a larger heater for better power efficiency, all related variables should be considered first.

For instance, do you have a solar cover for your pool? Do you swim in your pool often? Are heavy winds frequent in your environment? All these things can affect how much work your heater needs to do.

If you don’t’ have a solar cover, then a 300K BTU Pool Heater model should be acceptable. It will be strong enough to make up for the water evaporation, unforeseen heavy winds, and any additional heat loss incurred. It is excellent for nighttime swimmers too.

But if you were to include a solar cover in addition to the pool heater, then your water will heat much faster. Not only that, but your heater will consume less gas or electricity because it won’t have to work as hard. In this case, a smaller heater that is 200K BTU is fine. It will save you money in the long run.

Sizing the Raypak Residential Gas-Powered Pool Heater

If you choose the Raypak Residential Gas Heater, you can use the convenient gas heater calculator on their website to determine the right size you need. The calculator considers your state and city and the average temperature of the air in that location. Then you can enter your desired temperature for the pool water.

After that, the calculator will give you all the size information you need to know. It will also give you the cost information for the propane and gas required to power it. You can compare these costs to the standard energy costs of electric-powered pool heaters.


Top Options on How to Heat a Pool

Methods for Heating a Swimming Pool

Swimming pools shouldn’t only be used during the summertime when it is warm outside. Wouldn’t it be nice to use your swimming pool during the colder months of autumn? If you can heat your pool water properly, you can use it until the snowflakes start falling in the winter.

Traditional pool heaters can be rather expensive to purchase and operate. Not only do you have to buy the heating device itself, but you also have to pay for the electricity to keep it powered. You could end up paying as much as $1,000 every month to keep your pool heated. Plus you must expect to pay for maintenance which includes regularly clean ups. Why spend all that money when there are more inexpensive ways to keep a pool heated?

Put a Solar Cover Over the Water

A solar cover will absorb heat from the sun and transfer it to the water. It will also reduce evaporation and heat loss while keeping your pool clean when it’s not in use. Think of a solar cover as a lid that protects the water and keeps it heated at a comfortable temperature.

Solar covers come in different sizes. The cost of a solar cover depends on the pool size. However, it won’t cost you nearly as much as an electric or gas heater would cost you. The best part is you have no monthly costs added to your electric bill because a solar cover uses free energy from the sun.

1. Solar Sun Rings

Solar sun rings are like smaller versions of solar covers. The difference is that solar sun rings will cover specific areas of your pool, while solar covers will cover your entire pool. The rings still have the same effect because they help keep the pool warm and reduce evaporation. You can also move the rings around to any spot on the pool quickly.

Some people prefer solar sun rings because they’re cheaper. They’re also a good alternative when you cannot find solar covers that match your pool’s size.

2. Liquid Solar Pool Cover

Would you like an even more convenient alternative to the solar covers and solar sun rings? A liquid solar pool cover does the same type of job by preventing heat loss and water evaporation. But rather than putting a physical barrier on the pool water, you have to pour this special liquid formula into the water. After that, the liquid settles on the top of the water and forms an invisible barrier. This is the barrier that keeps the water protected and heated.

Don’t worry about swimming in the pool water while the liquid solar pool cover is in it. The liquid is formulated with biodegradable ingredients and no dangerous chemicals. Just note that if there is a lot of wind outside, it could break through the invisible barrier. That is why this method is not the most effective.

3. Windproof Pool Enclosure

Wind can be a big problem when you want to retain the warmth of your pool water. Warm water has a way to escape when it is windy outside. If you deal with this problem often, it might be worth creating a windproof pool enclosure. Such enclosures will shield your pool water from the wind so that the water can stay warm.

Enclosures vary in cost. It depends on the materials you choose to use for it and the size of your pool.

4. Black Hose Trick

If you want to save money and heat your pool, you might like the black hose trick. Even though it is rather complicated, it has proven effective for people who’ve tried it. The only item you need to purchase is the black garden hose.

To perform the trick, connect one end of your unraveled black garden hose to the exterior water tap on the side of your house. Run the hose along an area of your lawn where sunlight shines down on it directly. Coil up the hose in this sunlit area and leave it there to get heated. Let the other end of the hose to run into the pool water. Now turn on the tap.

If done correctly, the tap water flowing through your hose will get heated up before entering the pool.

5. Pool Heat Pump

The idea of a pool heat pump is rather ingenious. It pulls in warm air from around your swimming pool and uses it to generate heat for the water. You won’t have to depend on sunlight either. The heat comes entirely from the air outside.

The heat pump does not consume that much electricity either. It is a faster heating method than any of the previous five methods discussed on this list.

6. The Pool Heat Pump and Solar Cover Combination

If you want to maximize the heat generated for your swimming pool water, combine the pool heat pump and solar cover methods. Your pool water will stay warm a lot longer that way.

The solar cover can generate heat during the daytime, and the pool pump can generate heat at nighttime. The investment is still small to purchase both of these items.

The heat pump does not consume that much electricity either. It is a faster heating method than any of the previous five methods discussed on this list.

blue waters

Cleaning Your Pool After a Storm

Pool Rain

Steps to Cleaning Your Swimming Pool After a Rainstorm

Rain can have a negative effect on your pool water. Since rain is acidic, the pH balance of your pool will be compromised. If the rain comes down hard and heavy, it’ll cause additional water to fill your pool. This ends up diluting the pool water of its precious chemicals.

Light rain and showers won’t really cause any problems for your pool. But you should still take some precautions anyway to prepare your pool for the next rainstorm.

Preparing Your Swimming Pool for a Heavy Rainstorm

Below are some tips for preparing your swimming pool for a big rainstorm before it approaches.

Bring Inside Your Pool Accessories and Outdoor Furniture

Any outside accessories and furnishings that are loose or not tied down need to be brought indoors. Things like toys, floats, and chairs around your swimming pool area should be stored inside somewhere like a garage or shed. Otherwise, there is a risk of these objects getting blown around and knocked over by the heavy winds of the storm.

Here is a list of the common items around your pool area which need to be stored indoors:

  • Floats, toys, and games on your pool water
  • Potted plants
  • Smokers
  • Grills
  • All outdoor lounging chairs, furniture, and cushions
  • Landscaping gnomes and other items on the lawn
  • Pool cleaners, covers and/or other pool maintenance accessories and equipment


Whatever you do, don’t try to protect your patio furniture by placing it inside of the swimming pool. This can be hazardous to both the pool water and the entire structure of the pool. Your furniture will likely get ruined too.

Unhook the Gasoline and/or Electrical Lines

The pool pump must be deactivated prior to the storm. If there is a timer attached to the pump, make sure that is turned off too. You certainly wouldn’t want the timer to activate the pump during the storm. That will cause a lot of problems.

Turn off and disconnect any gas lines and/or electric lines that run to the pool. Put a heater cover over your filter and pump if you have one. If you have gas lines, take extra caution and ensure they’re shut off properly. Otherwise, a gas leak may occur if the storm is bad enough.

Pool Water Preparations

You must prepare the pool water for the storm. This means putting some algaecide in the water to reduce the risk of algae or any other organic impurities from getting in there. Rainwater tends to drive impurities like these to your pool water. That is why preparations for the pool water are necessary.

Note: A swimming pool should have overflows installed because they can drain out the extra water that comes from rainwater. The pool can be lowered by 12 inches. If you lower it any more, the storm produces hydrostatic pressure which could potentially pop out the swimming pool from the ground.

The Top 5 Steps for Cleaning a Swimming Pool Following a Rainstorm

The storm is over, and now it’s time to deal with the aftermath. This means your pool needs to be cleaned up and restored to its previous condition. If you took the precautionary advice that was just mentioned, then you shouldn’t have a tough time with this.

Turn ON the Pool Filter and Pool Pump

Inspect your pump baskets and skimmer. Remove any contaminants and debris from them. After you do that, turn your pool filter and pump back on. If there is small debris left behind, the filter can take care of it.

Use Skimmer to Clean Water Surface

Clean the area around your pool with a broom and/or garden hose. This can help clear debris which could potentially fall into the pool as you’re skimming. With a garden hose, spray away from the water, or else the debris will get pushed into the water.

Grab a pole and attach a flat skimmer or leaf net to it. Use this on the surface of the pool water to remove any visible debris from there. Do this prior to vacuuming, or else your vacuuming job will be difficult.

Brushing and Vacuuming

Use a pool brush on your pool ladder and steps. This debris can go into your water because the filter or vacuum will take care of it. If the floor of your pool has a drain, push the debris near it with the brush. If there is very little debris on the pool’s floor, then an automatic pool cleaner can be used rather than a manual vacuum cleaner. But if there is a lot of debris, then a manual vacuum is better.

Remember that heavy rain causes extra water to get added to the pool. This is beneficial when vacuuming large amounts of debris away from the pool’s floor. On the other hand, if there is hardly any debris there, then the excess water needs to get pumped out. Set the filter to mode “waste” and connect a backwash hose to it. Now turn on the pool pump and the water should be getting pumped out. Stop when the waterline of the pool water is roughly 7” from the top area of the pool.

Water Testing

When debris and rainwater fall into your pool, it alters the chemistry of the pool water. The pH levels of the water are greatly reduced as a result. That is why you need to test these levels after a storm and readjust them accordingly. Sometimes a professional water test is better to get done if the storm was huge. If you fail to check the water, you could end up with a cloudy or green swimming pool.

Aside from your pH levels, you need to check the levels of alkalinity, sanitizer and/or chlorine in the pool too. Sanitizer is good for eliminating contaminants brought into the pool by rain.

The cyanuric acid and/or calcium levels of the pool are generally not affected by rain. The only issue here would be the dilution of the water.

Shock the Pool?

You don’t need to shock your pool following a rainstorm. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to shock it either. Whenever there is a lot of heavy rain, it is a good idea to shock your pool afterward. This ensures that nasty contaminants are eliminated from the pool water.

Before shocking the pool, you need to adjust the balance of the water by draining it to the correct level. Then you test the levels of pH, sanitizer, and alkalinity in the water. Once that is done, you can go ahead and shock the pool water.

Remember to never swim in the pool during any kind of rainstorm or thunderstorm because you run the risk of getting struck by lightning or hit with flying debris.

After the storm, clean the pool like described in this article. Wait about 24 hours, and then you can go back to swimming in your pool again. If any major storms are forecasted, take the same precautionary and cleaning advice and do it again.


How To Keep Bees and Wasps Out Of Pool

Keep Bees and Wasps Out Of Pool

Summer is a season that makes you want to jump right into your swimming pool and cool off. Unfortunately, bees and wasps are attracted to big water masses like swimming pools. For this reason, anyone in the pool is at risk of getting stung by a bee or wasp.

Remember that bees and wasps love pools of water, whether they’re natural or manmade. When they see your pool, they see a water haven for themselves. You’ll probably want to kill these annoying pests as soon as you see them. However, you need to think about it from an ecological standpoint. As annoying as we may find these pests to be, they are beneficial to the environment. That is why it is not a good thing to kill them.

What is the right answer then? The only solution is to repel bees and wasps from your swimming pool without actually killing them. Then you can swim in your own pool without the fear of getting stung. Meanwhile, the bees and wasps are still alive and continue to benefit the environment around you.

The Best Way to Repel Wasps from a Swimming Pool

Wasps are more difficult to repel than bees. Of course, the good thing about wasps is they eat centipedes, aphids, flies, and other small annoying pets. You could say that wasps are a natural pest eliminator. Think about this before you attempt to kill wasps by spraying the air and swatting them.

Here are ways you can protect wasps and keep them away from your pool:

Hang Up Fake Wasps Nests

Buy a few fake wasp nests and put them in areas around your home. Do this before the summer season, so the wasps won’t build any new nests. Instead, they’ll use your fake nests and stay away from your pool area.

Use a Professional

If there are too many wasps around your swimming pool and you cannot get them to go away by yourself, then you need to contact a professional exterminator. These professionals are trained to collect the wasps peacefully and move them somewhere else away from your pool.

The Best Way to Repel Bees from a Swimming Pool

Bees are also important to the environment. Fortunately, they are easier to remove from a pool area than wasps. No killing is needed.

Here’s how you can do that.

Create Another Water Source

Bees like water because they drink it. If your pool is the only exposed water source around, bees will fly into it for sure. That is why you need to create another water source for the bees to drink from.

It is important that you maintain this other water source throughout the entire summer. You should also put a small piece of cedar wood or stone on the water. This is in case the bees fall into the water and need to climb back out onto something.

Once you’ve established this setup, the bees won’t need your pool water anymore. This should greatly reduce the number of bees around.

Dryer Sheets

We normally use dryer sheets to freshen the smell of our clothes in the dryer. However, dryer sheets also serve a great purpose for repelling bees. In fact, bees despise dryer sheets and want to stay away from them.

Therefore, place dryer sheets around your swimming pool area. You can place them inside of baskets or underneath other objects to keep them weighed down. After you do this, bees will not want to get anywhere near them.

You’ll need to occasionally replace the dryer sheets with new ones because their effectiveness diminishes slowly in time.

Contact a Professional Beekeeper

If none of this is working for you, then you should contact a beekeeper in your area and have them take care of your bee problem. They can safely remove the beehive from your pool area without harming the bees.


Follow the advice that was just given, and you should have lots of success with keeping wasps and bees away from your swimming pool. These removal methods ensure the pests’ safety and it keeps the environment in good condition.

In rare cases, you may have an abundance of wasps and bees around your pool which puts people at risk. If you experience this type of situation, then destroying the beehives and nests is the only solution. But this should only be done when there is no other option. Most people find it unnecessary to go to this extreme, though.

rancho cucamonga pool service

Swimming Pool Salt A Guide To Buying & Using

Pool Salt

Did you know that millions of people are installing saltwater pools in their backyards? The salt of the water reduces the cost of chemicals and causes less irritation to your hair, skin, and eyes.

Before you upgrade or install your pool with salt, you must educate yourself about pool salt. Learn about what the salt does in the water and which type of salt is best to use in your particular pool.

Is Pool Salt the Same as Table Salt?

Pool salt is technically the same as table salt because they both contain the same chemical compound. However, the difference with pool salt is that its ground to be coarser so that it can adapt better to the water. Also, you can purchase pool salt in bulk quantities to save time and money. Otherwise, you’d be pouring little bottles of table salt into the water all day long.

What does it do?

Okay, so what is the point of putting salt in the pool water? Does it turn the water into ocean water? Well, salt can help keep pool water sanitized and clean, but you must also use a salt water chlorinator too.

Sodium chloride is the main chemical compound of salt. Through an “electrolysis” process, the salt water chlorinator separates the sodium and chlorine so that the chlorine can clean the water.

Top Pool Salt

1. AQUASALT Aquasalt-40 Swimming Pool and Spa Chlorine Generator Salt


2. Morton Salt 3460 Pool Salt, 40 lb


3. Clorox 81040CLX Pool Salt Bag 40 lb. (Pack of 6)


Are These Types of Pools Actually Popular?

Salt water pools are not just a trend like waterbeds were 30 years ago. According to statistics from July 2018, about 10.4 million American homeowners have swimming pools on their property. Out of these homeowners, around 35% of them own saltwater pools. This percentage is increasing by the month.

Some people purchase new saltwater pools, while others upgrade their existing pool into a salt water pool. So, it is not an uncommon thing at all.

The Main Types of Salt Water Pools

There are several types of salts on the market, such as Epsom salt, Kosher salt, and Himalayan salt. Are they all the same? Is one better than the other?

Salt is salt. No matter what type of salt you buy, salt will always be salt. However, the difference between these types of salts has more to do with the way they’re obtained and produced. This determines their effectiveness as well as their cost to consumers.

Solar Salt

Solar salt doesn’t mean it is salt that comes directly from the sun. Instead, solar salt is produced with the help of the sun. Producers will gather seawater and position it in an open area which has a lot of sun exposure. The water will start to evaporate, while the salt remains behind. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to generate salt. No machines are needed. The sun does most of the work.

Unfortunately, you must worry about the bacteria that is in the seawater too. Plus, millions of very tiny brine shrimp are in the water too. Even when the water is evaporated, the salt has impurities in it from the shrimp. The more evaporation that takes place, the more impure the salt gets.

As the water leaves the salt through the evaporation process, the bacteria and brine shrimp begin to die off. They cannot survive in an environment with just salt and no water. This means you have lots of tiny carcasses of brine shrimp and other organic impurities left behind.

The only way to remove these impurities is to use a pool filter and sanitizer in your pool water. They will remove the carcasses and contaminants after you add the salt to the water. But the only problem here is it puts more pressure on your filter and chlorinator to remove all these contaminants.

Therefore, solar salt is not recommended as the number one choice.

Mechanically Evaporated Salt

Mechanically evaporated salt is produced by using heat that is artificially generated rather than solar generated. The benefit of artificially generated heat is that you can adjust the temperature to suit your needs. If you increase the temperature, the bacteria and brine shrimp are killed faster.

More organic impurities are eliminated too, but not all the impurities. Some are still left behind in the salt. These impurities are actually minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, nitrates, silicates, and phosphates. Calcium increases can increase your pool’s calcium hardness. Copper and iron tend to stain pools which are not compatible with these minerals.

The source of the pool water determines which minerals are left behind from the mechanical evaporation process. Even though the dead brine shrimp and bacteria will be gone, it may still be difficult to chemically balance the pool water at a consistent rate.

Be aware that calcium and certain other minerals can cause problems for your pool equipment, pool water, and chlorinator. Your filter can only block so many of these minerals before it gets to be too much for it.

Overall, mechanically evaporated salt is better than solar salt. If you don’t mind the extra work involved, then try out this salt.

Mined Salt

Have you ever heard of mined salt? It is called mined salt because it is salt harvested from mines. This is the same place where diamonds and rock salt come from too. Most Americans put rock salt on just about everything, such as food, pool water, and icy roads. There is no salt purer than rock salt at the store. It contains between 95% and 99% of sodium chloride.

Mined salt is the best form of pool salt. Since it comes from the mines, it is extremely pure. Make sure that when you go shopping for pool salt, you look at the labels for the words “pool salt.” This indicates it is pure and sized properly for your pool’s chlorinator. This is the cheapest and easiest option too.

pool equipment

Liquid Chlorine or Chlorine Granules What’s the difference?

Liquid Chlorine or Chlorine Granules

Swimming pool owners usually ponder over whether to purchase liquid chlorine or powder chlorine for their pool water. If you’re inexperienced at adding chlorine to pool water, then you probably don’t know which type of chlorine to purchase. To make matters worse, there is a lot of conflicting information being passed around about these two chlorine products. So, it is hard to know who’s telling the truth about them.

Basically, there are advantages and disadvantages to using each type of chlorine. But first, you need to consider the type of equipment you have and the limit on your budget. This is very important to do.

Overview of Chlorine

Most swimming pools are disinfected with a chemical called chlorine. This chemical is formulated to sanitize the pool water by killing the algae and bacteria in there. That way, the water can stay safe, clean, and crystal clear for people to swim in.

When salt water is put through electrolysis, it generates chlorine. When bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms are exposed to chlorine, their cellular walls are broken down and oxidized. However, due to the instability of chlorine, it diminishes over time and will eventually become ineffective. For this reason, chlorine needs to keep getting added into the pool regularly.

Chlorine needs to be handled carefully by a responsible person because it is rather hazardous to your health. Follow all the safety measures outlined on the packaging, such as wearing goggles and gloves while handling the chlorine.

Liquid Chlorine

To make liquid chlorine, you use caustic soda to bubble up the chlorine gas. It’ll have a roughly 13 pH level. Once you have the liquid chlorine made, you just pour it into your pool water. It is best used in huge commercial swimming pools or any pool which normally has a lot of people in it. Bulk amounts of liquid chlorine can be added to the pool water, which is why bigger pools are better for it. Some people even add drums containing 55 gallons of liquid chlorine to their pool.

On the other hand, for someone who has a small swimming pool in their backyard, the cost of maintaining the pH balance of the water may not be worth it. Even though liquid chlorine is rather cheap to purchase, it also increases the pH level of the water too. Then you’ll be forced to counteract this by purchasing chemicals which increase the acidity of the water. On top of that, the corrosive nature of liquid chlorine could potentially damage the bottom and/or the walls of your swimming pool.

Powder Chlorine

Most private residential swimming pool owners choose powder chlorine from their pool water. Even though it costs more than liquid chlorine, powder chlorine has a low pH level, and it is easier to add to the water. Therefore, you’ll actually save money in the long run because you won’t need to balance the pH levels in the water.

Powder chlorine is available in three types. They are as follows:
Dichlor Powder

The pH level is only about 7 or less. If acid needs to get added to the water, you won’t need to add too much. The powder dissolves quickly in the water, targeting contaminants right away. For every pound of dichlor powder, there is roughly 62% of real chlorine. This is a stable product which makes for a great shock treatment. However, it is one of the most expensive products too.

Lithium Hypochlorite Powder

Every pound of this powder only has around 35% of actual chlorine. It has a higher pH level of around 11 too. For this reason, you’ll need to add a larger amount of acid to your swimming pool in order to balance the pH levels. On the upside, the powder dissolves even faster than the dichlor powder. If you have a vinyl pool, then you won’t need to worry about the bleaching effect of the powder as much.

Calcium Hypochlorite Powder

This is both a cost-effective and popular type of chlorine powder. It has a 12-pH level and is comprised of roughly 65% of actual chlorine. So, you’ll need to add more acid to the water for balancing purposes. Despite its cheaper price, it is not too safe compared to lithium because its fumes are dangerous to inhale.


Your budget and the way you’ll use the chlorine will determine which type you purchase. If you have a large swimming pool or any pool that is regularly used by a lot of people, then choose the liquid chlorine. If you have a smaller pool in a residential backyard, then it is more cost-effective to choose powder chlorine.

After you purchase the appropriate chlorine product, read the instructions carefully prior to adding the chlorine to the water. Make sure your chlorine product is compatible with your equipment and pool in order to avoid damaging them.


How To Lower The Alkalinity In Your Pool

Muriatic Acid to Lower Your Pool Alkalinity

You can balance the alkalinity level of your swimming pool without spending a lot of money on chemical additives. All you need is some good quality muriatic acid. But you don’t simply pour the acid into the water and call it a day. That’ll cause problems for you.

A high alkalinity level in the water could end up damaging your pool and its circulation system. Once the pH level rises, the water chemistry becomes all messed up. You can affordably reduce the alkalinity of your pool by using muriatic acid. This requires patience, a bucket, and the ability to follow simple safety instructions.

What is Muriatic Acid?

Muriatic acid is traditionally used in the field of masonry. Since masonry surfaces are naturally alkaline, muriatic acid can reduce the pH level on these surfaces and keep them cleaner. That way, paint can stick to it better.

The human stomach naturally produces muriatic acid to increase the pH level in the gut. This will eliminate microorganisms that cause you to get sick and assist with the digestion process.

In a swimming pool, the muriatic acid can reduce the pH and alkalinity levels in order to balance the chemistry of the water. The muriatic acid formulated for swimming pools generally has a lower hydrogen chloride concentration than what you’d find in masonry-supported muriatic acid products.

All chemicals have a functioning agent, just like all medicine has an active ingredient. You just need to make sure the proper concentration of the agent is in your chemicals because that is how you’ll balance the chemistry of your water in an easier, safer way.

Pools with cartridge filters probably came with muriatic acid already. It is used to provide a deep cleaning to the filters by eliminating the slimy residue that tends to accumulate on them. If you have muriatic acid for filter cleaning purposes, then you can also use it for reducing the alkalinity in your pool water too.


Understanding pool chemistry tends to be rather difficult for many people. Experienced pool owners can even make mistakes when treating their pool water.

One thing you should remember is that alkalinity levels will eventually decrease by themselves. However, you can’t leave high levels of alkalinity in your water for very long because algae will start to grow quickly. That is why you must reduce your alkalinity levels with the appropriate chemicals.

High pH levels mean low acidity, causing the water to become softer and accumulate calcium. The water will appear flaky and scaly too. As a result of these conditions, the filter and circulation system of your pool will get clogged. Then you’ll have more to clean out of the water with your sanitizing chemicals. This will prompt you to add more chlorine to combat the problem. Then the pH levels and alkalinity will rise.

When the pH is high, the calcium in the water turns harder. The natural unstableness of pH requires more alkalinity to slow it down. When you use chemicals to reduce pH, you’ll also reduce the alkalinity too. But the pH will lower more when you lower the alkalinity. So, it is best to reduce the pH to about under 7 ppm (parts per million). Make sure you alter the pH levels in smaller stages by conducting daily testing and adding more chemicals if needed. You should get the alkalinity levels back on the proper path if you do this.

Having balanced alkalinity ensures your pH levels are good for your pool. It also assists the sanitizer in stopping contaminants from spreading throughout your pool.

High Alkalinity with Low pH

Even though alkalinity and pH get reduced together, the pH lowers much faster than alkalinity. This could result in high alkalinity and low pH in your pool water. Excessive amounts of cyanuric acid getting added to the water will cause this to happen.

Outdoor pools require chlorine stabilizers, but they must be used properly or else the water chemistry will suffer an imbalance. Every chemical you put in your pool will have an effect on the pH and alkalinity levels but at different rates. Any attempt to adjust these levels will still cause one to be higher than the other.

Reducing Alkalinity in the Pool

Virtually every pool supply shop sells a “pH Decreaser” product. The main functioning ingredient of the product is sodium bisulphate. It is formulated to reduce pH and alkalinity levels. Although muriatic acid is a good alternative to this because it is already available with your filters. But even if you have to purchase muriatic acid, it is much more inexpensive than purchasing a pH Decreaser. You just need to apply the muriatic acid properly to the water in order to reduce the alkalinity.

Safety is Most Important

Muriatic acid must be handled carefully because if it gets on your skin, it’ll burn it within seconds. And if you inhale the vapor of the muriatic acid, it could negatively affect your respiratory health. Purchase the proper accessories to stay protected as you use the acid.

Water Testing

Don’t add any chemicals until you have tested the alkalinity and pH levels of your pool. Test strips are commonly used for this, but you can get a more accurate reading from digital test kits.

No matter what the reading shows, muriatic acid must be applied in stages when reducing the alkalinity in the pool water. That will take a lot of time, though.

Determine the Acid Quantity Needed

Find out the water gallon capacity and the alkalinity level and pH level of your swimming pool. When reducing these levels, calculate the amount of muriatic acid needed to lower your pH level just under the ideal amount. If you do this, your alkalinity level should be normal. After that, use the pump to aerate the water and slowly increase the pH level.

The muriatic acid product label should indicate the amount of acid to add to the pool. If for some reason the label doesn’t tell you this, then use an online calculator to do the calculations yourself.

Deactivating the Pump

If you’re trying to stabilize your pH level while greatly reducing your alkalinity, then deactivate the pump prior to applying muriatic acid to the water. After the pump is activated, the chemicals in the water will circulate and mix together. In addition, oxygen gets added by the bubbles shot into the water.

As more oxygen enters the water, the muriatic acid becomes more effective on the pH. To greatly reduce the alkalinity, deactivate the pump to slow down the movement of water.

Muriatic Acid Addition

When you want to add muriatic acid to the pool water, it is better if you don’t just pour the acid directly into the water from the canister. Instead, dilute the muriatic acid in tap water so that it is less hazardous and simpler to handle. It only takes a bucket and a couple of extra minutes.

The best water-to-muriatic acid ratio is 10-to-1. After you add the proper quantity of muriatic acid to the water, use a stir stick to mix it all around. The stick can be made of wood or plastic.

Make sure water is added to the bucket before you do this. Adding the muriatic acid first will cause a dangerous chemical reaction. So, it goes water first and then muriatic acid second.

Go to the deepest end of the swimming pool and pour the mixture from the bucket into it. If your pool already has a high pH level, then gradually walk around the perimeter of the pool and gently pour the mixture into it. The water will be exposed to more air while the chemicals are able to circulate.

Make sure the bucket is rinsed thoroughly of all muriatic acid remnants once you’re done. No other chemicals should be used in the bucket or else an explosion might occur.

Let the Acid Do Its Business

There are two ways in which you can approach this. First, you can take the safest approach of turning on your pool pump and allowing the muriatic acid to circulate in the pool water for a minimum of 30 minutes. That will stop the muriatic acid from falling to the bottom surface and damaging it.

Alternatively, you can just let the muriatic acid work its magic on the alkalinity without turning on the pump. Professionals call this approach “pooling.” This is not always the best approach, though, because the muriatic acid is strong enough to damage the pool floor if it settles there. To prevent this from happening, the pool floor must regularly be brushed.

Of course, these approaches to reducing alkalinity while not affecting pH are merely opinions. One thing that is true is muriatic acid can damage pool surfaces. To make sure this doesn’t happen, activate the pump for 30 minutes as soon as you add the muriatic acid to the water.


To increase the pH a little bit, keep the pump running to add air to the water. This will help reduce the chances of increasing the alkalinity as you use chemicals to increase the pH level.

The best approach to aeration is positioning the return jets toward the top and turning the pump on full blast. All other water features must be turned on too. Alternatively, a fountain or aerator device can do the same thing.

Test the Water Again

After muriatic acid is added to your pool water, conduct another test of the water chemistry. If the alkalinity is still too high, add a little more muriatic acid. If the pH level is reduced while the alkalinity level is just fine, then aeration can continue.

The next day, test the pH level again to see if it is higher. If it is not, then use a little pH increaser chemical on the water.

Repeat the Process

You will basically repeat this process numerous times to reduce the alkalinity level to where it needs to be. Just keep testing the water, adding muriatic acid gradually in small amounts, and repeating again. If you have trouble achieving the right levels of alkalinity and pH, take a sample of your pool water and bring it to your local pool store and have them test it out. Perhaps the accuracy of your tests is off.

Balance is the Key

Balancing the water chemistry of your pool on a regular basis can prevent algae, corrosion, staining, stomach bugs, and other water-based illnesses. Keep checking the water and using more sanitizer, especially if lots of people have been using the water.

If you can keep your water chemistry managed properly, you won’t need to alter the alkalinity levels so much. But if you’ve let the chemistry become imbalanced, just add some muriatic acid to help get it back to the right level.


Chlorine Tablets for Your Swimming Pool

Chlorine Tablets for Pools

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with owning a pool. One of which is cleaning the water regularly of contaminants, algae, leaves, debris, bugs, and other nasty things. This can be a learning process if you’ve never done it before. Skimming the water of its bugs and leaves requires the right tools and techniques. The same goes for eliminating algae and other microorganisms.

If you want to make the greatest impact on the sanitization of your pool water, then you need to pay attention to the water chemistry. The fastest and easiest way to sanitize the water is to add chlorine tablets to it. This is a chemical which every pool needs to stay clean.

The Benefit of Chlorine Tablets

Why use chlorine tablets instead of regular chlorine? For one thing, it is easy to administer the chlorine tablets into your pool water. The chlorine from the tablets does not get dispersed all at once. Instead, it is gradually dispersed and spread more evenly throughout the water. That is a benefit you won’t find with chlorine granules.

The Importance of Putting Chlorine in Pool Water

Chlorine is highly effective at sanitizing pool water, and it doesn’t cost that much money either. Chlorine can eliminate bacteria, viruses, algae, and other microorganisms in order to keep all the swimmers safe.

The Proper Amount of Chlorine to Add

The average swimming pool should have a chlorine concentration of between 1 ppm (part per million) and 3 ppm. This is the safest way to kill microorganisms in your pool without irritating the human swimmers at the same time. After all, excessive amounts of chlorine could contribute to certain symptoms like throat irritation, eye irritation, and even lung irritation.

To determine if the proper amount of sanitizer is in your pool water, you must conduct tests on the water using test kits or test strips. These testing products will not only tell you how much chlorine is in the water, but also how much of other chemicals are in the water too. Based on the results, you can adjust the water chemistry appropriately.

Selecting the Best Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tablets are available in different sizes, 3 inches or 1-inch. The best choice is the 3-inch chlorine tablets because they’re bigger, popular, and sometimes even cheaper than the smaller sized tablets. One 3-inch chlorine tablet is powerful enough to clean 5,000 gallons of pool water. You could actually save more money by using fewer tablets.

First, do you know the volume of your swimming pool? If not, check with the pool manufacturer or installer to get this information. There are pool calculators on the internet that you can use as well.

Once you figured out the volume, you will know how many chlorine tablets to add. Always round the water capacity upwards to the next 5,000 gallons. For instance, if your pool has a water capacity of 17,000 gallons, then you would use four 3-inch chlorine tablets. But if it has a capacity of 15,000 gallons, you would only use three 3-inch chlorine tablets.

The Top 3 Methods for Adding Chlorine Tablets to Pool Water

Chlorine granules are easy to administer to the water because they’re just added directly. You may think that you can do the same thing with chlorine tablets. However, it is not a good idea. There are some better options for adding chlorine tablets to pool water. They are as follows:

Floating Chlorine Dispenser

Chlorine tablets are placed inside of the floating chlorine dispenser. The dispenser is placed in the pool water and gradually disperses chlorine out. Not a lot of maintenance is involved, making this a convenient way to clean your pool water.

Automatic Chlorinator

The Automatic Chlorinator is perhaps the best choice here. You can manage the chlorination levels of the pool water quite well without much effort. Just put the tablets in the chlorinator, select a chlorine level of between 1 and 3 ppm, and use chlorine test strips to verify the chlorine level. As you get more experienced, you’ll know which settings are the best for your pool.

Just make sure the pool water passes through the Automatic Chlorinator right before going back into the pool area. This will ensure the water stays chlorinated and clean.

Chlorine Granules

Chlorine granules are basically crushed tablets which are tiny enough to sprinkle into the water. Only use this method if you must clean smaller, localized areas of your pool water. It will take a lot of time to administer granules to every area of your pool because it would all have to be done by hand. That is why an automatic chlorinator is recommended as a more efficient and time-saving alternative.

As you can see, it is not too difficult to administer chlorine tablets to pool water. The method that you choose depends on you and the amount of time and money you want to devote to this task.


How to Get Rid of Algae in Your Pool

How to Get Rid of Green Algae in a Swimming Pool

Mustard algae might sound like something you put on a hot dog, but it is actually a common type of algae found in swimming pools. It is sometimes called yellow algae because of its yellow color. If you don’t maintain the cleanliness of your pool, then don’t be surprised if you start seeing this algae form.

Although mustard algae are rather rare, it can still show up in certain circumstances. Fortunately, it is easy to eliminate mustard algae and keep it away by following a couple of simple steps.

Overview of Mustard Algae

You probably already know about slimy green algae and how it sticks to pool walls and forms flat blobs in the water. Mustard algae are a little different, though. People tend to confuse mustard algae with pool stains, sand or dirt. The algae belong to the “xanthophytes” family of microbes. They’re resistant to chlorine, so you can’t get rid of them with standard sanitizing chemicals.

Mustard algae will stick onto any surfaces or items in your pool, such as the walls. But it can’t live anywhere else but in your pool. You’ll find the algae on your pool toys, equipment, floats, and sometimes on the bathing suits of the swimmers. If you notice any mustard algae around, apply disinfectant to the algae prone areas right away.

The 5 Steps for Killing Mustard Algae

Don’t let mustard algae keep you down and depressed. Here are ten easy steps to kill mustard algae in order to keep your pool sanitized.

Clean the Filter

The purpose of a pool cartridge filter is to clean your pool water by capturing debris and decontaminates.

Shock Treatment

One pool shock treatment won’t be enough to get rid of mustard algae in the water. Therefore, it is recommended that you use 3 lbs. of shock to clean 10,000 gallons of water. Do it when the sun goes down. Turn on your pump and filtration system. Leave them on for the next 24 hours. The algae should be gone by then.

Vacuuming and Brushing Run FilterFor 24 Hours

Before you start sanitizing your pool water again, it helps to get rid of the existing mustard algae first. You can do this with a high-quality algae brush which is designed to loosen all the algae, so they’re not so clingy. Once you do this, you can easily suck up the algae with a manual vacuum. Since mustard algae may inhabit your filtration system, turn the filter’s setting on “waste” instead of “backwash” prior to turning on the vacuum.

After you’ve vacuumed the algae out of the pool, put the garden hose in your pool and add more freshwater to it. The vacuum sucked up water before, so you’re just replenishing what was lost.

Brush and Balance Again Next Day

Brush your pool walls again to ensure that no mustard algae is clinging to them. Test your chlorine levels and add more if needed. Also, test your level of alkalinity and pH regularly and make the proper adjustments to them too.

Test the Water to Make Sure There is No Algae

Do one more water chemistry test to ensure there are no algae. If the reading shows the water is balanced and everything looks clear in the water, then your mustard algae problem has been resolved.

Any pool equipment or accessories that you put in the pool during this process can be removed.


Now the only thing left to worry about is preventing the mustard algae from returning again. If you keep your water chemistry balanced, then everything should be fine. This means balancing the sanitizer, pH, and alkalinity levels regularly.

Leave the filtration system and pump running for between 8 and 12 hours per day throughout the entire season. Brush and vacuum your pool if you notice any signs of algae.

Shock treatments should be made once per week. Use 1 lb. of shock per 10,000 gallons of water. Clean all the pool items, equipment, and accessories, such as solar blankets, slides, diving boards, steps, ladders, floats, and toys. Use the cleaning solution with chlorine in it to do this. This will ensure the algae is killed.

The only mustard you need to worry about now is the kind that goes on your hot dogs and hamburgers. All other mustard, especially in your pool, has got to go.


Pool Clarifier vs. Pool Flocculant: What’s the Difference?

Difference Between Pool Clarifier and Flocculant

Flocculants are used to clear pool water quickly. However, not everybody is going to want to use these chemicals to clear their pool water. A pool clarifier might be preferred instead.

What is the difference between the two? Here we will elaborate on flocculants and standard pool clarifiers. That way, you’ll know which one is better to use for your particular pool.

Pool Clarifier

The pool filter should always be the main device which cleans your pool water. That doesn’t mean it should be the only device, though.

Pool clarifiers assist the filter by catching very small particles which contribute to the cloudiness of the water. As more tiny particles are gathered together, they become larger particles which can be caught by your filter. This is a process known as coagulation. Once the filter catches the particles, it’ll clear the water of your pool.

The pool clarifier depends on the pool filter, so make sure your filter stays on. Whenever you have a cloudy pool, keep your pool running for every hour of the day while using the clarifier. This should clear up your pool fast.

Remember that your filter still does most of the cleaning work. The clarifier is meant to assist the filter in clearing out the particles in the pool.

Below are a few tips on how to achieve the best results possible:


  1. Activate the main drain if there is one on the bottom of your swimming pool. This will send a flow of water from the bottom toward your filter, where it will be cleaned.
  2. If there is no main drain on the bottom, a manual vacuum will need to be used. Set up the vacuum by hooking it up and turning it upside down. Keep it at the bottom, so it can extract the water there.
  3. When you swim in the water, you’ll physically be kicking the particles and debris from the bottom area toward the skimmer.
  4. Use a filter enhancer if you have a sand filter. This turns the sand filter into a diatomaceous earth filter, which enables it to gather tiny particles. Bioguard has come out with a great filter enhancer product by the name of “Sparkle Up.” That is a product to look out for if you can find it. Otherwise, just pour 1 cup of plain Diatomaceous Earth into the skimmer. The Diatomaceous Earth adds a top layer to the sand bed which gathers tiny particles that might not get gathered by your sand filter.


Flocculant is popular because it works quickly and simply. You just add the flocculant right into your swimming pool water. If the water contains particles which are causing cloudiness, the flocculant sinks these particles all the way to the bottom of the pool. From there, you vacuum the particles on the bottom to clear them out of the pool completely.

Keep your pool running for approximately two hours after adding flocculant. If you’re using a sand filter and multi-port valve, then set it to recirculate. Once the two hours have gone by, the flocculant chemical should have mixed very well with the pool water. Now you can turn off the pool filtration system for up to 8 hours. Turn off the timer if you have one set. Overnight is the best time to leave the pool ideal like this.

After the 8 hours go by, check out your pool again. The bottom will likely have a big cloud there. You must clear away this cloud of particles by using a manual vacuum. Automatic cleaners won’t be able to do this. When using the manual vacuum, it’ll take away water from your pool. To combat this issue, leave a garden hose running in your pool to add more freshwater to it.

You may need to vacuum a few times. If you move the vacuum and the water clouds up some more, wait a little while so that the particles can settle on the bottom again. Then start up the vacuum and continue extracting them. Follow this process, and you’ll have clear pool water fast.

Should I Use Flocculant or a Clarifier?

Both pool clearing solutions work great. The main difference between them is the amount of time they take. Flocculant is better to use for clearing water quickly because it works faster. You can expect a lot of work to be done by you as well.

In cases where your pool water has a little bit of cloudiness, and there’s no rush to clear it away quickly, then try using the clarifier instead. Clarifiers are slower, but you won’t need to do much work yourself. In fact, you won’t even need to vacuum if you have a main drain on your pool. Then you’ll save money because you won’t need to purchase more sanitizing chemicals and pH balancing chemicals for the water.

So hopefully, you have enough knowledge now to make the best choice. Good luck.


Pool Algaecide Treatments Prevent and Remove Green Algae

Pool Algaecide Treatments

When you see cloudiness and greenness in your pool water, you might become instantly horrified. You’ll probably blame yourself for messing up the water chemistry or not paying enough attention to it. No pool owner is perfect, and things like this tend to happen sooner or later.

Algae is the reason for your discolored pool. Many people will tell you to purchase some algaecide and apply it to the water. This pool chemical is supposed to destroy algae in its tracks. But is it really a good thing to use in your pool water for killing algae? No, not really.

What is Algaecide?

Algaecide might sound like an algae killer, but it is actually better used as a preventive treatment than a killing treatment. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it as an algae treatment because you can.

Most algaecides come from copper, such as copper chelates or copper sulfate. Each chemical compound has a central metallic atom. Some other algaecides use sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate or herbicide endothall.

When algae are exposed to these chemicals, their cellular processes are disturbed. Researchers don’t even understand why this happens. One belief is that these chemicals interfere with the transportation of energy and division between the cells. Another belief is the chemicals stop new cell proteins form synthesizing, causing the algae cells to die.

No one really understands how algaecides function. Just know that if there is a lot of metal content in the area where you live and your pool contains water with metal in it, then there is a huge oxidation risk that can result in stains on the pool walls. So, you’ll make this problem worse by adding copper-based algaecide to your pool.

That is why you’ll want to use copper-free algaecide instead. This will keep your pool surfaces safe and protected.

Easy to Prevent

There are literally tens of thousands of algae in existence. Most of us only come across a few of them. The average algae that we come across are not severely toxic, unlike the deadly “red tide” algae which are dangerous to all mammals.

Algae are classified as protists, which are described by biologists as any cell containing a nucleus that is not a fungus, plant, or animal. Since algae don’t belong to any particular natural group, this is the best category for them to be in.

Fortunately, we know how to identify, eliminate, and prevent the common algae that we do come across, especially in our pools.

Here are the four common algae types found in pools:
Green Algae

Most pool owners will see this type of algae at some point. If you’ve ever swam in the lake and neglected to wash your clothes afterward, then you’ve probably seen green algae.

Mustard Algae

This alga is not as common, but it can show up and stubbornly stick around.

Black Algae

You will have the most difficulty eliminating black algae.

Pink Algae

Has a slimy look which makes it appear to be algae, but it is actually bacteria.

The Best Way to Fight Algae

If you want to eliminate algae effectively, then it is better to use chlorine than algaecide. Whenever you have cloudy water or slimy walls in your pool, chlorine is your best weapon against it.

Chlorine is formulated to oxidize one cell algae and bacteria. In other words, electrons get traded between them. This causes the cell walls of the algae to fall apart. As a result, their most precious nutrients are lost. Algae cannot grow any further if they lose these nutrients.

All you need to concern yourself with is sustaining the water chemistry in your pool. Chlorine should be at 3 ppm (parts per million), bromine between 3 and 5 ppm, biguanide between 30 and 50 ppm (if applicable), and your pH levels need to be balanced too.

Shocking the Pool

When something from the outside infects your pool, this will force you to shock your pool regularly and scrub the walls aggressively. If you want this process to move along quickly, you can use an algaecide to help you out. But it won’t do everything to eliminate algae. It only helps.

Sometimes there are algae which are resistant to chlorine, such as black algae and mustard algae. In these cases, algaecide is all you can depend on. However, it is still recommended that you use chlorine sanitizers anyway in addition to the algaecide.

Prevention is Best

The first way to prevent algae is to test your pool water and ensure that its chemistry is balanced. The second way is to prevent any contaminants from the outside from getting into your pool.

That doesn’t just mean throwing a cover over your pool when you’re not using it. If you’re wearing clothes which have previously been exposed to ocean water, river water, or lake water, then you must wash those clothes prior to going into the pool.

As for pool toys, they must be sanitized and cleaned prior to placing them in the pool water. A bleach-based solution is best to use for cleaning them.

If you normally swim in a natural body of water, then try using algaecide more regularly in the water as a precaution. On sunny days, adding some algaecide to the water early in the day could stop the algae from blooming so much.

When you purchase an algaecide product, you’ll see instructions on the packaging which tell you how to use it properly.

Protection During the Off-Season

It is very important to protect your pool with algaecide during the seasons when you’re not using it. All those months of not using the pool will make it much easier for algae to spread into it, given the dark and humid nature of the pool. Algaecide must be used to prevent this.


Overall, algaecide is not the main requirement for getting rid of algae. It is always more important to sustain the balance of your water chemistry in order to prevent the growth of algae. Then you’ll want to use chlorine sanitizers to shock your pool and kill the average infestations of algae that will occur. Once you apply the shock treatment, then you can add the algaecide as an extra precaution if you want. But you don’t even need to worry about using algaecide unless you have black algae or mustard algae in your pool.


Pool and Spa Controllers and Automation Systems

Pool Automation Pool and Spa Equipment

You don’t need to be technologically knowledgeable to operate an automated pool or spa. It’s as easy as pushing a button on a TV remote control. Actually, it’s even easier because you can push the button from thousands of miles away and it’ll still control your pool. This is the power of smart technology integration in your swimming pool.

You probably use your smartphone to manage most aspects of your life already, right? Why not control your pool automatically from your smartphone too? The pool would basically be part of your smart home’s “Internet of Things,” which are smart devices that are all connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.

Pool automation gives you the power to use your smartphone to control the speed of your pool pump and to schedule the times when you want it turned on and off. As long as you’re somewhere that has a Wi-Fi connection, you can control every feature of your pool and get status updates in real-time.

The setup time only takes a few hours. After that, you’ll have your very own smart pool system which can be controlled by your simple demands.

How Pool Automation Works

Before you can gain control over your pool, the electrical wiring must be connected to a switch or control board. This is a job for only a licensed electrician to do, so don’t attempt to do it yourself.

Smart pool automation requires high-speed internet. The speed for both downloading and uploading must be a minimum of 3 Mbps at the location of your pool pad. You can use internet speed testing websites to determine the speed of your internet connection.

You can use an Ethernet wired connection or a home network wireless connection for your smart control systems. The pool automation system is managed by a control hub. The smart relays, water pump, booster pumps, lights, and water heater must all be connected to the control hub. You can utilize the touchscreen control pad to manage the operation of this equipment while you’re at the pool pad.

Control valve actuators exist with certain automation brands. This allows you to simply tap a button on your app to switch between spa and pool.

There are plenty of new products which make it simple to turn your current pool equipment into an automated pool system. But it will involve setting up software and having electrical work done. You can install the newest pool automation systems in roughly 2 hours.

Remember always to put safety first. The software setup is probably something you can figure out on your own, but don’t even think about doing the electrical work yourself. A professional is not only recommended, but it is also legally required when it involves electricity.

All-in-One Pool Automation

The newest variable-speed pool pumps come with all-inclusive pool automation systems which let you manage your pool lights, heater, and pump from the app on your smartphone. It doesn’t matter which pool equipment brands you’re using either. Amazon Alexa might work with certain systems too.

If you ever need to get a new pool pump, then consider purchasing a package deal like this. For one low price, you can receive an entire pool automation system with a new pool pump.

If you would prefer to purchase a pool automation system separately with no other hardware included, you can do that. However, it might be more expensive that way because you’ll need to purchase the hardware separately if you don’t already have it. The switches, hub, and controllers will come with the system, though.

Piecemeal Pool Automation

To create a pool automation system, you’ll need certain smart devices and network controls. You must also be comfortable operating the technology too. If you are, then customizing the automation experience of the pool will be fun for you to do.

When you’re ready to begin the setup process, every device of the system will need its own switches or controls and a control hub. We recommend the SmartThings hub because it lets you connect up to 200 devices or components. It can also establish routines which cause certain actions to get trigged with a single command.

After you set up the hub, then you can start connecting the devices to it. Use the controller to connect the heater and pump. Other items worth connecting include water leak sensors, LED light strips, switches, smart outlets, sound systems, and motion sensor pool alarms. If you want to add more security and safety around your pool, you’ll be able to link motion-based security cameras to your system. This will send real-time video alerts directly to your mobile device if the motion sensors around your pool detect any movement.

If you want the same security for your windows and doors, you can connect alarms for them to your control hub too. These features can be managed from your smartphone right along with your pool system.

Pool Automation Integration

Smartphone apps aren’t the only things you can use to manage these pool systems. If you don’t mind working with technology, here are some other ways you can manage the systems.

Online Software Integration

Online software integrations can automate certain processes whenever a variety of trigger actions are initiated. The IFTTT, which is one type of software integration, can activate the pool heater if the Weather Underground indicates that the temperature in your area has gone down to a certain amount.

How about your pool lights automatically turning on as soon as your GPS detects that you’re close to home? IFTTT can do this and more, such as activating your hot tub as soon as the GPS detects that you’ve left your workplace. The automation possibilities are endless here.

Voice Assistant Device Integration

You’ll love to use your voice to control your pool automation system and its features. People already use their voices to control features in their homes, so why not outside their homes too?

Many brands of pool automation systems are compatible with popular voice assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa, Apple smartwatch, and Google Home. Other voice assistants are compatible with various other hubs as well.

More people are using these devices each year. It was determined that by December 2017, roughly 50% of Americans used one of the voice assistant programs to control their devices.

Therefore, if you’re ready to get voice assistant devices, then you need an automation system which can integrate with them.


Pool automation is possible with virtually all scenarios. Let your imagination run wild. The important thing is that you save money and stress by investing in a good quality automation system for your pool.


How to Use a Multiport Valve on a Pool Filter

What do all the Multiport valve settings actually do?

If you’ve never used a diatomaceous filter or sand filter before, then you might be surprised by the handle on it. This handle contains a lot of weird settings that you’re probably not familiar with. It is not as simple as flicking a switch on and off. So, you might be worried now.

Well, don’t worry because these settings just mean you have more options for your filter. Whether you chose the diatomaceous filter or sand filter, either one does a great job of cleaning pool water.

The Function of a Multiport Valve

Aside from cleaning your pool water, a pool filter does a lot more things too. There is a multiport valve positioned on the side or top of the pool filter which has several different settings. Each setting moves the water flow in a different direction in your pool. This creates several different purposes for your filter.

The gallons per minute for each square foot is how filters get rated. The flow rate of your filter must match or exceed the gallons per minute of your pump. Just to be safe, it’s better to choose a larger filter in order to ensure that it can tolerate your pump’s power and force. To help you figure this out, the size of your filter should have a minimum of one square foot for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool.

Be careful when you look for cheaper brands or bargains on these filter products. Sometimes you’ll find a defunct company’s brand when you go looking for replacement items. Always purchase your filter from a reputable manufacturer, even if you need to pay a little more. This will ensure that you’re getting a good quality filter.

Multiport Valve Settings

The multiport valve has many helpful settings that make it easier to clean the filter and winterize your pool. When the pool filter is activated, do not turn the handle of the multiport valve or else its rubber diverter gasket may break or loosen. If that were to happen, unwanted water leakage would occur.


The filter setting cleans small bacteria, debris, and contaminants out of the pool water. This is the most popular setting of the multiport valve.


Your filter must be cleaned after you’re done using it. You don’t need to remove the filter components to do this. Instead, you can backwash the filtration media. The valve has a setting for this. Once it is set, the pump will send pool water through the filter so that the media gets cleaned. The water then comes out of the waste port. You can backwash no matter if you have a diatomaceous earth filter or sand filter.

If the filtration media is still dirty, then you may need to get a special filter cleaner for it. Just remember to backwash once the pressure is 10 pounds more than the regular pressure rate. If you do this properly, then a special filter cleaner shouldn’t be necessary.


Don’t forget to rinse your filter after you’ve backwashed it. You do this because the filter will still contain loose particles of debris and dirt. If you don’t rinse the filter, then these particles will end up back in your pool water.


While vacuuming your pool, turn on the filter to help it pull out extra debris that is in the water. But you don’t want the leaves and dirt to clog your filter after they’re sucked up by the vacuum. It would also be bad if dirty water made its way back into your pool too.

To prevent these situations from happening, use the “Waste” setting so that water can go into the filter without hitting the filtration media. The water will just go right back out of the system.

When you dispose of wastewater from your pool, make sure you do it safely without damaging your environment or landscape. Also, the water level in the pool will go down while using the multiport valve setting. To replace the removed water, place a garden hose into the swimming pool and let it run. Keep the water balanced.


Sometimes your pool water doesn’t need to be filtered when you circulate it. If a pool clarifier was used, such as flocculant, then this would be one example of not needing to filter the water.

Whenever you have cloudy pool water, the flocculant will make it easier for the vacuum to suck up the particles which are making the water cloudy. The filtration system must be activated for the flocculant to circulate. The only problem is that you don’t want the flocculant to get filtered out of the water either.

The solution here is the “Recirculate” setting. This will cause the water to pass into the filter while bypassing the filtration media.

Alternatively, the Waste setting can be used if you want to eliminate your dirty water completely instead of sending it back into the pool.


The “closed” setting will do just that. It will close the valve and prevent water from getting through. You probably won’t ever need to use this function, except when blowing the lines after the pool is opened.

If the Closed setting is activated on the multiport valve, then do not activate your pool pump. Otherwise, it could blow out your pump and/or filter.


If you have a multiport valve and a sand filter or diatomaceous filter, then you’ll have plenty of options for maintaining and cleaning your swimming pool. Just practice using the different settings and have fun with it.


Childproof Your Swimming Pool with a Pool Fence Protect your Family & Friends

Best Pool Fence You Can Buy in 2020

There are so many swimming pool fences for sale on the market. You’re probably wondering how to pick the best one for your pool. The purpose of a pool fence is to eliminate the open space between your pool and home. It gives your pool area more privacy and security too.

It is really a lot easier to choose a pool fence than you may think. You just need to learn about the different types of fences and the various styles and features they have to offer.

Pool Gate Fence Types

You might think that all pool fences are the same, but they’re not. Here are some of the main types of pool fences on the market:


If you want your pool to be surrounded with a natural looking design, then you’ll want to build a wooden fence around it. Just be prepared to replace the fence after a couple of years because they don’t have a long lifespan.


 If you have small children in your home, then a mesh fence is the best fence to surround your pool with. A mesh fence is a durable fence which helps prevent children from gaining unsupervised entry to your pool area. They won’t be able to crawl under it or climb over it.


Steel pool fences provide the best privacy of all the fences. But you need to keep up the maintenance regularly because the steel can rust fast.


Glass pool fences certainly won’t give you privacy. They’re also easy to break and shatter, which would likely cause glass pieces to fall into the pool water. This makes swimming quite dangerous under these conditions. It even costs a lot to purchase a glass fence.

The Most Common Pool Fencing Styles

Some states have strict requirements regarding the pool fence styles that are acceptable to have. Here are the most common styles:

Flat Top

The average pool fence has a flat top. This is where vertical bars and horizontal bars are adjoined on the top and bottom.

Double Top

These are just like flat top fences. The only difference is there’s an extra horizontal bar on top. With 2 bars, ornamental items are usually placed there.

Loop Top

 Instead of 2 individual bars on top of the fence, the loop top fence has one long metal bar that is curved.


Thick wire bars made of metal are used for the wire pool fence. There are no hollow tube bars made of metal like the other fences listed above. With thick wire bars, you get more durability and weather resistance from your fence.

Features of Pool Safety Fences

Below are some helpful features to look for in the pool fence that you purchase.

Gates That Close and Latch by Themselves

Look for a gate which closes and latches automatically after you leave. Magnetic power is usually used to make this happen. This type of gate ensures that you never forget to close your gate because it does it for you. Then you can have peace of mind knowing that your kids won’t get into the pool area alone.

Durable Mesh

The mesh is everything when it comes to a pool fence. If you have a low-quality mesh, then it is easy for a child to force their way through the fence and gain access to the pool area. Look for the words “tension-based support” when shopping for pool fences.

Any pool fence is susceptible to wear and tear. But there are fences which are better at resisting tears and punctures. A good mesh can return a tear to its regular shape again. The best mesh coatings to look for are polyester and vinyl. These mesh coatings are easy to clean and resistant to mildew.


Everyone wants a high pool fence because it provides more privacy and security. At a minimum, your fence should be 4 feet tall. This is good enough to keep out most children. If you can find a taller fence, then that is better because it means you won’t have to purchase a new fence when your child grows taller.


The poles of your pool fence need to be good quality. If you can find triple-reinforced poles which pass safety standards, then that is good. Aluminum poles are the best for any pool fence because they give it the tension and strength needed to keep it secure. And remember, it is better to have a shorter distance between the two poles.


A vinyl border on every corner of your pool fence will increase safety. Not only will your fence receive a cool finish, but it stops the mesh from unraveling.

Insert visible reinforced material into the vinyl to make your pool fence extra strong. This will also reduce the chances of sagging too. Borders are the best for making a durable and strong fence.

Best Pool Fence

Below is a list of the 7 best pool fences available right now.

Top Rated: The Best Choice for Pool Fence sand Gates

Our Score: 9.8/10

1. Pool Fence DIY by Life Saver Fencing Section Kit, 4 x 12-Feet, Black

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Why we chose it

The Life Saver Fencing Section Kit is a do-it-yourself pool fence solution. It features one 12’x4’ fence with 5 aluminum post reinforcements. A safety latch and deck sleeves are included too. This is the perfect solution for shielding your children from the pool area when you’re not around.

The gate must be purchased separately, though. But if you don’t want to purchase the gate, you can still get a lot of security out of the fence alone.

Our Score: 9.2/10

2. Giantex Inground Swimming Pool Fence

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Why we chose it

The Giantex Inground Swimming Pool Fence is durable and strong. Its dimensions are 12’x4’ and its material is aluminum. The product can be assembled easily and used around an inground pool area. If you need to block kids and pets from accessing your pool area, then this is the fence to purchase. Based on your pool area size, the fence can be shortened to better fit around it.

If you need to uninstall and then later reinstall the pool fence, you can do so easily without risking any damage to it. For the installation, there is a detailed instruction guide which comes with the fence. All the required tools and hardware to perform the installation are included too.

Our Score: 9.2/10

3. WaterWarden WWF200 4 Foot Pool Fence

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Why we chose it

The Water Warden Pool Safety Fence might not give you privacy at just 4 feet tall, but it can make it safer around your pool area. Kids likely won’t be able to get past a fence that is 4 feet in height. There is no gate included, though.

Other items that come with the fence include a measuring template, installation video, tools & hardware, and installation instructions. If you’re someone who is a do-it-yourself type, then you will find this fence easy to install. Virtually any modern safety gate should be compatible with this fence.

If you want a taller version of this fence, you can choose the 5-foot tall version or a kit which extends the height to 12 feet. The fence lasts a long time and it provides amazing value for the investment.

Our Choice

The Life Saver Fencing Section Kit is our top choice. This is the best way to prevent your children from gaining entry to your pool area when they’re not supervised. It is easy to install by yourself and comes with 5 aluminum posts.

Swimming Pool Fence Installation Guide

The installation instructions which come with the pool fence should be followed. But, in general, here is how to install most pool fences.

1) Measure the Length

Use a garden hose or a simple length of rope and place it 3 feet away from the edge of your pool. The rope or hose will draw the outline of where the fence will be installed. Leave room for the gate by using chalk to mark it.

Take measurements of the length of the hose or rope. Now purchase a fence which has the same length and all the other features you need.

2) Measure the Distance

Find a stick that is 4 feet long. Cut a piece off that is 3 feet in length. You will use this to measure the area between the sections of the pool fence. With the piece still left, cut a piece out of it that is 2.5 inches in length. Use this to measure the area in between each panel.

3) Mark Holes for Drilling

You need a waterproof marker to mark your drill hole areas. Find the right spacing by using your 3-foot and 2.5-inch sticks. Do this all around the perimeter of your pool.

4) Get Your Drilling Machine Ready

The cement bit must be included in your drilling machine to successfully drill holes in the designated areas on the deck. The plastic sleeve sizes need to be measured. Now measure a piece of tape, cut the piece, and then tie it to the drill bit. Do this at the point where the bit and sleeve hit. That way, your holes won’t be drilled too deep.

5) Start Drilling into the Marks

Put on your protective gear and start drilling holes. Put sleeves in the holes to secure the poles in them.

6) Perform the Pool Fence & Gate Installation

Begin at the gate area and then install the fence around the pool. The gate area should be open for the gate installation. The spring latch is inserted first, followed by the gate.


Pick a pool fence which accommodates your needs. Just make sure the fence satisfies local legal regulations and insurance requirements. Most importantly, make sure it adds safety and protection to your pool area.