Pool Care and Chemical Maintenance: The Basics

Unbalanced pool chemicals lead to water that will not only irritate and itch but also can cause damage to the pool. Slimy algae, stains, scale, and corroding pool equipment do not have to be part of owning a pool and maintaining chemicals does not have to be super complicated. Read more for some basic information about how to care for your pool and what all the different tests mean!

Basic pool care can be broken down into three simple steps:

  1. Sanitize routinely for a crystal-clear pool.
  2. Shock routinely to restore pool’s luster.
  3. Be proactive to prevent algae and other buildups.

What chemicals does my pool need? While there are many factors that determine how much chemicals a pool will need, regular testing will ensure you are achieving balanced water levels and maximum swimmer comfort. A pool will typically need more chemicals early in the season to balance the water and then fewer chemicals to maintain balance. Being proactive early in the season will help you save money on chemicals in the long run. At Vande Hey Company, we provide free pool testing and can recommend the necessary chemical quantities in order to achieve the perfect pool water. We recommend doing a complete test every 2-3 weeks and using strip testing intermittently to continue monitoring.

Desired Chemical Ranges:

What do my chemicals mean?

  • pH refers to the measure of acids and bases that exist in the water. Too much acidity in water will cause corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment while water that is too basic will result in scaling, deposits, and cloudy water.
  • Total alkalinity refers to acid buffers in the water that prevent the pH from bouncing up and down. When total alkalinity is too low, pools will not only see bouncing pH levels but also corrosiveness and staining. When total alkalinity is too high, the pool water will be cloudy.
  • Calcium hardness refers to the amount of dissolved calcium in the water. If there is not enough calcium, the water can cause plaster finish etching and shorten the life of vinyl liners. If calcium is too high, you will begin to find calcium deposits on your swim equipment.
  • Metals such as iron and copper should be removed from the water as much as possible because they can cause staining.

Pool maintenance is more than just chemicals. It is very important that the water is regularly circulated with a pump to keep the water moving and filtered in order to remove dust and dirt. Given the wide range of pools and sizes there is not really a “one size fits all” solution so we recommend checking with our pool team to ensure proper circulation and filtration.

Be Safe. Adding pool chemicals should not be a science experiment. Always read labels, do not mix chemicals, do not add chemicals while people are swimming, and make sure to wash your hands!

Stop by today to have your pool water tested! Happy swimming from all of us here at Vande Hey Company!