Choosing The Best Pool Chemicals

pool chemicals

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Undeniably, swimming pools are facilities that can offer alternative avenues  for relaxation and enjoyment. As a pool owner, maintaining pool water that is fit for swimming any time of the day is essential. However, sanitizing pool water takes more than just changing water regularly. It should be properly treated with the required pool chemicals.

What are the different types of pool chemicals?

1.Sanitizers
Sanitizers are the most important and most used pool chemicals. Commonly known pool sanitizers are chlorine and bromine. The main purpose of chlorine in a pool is to chemically burn out complex organics that provide food for algae and bacteria to facilitate their growth. Sanitizers reduce microorganisms in the water such as viruses and maintain the clarity of the water.

2. Water balancers
PH is a measure of how acidic or basic the water is.  A balanced water pH in the swimming pool helps prevent water-related problems thereby creating an ideal swimming environment. The level of alkalinity in the water is a measurement of all carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides and other alkaline substances found in the water. Water balancers are used to ensure that your pool water has just the right amount of pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Water testing kits are used to test if your pool water is within the recommended range for calcium hardness, alkalinity, and pH. Increasers and decreasers are pool chemicals used to adjust the water pH and alkalinity.

3.Oxidizers and pool water shockers
Among the widely used pool chemicals are oxidizers and pool water shockers. Selection of swimming pool shock on the market includes lithium hypochlorite, sodium di-chlor, calcium hypochlorite, monopersulfate, sodium hypochlorite, and potassium peroxymonosulfate. All are equally effective and the only real difference is the concentration of the active ingredients in the product. Pool shockers help sanitizers in controlling the growth of algae and bacteria. These chemicals are applied depending on the frequency that the pool is used, either once a week or twice a week. This removes all the bather’s waste such as body oil, cosmetics, dry skin, sweat and urine and other contaminants brought about by swimmers.

4. Algaecides
Algaecides helps control algae growth in addition to the control provided by the sanitizers. There are  actually only two kinds of algaecide namely metallic and quaternary ammonias.

Metallic types of algaecides are either copper-based or silver-based.
>Copper is a proven killer of algae and is extremely effective although it has drawbacks. It builds up over time and continued use can stain even a properly balanced pool. Worse, it will make your hair turn green if concentrations are too high. Copper concentrations vary from 1 to 7 % depending on type and comes in the form as copper sulfate or elemental copper. It  is suspended in a carrier liquid by a chemical called triethanolamine and added to pool water.

>Silver algaecide are also very effective algaecides.  In fact, it was used by NASA to suppress algae and bacteria in electricity-generating fuel cells on space crafts.  Its only drawback is that it works more slowly than copper and  are as expensive as silver.

>Quaternary Ammonia  or Quats
Quats are very effective as surface disinfectants at concentrations as low as 2.5 percent as compared to most pool algaecides which use a concentration of 30 percent to as high as 60 percent. It is relatively inexpensive although its drawback  is foaming which is not nice to look at. On the other hand, polyquats are a refinement of quat algaecides minus the foaming problem. It is available in concentrations as high as 60% and does the job perfectly with unfortunately, a price drawback.  Low foam quats are not only very effective with minimizing the foam problem, but also cost significantly less than polyquats making it a sensible choice for most pool owners.

When ensuring the sanitation of your pool, it is not enough to seek the help of pool professionals.  But knowing the different options for pool chemicals will help you make better decisions about what is best for you.

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