Optimal Swimming Pool Chemical Ranges for Desert Pools
Keep your pool’s chemical readings in these ranges:
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- PH: 7.2 to 7.8 (I generally keep it on the LOW end)
- Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 250-450 ppm (The valley has high calcium; as a result, this is not always possible, so don’t drive yourself crazy over it.
- Cyanuric Acid or Conditioner: 30-50 ppm (Remember Tri-Chlor tablets already have conditioner built into it)
- Chorine residual: 1.0 to1.5 ppm; up to 2.0 in the summer with ozone, 3.0 without
- Combined chlorine: 0 ppm. By managing pool chemistry right, you will substantially reduce the amount of chlorine needed. Much of it is wasted.
Preventative maintenance, just like you would do on your automobile or home, will go a long way in reducing lifecycle cost on your swimming pool. Heed the advice below and save time, money and hassle. None of this is hard; it is just a matter of making it a habit.
- As you are monitoring your pool, take note as it will let you know if there is an issue:
– Are the returns in the sidewall of the pool weak?
– Is the in-floor cleaning system working correctly? Your pool should be free of 99% of dirt and debris.
– How is the water clarity in your pool? The bottom should be visible and the water crystal clear.
– Is the drain at the bottom obstructed?
– Is your hose cleaner moving as it should?
– Any abnormal odors?
- If any of these conditions exist, it is likely time to clean the filters. Most pools should only need this done a couple of times a year. There are exceptions though based on bather load (pool usage).
- Wipe/clean tile line weekly. This will reduce build-up. Keep oh at 7.2 and the scum line will have a hard time developing. When pH is really high the water will leave deposits on everything.
- Always keep chemicals stored out of direct sunlight. Keep them in a cool dry place. Do not store acid and chlorine right next to each other.
- Your pool should not need to be shocked on any regular basis if you have an ozone system. If you need to do it, do it at night. Use non-chorine based shock if you plan on swimming any time soon. Another way to shock your pool would be to run your pump for 24 hours using your ozone system. This works great! If you are on 24-hour circulation (2-speed or variable speed pumps) than you should be just fine.
- If you start seeing any cracks around the perimeter of your pool between your deck and your tile, caulk it with a small bead of clear silicon. Do not allow the water to migrate from inside the pool in and under the deck through cracks at this joint. This creates problems, eventually and easily prevented. Some irony: The most damaging thing to your pool is the pool water.
- Keep vegetation, animals, and chemicals (like fertilizers and ironite) away from and out of the pool. Nitrates from bird droppings and waste from animals and people are food for algae. Don’t feed the algae!
- Check your gates and any protective barriers to keep those little people safe! Gates should swing out away from the pool, not in. They should have some sort of self-closing self- locking/latching mechanism that is functional. There are many options for pool safety.