Algae - a pool owner's worst enemy. At some point or another, nearly every pool owner will deal with algae problems. Luckily, there are plenty of easy steps to prevent and eliminate unpleasant algae blooms. A clean pool is a happy pool!
Here is a quick guide to keeping your pool algae-free all year round!
Free Chlorine LevelsThe Free Chlorine level you need to target depends on the cyanic acid (CYA) level. CYA helps protect chlorine from being destroyed by the sun's ultraviolet rays. If your CYA is too low, most of your chlorine will be lost to sunlight, instead of fighting algae. The higher the CYA level, the more FC it is going to take to keep your pool clean. However, too much chlorine can cause metal corrosion and shorten the life of equipment and your vinyl liner (if you have one).
Keep Your Filter CleanMake sure to regularly check and clean your pool skimmer and pump strainer baskets. This will keep water and sanitizing chemicals flowing evenly throughout your pool, and will keep debris out of the pool filter.
It's also important to routinely clean and/or backwash your filter. This may be a quick spray-down if you have a Cartridge Filter, or you can backwash your Sand or D.E. Filter system whenever the pressure gauge is reading 8-10 psi higher than normal.
Find the Right Cleaning Brush For Your PoolBrushing your pool walls is necessary to loosen up dirt and prevent algae, but not every brush is suitable for every pool surface. Soft, nylon brushes work well for vinyl-lined, fiberglass, acrylic or painted pools. Wire brushes are the perfect tool to clean plaster and concrete pools.
Phosphates = Algae FoodReducing the phosphate level can help prevent algae. Test kits are a cheap way to monitor these chemicals in your pool. If they are present, use a phosphate remover and then filter and vacuum over the next day or two.
To prevent needing to use expensive phosphate treatments, it's key to maintain the proper FC level. This will naturally keep phosphate levels in check, and save you a lot of money and time in "rescue" chemicals later!
Shock to the Rescue!A good rule of thumb is shock your pool once a week in the summer; and at least once before you open the pool after winter. Shocking the pool will increase your Free Chlorine level, and will increase your CYA levels if you use popular Cal-Hypo or Di-Chlor shock, so regulate accordingly.
Keep Your Pool SanitizedThis may be the easiest tip to remember, but also the easiest to forget! We recommend using Floating or Automatic Chemical Feeders. Both automatic feeders and floating chlorinators will help prevent the chlorine level from dropping below the effective range - this is especially useful during long gaps of maintenance. Quick tip - if your pool is sanitized with chlorine and doesn't have too much CYA, be sure to keep the free chlorine level between 2.0 and 4.0 parts per million (ppm).
Time to Clean!After brushing your pool walls and steps/ladders, it's now time to vacuum. Brushing will dislodge most algae spores, while the vacuum will eliminate most of the dirt and debris that find their way into your pool. Even better, let your automatic pool cleaner do all of the work!
AlgaecideAlgae prevention is controllable throughout the entire pool season. There are a few types of algaecides used to treat each type of algae. Algaecides are easy-to-use and can help you stop algae before it ever shows up. Copper-based algaecides typically work the best, but follow the instructions on the label to avoid staining your pool walls.
Keep Your Pool Clean All-YearDon't forget to clean your pool, even when it's closed for the winter. While closed, be sure to use a solid cover (not mesh) to protect your water from debris. Also, regular cleaning and maintenance during the 'closed' months will make opening your pool a breeze!
One week before closing your pool, add a bottle of Pool Magic + PHOSfree for every 20,000 gallons of water, directly into your skimmer. Keep your pool clean and algae-free all winter long, while making it easy to open when the warm weather returns.
Proper CirculationStagnant water is algae's best friend. Circulating your pool water will also help filter out any debris; pushing it to the center of the pool and making it easier for clean-up. Make sure to run your pump and filter after using a brush on any debris from the pool surfaces. Use a leaf skimmer to pick up any large debris floating in the water.
Quick tip - make sure to check your water level weekly and add water, if needed. The water may not circulate to it's potential if the water level is too low for the wall skimmer; this can lead to low suction and potentially allow air (instead of water) in the pool filter.
Test Water Every DayThe best way to maintain an algae-free pool during the swimming season is by testing your pool water every day. By using a test kit, you can quickly test your water's chemical levels within minutes
Balancing pool water can seem like quite the chore, but here is an easy-to-follow guide for all pool owners.
By following these easy steps you'll be able to enjoy your radiant water every day of the year!