Pools are a fantastic way to enjoy the summer weather, and it’s important to ensure you’re taking advantage of them safely. Check out these eight tips from Allstate Pools and try a diy handicap pool lift for ensuring that your time in or around the pool is as safe as it can possibly be.

1: Test for proper pH 

The pH level is an important factor in every pool. It should be tested once a week and needs to be between 7.2 and 7.6 for the safest, cleanest pool possible. The first and easiest step is to test the pH levels of your pool water, which should be between 7.2-7. 8. If the pH isn’t correct, it can cause your skin to burn, eyes to sting and hair to fall out.

2: Check the filter

The pool filter should also have a pH level of 7.2-7.8, and if it’s not, you may experience a drop in the water’s PH and could see an algae bloom on the surface resulting in eye and skin damage. The pool filter should be checked at least once a month, as chemicals used in filters and pumps can build up and must be flushed away periodically. Allstate recommends flushing your filter at least once every three months for optimum efficiency.

3: Check for chlorine

You should always have a chlorine level of 1-3 ppm. To test this, either sprinkle a few drops of bleach into the water or drop a chlorine test kit into the water. Both methods work equally well. You shouldn’t need more than 50-100 ppm of chlorine (parts per million) in your pool water; chlorine is what keeps algae growth down and prevents the growth of bacteria that can cause swimmer’s ear or skin infections. Overuse of chlorine also leaves a taste in pool water, which you don’t want.

4: Check the temperature

The temperature of your pool should be between 68-78 degrees F. If it’s too cold, your skin can burn if you have to get out in the middle of the night, and if it’s too hot, you could burn your eyes and skin. Ideally, your pool water should be between 72 and 78 degrees, so use a pool thermometer to ensure that it’s in the correct range. Residual heaters should be checked before every swim session and adjusted as necessary, only heating water that’s actually in your pool. 

5: Test the pH again

Once the pH levels are where they need to be, you should test for proper chlorine levels again. You can do this by using a test strip or you can buy a kit that uses drops to measure the level of chlorine in your pool. The pH of your water may have changed since the last test, so check it again before starting swim lessons or throwing a party in your pool. For best results, test the pH again 24-72 hours after adjusting to ensure no changes in level or harm to your hair or skin have occurred.

6: Clean the filter basket and skimmer basket

These baskets can get pretty gross, especially in the months following summer pool use. It’s important to clean your filter and skimmer basket out at least once a month to ensure optimum safety. Make sure that all hoses, pipes and fittings are secure. Even just small leaks can cause bigger problems down the line, so it’s best to check them before you even go swimming. If you notice a strange color (chemicals), or if something smells bad, these areas should be cleaned as well. Keep skimmer baskets clear of debris by emptying them once a week.

7: Test the water

You can test the water for chloramines by adding a few drops of food coloring to a cup or gallon-sized container. If the color doesn’t change within 30 minutes, you don’t need to worry about chlorine. Allstate recommends testing the water regularly to make sure chlorine levels are safe and proper, as it can take a long time for chemicals to break down in your pool. This can also help you spot any issues with the water, like the presence of algae or other impurities that may be affecting how clean your pool is.

8: Test for Algae Control

Algae can grow almost anywhere, and it often appears due to improper pH levels. It can cause discoloration of your pool water and make it unsightly, so maintaining the proper pH levels is critical. When you notice algae growth, keep an eye on when your chemicals are used so you know when it’s time to use more of them (for instance, if you notice that your levels are getting low and this is when algae begins to be a problem). If algae does become a problem, check with an expert about using an algaecide.


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