The Swimming Pool In the tropical areas of the world, there are several breathtaking areas that you could swim in, from lakes to amazing coastal beaches. Areas such as Hawaii, the Bahamas, California, and Puerto Rico have several beaches for you to enjoy. For those of us living in the middle of the United States, take a swim and enjoying the water can be a bit more challenging. While you can choose to go to a local swimming pool, the summer months can often leave the local pool crowded. Crowded pools can be very frustrating indeed, especially if you are looking to swim laps. If it's a really hot summer day, the pool can be so crowded that it can be extremely hard to enjoy a nice dip in the water. To enjoy the water, you can always invest in a swimming pool for your home. Swimming pools can add value to your home, and give you the comfort of enjoying the water anytime you take a notion. If you are craving that exotic feel, you can always add plenty of accessories to your pool, such as shade trees, lemonade, and toys. There are hundreds of accessories and furniture out there, many of which can add virtually any look you desire to your swimming pool. During the hottest days of summer, nothing makes you relax more than a pool. During the afternoon or evening, swimming can help to make it a little cooler. By owning a swimming pool, you can go swimming anytime you please. You can even take a swim at night as well, providing you have adequate lighting outside near your swimming pool. If you are a professional swimmer however, a swimming pool on your property just might not be enough. Sport swimming has a lot of strict requirements, including lap swimming. A traditional swimming pool in your backyard may not be the best way to swim laps. You can always get a lap pool or swim spa, although they cost a lot more money than most people are willing to invest. When you look for your swimming pool, you'll have to decide between an in ground pool or an above ground pool. There are several choices available to you, although most will depend greatly on your budget. If you have the money to spare, you should go with an in ground pool. These swimming pools provide the most space, and give you plenty of options to enjoy swimming. You can also look into a fiberglass swimming pool as well. Swimming pools that are made from fiberglass are very durable, and offer you a pleasant solution to hot days. These pools are very flexible, as they can easily be lowered into a hole already in the ground. There is little to no construction involved, as most fiberglass pools are already constructed. They are also the cheapest solution to in ground pools as well. Fiberglass pools also eliminate the need for acid washing and liner replacements, as they don't require any type of treatments. With several options available to you, it's easier than ever these days to have your very own swimming pool. If you are interested in a swimming pool you can look for the best prices online, or contact your local swimming pool dealer. Most pools are very affordable, and you can get some great deals if you buy at the right time. You'll make a lot of friends with your new swimming pool -- especially on hot days when the local pool is crowded. Things To Know About Swimming Pools In the warmer areas of North America, swimming pools are very popular. They provide great fun and exercise, along with plenty of entertainment for your entire family. When you decide to buy a swimming pool, you'll have two options to choose from -- in ground pools or above ground pools. Both types are different, in appearance and what they have to offer you. Above ground swimming pools are the most affordable, as the prices range from $500.00 -- $7,000.00. Above ground pools are also easier to install, and even portable. Normally, you can have this type of pool installed and ready for use in a few hours. You can self install them if you wish, which will save you money. If you have the money to spare, you can always have a professional install it to ensure that everything is done correctly. Pools that are in the ground cost a lot more. The prices for an in ground swimming pool can reach as high as $50,000.00, depending on the size of the pool, the design, and the materials that are used. The most expensive type of in ground pool is concrete, which is custom poured to virtually any shape you can imagine. You can also get a heater to help control the temperature of the water in the pool. You can get a standard type of heater or solar heater. If you have a solar heater in mind, you should make sure that your pool has been placed in a location where it will receive a lot of sun. If you use a solar powered heater but don't place your pool in the sun, it'll prove to be a waste of money. To protect yourself in the long run, you should always refer to the zoning laws for your area regarding a swimming pool or a deck. This way, you'll know what the laws are regarding your swimming pool. Once you know what the laws and regulations are, you should always do anything you can to ensure that you meet the requirements and that your pool is within the guidelines. Even though heat and hot summer days are the main reasons why most want a pool, there are other benefits as well. Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for your body, so a pool will offer you a lot of health benefits. Keep in mind that unless you are using a heater to heat your pool, you'll only be able to use it during the summer. If you choose to use a heater however, you can extend summer and get a lot more enjoyment from your swimming pool. Once you have bought your pool and have everything going, it can cost you quite a bit to keep everything going. Pools need to be maintained, which can tend to be expensive. You can do this yourself or hire a professional, although either way will cost money. The equipment you'll need and the chemicals are expensive, and you should know that up front before you make your purchase. All in all, swimming pools are great for your property. Whether it's an above ground swimming pool or in ground pool, your family will love it. You'll have somewhere to go on hot days together, to relax and enjoy the cool water. Once you have a swimming pool you won't have to use the local pool anymore -- and you won't have to deal with the crowds or long lines anymore. Types Of Swimming Pools Swimming pools provide a great way to relax, exercise, and enjoy yourself on a hot summer day, coming in a variety of different shapes and sizes. To efficiently and safely operate a swimming pool, you'll need to have a pump, basin, water filter, chemical feeder, return, drains, and the proper plumbing to transport your water. Depending on the basin structure, there are various types of pools available for you to choose from. Above ground swimming pools are the easiest to build and the cheapest to buy, as they come with pre-made kits. Fiberglass pools are built using molded fiberglass, reinforced plastic. Fiberglass pools are in ground, and can provide you years and years of family fun and swimming excitement. Vinyl lined swimming pools are the cheapest types of in ground designs you can get, although you'll need to have the liner replaced every 10 years or so. Concrete is another popular design for in ground pools, as they provide plenty of room and no need to have the liner replaced. There are also the public swimming pools, which include heated indoor pools, children's pools, and outdoor pools. Public swimming pools are well known for their slides and other features such as waterfalls and splash pads. Public pools are great for hot days, although most prefer to get their own pool due to public pools being so crowded on a frequent basis. Swim spas, or exercise pools are also popular, known for their resistance swimming. Swimming is one of the best exercises that you can do for your body, as it works just about every muscle in your body. There are several exercises that you can do in an exercise pool, such as jogging, water toning, and water yoga. No matter what type of swimming pool it may be, it's very important that the chemicals stay balanced. If the balance of the chemicals is off, it can damage the water, which can really irritate your skin and your eyes. Therefore, swimming pools need to be disinfected on a daily basis and treated with various chemicals. To maintain the proper health of the skin, purifying the water is very important. If you are looking to add a swimming pool to your property, there are several for you to choose from. Swimming pools can help add property value to your home, which is always a good thing. When you add a swimming pool to your property, you should always think in terms of safety, and ensure that your pool is protected against young children. If you take care of your pool and always make sure that things are clean and safe, your pool will provide you with plenty of fun for years and years to come. Buying A Swimming Pool Buying a swimming pool can be quite a difficult decision indeed, especially when you are trying to decide between an in ground pool or an above ground pool. Each one has something to offer you and your family, although there are also differences, which you should know before you make that final decision. The shape with your pools is important. In ground pools come in oval, kidney, and square shapes. Above ground pools on the other hand are only available in round or oval If you have a large family or a lot of friends who like to swim, you'll want to get a shape that can support a lot of swimming. Size is also important, especially for families. Above ground pools are much smaller than in ground pools. Pools that are in the ground are a lot bigger, and offer you several different sizes to choose from. They cost a lot more than above ground pools though. Above ground swimming pools use less water, although they will also limit what you can do in your pool. If you like to dive, you'll have to get an in ground pool. Above ground pools can't have diving boards, as most are only 6 foot deep. This isn't a good diving height, which is why you won't be able to dive with an above ground pool. Buying an above ground pool will save you a ton of money. The money that you save, can be used to add to your pool area, such as a deck or privacy fence around your pool. If you choose to buy an in ground pool, you'll spend a lot of money. You won't need a deck though, as they are easily accessible. If you add a privacy fence to your in ground pool, it won't have to be near as high as it would with an above ground pool. Installation is also a consideration with your pool. You can normally install above ground swimming pools by yourself with little to no help, in a few hours. In ground pools on the other hand, take several days to install and they must be done by a professional. This can get costly as well, racking up a hefty bill before you realize it. Making that final choice really comes down to what you hope to get from your pool. If you need a lot of space or want to swim laps, an in ground pool is your best choice. If you need a smaller pool for yourself or your kids, an above ground pool would suffice. The choice is entirely up you though, and what works best for you. If you are on a budget or don't have a lot of money to spend -- you would be better off going with an above ground swimming pool. What You Need For Your Pool When summer arrives, it's time to get cool and enjoy the fun of summer. Like other homeowners, you may be thinking a swimming pool. Pools are great to have, although they require a lot of work and maintenance -- whether you have an in ground or above ground swimming pool. Before you rush out and buy your pool for summer, there are a few things you should know. When you buy your pool, your dealer or salesman will more than likely go over what else you need with your pool. In order to operate your pool, there are several things that you simply must have to get started. The first thing you'll need is a filtration system. When you get your filtration system, make sure that your filtration system is capable of handling your pool capacity. A filtration system is very important, as it helps to remove small partials and bacteria from building up in your water. A vacuum is also important. You should make sure however, that you purchase a vacuum that is specific for your swimming pool. There are several types of vacuums available, and you want to make sure that you don't purchase the wrong one. Vacuums are essential to operating your pool, as they help to clean out debris settled on the bottom. You should also make sure that you get a skimmer basket or strainer as well, as it helps with your vacuum and filtration system. Skimmer baskets or strainers will keep your pool clean by catching debris and bugs that manage to get into your pool. You should use them whenever you use your pool, as they will do a majority of the cleaning for you. To protect your pool, you'll also need a swimming pool cover. Covers are available in a few different types, and several different sizes. A cover will protect your pool from debris and elements, as well as preventing those you love from drowning. You should always make sure that you buy a strong and sturdy cover, and be sure to use it to cover your pool when you aren't swimming. A maintenance chart is also important. With a maintenance chart, you can keep track of what you have done to your pool, the level of chemicals that you are using, and the readings of the tests that you have performed on your water. Maintenance charts are easily overlooked by pool owners, although they are essential to knowing what you have done to your pool. Another important items you'll need are chemicals. They play a very important role in balancing your water, and helping swimmers stay healthy. There are several different types of chemicals available, including chlorine, clarifier, and pH chemicals. All types of chemicals are very important, and need to be used to keep your water levels healthy. You can check your water and pH levels on a daily basis, as you do your regular pool maintenance. In order to perform tests on your pool, you'll need a testing kit. They come in either strip or bottle form, and allow you to test and understand the different chemical levels in your water. If you are planning to keep your pool healthy, you'll need to do tests. They are easy to do, and won't take you but a few minutes of your time. To operate your pool and perform the proper maintenance, you'll need to have the above equipment and supplies. Although you can buy pool accessories such as toys and furniture, they aren't required to use your swimming pool. You don't need to have any accessories -- although you do need everything listed above. Tips for Filling up your Swimming Pool It can take a considerable amount of water to fill up your swimming pool. The overall amount of it as well as the time will depend on the size of swimming pool that you own. It is very important that you go about it the right way. That way you won't end up using any more water than you absolutely have to. Starting out with a very clean swimming pool is important. Take the time to remove any dirt or debris that may have found its way inside. You don't want the new water to be dirty from the very start. You also need to do some checking around with the various pieces of equipment. Even if your items are new don't skip this important aspect of things. Make sure the filter and the pump both work like they should. You don't want to turn on the pump though until you have the swimming pool filled half way with water. Otherwise you run the risk of burning it up. You do want to have the circulation system on the entire time while filling up the swimming pool though. Even though it can take many hours to fill up the swimming pool someone needs to keep an eye on it. Don't turn the water on and then leave your home. Someone needs to be there to turn off the water if there is any type of problem that develops. It isn't a good idea to allow it to fill up overnight either due to the same issue. Don't be tempted to add any types of chemicals to the swimming pool until you have filled it up. Then you can add only what you need to based on the size and type of swimming pool you own. Make sure you are very careful with this process. If you don't balance things out correctly you may have to drain the water out and start all over again. This isn't going to make you happy or reflect well upon your water bill next month. Make sure you have all of the supplies on hand that you will need to stabilize the water. Use your testing strips to determine where everything is at with it. One of the most important aspects to pay attention to is the Ph level. You may need to add various chemicals to get it where it should be. There are testing kits with strips that you simply place in the water and then compare the color it turns to a chart. While adding water to your swimming pool can be the most time consuming aspect of it, definitely worth the while. You want to have clear water that has the right mix of chemicals in it for you to swim in. You don't want to worry about bacteria, algae, or your skin drying out. If you do your part from the very start with filling up your swimming pool you won't have any problems with it at all. In some areas there are water restrictions that apply as well. You may find you have to get a permit to fill up your swimming pool. If you are restricted to a certain amount of water to use or certain days and hours you need to follow them. It will take longer to fill up your swimming pool but conserving water is very important for your community. Heating your Swimming Pool Even if you live where it is warm and sunny most of the time you may find you need a heater for your swimming pool. This way you can enjoy it all the time at a temperature that you are comfortable. You will be able to control how cool or warm you want the water which is an advantage over going to a public swimming pool. You will find there are quite a few efficient heaters out there too for swimming pools. You may find that the one that came with your swimming pool isn't among them though. If you find you are paying an arm and a leg for the resource then it may be time for upgrade. The investment you make with one that may cut your expenses in half will certainly pay for itself in no time at all. There are also solar swimming pool heaters you should take a look at. These collect power from the sun into cells. That power is then converted to energy that is used to heat your pool. If there isn't enough energy collected to heat it for the entire day then the backup source of electricity will take over when it runs out. The next day the solar energy will be collected once again. You can further reduce the amount of energy required to heat the swimming pool by keeping it covered when not in use. This will allow it to maintain the heat that it has better than when it is just being mixed with the cool night air. It can be time consuming to place a cover on the swimming pool though. Investing in an electric tarp is very fast and effective. They are made for all shapes and sizes of swimming pools as well. You do need to make sure the swimming pool heater you choose is sufficient for the size of your swimming pool. Don't try to save money by installing one that is too small for the size of it. In the long run you will end up paying out more. You also won't enjoy your swimming pool as much as you could be. You may need a professional to help you find the right one to invest in. With solar heaters the more panels they have the more energy they can collect at one time. You should strive to operate only on solar power for the heat instead of going back and forth between it and the electricity. If you are shopping around for a swimming pool right now, the quality of the heater is something to really consider. Too many consumers don't realize how important it really is until they already have the swimming pool installed. By knowing this is a feature you need to evaluate you can be sure you get the best possible overall swimming pool and equipment you can for the money you invest in them. With a great heating system you will be able to enjoy your swimming pool all year round. You also won't be afraid to open your electricity bill because of it. Make sure you routinely inspect your heating system too. That way you can avoid any major problems with it. Take a look at your warranty information too so you can get assistance if you do experience any problems. Home Swimming Pool Safety While a swimming pool can be a great addition to any home, it can also be dangerous. You have the responsibility of making sure everyone is safe while using it. You also need to protect the area from unwanted guests that may wonder around unsupervised. It is important to realize that while having a home swimming pool can improve the value of your property it is also viewed as a liability. This means you may end up paying much more for homeowner's insurance. Make sure you talk to your agent about this so that you know what the additional premium is going to cost you. They may recommend that you have friends and family members sign waivers before they swim in your pool. This means you won't be held liable for any damages or injuries that occur while they are on your property. Doing so can help you to keep those homeowners insurance rates at a reasonable price. A privacy fence that is at least seven feet tall is a good idea as well. That way you can prevent people from getting in. Many individuals won't even know that you have a swimming pool out there either with such a fence in place. A look on the gate to it is important as well. Children can be very curious and you don't want anyone to accidently get in without your knowledge. Your entire family should learn how to swim very well. They should also be trained in CPR. Even expert swimmers can have problems in the water so don't become over confident. A buddy system should be in place where no one is using the swimming pool without someone else being present. Children should never be using the swimming pool without an adult present. While you want the pool to be fun it can be dangerous so don't take unnecessary risks. Have some equipment readily available that you can toss in to those in need should you need to. Doing so can help them avoid panic if they feel they are in trouble in the water. Limit the number of people that come over to use the swimming pool at any one time too. That way you can easily keep a good eye on everyone. You don't want some individuals to be unsupervised in the water due to their being too many people around to do a good job in this department. Make sure everyone uses sunscreen for daytime swimming as well. That will help to prevent sunburns. It will also decrease the risk of skin cancer developing. Keep the area around the swimming pool clear of debris so people don't get hurt. Look for materials you can install that help with traction when they have wet feet. You can find plenty of ideas from swimming pool dealerships and on the internet. Night time swimming can be great fun too. Use lights to illuminate from your house to your swimming pool. There are many designs of such lights so you can find some that are very attractive for the decor in your backyard. There are even solar lights you can install that won't cost you anything for electricity. The cells collect solar energy during the day and then give off light at night. When the sun comes up again the next morning they will turn off automatically. The chemicals you add to your swimming pool are in place to make the water safe to swim in. If you aren't using them like you should you put people at risk. There are various types of bacteria and algae found in swimming pools that can lead to illnesses. With the right allocation of these products though you won't be seeing that happen. People will be able to use your swimming pool without worrying about it. Safety needs to be a priority when you have a swimming pool. It is your responsibility to make sure everyone is safe in it. Doing your part will ensure you have nothing but fond memories of your time while in the swimming pool. You may find you need to put additional measures in place too depending on your swimming pool and your home. Look for possible problems and find a good solution before they can arise. Indoor Swimming Pools When most of us think of summer and hot days, the first thing that comes to mind is a swimming pool. A swimming pool provides relief from hot summer days, and gives us a chance to simply relax, enjoy ourselves, and take in some exercise. Although they are mostly common with hot summer days, swimming pools are also great indoors as well, providing year round swimming. Indoor swimming pools have become very popular over the years, especially in gyms and other facilities such as the YMCA. At a gym or YMCA, indoor swimming pools are a great way to cool down after weight lifting or a great way to get in some cardio exercise. Unlike outdoor swimming pools, you can use an indoor pool year round -- without having to worry about the weather. If you don't like to join gyms or if you find the locations of indoor swimming pools to be crowded, you may be interested in having an indoor pool at home. This is very possible these days, due to indoor pools being more affordable than ever. The first thing you'll need to do before you can get one though, is make room for it. If you don't have the space to store a pool inside, you may need to add a room onto your home to put the pool in. If you have the money to spare, an in ground indoor swimming pool will provide you with plenty of room to swim laps and have a lot of friends over with plenty of room to spare. This may cost a lot of money though, which rules it out for many of us. You'll also need a big room for this type of pool as well, as it can cover a lot of space. If you don't have a lot of money to spare, you can use an above ground pool instead. You'll still need to room to store it, or you can again add on to your home. Adding on to your home will help to raise the overall value of your property, which will be a major plus later on down the road if you decide to sell your home. Indoor swimming pools hold a lot of value, especially if you have it constructed yourself. When you have your swimming pool set up indoors, you'll need to have a professional do everything. Although you may think you can do everything yourself, it will prove to be a bit more complicated than you may think. Professionals know exactly what they are doing, and won't have any problems at all. They will also do all of the work for you, and contact the necessary officials to make sure that your indoor pool conforms with state and local laws. In more ways than one, an indoor swimming pool can provide you with a lot of fun and excitement year round. Indoor pools have a lot of benefits, also providing to be great for those who have back trouble or other medical ailments. Even though the pool is indoors, you can also invest in a heater for your swimming pool and keep the water a certain temperature whenever you decide to jump in and take a swim. You can find everything you need for an indoor swimming pool online or through your local swimming pool supply store. If you need to add on to your home first, you may want to contact a carpenter first. Once you have everything you need and you get your indoor pool finished, you'll be amazed with the results. You'll be able to go swimming anytime you like, day or night -- in the privacy of your own home. In Ground Pools Although above ground swimming pools may be cheaper to buy, easier to install, and cheaper to operate, a lot of people prefer to have in ground pools. In groung swimming pools provide you with a lot more room to swim, and a lot more space. Those of you who have families or a lot of friends who love to swim, would greatly benefit from having one of these pools. In ground swimming pools are long lasting, as they are designed with cement on the sides and along the bottom. They are a bit more expensive than above ground swimming pools, although they are more than worth the money you spend. Depending on your needs, you can have your in ground pool built to your liking, such as a shallow end for kids and a deep end for diving. Installing an in ground swimming pool will take a bit more time than above ground pools, which only take a few hours. To install an in ground pool, the contractor will need to dig a hole in the ground, then set up the framework outside of the hole. Once this is finished, he will pour some sand in the bottom of the this hole, then set the liner up. With in ground pools, you'll have a few different types of material that you can select for the liner. The most common and preferred is vinyl, which is also the most attractive. Vinyl liners are also better for winter as well. If you live in an area that is well known for winter, you may want to go with a vinyl liner for your swimming pool. Fiberglass and concrete are also excellent liners as well. Fiberglass liners are constructed in a factory from fiberglass reinforced plastic then worked with until it resembles a really large bathtub. Unlike vinyl liners, you won't need to replace fiberglass. In the end, you can save a lot of money and time by using a fiberglass liner. Concrete liners are also great, and are one of the most common ways to line your in ground swimming pool. If you are using concrete, you can also have your pool custom poured, giving you the design you want. Concrete lasts for years and years, and like fiberglass liners, it doesn't need to be replaced. You can also add to the look of this liner as well, by using tile or finishing the concrete liner with plaster. In ground swimming pools are great for families who love to swim, or those who want to have the biggest swim pool possible. Even though they take a lot of time to build and cost a lot of money, they are more than worth it in the end -- when you walk outside and see what you have with your own eyes. How to Properly Shock your Swimming Pool The process of shocking a swimming pool is done in order to remove various debris from it. There are many different products that come from a person's body when they enter a swimming pool. They include sweat, dead skin, and oils. Of course there is always the chance that someone has peed in the swimming pool as well. While those aren't pleasant thoughts they are reality, and thus the reason why shocking is so important for maintaining your swimming pool. You need to make sure you use the right type of shock for your swimming pool. Some of them are designed for chlorinated pools and others aren't. In addition to that factor, you also need to take the size and type of filtering system you have into consideration. If you aren't confident about what to get as an authorized swimming pool dealer. They can make sure you have the right product to take care of this important issue. Using the proper amount of shocker for your swimming pool is very important as well. This will be determined based on the overall size of your swimming pool. You can cause damage if you don't use enough or if you use too much. You also need to make sure you use a quality shocker product to get the job done correctly. The process of using the shock does take time. You will pour it into the water at the deepest end of the swimming pool. Then you will use a swimming pool skimmer to help mix it up around your swimming pool. Keep in mind that if your filter or pump aren't working like they should then it will be harder for you to get the proper results with your shocker. The frequency for shocking your swimming pool will vary. It is a good idea to keep the products on hand so you have them when you do need them. The best time of day to check it is in the morning. You can do so while cleaning your pool. If you smell a strong odor of chlorine you may need to shock it. Ironically, a strong smell of chlorine indicates you need more of it not that you have too much in it! Use test strips to find out what the level of chlorine is in your swimming pool. The testing kit will tell you what the reading should be. When your levels are outside of the ideal range then you know it is time to shock it. It seems that the more often you use your swimming pool and the more people that use it the more frequently you will need to shock it so be aware of that fact. Don' t try to rush the process either by adding dry product to the swimming pool. Instead you need to mix the shocker with water in a bucket. Then slowly add it to the swimming pool water. This will ensure it is as effective as possible. Proper mixing will also reduce the number of times you need to do the shock treatment for your pool. It is important to remember that the ingredients in shocker are very potent. Therefore you want to avoid adding any other types of chemicals at the same time. Some individuals have experienced problems when they added chlorine tablets and shocker at the same time. They did so in order to get all their work done at the same time. Troubleshooting Problems with your Swimming Pool Taking good care of your swimming pool is important, and anyone that owns one understands that. It can take some time to learn all of the ins and outs of the process though for a specific swimming pool. There are just too many variables to get it all right the first time. Yet mistakes can be a valuable way to learn what to do differently the next time. You may be going along just fine with your swimming pool maintenance and then one day you hit a huge roadblock. While you will be able to see there is a problem, finding out what the cause of it is can be difficult. Generally the problems have to do with one of three things -- the pump, the filtering system, or the balance of the chemicals that you have placed in it. Learning how to troubleshoot some common problems will help you get things back into check faster. If the pump isn't working like it should then the water will be affected. Pay attention to the flow of water coming in and going out of it. If it is different than it should be then the problem could be that the filter is clogged. Take the time to investigate because that is a very easy problem to fix. You just remove the build up of debris from the filter or replace the cartridge. Once you do so the pump should start working again as it originally did. If you find that the pump isn't working at all don't panic. Find out if the breaker to it has been triggered. You may need to replace the fuse or just flip the switch and you are back in business. There may be a reset button on the pump as well. If there is no luck then you may need to get a replacement pump right away so your water won't become polluted. The same is true for the filtering system. It may need to be reset or a breaker has popped. Take a look at the cartridge inside and see if it is damaged and needs to be replaced. There are quite a few nice pumps and filters you can upgrade to if yours has been around for quite a few years. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to get the balance of chemicals right in the water of the pool. Yet it may seem like it sometimes so don't get frustrated. Take your time when you check the levels of chemicals that are present. If you need to add chemicals then only add the specific amount. Don't start guessing or adding things on your own or you will end up regretting it. Many people try to save money on swimming pool chemicals but it can bite them later on. This is because they may not be as effective as they need to be. Look for expiration dates on those products as well. Invest in a good quality brand so you can be confident they will work like they should. If you can't seem to find a remedy for the problem you are experiencing contact an expert. The longer a problem with your swimming pool goes unresolved the more damage that can occur. While it can be costly to call out such an expert it can be more affordable than replacing equipment due to not getting the situation taken care of early on. However, it is certainly worth it to troubleshoot on your own before you go to such drastic measures. If the information here can't help you take a look online. You can learn from the experiences other swimming pool owners have had as well. Chances are some of them have had the same problem you are right now. Pay attention to what they have to say and you will be on your way to enjoying that swimming pool once again. Tips to make Maintaining your Swimming Pool Easier If you own a swimming pool then chances are you know all the basics about how to maintain it. After all this is an investment you are dedicated to protecting. You also want to be able to spend plenty of time in the water and that can't be done if there are problems with it. Here are some helpful tips that you may not be aware of though. They can help you accomplish more in less time. Filters are a necessity for any swimming pool but they aren't without their shortcomings. Even if you get a good brand you may discover that dirt and debris are getting through. This has to do with the filtering system and the rate which the water is pushed through it. One way to get more of that dirt and debris captured though is to add a type of flocculant. This is a type of chemical that will result in the small particles of dirt and debris in your swimming pool to cluster together. This means when they reach the filter they aren't itty bitty anymore. You also have the option of using a vacuum to suck them up from the bottom of the pool. This can be beneficial as it will result in the filter being clogged less often. Since they are larger in size they will be captured and not allowed to return to your swimming pool. Therefore you will find that the overall cleanliness of your pool has improved. This process is very easy to accomplish as well as affordable. It will reduce the amount of money you have to spend on shock treatments too as they won't be needed nearly as often. In order to reduce the amount of chlorine you have to add to the swimming pool you need a good quality stabilizer. You will find this reduces the fluxuations of your Ph level as well. The most common type of stabilizer used is cyanuric acid. When you add new water to your pool you definitely want to top it off with a stabilizer. The amount you will need depends on the volume of water that the pool holds. In order to determine if your swimming pool needs more stabilizer added from time to time is to test it. This is done by evaluating your chlorine levels. Most people don't realize that the UV rays from the sun can reduce the effectiveness of your chlorine. With a stabilizer in place though it won't be wasted. You won't need to add chlorine as often as you did before. This will save you both time and money but you will still have a swimming pool that is very well taken care of. You don't want to add too much stabilizer though as it can have an adverse effect. You may have to drain all the water and start over again. Therefore you want to be sure you pay close attention to the charts so you only add the right amounts. Don't forget to keep an eye on metals either. Copper is a very common one you will find as it is used in the equipment for the pool and in some of the chemicals you will access. If you have too much copper though it can stain your pool so look for signs such as a reddish color. If you have too much iron in the water it result in a greenish tint developing. Sometimes even the water you use to fill up the swimming pool will contain large amounts of copper and iron. Instead of waiting for them to stain your pool though you can do some preventative maintenance. The chemicals to use for this are known as chelating agents. You want to use them only as directed though. The amounts to use will depend on the severity of the problem you have with such metals being present. Testing your Swimming Pool It is very important that you test the water in your swimming pool on a regular basis. This way you can be sure bacteria and algae aren't present in unacceptable amounts. With algae you will be able to see it forming which is a sign you need to take better care of your swimming pool. Bacteria is different though as you likely won't be able to see it forming. The only way to know if you are okay or not is to test the water. There are a couple of different ways you can accomplish this. One of them is to take in samples of your swimming pool water to a dealer. They will use various types of testing to look it over. They will give you a computer print out with all the data about your swimming pool. If there are problems you will also get data about how to resolve those issues. Sometimes this type of analysis is free due to the fact you purchased your swimming pool from them. Other times they charge a fee each time you take the samples in to them for evaluation. It can become time consuming though to take in the samples on a regular basis. You may also run into problems if you don't have local place to do the testing for you. It can be tricky as well as expensive to mail those samples into a company. A better option that is more convenient is to get a kit that allows you to test for bacteria at home. That way you can do it when it fits into your schedule. This process is also more cost effective in the long run. Since there are quite a few expenses associated with maintaining a swimming pool you should be looking to eliminate those that you can. You can test the Ph levels in your swimming pool with strips that you dip into the water. They have been chemically treated so they will react to the water from your pool. You will have a chart that comes with the strips so you can compare the color you get with the key. Based on the results you may need to add various products as you don't want the water to be too acidy or too alkaline. The range you want for your Ph level is 7.0 to 7.6. At least once a week you should be testing the chlorine levels, Ph levels, and conditioners in your swimming pool. Monthly you need to test the calcium and the amount of dissolved solids in the water. Of course testing isn't effective if you don't know what the results mean. There are standards you should get for each area of testing. If your results fall outside of those standards then you need to make some changes to your routine. It could be adding certain products or changing what you use. Make sure you know what the acceptable range is in these areas based upon the size of your swimming pool. Never guess if you have a swimming pool problem you can't resolve. Adding more of this and less of that isn't an effective way to treat it. In fact you may end up with things so out of balance your only hope is to drain the swimming pool and start all over. You want to avoid doing that due to the cost of the water you will waste to do so. Refilling your swimming pool is also a very time consuming process that means your swimming pool will be inoperable for a while. With regular testing of your swimming pool you should be able to maintain things quite well. If you suddenly find you have huge variations that are out of the norm due the test again. If you get the same results it could be an indicator of a problem with either your swimming pool pump or filter so look into these areas as well for a solution. Taking Care of a Saltwater Swimming Pool Saltwater swimming pools are becoming more popular than ever before. Many homeowner's love how easy they are to take care of. For those that want to spend more time in the water and less time caring for it this is a great option. Of course it does cost more to get this type of swimming pool installed. However, it will pay off over the course of time. For example you won't need to pay for chlorine tablets to clean your swimming pool water. This can add up to quite a savings each month. The amount you will save will depend on the size of your swimming pool as well as the quality of the products you use on it. You may be skeptical of the pool without the chlorine but the fact is that it is made from the salt in the water. You definitely need to test your saltwater swimming pool though on a regular basis. If the system isn't regulated properly you can end up with too much or too little chlorine being produced. As a result some of the equipment could end up ruined. You don't want to be replacing things on your swimming pool for it to function properly all the time. The level of salt in the swimming pool should be from 2,500 to 3,000 parts per million. Many homeowners find this to be a worthwhile trade off though. In addition to the monetary savings on chemicals, they also don't have to handle them. They don't have to worry about getting the right amount of each one added or getting them on their skin and in their eyes. They also save time because they aren't mixing up these chemicals. For those with children and pets around it is also a relief not having to worry about them getting into such products as well. This isn't to say though that you won't ever need to add chlorine to your saltwater swimming pool already. Many individuals that live in areas where they get heavy rains need to add it. If the swimming pool is used all the time with many people in it then you may find you do need to add some as well. It is wise to not do so without consulting an expert first though. You don't want to throw everything off balance by adding chlorine when you don't need to. You also want to make sure you are adding the right amount of it. You do want your saltwater swimming pool to look inviting and refreshing all the time. Some of them that have been in place for years have discoloration to the bottoms of them. They can get a yellowish or brownish tint to them. This is the result of the salt settling on the bottom of the swimming pool. There are some effective chemicals you can add to your water on a regular basis to prevent this from occurring. Once the stains are in place they are almost impossible to remove so this needs to be done as a preventative measure. Sometimes the salt can result in areas of your swimming pool such as the stairs and railings to rust. You want to protect them from doing so though as it will make your swimming pool appear dingy. There are plenty of preventative treatments you can use for this. Newer saltwater swimming pools are also made from materials that aren't very likely to rust. To help save water you can put your backwash to good use. It won't harm your grass or your plants so use it to water them. Taking care of a saltwater swimming pool is different but it also seems to be easier. Take the time to learn more about the benefits as well as the disadvantages so you know exactly what you are getting yourself involved with should you commit to buying one. Swimming Pool Waterfalls A lot of swimming pools these days are now featuring waterfalls along the edges to create a much more enticing visual appeal. These types of waterfalls are built so the water falls down into the swimming pool, creating a continuous and never ending water flow with the pool. Sometimes, there are small bulbs placed around the pool, helping to give the water a glittery effect once the water from the waterfall makes contact with the water in the pool. Swimming pools that feature waterfalls are thought of as being more of a status symbol. Normally, waterfalls can be found in the bigger hotels and resorts, and sometimes in big mansions if the owners can afford them. There are other locations, such as popular water attractions and theme parks that have them as well. Waterfalls also provide a great attraction for little kids, as they like to play in the water as it goes up and over their heads -- then comes down on top of them. Depending on the size of the swimming pool, there can be several waterfalls attached. Most often times, swimming pools that have multiple waterfalls can be found with exquisite resorts and the most popular of water parks. These days however, waterfalls are becoming more and more affordable, and can be found with many private swimming pools. You can also find smaller swimming pools that have smaller waterfalls constructed along the walls of the pool. Even though they don't produce a wide arc, they do create a splash effect that's simply amazing to watch. To use waterfall, you'll first need a swimming pool. The easiest way to construct a waterfall is when your pool is being built, so it can be built into the pool. You must also make sure that the water going into the waterfall is clean. You'll also need to treat and clean the water going into the waterfall on a regular basis, as it can easily build up moss and algae if you don't. There are some waterfall models that will allow warm water to flow through them. Keep in mind, warm water is used more for health than aesthetic appeal. If you are using your waterfall for swimming, you obviously wouldn't want to use warm water. On the other hand, if it's just for show or occasional use, then warm water waterfalls may be something of interest to you. Although they are great to look at and watch, a pool waterfall can cost you a lot of money. If you have the waterfall constructed at the same time you have your pool built, you can help save yourself a lot of money. If you've thought about getting a waterfall -- you should always plan things ahead and try to save yourself as much money as possible. There is Hope if your Swimming Pool is Green in Color Sometimes taking proper care of your swimming pool will take a back seat to other things in life. You may be new to the whole situation so you don't do things correctly. Perhaps you have been testing like you should and things look good so you slack off on it. You may be giving it your all and then one day look in the pool and see green or even a blackish color forming. Don't be too hard on yourself though as this is a scenario that most swimming pool owners will face at one time or another. Regardless of the reasons, it can be quite a horror to discover your water in the swimming pool has a greenish color to it. Before you drain all the water out of it or become frustrated you need to get the situation in perspective. It can be a hard lesson to learn about why you do need to stay on top of cleaning your swimming pool. Yet it isn't the end of the world and with some hard work and the right products you can get things back under control before you know it. In many instances a green swimming pool is the result of problems with the filtering system. So you want to start here and troubleshoot from that angle. Remove any debris trapped in the filtering system. Pay attention to how it sounds and if it is passing water through it like it should. If it is then you can move on to other aspects of cleaning up the swimming pool. You will need to let the filter run around the clock for several days to help you. Remember to check it often and to complete the backwash process so it can continue to perform well. If the filtering system for the swimming pool isn't working like it should you need to fix it. Otherwise you won't make any progress and your problem is only going to get worse than it is right now. Check the entire filtering system and replace the cartridge if applicable. If you need to replace the entire filtering system get it done immediately. Invest in a high quality swimming pool filter that is the right size for your pool. Get a brand that is reliable to prevent future problems from being likely. Next you can move on to cleaning out the pool while you let the filter do its job. Remove any large pieces of dirt and debris from the top of the swimming pool. This way it can't spread and multiple which will make it that much harder to remove. You may need to repeat this process several times over the course of the next couple of days. While it may be tempting to vacuum the pool out avoid doing so if you can't see the bottom of it. You don't know what gunk is built up there and it could result in damage to your vacuum and your swimming pool. Instead you need to shock the water to help eliminate as much of the bacteria and algae as possible. This should be very effective and you will start to see improvements very soon. About 24 hours after the shock is complete you can start adding chlorine and other chemicals that you need to your swimming pool. Use testing kits to find out what the Ph level is. That way you will know what types of chemicals you need to add. Give it about 12 hours and you should see clearer water that you can now vacuum the remaining debris out of. Be patient as all of this could take up to five days before your swimming pool water is clear again. If you don't get results in that time you may need to have a specialist come look at your pool. There may be additional problems that are quite complex. It could be that your chemicals are ineffective and you need to upgrade to better quality. The specialists have plenty of technology that they can take samples and provide you with data about what else you need to do to rectify the situation. The Right Way to Adjust the Ph Level in your Swimming Pool You already know that keeping the proper Ph level in your swimming pool is very important. The quality of the water will suffer if it contains too much acid or it is too alkaline. However, you need to make sure you know the right steps to take in order to adjust it. Once you take your test results and find you need to make adjustments it is time to pay attention to what you are doing. Some individuals add more acid or more alkali to the water. Then they test again and if they went too much then they add some of the other one. That is a waste of your time and of the money you have invested in those chemicals. Instead you need to get you some charts that will tell you how much to add. The charts to use will depend on the size of your swimming pool so make sure you have the right one. Then you can take the test results you got and find out how much you need to add to get things back into balance. It is more of a safety risk to add acid to the water than the alkali but you need to be very careful with both of them. Wear eye protection as well as gloves so that your hands and your eyes are protected. Avoid getting it on your body or your clothing as well. You will find that acid comes in both a liquid and a solid form .It is recommended that you use the solid form to prevent accidental spills of the liquid. Never add the acid directly into the swimming pool. Doing so can result in corrosion taking place on the walls of your pool. It can also damage metal pipes and fittings which in turn will result in a variety of problems for you down the road with your swimming pool. You need to mix it well first in a metal bucket. Don't use a plastic one as the acid can eat right through it and this can result in serious injuries to your body. Fill the bucket 1/4 of the way full and then add the acid. Make sure you place it in there slowly so it doesn't splash back at you. Only do this in a well ventilated area too as the acid can be very strong. Avoid smelling or swallowing the fumes during the mixing process. Before you add the acid to the swimming pool you need to make sure the pump is operating correctly. The process of adding alkali isn't as dangerous but you need to be careful with it just the same. Generally what you will be adding to the water is sodium carbonate. Pay attention to the charts as well about how much to add based on the reading you got. You also want to mix this with water in a bucket and then pour it into the swimming pool after it has been properly mixed. Allow the water to pump and circulate for at least four hours before you test it again. If you are using the proper charts you should find that your new Ph level is where it should be. A good test is from 7.0 to 7.6. Take your time with the Ph level testing and what you add so that you get accurate results. You also need to make your personal safety with such processes a priority. The Right Products to Care for your Swimming Pool It is very important that you use the right products to take care of your home swimming pool. That way you can be sure it will operate as intended. You can also look forward to spending your free time swimming in it often. While the products required for such care can be expensive they are very important. The cost is less than having to repair your swimming pool or to drain all the water and refill it. To help you save money on such products, consider buying them in bulk. You will pay less overall for them this way. The size and type of swimming pool you have will affect the amount of products you have to use at any given time. It is wise to look into this information before you buy a certain type of above ground swimming pool or have one dug in your backyard. Bacteria is something you have to be careful with when it comes to your swimming pool. In order to neutralize it chlorine will need to be added. The easiest method is to use chlorine tablets that you place into a designated area that is found somewhere around your filter or pump. Make sure you know where this location is. Some of the newer swimming pool models don't use chlorine to eliminate bacteria though. Instead they require you to use hydrogen peroxide solutions. They work to clean the water as well as to make it softer. As a result you can swim in the pool without the smell of chlorine. It can irritate the eyes so this is a nice alternative. The softer water also means your skin won't dry out from spending time in a swimming pool full of hard water. There are liquid products you need to use in order to prevent algae from appearing in the water as well. You will be surprised at how rapidly it can spread and contaminate the water if you don't prevent it. Every couple of weeks you need to shock the swimming pool as well. This process removes water soluble materials from the water. It is important that you learn the steps for this based on your particular swimming pool so that you do get accurate results. It is very important that you test your Ph level in the water on a regular basis. The easiest way is to have a home kit readily available. This way you can dip a strip into the water and see what color it turns. Based on that color, you may need to add products to your swimming pool water. If the water has too much acid it will hurt the eyes. It can also ruin certain parts of your swimming pool that are made from plastic or rubber. If the water is too alkaline then the water can begin to look hazy. It will also dry out your skin. Reducing the Ph level can be done by adding different chemicals. Known as Ph increases and decreases, you should have some of both on hand so you can easily take action when you need to in order to keep Ph levels where they should be for your swimming pool. The more you know about the products you use for your swimming pool the smoother things will be. Since you will have plenty of them to use in various amounts on at different intervals, make yourself a chart. This way you never forget what you need to add when. The process can seem quite complex in the beginning. However, it will become much easier for you the more you do it. If you aren't sure then find out though before you add anything to your swimming pool. All of the chemicals you add have to balance with the others. Make sure you keep your swimming pool products in an area where they stay cool and dry. Make sure that children and pets can't reach them either. It is a good idea to wear gloves and eye protection when you use any type of swimming pool products as a safety precaution. Pool Safety For Children Having a swimming pool on your property can be a great way to have fun for yourself and your entire family. Even though a pool can be fun, it can also be very dangerous if you have children around. If you can wait, you should wait until your kids are least 5 or older before you put a pool on your property. On the other hand, if you already have a swimming pool, there are ways that you can protect your children. One thing you should always remember is to never, ever, allow your children to be alone near your pool. Children tend to be drawn near the water, and all it takes is a second for them to fall in the pool. If you and your children are at your pool and you need to leave the area for a second, you should always take your children with you. To be on the safe side, you should always make sure that you have plenty of safety equipment around your pool at all times. Safety items are great to have around, as they can save the life of a child or anyone else who can't swim. You should also invest in a shepherd's hook as well, as you can use it to pull someone out of the water. Having a phone at your pool is also a wise investment, as you can easily call for help in the event of an emergency. If you don't have a fence around your pool you should look into getting one. A fence is a great way to protect your pool from children. If you have a protective fence up, you won't have to worry about little kids falling in while you are away from the pool. When you put your fence, you should always make sure that it's at least 6 foot high, with a locking gate. This way, no one can get into the pool without the key -- which you should keep with you at all times. You can also learn CPR as well. Even though you may not ever have to use it, it's always great to know in the event of someone falling in your pool that is unable to swim. Whenever you have children or people you know can't swim at your pool, you should always stay within reach of them, so you can react instantly if they fall in. A second is all it takes to save someone's life. Always keep in mind that swimming is fun, although you should always think in terms of safety first. Once you have finished using your pool for day, make sure that you secure the area well -- and lock the gate up tight so no one can get in. Pay Attention to Common Swimming Pool Problems to Prevent them Having your own swimming pool in the backyard is a great way to spend your time. Everyone in the family can enjoy it! However, there are some common swimming pool problems that can come along and prevent that from happening. Knowing what to watch for is very important so that you can prevent severe damage from occurring. Routine maintenance is very important to the longevity of your swimming pool. If you hear any types of unusual noises you need to investigate. Chances are it is a sign that your pump or your filter is clogged or going bad. Always make sure you have the right size of pump and filter too for your size of swimming pool. You can find out these specifications online or from a swimming pool dealer. If you have an older swimming pool you may find it is a good idea to update your pump. The older ones don't seem to last like the newer ones due to the technology behind them. Any time you get a new filter or pump for your swimming pool try to get one with a very good warranty. You will find that you have a water pressure gauge as well. Too many swimming pool owners don't pay attention to it though. However, with a close eye on it you will be able to prevent serious problems from occurring. Make sure you know what the pressure should be. When it climbs up higher it is a strong indication that your filter is blocked or that it needs to be replaced. This higher pressure makes the pump work harder too so you may end up having to replace more items that you would have if you don't keep a close eye on that pressure gauge. It can be tempting to forego various types of testing on your swimming pool due to things being right all the time. Still, you need to stay in that habit because as Murphy's Law goes, once you don't check it something will be array. Never let the Ph level get higher than 8.0. Ideally it should be from 7.0 to 7.6. Some people never check their Total Dissolved Solids either so make sure you do so. Some people do it monthly while others do it every six months. If you find you have trouble with calcium build up then that is an indicator you need to check the Total Dissolved Solids more frequently. It is very important to keep the area where you place the chlorine clean too. Check it each time before you add new chlorine tablets to it. They tend to built up calcium and that will result in you not being able to get the chlorine you need to your swimming pool. As a result of this plenty of other problems can occur. Make sure you take the time to remove built up from the trap at the pump too. You will be amazed at what gets caught up here. Mainly it is hair which can clog it and block the water from flowing through the pump like it should. This can also result in the pump working too hard and that will reduce the overall life span of it. Many experts will tell you to add your chemicals to the water after the sun goes down. This way less of them will be evaporating during the day. This is especially true if you live in areas where it gets into the 90's or 100's during the summer months. If you can't commit to adding the chemicals in the evening then do it as soon as the sun comes up. At least that way your chemicals will have a few hours to sit in the water before the sun is beating down on it. By avoiding common swimming pool problems you will find you enjoy it more. You also will reduce the overhead expensive associated with owning one. Routine maintenance is the key to having a great swimming pool that doesn't continually have one problem after another for you to contend with. Opening up your Swimming Pool after Winter has Passed Winter can seem like eternity depending on the weather during that span of time. There is plenty of work to be done in order to prepare a swimming pool for the harsh weather of winter. If you do it correctly though it will be in great condition as the warmer weather rolls around. You will then need to perform some tasks in order to get it ready for your enjoyment. Being ready for these tasks will ensure you have your pool ready on time. You can do them a few weeks before it is time for swimming to start too. That way you have time for repairs and replacing parts if necessary. If you have a heater you need to use it will give the water time to get to the desired temperature as well. Even in the summer months some people require a heater to keep the water right for night swimming. You should have a sturdy cover on your swimming pool. Before you remove it you want to remove any dirt, debris, or water that has accumulated on the top of it. Otherwise you risk those things being dumped into the water remaining in your pool. A shop vacuum works very well to remove these elements from your cover. If you have a winter that is full of rain or snow falling then you should be doing this on warm days as well so that you don't let too much of it accumulate. Wash the cover off with soap and water before you put it away too. There could be bacteria and algae that has grown on it over the winter months. Make sure you allow the cover to completely dry before you fold it and store it. Failure to do so can result in mildew forming on it. Even if you did everything correctly to prepare your swimming pool for winter you need to check it all again. Sometimes there is damage that results due to the colder weather setting in. Look for leaks and cracks in hoses that can pose a problem for you. Check the filtering system and the pump over. If you have a heater for your swimming pool make sure you carefully inspect it as well. Even with the cover on the swimming pool there can be bacteria and algae in there. This is the perfect time to give it a very good cleaning. You can use a robotic cleaner on the sides and bottom or you can do it by hand. Vacuum the bottom of the swimming pool as well. If you had to drain all or some of the water from the pool add it back in at this time. Once your water level is where you want it you need to test it out. Finding out the Ph levels at this time will allow you to decide what chemicals to add. If you have left over chemicals from the season before make sure they have froze or gotten damaged over the winter. If you discover they have then toss them out so you can be sure what you do add to the water will be effective. If you have lights, ladders, and non-skid mats to put out then do so before anyone gets ready to use the swimming pool. It can be easy to forget these items but they need to be in place for safety. Check the screens on these items as well to be sure nothing is loose. You want everything to be in perfect working order for the swimming weather that is right around the corner. Get into the routine of keeping all of your supplies for the swimming pool in one central location. That way you will know exactly where everything is when it is time to get ready for the swimming season. Take your time to set things up correctly this time of the year as well. That way you can focus on enjoying your swimming pool instead of dealing with one problem after another. Make sure you Chlorinate your Swimming Pool Correctly Chlorine is a chemical used in both underground and aboveground swimming pools. It has a huge responsibility of keeping the developing of bacteria and algae at bay. This way the water is safe for people to swim in. There are plenty of things including dirt, debris, sweat, urine, and oils for the body that get into the water. These are all contaminates and the chlorine helps to keep the water purified. Properly testing the levels of chlorine in the swimming pool is very important. Otherwise you will end up with inaccurate results. You need to take a sample of the water that is at lest 25 centimeters below the surface. You also don't want to take a sample of water that is along the edge of the pool wall. There are many different testing kits out there you can buy to keep track of your chlorine levels. You want to buy one that offers three different types of tests results -- the free available chlorine, the combined chlorine, and the total chlorine. You need to be doing such testing weekly or it can result in some very undesirable problems for you relating to your swimming pool. All of those terms do sound quite similar but they have different purposes. The free available chlorine is the amount that is in the water to sanitize it. This is the test result that will be of the most importance to you. The combined chlorine is something you don't want to find too much of. That is because it measures the negative compounds in the water. If this number is very high it is a sure indictor that the water in the swimming pool is lacking enough free available chlorine. The total chlorine is the combination of the two of them so it is very straight forward. When the water doesn't have enough chlorine in it people can become ill from the bacteria and algae that may be present. If the water is cloudy you need to refrain from letting anyone get in until it has been cleared up. The risk of a waterborne illness is simply too great. If there is too much chlorine people can become sick as it will get absorbed into their skin. Their eyes and nose may burn from it as well due to the potency of the smell that chlorine gives off. It is important to realize that this can also mean there isn't enough chlorine in the water but too much acid. The only way to know for sure is to test it out each week and to evaluate the results. Always buy a good quality chlorine as well. The most common form is tablets as they are easier to use. Make sure you keep them stored in a cool and dry location away from the reach of pets or children. You also need to use safety precautions when you handle it because it is quite potent. Wear eye protection and gloves while handling it. If you get the chlorine on your clothing remove them and wash them immediately. If you happen to touch your skin with it then wash the area thoroughly with soap and water for several minutes. While it is an essential part of caring for your swimming pool properly, you need to protect yourself first and foremost. Swimming Laps At Home Swimming, as we all know, is one of the best exercises you can do for your body. Swimming laps provides you with a great cardiovascular workout, and helps to keep your muscles toned. Swimming works every muscle in your body, which can also help you to burn calories. For many people throughout the United States, swimming is simply the best way to stay in shape and have fun doing it. Although swimming is a lot of fun and a great way to exercise, it can be quite a chore going down to the local pool. The hours will vary from pool to pool, meaning that there are only certain times of the day and the week that you can go. To make matters worse, the lanes are normally crowded, making it hard to get a proper workout. Crowded lanes can make swimming a chore, especially if there are a lot of people around who are doing nothing but standing in the water. If you like swimming laps but hate going to your local pool, you should look into getting a lap pool for your home. Lap pools are a great addition to your home, with the only difference in a lap pool and residential pool being the size and shape. Instead of the traditional kidney shape that home pools are known for, lap pools are long and narrow, giving you plenty of room to swim laps. With the shape being long and narrow, you can easily keep track of just how many laps you have swam. Lap pools are normally just a few feet deep, meaning that divers shouldn't invest in them. They are intended for those who love to swim laps, lacking toys such as diving boards and slides, as the water isn't deep enough. Even though they are intended for hardcore lap swimmers, they are still ideal to jump in on a hot day and just cool off. Lap pools are below ground pools, as you may already know. They require a lot of digging for installation, and can cost quite a few bucks as well. The prices will vary from area to area, although most top out around $30,000. This is very expensive to say the least, although if you swim every day, you can easily make your money back if you count how much you spend going to the local pool. If you simply don't have the money but want to swim laps at home, you should look into a swim spa. These spas resemble a hot tub of sorts, although you won't have to dig up any of your yard to install them. They work almost like a treadmill, using an adjustable current that pushes you back, so you keep swimming in virtually the same place. You can get quite a bit of exercise using a swim spa, and it doesn't take up a lot of room either. Swim spas may be cheaper than lap pools, although they aren't cheaper than traditional below ground pools. They are still relatively new, and can be somewhat hard to find. More and more pool companies are including them though, so it may be just a matter of time before they come to your area. You should contact your local company if you are interested, as they can be nearly impossible to maintain yourself. With a lap pool or swim spa, you can swim as many laps as you like at home. These types of pools are ideal for swimmers everywhere, and they can keep you as healthy as you like. If you are interested in a lap pool or swim spa, simply contact your local pool company and get the ball rolling -- you'll be glad you did when you are swimming at home and not the local swimming hole. Save Money by Maintaining your own Swimming Pool You can save a great deal of money annually just by deciding to maintain your own swimming pool. Too many owners have the impression that this is too complicated. They have heard horror stories about the wrong chemicals being added. They are also afraid of messing up their equipment. While maintaining your own swimming pool does take time it can be done. Learning the basics of it will help you feel more at ease. Don't forget that there are plenty of experts out there too that you can turn to. When you go to buy swimming pool chemicals get them from an authorized dealer. That way you can be confident that their sales representatives are going to be able to assist you. Make sure you have plenty of great information to share with them too. For example they will need to know the type of swimming pool you have and the size of it. When you so your own maintenance you can be sure that the chemicals you pay for really do get placed into your swimming pool. Instead of paying a marked up price for them, you can buy them in bulk. This process will also save you money too. You will soon be able to determine which products work well for your swimming pool and which ones don't. Pay close attention to the ingredients so even if you switch brands you will know what they need to contain to get results. It is a good idea to learn what is required to maintain your own swimming pool before you get one. Find out what you will need to do and how often. Find out what average cost will be for the supplies to accomplish it all. Find out how much time it will take you to accomplish those tasks. Keep in mind that it will take you longer in the beginning due to the learning curve. However, you will find that you develop a pattern and soon are doing the same work in less time. That will certainly make it more enjoyable for you. Setting up a schedule for routine maintenance and checking on certain aspects of your swimming pool is important. You can do it on a computer or even just a blank calendar page. Many people like to color code what needs to be done each time as well. That makes it easier for them to visually see what has to be done. You will be very proud of your efforts relating to your swimming pool as well if you are the one taking care of it. We tend to get more enjoyment out of those things we have worked hard for. The more you learn about how to care for your swimming pool the less of a chore it will become. You will also be able to notice things and identify how to resolve them quickly without having to get in touch with an expert. Your swimming pool will last much longer if you are dedicated to taking care of it. If you don't like the idea of someone else coming to do it or paying for such work to be done then learn how to do it on your own. There is no reason why you can't have a wonderful swimming pool right in your backyard to enjoy due to your efforts. Safety Supplies For Your Pool A swimming pool is a great thing to have on your property, although you need to keep in mind that drowning is one of the most common deaths with children. In the cases where swimming pool drowning is involved, the cause is most likely due to a lack of supervision. A child can drown in a matter of seconds, which is less time than it takes to make a phone call. If you own a pool, you simply must have safety equipment around at all times. These days, there are a lot of safety supplies and equipment that you can get for your swimming pool. If you have an in ground pool, you may want to invest in a fence or a barricade. A barricade will protect your pool from children, and prevent them from getting access to your pool without you around. Fences are the most common way to keep your pool safe, as you can keep the gate locked, preventing unauthorized access while your away. Other supplies that are great for safety are safety nets, pool covers, and even shepherd's hooks. You should always have a pool cover, and use it on your pool when you aren't swimming. A strong and sturdy pool cover will keep debris out of your pool, and keep a child from accidentally drowning should he fall onto the cover. Throughout the industry of swimming pool equipment and accessories, safety is a major concern. You should always buy safety supplies and keep them pool side. The easiest way to do this is to build a small building or pool house near your pool, so you can store all of your equipment and supplies when you shut your pool down. You should also have a phone at your pool as well, in case of an emergency. As far as equipment is concerned, you should always have floatation devices, a shepherd's hook, safety vests, goggles, waist belts, a telephone, and anything else that comes to mind at your pool at all times. When you use your pool you should also leave a few flotation devices in the pool at all times, just in case. If you do your homework and get plenty of safety supplies for your pool, you won't have much to worry about. Pool safety is one of the biggest growing concerns these days, as so many children are drowning throughout North America. If you own a swimming pool, you should always do your part and help protect those you love. Teaching kids about safety can never come too early, as it will go a long way to protect them each and every day of their lives. Even though they may not realize it now -- they will when they get a bit older. Locating And Repairing Swimming Pool Leaks If you own a swimming pool, it can be quite easy to notice a leak. Once you have opened your pool for the year, you can easily spot a leak by the water gushing out. Where the leak is coming from though, may be an entirely different story. Sometimes it may be easy to tell, although other times it can be a bit more complicated. The first thing you need to do, is make sure that the water you see or notice missing is actually a leak. Even though you may think it's a leak, it could be something else. Basically, there are three causes of water loss with swimming pools -- plumbing leaks, shell leaks, and evaporation. You should make sure you know the cause of the leak before you go any further. Sometimes, what you think is a leak could be water lost from splashing -- which can easily happen if you have a lot of people diving in your pool. Evaporation is a common cause of water loss, and there is a way that you can determine if your loss of water is indeed evaporation. To find out, take a large container then fill it full of water and put it on the first pool step. Next, remove some water from the container sitting on the first step, so that the water in the pool and the container are the same level. Now, let the container sit there for a few days, with no one using the pool during the entire time. When you check back in a few days, the levels should be the same. If they have gone down any, then you know that evaporation from the sun is to blame. If the water that you have in the pool has dropped a great deal more than what you have in the container, you'll know that you have a leak in your pool. If you think that the water is going down to a pool leak, you'll first need to find where the leak is coming from. You should always start looking near the pump and the filter. Along the way, if you happen to notice any wet areas or damp areas, you should trace the water back and see if you can locate a leak. In most cases, the leak will turn out to be a connection with one of the pipes. If it isn't a pipe, then it could be a problem with the shell. If you have an aboveground pool, simple look for the hole where the water is coming out of and repair it. On the other hand, if you have a pool that is below ground, it can be a bit more complicated. You can try inspected the shell in the pool, or checking surrounding areas. Sometimes, no matter how hard you look, it can seem almost impossible to find where the leak is coming from. Keep in mind that if it is the shell, you should always leave it to a qualified professional to fix the problem. Shells for underground pools especially can be very tough to fix, and even harder if you know very little about swimming pools. In most cases, locating and repairing a leak with your swimming pool is more or less just eliminating causes until you find the right one. Once you have located the problem and know what is causing it, you can decide on whether or not to do the repair yourself or to call a qualified professional and have them do the repair for you.
Keeping your Swimming Pool Filter Clean One of the most effective ways to keep your swimming pool operating like it should is to keep the filter clean. Once it is clogged it will result in a downward spiral of things occurring that you aren't going to be happy with. Without a filtering system that operates correctly you aren't going to be able to get the most benefit from the chemicals you add to the water either. There are many different types of swimming pool filters as well. Should you find you are continually repairing yours it may be time to upgrade to a better one. Make sure you get some assistance from an expert at a swimming pool dealership so that you get one that is compatible. Your swimming pool filter will also last much longer if you take care of it by keeping it clean. If your filter contains a cartridge you will need to gently take it out. This way you can rinse of dirt and debris that have accumulated. Run it over a slow stream of gentle water though. Many people end up ruining their swimming pool filter cartridge when they run it under fast moving water or spray it with a high pressure nozzle. Instead of removing the dirt and debris though it tends to wedge it into the filter. It can even result in the filter being torn or damaged. There are some great cleaners for these filters out there and you should invest in one of them. Generally they need to be diluted with water so make sure you read the instructions. Place the swimming pool filter cartridge into the solution and let it sit for several hours. Many swimming pool owners place theirs in at night and then remove it the next morning. Some people use acid instead of a cleaning solution but you don't want to go that route. This is because the acid won' t break down oils and other liquids you can't see but are present. You need to remove all of that matter as well. The acid tends to be too harsh on the elements that make up the swimming pool filter cartridge as well. After you have allowed it to sit, you need to rinse it again very slowly and carefully. You don't want any residue from the cleaning solution to linger. You also don't want to use high pressure or you will end up damaging the filter cartridge. If you find that you still have materials on it then repeat the soaking process again to ensure it has all been removed. Should you need to soak it again, remove the mixture from the bucket first. Rinse it out so that none of what was removed is available to get back on it. You may need to soak the filter cartridge for several hours if you haven't done it in a while. After you have it really clean though make a commitment to complete this process on a regular basis. Sometimes you will discover that your efforts are in vain. When that takes place you need to look into replacing the cartridge. You won't have to replace the entire filter very often though so don't be in a rush to do so if you only have one piece of it that really isn't working like it should anymore. Swimming Pool Supplies For Cleaning Keeping your swimming pool nice and clean is easier than ever these days due to the ever increasing amount of quality cleaning accessories. There are many tools to choose from, including skimmers, brushes, and vacuum heads. These tools make pool maintenance easier than ever, meaning that you can spend more time swimming and less time cleaning. The more specialized tools that are used to clean swimming pools include leaf skimmers, leaf rakes, brushes, corner brushes, pool sweeps, grids and cartridges for the filter, motors and pumps, pool filters, and many more. Most of these accessories are a must have, especially for those who have trees around their pool. Leafs in the water can be very annoying and distracting, and should be removed on a frequent basis. The biggest aspect to keeping your pool nice and clean is to make sure that the care of your water is always up to date. There are many water care products that you can buy, including balancing chemicals, sanitizes, chemicals to treat algae, stain treatment products, water testing kits, and saltwater systems. Normally, chlorine is used as a sanitizer, as it helps to get rid of and prevent any organic material that exists in the water. By using chlorine in your pool, you will greatly reduce the load that organic material puts on the filter. The regular maintenance of your pH balance and the right levels of alkalinity are also very important to keeping your pool clean. You should also make sure that you check your calcium as well. The pump that you use is also important, as it will prevent the waste of energy. To make things easier on yourself, you can get an automatic pool cleaner that will do just about everything for you. To get the right amount of chlorine feed, you'll need to use hand feeding or tablet feeding. This will ensure that you get the right amount of chlorine in the water. Chlorine is also important for protecting skin, although you should try not to swallow water that has chlorine in it. There are saltwater chlorine generators out there as well, which are one of the most popular ways to get the right amount of chlorine in your water. As long you use the proper cleaning supplies and products with your pool, you'll be able to enjoy fresh and clean water whenever you decide to go swimming. Keeping your water clean is also healthy for your skin, and anyone else who gets in your pool. You should always make sure that you have cleaning supplies on hand, and check your water on a frequent basis. You can get a pool testing kit for a little of nothing -- which will more than pay for itself when you decide to check your water. Swimming Pool Safety With any type of swimming pool, whether it's above ground or below ground, you'll need to make sure that safety is enforced. Swimming pool safety is essential with children especially, along with those who can't swim. With accidental drowning rates on the rise, you should always make sure that you know a lot about safety -- to protect those who swim at your pool. The most important area of safety with a swimming pool is to make sure that children can't get into the pool if you aren't around. The easiest way to do this is to put a fence around your swimming pool, and make sure that the gate is locked at all times. Little kids may be drawn to the water, and they can easily fall in and drowned if they aren't watched. Hundreds of little kids die in the United States alone by drowning, simply because they had access to a swimming pool. Most of these deaths could have easily been avoided if the swimming pool owner used a fence around his pool. When you open your pool up for the summer, you should also make sure that you have plenty of safety equipment nearby. If you have little kids of your own that you know can't swim, you should always keep them within an arm's length of you. If you are going to be taking them into the water, you should use a waist belt or safety jacket with them, to ensure that they stay afloat. Those of you who have an in ground pool probably have a kiddie area where the water isn't deep. This is perfect for teaching little kids to swim, as they can stay in this area until they get comfortable in the water. Anytime your swimming pool is open, you should make sure that there is always someone around who can swim. If you let friends use the pool that you know can't swim, there is always the risk of accidental drowning. Even though it may not be the intention, it can easily happen in just a few seconds. Swimming is a lot of fun and great exercise, although it can be very deadly if someone gets in the water that can't swim. If you have an above ground swimming pool, you won't need to have a fence around the pool, unless you want a privacy fence. Above ground pools require a ladder or deck, which makes it hard for little kids to get into. On the other hand, some kids who can climb up the ladder may not know how to swim. If you have kids in your house or kids who use your pool that you know can't swim, you should always make sure that they understand not to go near the pool unless you are around. If you enforce swimming pool safety in your home, it will go a long way. Everyone loves to swim and enjoy the water, especially on hot days. A swimming pool can provide a lot of fun for the entire family, although you should make safety your first concern. You can never get too much safety, especially in the event of saving lives. Before you let someone use your swimming pool, you should make sure that they understand the safety aspects of swimming. Never allow alcohol around your pool either, as it can easily affect someone's ability to swim. If you enforce safety and make sure that those who use your pool have safety in mind -- you'll go a long way in protecting those you love from serious injury or accidental drowning. Swimming Pool Ladders You can find a swimming pool ladder on almost all types of swimming pools. Ladders are essential to swimming pools, as they are used to get in and out of the pool. For both in ground and above ground pools, you can find a variety of different ladders to choose from. The materials used for the ladders are available in either vinyl, aluminum, plastic, resin, or stainless steel. The choices of color doesn't vary too much, although you shouldn't paint them. To prevent slipping, some come with anti-skid materials. Almost all pool ladders are easy to assemble if you follow the instructions, and come with a warranty as well. You can find pool ladders on the Internet, or at your local department store or pool supply store. The ladders used with in ground swimming pools normally include 1 -- 5 steps. Depending on how deep the water is where you are using the ladder, the installation and number of steps will obviously vary. When you select your ladder, you should make sure that the shape and height is compatible with your pool. If your pool was formed with concrete, you may have had the ladder or steps formed during installation. If you have a fiberglass or liner pool on the other hand, you'll need to properly secure the ladder at both the upper and lower ends. Above ground swimming pools on the other hand, are a bit different. Most people who have above ground pools have a deck that surrounds the pool, then a ladder than leads down into the water. You can install your ladder off the deck, or simply position it solely on the pool. It's easier to install the ladder running off the deck and into the water, although you'll need to properly secure it to the deck to ensure that it doesn't slide off or end up hurting someone. The ideal swimming pool ladder for an above ground pool should have 2 -- 4 steps. Most above ground pools are 4 -- 6 feet in depth, although they can be a bit tough for kids to enter. The more steps you have on your ladder, the easier it will be for kids to get in and out of the pool. If you are using your ladder with a deck, you won't need as many steps. All things aside, a swimming pool ladder is essential for any swimming pool. Without a ladder, it would be near impossible to get out of the pool. If you have an in ground pool, adults and teenagers can get out from the side, although kids will need to use a ladder. Ladders don't cost a lot of money, yet they help to simplify getting in and out of your pool. Swimming Pool Accessories Within the vast world of swimming pools, shopping can be pretty mind boggling. Choosing the type of pool and the type of accessories can be very stressful to say the least. There are decisions everywhere that you'll need to make, which can be pretty time consuming. Although there are hundreds of accessories out there for you pool -- you can save a lot of time and money if you know what you need. An accessory that you simply must have for your pool is a cover. A swimming pool cover is ideal for keeping debris and people out of your pool, and protecting your water. During the winter season, a cover will keep your pool and water protected from the cold, wind, and even ice. Depending on the type of pool cover you select, you'll probably need to use either straps or several heavy objects to ensure that the cover stays in place. Another accessory that is very beneficial to you is a skimmer. A skimmer can help you pick up branches, insects, leaves, and other types of debris from the surface of your pool. The skimmer resembles a large badminton racket, and it can easily save you a ton of money with the maintenance of your swimming pool. If you use a skimmer each and every day to clean the surface of your water, your pool will stay nice and clean throughout the season. If you have a concrete below ground pool, you'll want to make sure that you treat the surface. If you don't, it can be extremely hard on the skin. To treat the surface, you can use pool paint. Pool paints come in a few choices, such as water, rubber, or epoxy based. If you use the paint to treat the surface regularly, you'll protect the surface of your swimming pool and you'll also help to protect the surface from harsh elements such as the sun and chemicals from the water. If you live in a colder climate, you should invest in some antifreeze. When you close your pool down for the winter, antifreeze can help you clean your pipes and pump. Once you have drained the water from your pool, pump, and pipes, simply pour the antifreeze into them and it will ensure that nothing freezes on cold days. To enhance the look of your pool and provide room to relax, you'll need to have some pool furniture. This doesn't need to be anything basic, as even the most simplest of furniture will be good enough. You can decorate your pool area virtually any way you desire, even make it look like your living room if you wish. When you select your furniture, you should always make sure that you select furniture strong enough to withstand both summer and winter temperatures. If you are on a budget, you can still get the accessories and supplies you need for your pool without having to spend a fortune. You can buy your supplies and accessories online at discount prices, or buy locally during a sale. Most won't cost you much money, especially if you cut corners and buy only what you need at the lowest prices possible -- which is normally during winter. In the world of swimming pools, some accessories are just fun to have while others are essential to maintaining your pool. There are hundreds of accessories out there, which can actually be a lot of fun if you just look around at what all you have to choose from. Although it can consume a lot of your time and money -- accessories are something that can actually make your swimming pool experience a heck of a lot better. Tips For Swimming Pool Covers Covers for your swimming pool are available in an array of different colors, sizes, shapes, and purposes. To heat your pool and keep it protected at the same time, you can get a solar cover. If safety is your biggest concern, you can get safety covers that cover your pool and keep people and animals out of it as well. For both above ground pools and in ground pools, you can always find a cover to keep your pool protected from people, animals, and even the harsh weather of winter. When looking for a cover for your swimming pool, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The first thing to do, is to look for a cover that is strong and sturdy. The cover you select should keep your pool clean from debris, but also provide safety for people who accidentally step out on to it. The cover should be strong enough to prevent people from drowning, and also sturdy enough to keep debris and other things from getting access to the water. You'll also need to make sure that the cover you select is acceptable with both local and state regulations. Even though the laws and regulations vary, there are some areas that require a certain type or size cover. If you check with local police force, they should be able to tell you whether or not the cover you are using is acceptable with the regulations provided for your area. You should always check before you buy a cover, in the event that what you are interested in isn't accepted. Before you buy your cover, you should always ensure that it comes with a warranty. Most swimming pool covers include a warranty of 2 years or more. The cover that you buy should also include a warranty that covers all types of defects. You don't want to buy a cover that isn't warrantied, as you only want to buy a cover for your pool that you can trust -- from a company that you know stands behind what they sell. Before buying, you also want to be sure that your cover offers a good overlap length, by buying a size that is a bit larger than the dimensions of your pool. Doing so will give you more than enough room to anchor your cover down to the swimming pool and not have to worry about not having enough pool cover. You can stretch your swimming pool cover out over your pool, and still have plenty of room left to make sure that it fits tight. When you buy the cover for your swimming pool, always make sure that it includes everything you need to begin using it immediately. Depending on the type you select, you will get either straps or anchors. You should always make sure that there was no spillage with the cover, and everything you need is inside. The last thing you want is to buy a swimming pool cover that is missing vital components that you need to use the cover. Swimming pool covers are essential to keeping your pool safe and clean, and should always be used if you own a swimming pool. If you buy a cover that is good quality and good material, it should last you for several years. You can find swimming pool covers at your local supply store, or in any department store that sells pool gear. Always make sure that you read the instructions and other related material before you buy, to make sure that the cover you are interested in will work with your swimming pool. Why is the Ph Level so Important for your Swimming Pool? The Ph level of your swimming pool is one thing you definitely need to keep a close eye on. Each week you should be using a testing kit so you know what the levels are. Ideally you want them to be as close to 7.2 as possible. However, anything in the range of 7.0 to 7.6 is deemed as acceptable and you won't need to do anything else about it. However, if the level is too high or too low than you need to balance it out by adding various chemicals. If the amount is below 7.0 then it is considered to be too acidic. If the amount is above 7.6 then it is considered to be alkaline. There are many effects that can occur when the Ph level isn't balanced. You don't want to let this situation go because it can cause some things you aren't going to want to deal with. When there is too much acid in the water it can cause damage to your swimming pool. It will depend on the type of materials your pool is made from. Those from plaster are the most susceptible to the damages. Even if you can't readily see the damage taking place it is there. Instead of having a smooth surface there will be tiny groves forming. In these groves bacteria and algae have a great chance of forming. As a result you will find it becomes increasingly difficult to keep your swimming pool clean like it should be. The acid will also result in any types of metal you have in the swimming pool to corrode. This can include fittings, ladders, and even the connectors to your pump. This corrosion can affect the way these items fit as it will make them weaker. Eventually you will have to replace them. You will also find our swimming pool is more susceptible to stains due to the sulphate that is released. These stains can be brown, black, or reddish and they will certainly stand out affecting the overall beauty of your pool. Too much acid will absorb the chlorine you place in the water too. This means it will become cloudy and more algae and bacteria can form .You will notice a strong smell of chlorine even though less of it is present. This is what will account for burning eyes and the skin drying out. Too many owners assume they need to add more and more chlorine but the problem is really the acid due to the wrong Ph level. There are consequences when the Ph level is too alkaline as well. The same results can occur in reference to the eyes burning and the skin drying out. So when you have these symptoms it is wise to immediately check the Ph levels in the pool. The swimming pool will also become very dirty because most of the chlorine you put in it will become ineffective. In fact you will need to add eight times the normal amount to get the same results when the Ph level is too alkaline. The water will be very cloudy and that is something that makes it very unappealing. Calcium build up will result too and that can result in various types of stains. If you don't take care of it you will notice black stains developing along the water line all around your swimming pool. If you have a sand filter you will find it doesn't work like it should. The calcium will result in the sand becoming heavier than it should so it can't filter properly. As you can see, the Ph level in the swimming pool is very important. If it is too high or too low you will have all types of problems to deal with. Make sure you test this every single week so that you can offset any potential problems from occurring. Effective maintenance is more cost effective and efficient than having to deal with one problem after another because you didn't do it. What Testing do I need to Complete on my Swimming Pool? If you have a swimming pool to maintain then you need to make sure you have a solid understanding of the different types of testing that need to be done. You have likely heard the terms tossed around but you need to be prepared to get in there and complete these tests. They need to be done routinely and they need to be done accurately so you get results you can rely upon. Perhaps the most important test to do on your swimming pool is the Ph levels. It is a weekly test that is very simple to perform. You just dip a strip that has chemicals on it into the pool. Then you compare the color you get to a chart that tells you the level that is currently present. From there you can add certain chemicals to balance it if the initial test wasn't within the right range. Chlorine is very common in most swimming pools. This is used to reduce the development of both bacteria and algae. They can spread rapidly if you don't keep them under control. As a result the water can turn cloudy and even green. The right amount of chlorine is important so that you kill what is a problem but you aren't harming those that use the swimming pool. One test that many people overlook has to do with the level of calcium in the water. When you test this though you are actually testing a variety of other minerals as well. They include magnesium, iron, and manganese. The levels of them are going to significantly vary by location. Some water supplies have large amounts of them present while others don't. You only need to test this monthly. TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids and you definitely want to test for it. Based on all of the chemicals you place into the swimming pool this test allows you to make sure they are all in balance with one another. It takes these chemicals into account but also the debris and bodily wastes that are found in the swimming pool water. As you can see there are quite a few variables that can affect the TDS results you will get. You want to test this every month to ensure it is in check. Don't be surprised if you get different readings each time. This is due to environmental changes, the make up of those that use the swimming pool, and how frequently it is being used. You need to be backwashing your filter regularly though to keep your TDS level in check. If it gets too high you may find the only solution is to drain and replace the water in the pool. You want to avoid doing that if at all possible. If you have questions about how to perform any of these tests you need to get more information. Don't guess at them because they results you get will affect the actions you take. It can be complicated taking care of a swimming pool if you don't have accurate information. Those that have learned the facts though find it to be less time consuming and they get things right the first time. As a result they really are happy they have their own swimming pool and they use it all the time. Types Of Swimming Pool Covers All across the United States, thousand and thousands of people own swimming pools. A swimming pool can provide a lot of fun and excitement, although it can also be dangerous. As many of us already know, it only takes a few seconds for a child to drown. To stop this from happening, you should use a pool cover to cover your swimming pool. Along with protecting your swimming pool, covers have other uses as well. You can get solar powered pool covers, which will help to keep your water warm from the heat of the sun and protect your pool at the same time. For those looking for the best in protection, there are hard top swimming pool covers out there that are very sturdy and can keep just about anything out of your pool. If you live in a warm climate area, you may want to get a basic plastic cover for your pool, which will keep it clean and protected. These covers will keep dust, dirt, and leaves out of your pool when you aren't using it. Depending on where you live and what needs you have, the cover you need will vary. Covers for your swimming pool come in several different choices as well, such as net, mesh, vinyl, and so on. Mesh pool covers are very popular, as they offer a tight fitting barrier which helps to keep your pool clean and free of debris, reduce maintenance, reduce evaporation, and keep your pool from unauthorized access. Vinyl pool covers on the other hand, provide an amazing source of security. These pool covers operate via key, and help to keep debris out of your pool. They are also great for insulating and retaining heat, along with reducing any loss of chemicals. Vinyl is a very popular type of pool cover, being used by hundreds of thousands of pool owners. No matter what type of pool cover you select, you can rest assured that it will do a lot in protecting your swimming pool. They don't cost you a lot of money, yet they can go a long way in helping to prevent a child from accidental drowning. Depending on the type of swimming pool you have, the type of covers you have to choose from will vary. From above ground pools to in ground pools, a swimming pool cover is something that you absolutely must have. There are many different types available, designed to fit all swimming pools. Before you buy a swimming pool cover you should first look at the package and make sure that it will work with your swimming pool. Some types of swimming pool covers may not work with your swimming pool -- which makes it all the more important to double check. How To Inspect Your Pool With several different swimming pool designs and equipment out there, thinking in terms of safety can be very confusing. From different swimming pool liners to buying different toys, you surely have a lot to choose from. You can always ask questions at a local supply shop to find out more, as the experts there can surely help you. There are a lot of needs with swimming pools, especially when you get everything you need. The first thing to do when inspecting your swimming pool is to figure out your average depth. Your average depth will help you determine your swimming pool capacity. You can figure out your average depth by adding the deep end to the shallow end, then dividing by 2. The average depth tells you a lot about your swimming pool, including the design and capacity. Once you know your average depth, you can pretty much buy any accessory you need without any problems. Your design of swimming pool will help you in choosing the best cover for your swimming pool. There are a few covers to choose from, most of which vary from season to season. You can use different covers for summer, spring, and winter, each one offering you something different in terms of protection. Nearly all supply shops have a lot of covers to choose from, and as long as you know your design -- you can further inspect your pool and select the right cover. Once you know your average depth and capacity for your swimming pool, you can move on to other inspections. The liner is next, as it protects the quality of your water. A liner will maintain the pH level of your water, and help prevent algae from forming and growing. When you inspect your pool to select a liner, you should think in terms of material. Most are plastic or vinyl, and can provide you plenty of attraction along with great protection as well. With your swimming pool, you'll also need to think and inspect your swimming pool in terms of safety. If you have a belowground swimming pool, you should always remember that it can attract a lot of visitors. Due to this fact, you should always have someone watching the pool, or an adult around at all times who can swim. Or, you can simply use a locking gate that surrounds your pool to keep people out of it when you aren't around. Another area of swimming pools that most people find enjoyable are the toys and accessories. The more must have accessories and toys are goggles, as they will help little children protect their eyes from the chlorine. You can also find several different types of floats as well, as they are fun to lay on and also help kids stay afloat. Swimming belts and water wings are great as well. If you have thought about adding toys to your pool, you should always look around and shop for the best prices. Inspecting your swimming pool can be fun, although it is something that you simply must do. You can inspect in terms of maintenance as well, although you'll need to inspect your pool before you buy any type of equipment or other things for you pool. When you visit your local pool supply store you'll need to know different things, which is the reason for inspecting. Inspecting your swimming pool doesn't take a lot of time -- yet it is something that you simply must do if you want to get the best out of your swimming pool. Cut your Pool Maintenance Time down with a Robotic Cleaner People love to have a swimming pool to call their own, but they often don't like all of the work that is associated with it. Of course it is understandable why someone would rather be spending their free time in the water instead of cleaning the water. Yet cleaning is an inevitable part of having a lovely swimming pool you can spend time in. One way you can reduce that time you spend though is to use a robotic cleaner. This is a type of device that will do the dirty work for you. While you will still have some aspects of your swimming pool to clean, you won't be doing as much. These robotic cleaners have definitely improved over the years as well. The newer models are smart enough to be able to detect the size and the shape of the swimming pool you have. They can be customized to take care of all your cleaning needs. You can program to complete specific cleaning patterns. It can also be a different pattern in a different area of our swimming pool. It is really amazing to watch these machines work because the technology involved with them is very advanced. It is almost like they have an actual brain that they use to logically move on to the next location that needs to be cleaned in your swimming pool. Imagine not having to spend hours cleaning the sides and bottom of your swimming pool. All of the bacteria and algae will be taken care of by the robotic cleaner. As a result will also find your chemical levels stay where they should with less variations to worry about. Still, you do need to be consistent when it comes to checking them just in case. One of the reasons why people have been hesitant to buy these robotic cleaners though is the high price. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that not only have they gotten better over the years but they have gotten cheaper. You can buy a very good model of robotic cleaner for a very good price. It is definitely worth the time you will save. To help you save even more time, consider a robotic vacuuming system as well. It will go around our swimming pool and remove dirt and debris. In fact, you can find combination ones that remove dirt, debris, bacteria, and algae. They are a great price for all these features, and you will save a ton of time on the maintenance of your swimming pool. Look for one with a great reputation as well as an outstanding warranty. Periodically watch your robotic cleaners to be sure they are doing a good job. If you experience any problems contact the manufacturer. It is important to only use them as directed. Otherwise you risk injury, ruining the equipment, and damaging your swimming pool. Keep in mind there are quite a few models to choose from so take your time to see what is out there. Many swimming pool dealers and supply locations will have these robotic cleaners on display. You can watch them in action and that can help you to decide what you want to buy. Take the time to read about what other consumers have to say about them as well. Look for common themes that indicate people are happy with them or that the product leaves much to be desired. This way you won't be disappointed at what the robotic cleaner you purchase has to offer. Common Water Problems with Swimming Pools that you can Solve Even with careful maintenance there can be unexpected events that take place with the water in your pool. Being able to resolve them on your own is very important. It will save you both time and money. You will also get more enjoyment out of your swimming pool because you won't become stressed out every time something is amiss. It is very important that you strive to resolve issues though right away. They can continue to compound if you don't. Many people assume that cloudy water in the swimming pool is a sign that no one has been taking care of it. In many instances it is the sign that your filter isn't doing its job like it should. Take the time to check it and make sure there isn't a build up of debris you need to remove. You also need to make sure the filter you are using is right for your size of swimming pool. You may discover you simply need to have the filtering system on more time each day than you currently do. If your pool is used often by many people then you will definitely want to increase the filtering time to get rid of all the oils and debris that will be in your water. Some individuals have clear water but they can see black spots in it. This is a sign that a type of algae is starting to form. The sooner you act on this the better as it can spread very quickly. You will want to shock the water as soon as you notice these black spots appearing. You will also want to scrub the locations by hand or with a robotic cleaner daily for about a week to prevent the algae from coming back. Signs of reddish brown have also been noted in swimming pools. This is an indication that you have too much iron present in the water. There are some good chemicals specifically to remove iron. You want to get rid of it as soon as you can so that it won't permanently stain your swimming pool. The additional iron may just be something you have to deal with ongoing if the water in your area contains higher than normal amounts of it. You simply don't have any other choice about the water to use in order to fill up the swimming pool. You shouldn't find your eyes or your skin to be irritated by the chlorine in the water. If that is the case there is something out of balance. If you haven't completed a shock recently then this is the time to do it. The next day you want to test your chlorine level. Too many owners assume that they are adding too much chlorine and that is why they have the irritation. As a result the cut back on the recommended amount to use. Don't be tempted to do this as it won't get you the results you are after. When you notice problems with the look or smell of the water in your swimming pool you need to take action. The early warning signs are your chance to get everything back under control right away. If you ignore the problems they will only escalate in nature and they can be expensive to take care of when they do. Choosing the Right Type of Swimming Pool Filter One of the essential tools that will assist you with keeping your swimming pool clean is the filter. It is worth it to invest in a very good one to help you keep things as clean as possible. If the filtering system isn't up to par you will find it very difficult to enjoy your swimming pool. You may find you are spending more time cleaning it than enjoying being in it. That isn't what any homeowner had envisioned when they decided to buy a swimming pool. Hopefully you got a great swimming pool filter when you purchased the set up. If not, you aren't destined to suffering for it though. These filters come in all sizes so you will need to find out which size you need for your swimming pool. You will also need to know the basics of the three types of filters offered. That way you can make a well informed decision about which one is going to serve your needs the most. While you can consult with the dealer for the swimming pool supplies, keep in mind that they are going to try to sell you what they want to promote. So having some basic facts about the types of filters is going to be in your favor. That way you can tell them what you are looking for instead of asking them what they recommend. All swimming pool filters belong to one of three categories -- sand, cartridge, and Diatomaceous Earth commonly referred to as DE. With a sand swimming pool filter the water gets pushed through sand to remove debris from it. There are tubes at the bottom of the filter that bring the water in and out. This process will result in the water that is dirty being pushed down while clean water is pushed upwards. You do need to check a sand filter often though to make sure there isn't a build up of debris. When that occurs the water won't be pushed in at the same rate as it should. Therefore you will find that there is dirty water all over instead of just at the bottom of the swimming pool. While this type of filtering system is inexpensive, it isn't always the best method. This is because the filter doesn't always get all the debris out of the water. Some decent sized pieces can find their way back into the pool. A better alternative for you may be the cartridge pool filter. This works with a type of cartridge encased in a cylinder. This cartridge is what grabs and holds onto the debris that is collected. They are able to filter large amounts of water in less time than with a sand filter. They also don't have to be cleaned as often because they can hold more debris. So if you are looking for a way to clean your pool and cut down on the time you spend on such tasks this could work well for you. You should clean them out once a month when you are using your swimming pool on a regular basis. You can take out the cartridge and gently wash it with water. Don't use high pressure on it though as that can result in it being torn and damaged. You should inspect the cartridge each time you clean it out. Replace it when it starts to show signs of wear. Many swimming pool owners are able to use the same one for six months to a year before replacing it. The DE swimming pool filter is more complex but it also works the best. It involves tiny diatoms being active inside of the filter to collect dirt and debris. This process is able to get rid of even the finest grains of dirt which means your pool will be the cleanest it possibly can. You will have to watch the pressure gauge so that you can complete the backwash process for this type of pool filter as well. While these types of filters are the most expensive those consumers with them don't seem to have any complaints about how well they work. Choose your Swimming Pool Carefully so Maintenance will be a Breeze There are many factors that people consider when they look for a swimming pool. The size and shape of it are very important. They have to decide if they want it to be above ground or below it. They have to decide if they want a salt water swimming pool or one that requires chlorine to keep it clean enough to safely swim in. One aspect that is often overlooked though is the maintenance. Do yourself a favor and consider this part of the equation before you buy any type of swimming pool. You don't want to love the size and shape of the pool but dread the cleaning process. It will be something ongoing you have to take the time for so it can't be avoided. Taking your time is a key point too. Don't get in a rush to have a swimming pool because what you get may not be right for you. Finding what you will be happy with is the most important aspect to consider. It is common knowledge that the larger the swimming pool the more work it will be to clean it. Talk to several qualified swimming pool manufacturers and dealers. Don't let them talk you into a larger size of swimming pool than you want to be responsible to care for. Ask direct questions about how much time you will have to spend on routine maintenance. Ask how much you can anticipate spending each month on the required chemicals for it as well. These types of consultations don't cost anything so take advantage of them. Talk to several independent locations to see what answers you get. Hopefully you will get information that is parallel from each place which will give it more credibility. If you get conflicting information make sure you do independent research before you decide on which type of swimming pool to invest in. Buying a swimming pool can be quite a large investment. It can be tempting to cut corners but refrain from doing so. It can result in more money being spent down the road. It can also become a major headache as far as your maintenance is concerned. You want a good quality swimming pool that is going to hold up well to the elements. You also want one that has accessories such as a pump and filter that you can rely on to last for years. You do need to be ready to invest time and money to properly care for your swimming pool though. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can rush through these tasks because you won't be able to. In time they will get faster to complete but they do require your full concentration. You need to ask yourself if you want a swimming pool badly enough to be committed to maintaining it properly. If you choose your swimming pool carefully, then maintenance will be a breeze. The more informed you are about what your role will be the better decision you can make. You want having your own swimming pool to be something you are happy you did, not something that just consumes your time to take care of. It is very easy to clean out this type of swimming pool filter though. Basic Tools to help you Keep your Swimming Pool well Cared for In order to care for your swimming pool properly, you need to have the right tools readily available. Without them you won't get the same quality of results that you need. There are swimming pool tool kits you can buy that come with all the basics. Generally you will find that you do save money this way as well versus buying them one at a time. Do yourself a favor though and buy good quality tools. That way they will last you can be confident they will assist you with getting the job done. You will need a skimmer which is basically a net attached to a very long pole. This allows you to skim the top of the water to remove leaves and other floating debris. Get it all out of there as soon as you can. The length of the handle you need will depend on the size of your swimming pool. You certainly want it to be long enough that you can reach the middle of the swimming pool without a struggle. Even if your swimming pool has a surface filter for this purpose you will find there are objects you need to remove on your own. Make sure you check that filter often too as it can easily become clogged due to the amount of debris it collects. You also need a vacuum so you can remove the dirt and debris that finds its way to the bottom of the swimming pool as well. Even if you can't see it, there is a good chance it is there. You don't want to get into the swimming pool and feel gritty debris under your feet. You need a brush head that fits onto a pole too. This way you can scrub the walls of the swimming pole. The floor should also get a good cleaning occasionally this way as well. This way you can eliminate any types of algae that may be forming there but not yet visible. There are some electronic devices now for swimming pools that do this for you. If you get one make sure it is compatible with your type of swimming pool. Testing kits are essential so you can check the level of chlorine, Ph levels, and more in your water. Staying on top of them will help ensure your pool is always in good shape for a person to get into. Not testing can result in your swimming pool becoming damaged. It can also result in you having to drain the water out of it, clean it, and then refill it which is both expensive and time consuming. You may find you want to buy some additional tools in order to make the process of maintaining your swimming pool better. Start out with the basics though and then go from there. Keep in mind that there is no way around taking good care of it though. Don't be taken for a ride by advertisements for products that fail to deliver. Take the time to research any tools you want to buy for maintaining your swimming pool. There are plenty of reviews by businesses and consumers to be found online. You also want to make sure you only use such tools for the right purposes. Failure to do so can result in them being ruined as well as your swimming pool being damaged. Are you Ready to Care for a Swimming Pool? Having your own swimming pool can be a wonderful treat. You can enjoy it when you want and not have to share with the public. You can also host terrific parties and barbeques with swimming as an option for your guests. However, before you have one installed or you but one that sits above ground you need to make sure you are ready to care for the swimming pool. Regular maintenance is essential so that the water is the right temperature and it is clean. If you don't take the time to care for the swimming pool as you should it isn't going to last you very long. It is also going to be very expensive for you to continually drain it out and refill it. A common problem is that people just don't take the time to learn how to properly care for it. While they are putting in the effort they simply go about it the wrong way. There are certain types of chemicals that you will need to use for your swimming pool. Buying quality products is essential if you want your swimming pool to be the best it can be. While you can buy lower cost products, you need to make sure they are equal in quality as the name brands. Take the time to read the labels so you can verify that the ingredients are the same. With the busy schedule people have, you will need to document when it is time to add more of the various chemicals to your swimming pool. Exact measurements are essential in order to keep everything balanced in the swimming pool. With the busy schedule people have, you will need to document when it is time to add more of the various chemicals to your swimming pool. Exact measurements are essential in order to keep everything balanced in the swimming pool. With the busy schedule people have, you will need to document when it is time to add more of the various chemicals to your swimming pool. Exact measurements are essential in order to keep everything balanced in the swimming pool. With the busy schedule people have, you will need to document when it is time to add more of the various chemicals to your swimming pool. Exact measurements are essential in order to keep everything balanced in the swimming pool. Don't be in such a hurry that you don't do things correctly the first time. Otherwise it can end up costing you a ton of money as well as a huge chunk of time to resolve later one. Each week you will need to remove dirt and debris from your swimming pool. You can use a skimmer to get the stuff off the top of it. They come with very long handles and a net so you can reach all the areas of your swimming pool without getting inside of it. There are also vacuums that will suction up dirt and debris from the floor of your swimming pool. The amount of effort you will have to put into that depends on many factors. You may have a swimming pool with an automatic cleaning system. This will do most of the work for you. However, there will be areas that you need to give attention to due to them not being able to work well in corners and such. If it is windy in your area then you will also find you have more debris to reckon with on a regular basis. If you want to get the most enjoyment out of your swimming pool then you must take care of it. You need to take the time to evaluate this part of things before you commit to getting a swimming pool. That way you will know what is in store for you. All of the maintenance is going to be well worth it though when you get to enjoy relaxing and playing in your own swimming pool. All About Swimming Pool Heaters To extend the swimming season after summer has come and gone, many people are turning to swimming pool heaters. A heater is great to have, especially with colder days. If you've thought about buying a heater for your swimming pool, there are probably a lot of things that you've found yourself wondering. When using a pool heater, you can adjust the temperature of your pool water to virtually any level that you are comfortable with. The recommended temperature for a pool is 78 degrees, although most people prefer to have their water just a bit warmer, around 80 degrees. The choice is up to you, as you can't really go wrong with either of the two. During the year, the sun can only get your pool water so hot for a somewhat brief period of time. When summer ends and things start to cool off, your heater can help you make swimming last longer. If you live in the north, you can actually double your swimming season. Those living in warmer climates, such as Arizona and California can actually triple the amount of swimming by using a heater with their pool. Even though you may be using a swimming pool heater, you should still invest in a swimming pool cover as well. A cover can help to protect against loss of heat from the pool, holding the heat of water inside the pool instead of letting it out. The fact is, a good cover that has plenty of insulation can actually reduce the amount of heat loss you experience with your water. There are a few different types of heaters available, although gas fired heaters running off LP gas seem to be the most common. Heaters such as this are easily the least expensive to buy, and also the cheapest to run over time. Oil is another way to heat your pool, and it is common in areas that you are unable to buy gas fired heaters. Other pools choose to run off electricity. Electricity is a great way to heat your pool, although it can easily be the most expensive to run and take the most amount of time to properly maintain. Last but not least, there's the solar pool heater. Solar heaters may sound like the ideal way to heat a pool for some, simply because it uses the sun to heat, helping to save money. Even though it may sound like the ideal way to heat a pool, it actually has quite a few disadvantages when you compare it to other types of heaters. You'll discover one flaw when you go to purchase one -- you'll see that they cost nearly half the amount of your swimming pool! Even though solar powered heaters sound the best, they truly aren't. To get the most out of a solar powered heater you'll need to have large electric pump, which can cost you quite a bit of money. The pump delivers the water from your pool to the solar panels, which will in turn heat up the water. Once you have finished setting up a solar powered heater, you'll have invested thousands in it -- which makes it something you should really try to avoid. In the world of swimming pool heaters, gas fired heaters remain the best and most cost efficient ways to heat a swimming pool. These heaters can be found locally, or on the Internet. They won't cost you a lot of money to purchase, and they are very user friendly. Even if you are new to pool heaters -- you won't have any trouble using your new gas fired pool heater. Adding Value To Your Home With A Pool Even though swimming pools are mostly though of as enjoyment, exercise, and relaxing on hot days, they are also a great way to enhance the value of your home. If you've thought of selling your home or just enhancing the value, a swimming pool may very well be a wise investment. In ground pools are a great way to add to the value of your home. They may cost a lot of money, although they come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and they also give you the most versatility. You can choose to have a shallow end for children and those who are learning to swim, then add a deep end on the other side for diving boards and lap swimming. Above ground swimming pools on the other hand are much cheaper, although they require a deck and privacy fencing for those who want their privacy. Adding a deck around your above ground pool will raise the value of your home as well. Even though above ground pools aren't that deep, they are great enjoying yourself on a hot day, or just getting out there and splashing water with your family and friends. Instead of going with a swimming pool, you can also choose a hot tub. Hot tubs cost quite a bit of money, although they are an excellent way to relax. Hot tubs have been well known over the years to enhance the value of property. You can relax in a heated hot tub with your other half, or just let your kids relax in the tub with non heated water. Even though a hot tub is a great investment, most people looking to add value to their home choose to go with an in ground swimming pool. In ground pools cost the most money, adding instant value to your home. If you are planning to install an in ground pool, you should pay very close to the location, as this will impact the value. Normally, in ground pools work the best and bring the most value if they are installed behind your home, with a fence going around them. Keep in mind, that installing an in ground pool will take quite a bit of time. It also involves digging up your yard, which is why you want to select a location for it where nothing runs under the ground. When your contractor looks at your property before installing the pool, he will go over that sort of thing with you. Once the pool is installed and everything is set up, you should have your home appraised and see what the value is. Truth be told -- you may find yourself simply amazed at just how much value a pool can add to your home. Above Ground Swimming Pools Swimming pools are very popular these days, proving to be one of the best investments you can make for your home and your family. If you live in an area that is known for a hot climate, a swimming pool can be an ideal way to cool off. You can have friends over at your pool to have fun, or use it to teach your kids how to swim. Although many people prefer an in ground pool, an above ground pool is just as good -- if not better. Above ground swimming pools are well known for three reasons -- safety, installation, and maintenance. All types of swimming pools can be a chore to maintain, as you have to clean it on a daily basis and ensure that you have the right balance of chemicals in the water. You also have to keep an eye on the temperature as well, and keep objects such as leaves out of the water. Above ground pools are easier to maintain for the simple reason of being above ground. In ground pools are down low, meaning that debris can easily get into it, and animals such as dogs, cats, and even squirrels have easy access to it. Above ground pools on the other hand are a bit higher up, and make it hard for animals and debris to gain access to the water. Those of you who are looking for a pool that requires less maintenance -- should look into an above ground swimming pool. Above ground pools are also safer for children as well. Children can easily fall into in ground pools, for the simple fact that they are low to the ground. With an above ground pool, children have to climb a ladder before they can get in the water. This can make it hard for children to gain access, which is exactly what you want. If you have young children at your house, you can count on an above ground pool to provide a sense of security. Unlike in ground pools, above ground swimming pools are much easier to install, as you can do it yourself. You can choose a professional if you like, although above ground pools are so easy to install that anyone can do it. With these types of pools, there is no digging up your yard or other dangers involved. All you need to do is clean off an area of your property for the pool, then set everything up. It normally takes just a few hours to set up your pool, which makes it a very time efficient way of having a swimming pool. Above ground pools are also cost efficient as well. Most above ground swimming pools cost nearly 1/4 the price of an in ground pool, making them affordable for even those who on a tight budget. There are several sizes to choose from, from the smallest and cheapest to the largest. Even if you get a large model, the prices are still very affordable. This way, your entire family can have a pool to enjoy in the summer without going broke in the process. With an above ground swimming pool, you can spend quality time with your family without leaving your home. Even though there are responsibilities and maintenance involved with a swimming pool, it's well worth it. If you have been looking for a great swimming pool, you can rest assured that an above ground pool is well worth the time -- and the money. 3 Chemicals You Need Every pool owner has to deal with chemicals at some point in time. When dealing with chemicals, there are a few things that you should know. No matter how many chemicals you have, you should never attempt to mix them together. Also, you should never try to add water to dry chemicals of any form. Last but not least, you should never under any circumstances attempt to handle chemicals with your bare hands. Throughout your time of owning a pool, there are 3 chemicals that you simply must have for your pool. These chemicals are very important, as you'll be using them quite frequently. 1. Chlorine tablets Chlorine tablets come in dimensions of either 1 inch or 3 inch. Chlorine tablets go in your skimmer, normally 3 -- 4 tablets at a time. During the summer, when you run your pool on a daily basis, you'll need to change out your tablets every week or so. If you are planning to use 2 skimmers, you'll need around 8 tablets each week. You can buy chlorine tablets by the bucket, containing 30 -- 50 tablets. They can tend to get expensive, around $80.00 a bucket, so you'll need to have plenty of money to invest in your pool during the summer. 2. Alkaline powder Even though chlorine in your water will help to kill off germs, it can also raise the level of acid in your pool. If you aren't using enough alkaline, parts that contain metal will begin to corrode, turning your water a misty green color. On the other hand, if you are using too much alkaline powder, the water will get very cloudy, raising the level of germs in the water -- which can lead to very dangerous health issues. In order to get the right about of alkaline powder in your pool water, you should always use brand name alkaline powders in the amount recommended by the package. 3. Chlorine powder Chlorine powder is essential to killing germs such as algae and bacteria that exist in your pool and multiply at very fast speeds. To kill off these germs, you'll need to use a large amount of chlorine powder in your water. Depending on the size of your pool, you may need to use more powder than others. Chlorine powder can tend to be expensive, so you should always check how much you need before you buy. This is a chemical you must have, as it's impossible to keep your pool free of germs without it. If you have already bought it or if you plan to buy a large supply, you shouldn't worry as you'll always have the need for it -- meaning that you can never buy enough chlorine powder. Winterizing Your Swimming Pool Once fall ends and winter begins to rear it's ugly head, it will be time to shut your pool down. When shutting your pool down, the first step will be the water. You should begin by checking your pH level, and making sure that it is around 7.5. If it isn't, simply add some dry acid. You should also check your chlorine as well, and use a winterizing product to make sure that your pool will be protected from algae during the few months that you won't be swimming. During the winter months, you should run your pump for around 6 hours a day, to ensure that the algae doesn't settle in. You should also go ahead and check for any types of leaks as well, then switch your skimmer valve off and let the water drain to around 6 inches below the skimmer's bottom. This way, you'll have the preferred amount of water in your pool. If you are using a summer cover, take it down and give it a good cleaning using fresh water and a pressure washer if you have access to one. Once you have cleaned the cover really good, go ahead and put it in your building or garage and break out your winter cover. When you put your winter cover on the pool, make sure that you have plenty of tension on the cover, to prevent anything from getting under it. Although you may have put the cover on tight, you should still check it every couple of days to make sure that it is still tight. Remind your family and friends that you have closed your pool down for the winter, and that they shouldn't be around it. Pool covers are designed to protect your pool and the water -- they aren't made for safety. Never, under any circumstances should you let a pet or a person on the cover. Once you have finished with the cover, it is time for the equipment. You'll need to drain the water from your pump, heater, and your filter. Each one should have a drain plug located somewhere near the bottom, which makes it easy to drain the water out. You should never forget to do this, as the water can freeze inside of your equipment during the cold months of winter and result in permanent damage of your equipment. Once you have finished getting your swimming pool ready for winter, you can relax knowing that your pool is protected. Keeping a check on it every few days will ensure that nothing has happened. Once summer starts to arrive again, you can get your pool ready for summer and prepare to open it up again. If you've done things right -- your pool will be ready to go in no time at all. Enjoying Your Pool Year Round The beauty and relaxation provided by a swimming pool is nothing short of spectacular. On a hot day, a pool can be a blessing. On the other hand, a swimming pool can also be a headache if it isn't cared for properly. Swimming pools require a lot of maintenance, including time and money. No matter what type of pool you have, you'll need to perform regular maintenance on it. By owning a swimming pool, you assume the task of keeping your pool clean and safe for yourself and anyone who swims in it. Maintaining your pool doesn't have to be a hard task or consume a lot of time, if you know what you are doing. If you follow the advice of a professional and perform regular maintenance on your pool, you'll keep it healthy year round. To put it bluntly, you should check on your chemical balance from time to time, and make sure that the water is safe for swimming. You'll need to ensure that you keep debris out of your pool, and that the water remains healthy. If you filter your water on a frequent basis, you can keep the chemicals moving about and keep the water safe for swimming. The weather outside and how often you use your pool will greatly contribute to the condition of your water. If you don't have your chemicals balanced properly, the sun can quickly turn your water to a green, musty color. If you live in an area that is known for hot weather, you'll need to make sure that you keep your chemicals properly balanced at all times. A swimming pool will naturally attract leaves, insects, dust, hair, and other forms of debris. No matter what you do about it, you can never prevent things from getting in your water. If you don't clean your pool on a regular basis, the pollutants that get in the water can lead to bacteria and algae, which will quickly destroy your water. If you sanitize and clean your pool on a regular basis, you'll help to keep it clean and free from bacteria and algae buildup. If you don't have the time to clean your pool yourself, you can always leave it to a professional. Professional pool cleaners don't come cheap, although they will clean your water and your pool, and ensure that your chemicals are properly balanced. You can schedule a time for a cleaner to do his job, normally once a week or so. Once you have started using a professional, you may find his services great and never want to go back to cleaning your pool yourself. With the help of a professional -- you can rest assured that your pool will stay clean year round.
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