Cleaning The Swimming Pool this Spring
Are algae problems getting you down? Follow these steps to make your pool water crystal clear again!
There is no better escape from the stress of living through COVID-19 than jumping in the pool! If an algae problem is keeping you from swimming, follow these four steps to make your pool water crystal clear again.
What is algae?
Algae is a unique type of plant-like organism that blooms in water. It tends to grow in stagnant water or dark, moist places. Algae often bloom on pool walls and floors. You can even find it growing on your pool steps, under the ladder, or in small nooks and crannies along the corners and walls.
How do you get rid of pool algae?
Determine the Type of Algae
What you need to do to solve your pool’s algae problem depends on the type of algae growing in your pool. Three types of algae can grow in pools: green algae, yellow or mustard algae, and black algae.
Green algae is the most common type found in swimming pools. Usually, green algae growth is caused by water with a high pH and inadequate levels of sanitizer (chlorine). Green algae often grow in sheets along the walls of the pool though it can also be free-floating in the water. It is the easiest algae to get rid of. You can brush it off the walls with a sponge. If you have a low level of algae growth, you can kill it by simply decreasing the water’s pH level and increasing the chlorine or adding a little algaecide. If your pool water has turned dark green because of high amounts of algae, you will need to shock your pool to kill it.
Yellow or Mustard Algae
Yellow or mustard algae isn’t as common. It tends to grow in pools that don’t get a lot of sun exposure or have shaded areas. You might mistake it for sand or pollen when you first notice it. Yellow algae also grows on pool walls. It’s harder to get rid of than green algae. You will need to triple-shock your pool to get rid of it. If you don’t hit it with enough chemicals to kill it, you may end up battling it throughout the swimming season.
Black algae is the toughest to get rid of. If you notice dark black spots on your pool walls, you’ve got black algae. It may seem easy to remove but the black spots on the surface are only the outer layer. This type of algae grows roots that burrow through the plaster of the pool wall. To kill it, you need to use a stiff pool brush that will remove the outer layer of the algae and help the chemical reach the roots. After you brush down the walls, you will need to triple-shock the pool and use an algaecide.
Identify the Stage of Algae Growth
The stage of algae growth is as important as the algae type. It also determines how much pool shock you’ll need to use. There are three stages of algae growth. You can determine which stage your pool is in by the color of the water.
Your pool water will look light green or only have small clusters of algae if it’s in stage 1. Stage 1 algae can be eliminated with a standard amount of pool shock.
Dark green water or large patches of algae are indicators that you have stage 2 algae growth. To tackle stage 2 algae growth, you’ll need to vacuum out algae and debris in the pool. Then triple-shock your pool even if you only have green algae.
Black green water or widespread algae growth are indicators that you have stage 3 algae growth. To make your water crystal clear again, you should follow the same steps as stage 2 algae. On top of that, you will need to continually filter, clean, and backwash your pool water for 2 to 3 3 weeks until it is clear.
Shock Your Pool
Pool shock is a large dose of chlorine that rapidly kills contaminates in the water. Before you shock your pool, test the water. If the pH level is high, use Hydrochloric Acid or ph Down Tablets to decrease the pH. This will make the chlorine more effective.
After the pH level comes down, you can add pool shock to your pool. For stage 1 green algae, you should use 1 pound of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water in the pool. For any other type or stage of algae, triple-shock the pool with 3 pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. (If your pool has a vinyl liner, be sure to dilute any chemicals you use in water before adding them to your pool. This will prevent the liner from being damaged.)
If you have a saltwater pool, add 2-4 bags of salt to the chlorinator and turn it up to 100% for a couple of days. Repeat this process until the water is clear.
Once your water looks clear, add chlorine stabilizer (also known as UV Block out or Cyanuric Acid). This will prevent the sun from sucking up the chlorine in the water.
Use an Algaecide (if needed)
Algaecides are designed to directly kill algae using a combination of chlorine and acid. If your pool has black algae, it’s a good idea to pick up an algaecide that’s designed to target it. You can use a general algaecide to tackle yellow algae or green algae. (If your pool only has stage 1 green algae, you can skip this step).
Follow the instructions on the package to determine the amount your pool needs. For stage 2 or 3 algae growth, it’s a good idea to treat your pool with algaecide once a week for 2 to 3 weeks until the water is completely clear. We don’t recommend using it
The four steps to defeating pool algae are simple:
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