Preparing the Pool for Your Baby’s First Swim

If your baby loves the water; then there is no time to waste. Water babies are not afraid of anything and will swim with the best of them, but if they’ve just started holding their head straight, it’s probably a good idea to make sure that the pool is well-equipped to make your bundle of joy safe and happy for their first swim.

Although your baby is strong enough to withstand the surprise of their first swim and even love it; as a new parent, you need to make sure that your pool is safe and secure for your baby to splash around in. So what are the first things you should look out for when you’re preparing for your child’s first swim?

Preparing the Pool for Your Baby’s First SwimFirstly, make sure that the water is heated properly. Most people take their babies for their first swim when they’re six months old, but you need to remember that your baby has relatively sensitive skin as compared to older children, which means that their body temperature won’t change gradually like ours, but will have quick fluctuations.

Many people use pool heaters from companies such as Hayward, Pentair, Jandy, Raypak and Sta-Rite to keep the water temperature regulated. If the water is at a proper temperature, than the baby’s body temperature will stay steady, making the water comfortable. Just make sure to keep the water warm, not hot; and with a proper pool heater, the temperature will stay regulated so that your baby doesn’t feel overheated.

Secondly, make sure that your pool is clean. A baby is very sensitive to dust or dirt, and if they haven’t had their complete course of allergy shots yet, they can get a bad reaction. Use a good quality pool filter to pull out all the dust and debris, leaving your pool water clean and pristine. Keep an eye on that pool filter though. If you feel like it isn’t working the way it was before, have it replaced. Nothing is more important than your baby’s health.

Your pool should also be equipped with a good quality pool cleaner from dependable brands such as Kreepy Krauly, SmartPool or Polaris so that it works alongside your pool filters to keep the water clean.

Thirdly, make sure your pool is properly chlorinated. It’s not harmful for your baby to be exposed to chlorine this early so you shouldn’t worry about it. Chlorine is used to keep the water clean because it kills all the bacteria and helps in controlling the algae spread in your pool water. A properly chlorinated pool helps in keeping the walls and the bottom of the pool clean so when you take your baby into the water for the first time, you know they won’t be harmed in any way.

Lastly, make sure you have the necessary safety gear such as a personal flotation device (PFD) which fits your baby perfectly properly and is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Make sure the baby has it on at all times so that they can splash around to their heart’s content.

Your baby’s safety and health is your first priority, and with the proper pool equipment, you can make sure that their first swim is a moment you will cherish forever.

Spa and Hot Tub Maintenance

Spa and Hot Tub Maintenance is very important from removing dirt to replacing spa water or cleaning out the filter, knowing the basic steps to maintaining your spa is key. Using a mild non-abrasive cleaner and soft rag is an effective combination when it comes to cleaning your spa. Baking soda can also help clean small spots. Vinyl covers also need maintenance as well and this can be done with a hose and some mild soap or baking soda solution. Remember to always shower without soap before soaking in your hot tub, to prevent residue like detergent from entering your spa. Routine light cleaning each month is an effective means of managing your spa’s maintenance.

Cleaning the filter cartridges can help calcification and its tendency to clog up filtration systems. Make sure to use a hose to spray each cartridge to cleanse it of any debris and use a filter cleaner afterwards. It is good practice to get a replacement filter every three years as well. Overtime debris, dirt and residue will eventually build up and any kind of spa cleaning will keep the water clean for so long. Drain and refill the hot tub to keep your spa water fresh, but do so following the spa’s owners manual and its instructions.

The Many Shades of Algae

Algae’s rapid growth rate can be explained through the symbiotic relationship it shares with most bacteria. Bacteria in swimming pools require oxygen to create carbon dioxide. Unfortunately for pool owners, algae can use carbon dioxide to produce the oxygen bacteria requires and perpetuate an endless cycle of blooming. Wind and rain can introduce the unsightly plant life into your swimming pool, but spotting the early sign of an algae outbreak will mean less headaches in the future. About 30,000 varieties of algae exist, but this hefty count can be simplified into three categories of swimming pool algae.

Green algae is the fastest growing and it usually floats, but can stick to walls. A hazy tint to the water and slippery feel on the sides of the pool, are just some of the early warning signs that green algae is tainting your swimming pool’s water. Mustard or yellow algae is a more serious problem, as a few days of careless maintenance will afford the algae enough time to become chlorine resistant. It tends to grow in the shaded areas of your pool, forming a deposit of the powdery substance. If you happen to find 1 to 3 centimeter dark blue-green spots on your pool, black algae is the culprit. This variation forms layers in which chlorine may be able to penetrate the outer or first layer, but not the numerous ones protected underneath it. Black algae’s growth takes more time than the other two, but it is the most difficult one to treat a swimming pool from, as it extremely chlorine resistant.

Preparing Your Pool for Summer

Without the proper knowledge on how to open a pool for the summer, you risk the health of both swimmers and your pool. Ensure that your pool is both properly operable and chemically safe. Never empty your pool even if you live in a cold climate, unless your pool hasn’t been covered and there are too many leaves under the swimming pool. Draining can bring up problematic situations, in which an empty pool won’t have the water necessary to hold down and prevent the pool from lifting. Not being cautious will make a complete pool replacement both necessary and costly.

While your cleaning up the baskets and starting up the filtration system, keep the cover on. Before running the filter, you may need to cleanse it and reassemble it. If your pool has a sand filter, backwash it and then leave it on the normal setting. Remove the cartridge filter as well and use a hose to rinse it. Taking a water sample to your local swimming pool store, will provide you with professional advice on what adjustments are needed in your alkalinity, pH, and chlorine levels. Cleaning the filter is a daily task that has to be done, until the water is no longer cloudy and you can see the bottom floor of the swimming pool. After clearing up the water with the recommended amount of chlorine, you can remove the cover and have the pool vacuumed for any left over debris.

The Right Color Is No Color

Ensuring that the filter can handle the size of your pool and that the pump isn’t oversized, is crucial to figuring out whether or not the water’s being cleaned effectively or not. Pool water can be murky because the sand filter is not working properly. This can be verified by simply finding any deposit of sand at the bottom of the pool. Low chlorine or too high of a pH level, could also be failing to kill off algae or fight bacteria quickly enough. Murky water is also a first sign of the early stages of algae growth before it begins blooms and the cloudy appearance can also be the result of dead algae. Ideally you will want to be able to see a quarter at the bottom of the pool without much difficulty.

Purchasing a new filter will resolve the mechanical issue, but if it’s a chemical imbalance problem make sure to use a clarifier and regularly pool shock. Don’t seek bargain practice when it comes to pool shock though since the chemicals in cheaper products tend to be weaker. Using a swimming pool clarifier will help to remove any particles causing the water to become murky or cloudy. Imbalance in the calcium hardness and pH levels are two additional reasons for murky water.  If the calcium content in your pool is too high, consider replacing the water in your pool with a fresher water source with lower calcium hardness levels. Increasing or decreasing the pH levels in your pool should be done gradually to avoid overshooting your desired result. Having the filter run eight to ten hours a day is helpful in maintaining the clear appearance of your pool’s water and is a great preventative measure to practice daily.

Chlorine Lingo and Tips

Chlorine can be purchased in the form of three-inch tablets, one-inch tablets, sticks, grains or liquid in bottles. Products that are listed as sodium hypochlorite are liquid chlorines and those labeled calcium hypochlorite are solid chlorine forms. Three-inch tablets are the most common form of chlorine used by most pool owners and are also the most inexpensive. They dissolve slowly though, so  most pool owners prefer one-inch tablets since they work best for above ground pools, small in ground pools and spas. If you plan on buying cheap chlorine tablets, binders in the product don’t allow the tablets to maintain their shape and instead cause them to crumble in two or more days. Granular chlorine works as an alternative, but inorganic chlorine needs to be dissolved in a bucket of water before you put in the pool. It has to be done almost every day and the same goes for chlorine with organic compounds.

Cyanuric acid can be used as a more stable alternative as well, since it can’t be easily broken down by the sun. Test the levels again after placing any chlorine in your pool, to make sure the acid levels aren’t too high or you risk the chlorine losing its sanitizing ability. Additional helpful maintenance products are automatic chemical feeders and floating chlorine feeders that balance and measure the amount of chemicals in your pool. Carelessly adding chlorine has its repercussions and risks involved with increasing a pool’s high chlorine content are the erosion of filter and pump equipment.



A Green Pool Means Less Green in Your Wallet

Algae reappear in pools mainly because a chemical treatment failed to completely sanitize both the water and surfaces. In some cases, poor circulation in the filtering system prevents chlorine from getting distributed throughout the pool and cleansing the water. Water misdirection usually occurs because some pools are designed to redirect the water to the surface, helping pool owners collect debris much more easily and giving a moving effect to the water. Unfortunately, this allows generally the bottom areas of the pool to have little to no circulation and makes the use of algaecide ineffective. Removing organic material like leaves is also important because decomposition changes the pH level and allows algae growth to speed up. In addition, algae are costly and involve constantly filtering the pool daily with more chemicals to fight off the unsightly color.

Having algaecide applied everywhere is crucial as well because various algae species have spores that can survive outside of the pool. Once a spore comes into contact with the water, expect to fight another infestation once again. The most common form of algae though is the green variety and it can be eradicated through pool shock. Granular and highly concentrated, this chlorine quickly makes the water an unlivable environment. It’s also recommended that you do a pool shock once a week, to prevent algae spores from blossoming into a bigger problem. Scrubbing or brushing the floor, walls and steps also stops algae from firmly placing their roots in cracks on the surface. Running your pool at night will further reduce the risk of an algae infestation as well. Chlorine effectively keeps the water in your pool sanitized by removing most bacteria and algae altogether, but any buildup will make any effort to maintain the pool useless.

For more information on pool maintenance and chemical balance contact us at, call 800-211-7505 or shop for pool chemicals.

The Yin Yang of Water Chemistry

“Power of hydrogen” or pH lets pool owners know the amount of acid in their pool’s water. Measured In a scale from 0 to 14, 7 is neutral territory. If the pH level is beyond 7 it is considered basic water, but if it’s below 7 it is acidic. A measure all pool owners should aim for is anywhere between 7.2 and 7.8, since it doesn’t cause discomfort to human eyes or mucous membranes. Low pH levels will cause the water to aggressively damage your pools mechanical system, lead to eye and nose irritation, deteriorate metal material and give swimmers dry scalp. Meanwhile, high pH levels will cause cloudiness, skin irritation and poorer chlorine disinfection.

Temperature, sunlight, and the size of a pool are all contributing factors in how clean a pool is. Rainwater can cause lower pH levels and foreign elements such as the oil from swimmers’ bodies can change the chemical balance in the water. Test strips can be used to measure the pH level in a pool and doing so twice a week is necessary for maintenance. To raise the pH levels in your pool and make it less acidic, use sodium carbine. While adding the chemical, have the pump running so the chemicals you add don’t go to waste. Add the sodium carbine slowly as well to avoid splashing and after an hour of adding the chlorine, check to see that the correct pH level has been reached. To lower the pool’s pH level certain acids work, like sulfuric or muriatic acid. Maintaining the pH level in your pool today will save you time and money in the future. It also maximizes the lifespan of your pool and its appearance for years to come.

For more information on pool maintenance and chemical balance contact us at, call 800-211-7505 or purchase a test kit.