Pool Chlorine Boosters. Maximize Your Sanitizer’s Life and Minimize Your Cost.
Previously, I discussed four key components of balanced pool water: proper pH, Total Alkalinity, Cyanuric Acid, and Calcium levels. When these are all in their proper ranges, pool chlorine life is lengthened. That’s sweet any year, but even more so this pool season due to the ongoing pool chlorine shortage. But there is more you can do to help stretch chlorine life even farther. Boost your chlorine’s effectiveness by including the following in your ongoing water treatment regimen.
Add Maintenance Algaecide to the Water
Boost chlorine’s effectiveness when you supplement it with a quality algaecide. There are lots of different types of algaecides to choose from. I’m not talking brands, but rather, chemical composition. The three best known are quaternary, poly, and copper based. Without dragging you through a chemistry lesson, I’ll simplify what they do. Yes, they all help kill algae, but there can be some side effects if used improperly.
Quaternary algaecide will foam up dramatically if overdosed because it is basically a first cousin to soap. It is frequently sold in gallon jugs, and many pool owners just dump it all in at once. That’s an oopsie moment, as your pool will soon look like a bubble bath. Additionally, you’re likely going to have a rather nasty waterline ring. Read the product label and use at your discretion.
Copper algaecide is great at killing algae, however copper levels will build up when used as a weekly maintenance algaecide. That’s why I recommend Spec Chem Four Month Algaecide. For most pools, just a single application is all that’s needed for the season. This time-release algaecide reduces contaminants and improves water quality letting chlorine last longer. It works, saves you money, and headaches are avoided!
Another option is a polymer, or ‘poly’ algaecide. It is a dependable algaecide, but to be effective, a maintenance dose should be added weekly. Unlike quaternary algaecide, it won’t foam or bubble, but I prefer ‘easy’ and recommend the Spec Chem Four Month. You won’t wake up in the middle of the night and say “Oops—I forgot to add the algaecide.”
Sunscreens, lotions, and oils force pool chlorine into doing double-duty. Adding a natural enzyme to water breaks these down and frees chlorine up to do its primary job. Enzymes have been used for many years to help break down ocean oil spills and contaminations. The best-known cases are the Exxon Valdez tanker spill in 1989 and the Deep Water Horizon disaster in 2010. In both instances, enzymes were used to help minimize environmental impact. Effective dealing with millions of gallons of crude oil, you know they will do the job in your pool.
Eastgate Pools & Spas has carried several effective natural enzymes over the years. However, the best is Simple Blue Pool Perfect. It is easy to apply, environmentally friendly, and best of all, it works! Plus, it won’t affect pH or other water balance parameters and allows chlorine to do job-one—killing bacteria.
Simply put, the more junk and minute particles your filter can trap, the less your pool chlorine has to address. I have two recommendations for accomplishing this. Simple Clean Enhance is an all-natural cellulose fiber that you slowly add via your skimmer. Inside the filter, it forms a thin coating that traps ultra-small particles. Like a sticky fly strip used to catch flies, once trapped, particles aren’t going to get released. At least until you backwash or rinse the filter. Biodegradable and non-toxic, Enhance will filter out algae spores before they turn into a full bloom. Before using, check the package’s recommended application information. If using on a cloudy pool, watch your filter’s pressure closely as it will quickly build as particles get collected.
Another fine filter aid option is Spec Chem’s Clear Blue Cube. Similar to Enhance, it creates a trapping layer inside the filter. It is a semi-solid tablet that you place in your pump’s basket. It will dissolve slowly and help micro-filter for up to thirty days. Again, read the package directions for applicable usage information.
Remember that the fewer things your valuable chlorine must tackle, the longer it will last.
How About Some Freebies!
There are several chlorine-saving things you can do that don’t cost a penny but will save you dollars.
Firstly, skim your pool daily. This is especially important after a wind or rainstorm when new debris has found its way into your pool. Secondly, brush the pool walls at least once a week. Bacteria and biofilms will collect on the sidewalls. If attached, chlorine can only attack the exposed surface. Brushing puts these things out onto the water where chlorine can surround them and be most effective. Thirdly, shower before jumping in the pool. I know it’s soothing to cool down in the pool after working in the yard or garden. However, all that perspiration and accumulated grime makes your chlorine cry for help. Lastly, keep your filter running. The more it runs, the cleaner your pool will be, especially when coupled with a great filter aid.
Enjoy family fun more in your pool this summer with a clean, clear, well-balanced pool. You’ll enjoy it even more when you stretch your chlorine dollars. I hope these tips and recommendations help you do just that.