March means warmer temperatures in Phoenix, and warmer temperatures mean an explosion of algae growth. Once the temperatures climb into the 80s and your pool warms up, it is time to step up the amount of chlorine you use. It is also time to begin adding algaecide to your pool if you haven’t been doing it up all winter.
Lots of our clients wonder what type of chlorine they should use in their pool. That’s not an easy question, since size, depth, filtration system, amount of exposure to the elements, and amount of use play a role in determining the type of chlorine. However, here are some general guidelines:
The best chlorine tabs are 99% pure chlorine with only 1% stabilizer added to bind it. We’ve noticed that lots of chemical companies are using more and more filler, so be particularly care to check the filler content of the tablets. The more filler, the sooner you’ll have to drain and refill your pool and the more chemicals you’ll have to use.
Granular chlorine, known as “shock” should only be used is designed to boost your chlorine levels very high very fast to prevent things like an algae bloom after a storm. Unfortunately, a lot of these products contain as little as 24% chlorine and are all but useless. Check carefully for the chlorine contest before you purchase the product.
Again, the free chlorine levels in many liquid chlorine products are only about 10-12%. Again, the low chlorine products are essentially all but useless. In addition, this form of chlorine only lasts 24-36 hours and if you only care for you pool once per week, then you leave the pool to the mercy of the elements five out of seven days.
There are four different types of algaecides and each works differently on different algae types. Copper works best when the pool water is dark green. Ammonia and potassium work best on mustard algae. Potassium isn’t our favorite treatment because it also causes you to use double the chlorine and you have to boost chlorine after use just to get it back to normal levels. Silver is extremely expensive, so we don’t carry it very often. It kills all algae … black, green and mustard. While it is the king of the algaecides is also carries a royal price tag to go with it at $40 or $50 per quart (the other products are more like $20 or $25).
When in doubt, come into Pool People and ask us what will work for your pool. Located in Glendale, Arizona, Pool People provides regular pool and spa cleaning, pool and spa maintenance, pool remodeling, pool and spa repairs, as well as tile cleaning for residents of the Northwest Valley in Phoenix. We also have a fully stocked pool store at 5830 W. Thunderbird Rd., Suite B-6, Glendale, AZ. We carry the highest quality chemicals, with the fewest fillers possible for the health and well-being of you pool.