You are tracking and maintaining your pool water and what can happen if you don’t. Regular pool water testing and balancing of the chemicals are essential for ensuring a safe, relaxed swimming environment and preserving pool finishes and equipment durability.
Failure to check and conserve water quality can damage or cause corrosion to the pool features, materials, and equipment. But, most of all, it can cause water conditions that might hurt swimmers and cause various diseases.
Avoid the irritations, hazards, and dangers to those using your pool by keeping the water appropriately maintained. Testing the chemistry is very easy. Your daily routine should include collecting water quality data so you can treat it appropriately.
Different ways are available for testing pool water:
The main products for examining pool water chemistry are test strips, a four-in-one test kit, and testing tablets. But the pool test strips can provide a reliable reading for chemical levels in pool water, and most consist of step-by-step directions that are simple to follow for first-time pool owners.
What Is the Best Way to Use Pool Water Test Strips?
Using pool water test strips is relatively easy. First, remove a test strip from its container without contacting the test pads and dip it in the water sample. Next, remove from the water and hold it face up, letting off any excess. Wait for 10 to 15 seconds before comparing the strip to the color chart shown on the test strip box. Chemicals should be added to your pool according to the test results. Test strips are probably the most acceptable approach available if you’re searching for an inexpensive, reliable, and easy method of testing your pool water.
So, which chemicals must be tested for? First, let’s take a look at the four most essential chemicals for a trouble-free, swim-ready pool.
Chemical levels in pool water must be tested and balanced.
In order for water to be healthy, four chemical levels are important: free chlorine, calcium hardness, pH, and total alkalinity. These chemicals, together with cyanuric acid (a type of water conditioner frequently referred to as “sunblock for pool water”), act in unison. Having them at the proper level helps create sparkling, swim-ready water.
If a water test shows that one or more chemical levels are excessively high or excessively low, the signal is to act. You’ll know whether to add chlorine, muriatic acid, sodium bicarbonate, or other pool treatments based on the water readings.
Chlorine in a pool, whether in tablet, liquid, or powder form, destroys a variety of viruses, bacteria, and organic waste such as sweat, urine, and feces. In addition, chlorine cleans the water, removing most microorganisms that might be harmful to swimmers.
The term “free chlorine” refers to chlorine in pool water that is fresh; it has not yet reacted with any impurities. It will, however, be hazardous to swimmers and pool equipment if there is too much or not enough of this compound in the water.
Pool water becomes prone to several negative impacts when there is insufficient free chlorine to combat invading pollutants.
Algae might flourish and make the water murky, leaving slimy green spots on the pool’s floor and sides. The undesirable green visitor can also cover the cartridges in some types of pool filters, demanding more frequent cleaning and shortening the product’s lifespan.
Without enough chlorine, the water’s appearance may become hazy due to organic materials brought in by the wind and swimmers, such as sweat, make-up, skin oil, and sunblock.
Worse, insufficient chlorine provides a safe habitat for water-borne illnesses. When swimmers (particularly pets) add biological materials, such as urine or bacteria invading an open wound, there is insufficient sanitizer to kill the microorganisms. As a result, the possibilities for the spread of pathogenic bacteria and the diseases they cause grow.
On the other hand, high levels of free chlorine generate a series of issues. Too much might harm swimmers’ eyes and damage their skin. In addition, high levels of this chemical can produce harsh, bleach-like fumes that are both unpleasant to inhale and damaging to the lungs of swimmers.
Pools require enough free chlorine to eliminate germs and toxins, but not so much that it is toxic to pool users. It’s all about striking a balance between 1.5 and 2.5 ppm. Pools equipped with ozone systems and ultraviolet sanitizers use far less chlorine—only. 5 to 1 ppm.
It is evaluated from 1 to 14 on a scale: The numbers 1 through 6 indicate acidity; the numbers 8 through 14 show the amount of alkalinity. The neutral range is 7.3 to 7.7 ppm, which is where pool water should be.
Swimmers’ eyes and skin can be hurt by water with a pH level that is too low. Low pH can also cause damage to pool equipment, such as ladders, railings, and other metal-based accessories, as well as elements of the pool heater.
When the pH of the water is excessively high, the efficiency of the free chlorine in the water is reduced, which can lead to unhealthy swimming conditions. Water with a high pH range might be hazy, and like water with a low pH, this might cause skin itch and eyes to sting. The ensuing combination with high pH spells problems if the pool’s alkalinity and calcium hardness levels are also higher. An unbalanced chemical triad can form a rough scale on the pool’s skimmer, interior surfaces, different equipment fittings, and some types of automatic pool cleaners.
Total alkalinity (TA) is the mixture of all alkaline chemicals present. Total alkalinity should be between 90 and 120 ppm in a pool to be effective.
Alkaline is crucial in pool water chemistry because it strongly impacts maintaining a neutral pH level. pH levels may change if the TA level is too high or too low; frequently, if the TA level goes down, the pH will be off as well. Low TA is problematic. Low TA is an issue. Burning eyes and swimming in murky water are only two risks for everyone who uses the pool. The pool has a significant impact. The water becomes “aggressive,” attacking metal pool accessories and equipment such as rails, ladders, and the heat exchanger in the heating system.
A high TA level in the water, on the other hand, might irritate swimmers’ skin. It can also diminish the efficiency of free chlorine, promoting algae and bacterial development, plus lots of other problems associated with low chlorine levels.
Calcium hardness determines the hardness of pool water, showing whether it is too hard, too soft, or just perfect. Pool plaster takes the brunt of the damage if the hardness rating is too low, indicating that the water is soft.
Desperate for calcium, the pool water collects it from the most acceptable source available—the pool plaster! The once smooth internal surface becomes etched and full of ugly pitting as the mineral seeps out of the components.
It takes a lot of calcium hardness to bring about any issues, so the higher the calcium hardness, the greater the issues. Unpleasant scaling, calcium deposits can form on the pool’s interior surface, resulting in grey, white, or brownish areas across the collection.
If the pH and alkalinity are both increased, as does the calcium, the news is much worse. The scale may accumulate and cause havoc on the pool pump, heater, and DE or cartridge filter components.
Extreme cases of scaling that have gone uncontrolled may necessitate a costly and time-consuming task that no pool owner wants to undertake: emptying the pool. But, unfortunately, that’s what it takes to acid wash it and remove all of the mineral buildups.
Do not allow this to happen. Check that calcium levels are between 200 and 400 ppm to avoid out-of-control calcium and its associated consequences.
Pool Water Test Strip Benefits
Pool water test strips are inexpensive, rapid, and effective. Some claim they are more accurate than liquid test kits. The strips are easy to use, and as long as you can distinguish between colors and have good eyesight (or at least reading glasses), they are pretty easy to read. The package includes a color chart to compare to the strip you dipped in your water sample. This will indicate to you what levels in your pool water, if any, have to be adjusted. Most strips will test for many items at once. For example, the chlorine, bromine, pH balance, total alkalinity, and total hardness values are provided by the 5 in 1 strip. Cyanuric acid will also be tested using the 6 in 1 strip. You may also get strips that test for phosphates, bacteria, salt, and total dissolved solids.
Testing your pool water and maintaining the chemicals in balance is critical for the longevity of your pool as well as the health and safety of your friends and family that swim in it. To achieve this goal, test your water weekly with pool test strips to check that levels are appropriate. In addition, maintaining the chemistry of your pool correctly will allow you and your family to enjoy your private resort for many years to come.
Mark Roemer Oakland Explores Fun Ways to Add Art to Unexpected Spaces in Your Home
According to Mark Roemer Oakland, you can personalize your home in a unique way when you add art to unexpected spaces. Let’s check out fun ways to add art to unexpected spaces in your home:
- Bookshelves – Bookshelves are wonderful places to add art. When you add a piece of art to bookshelves, it adds a focal point to the bookshelf and also breaks up the rows and columns neatly. Make your shelf displays together with a synced color scheme that looks coordinated. You can also play around with the placement of heavy or light artworks in the bookshelf to figure out what defines you best.
- Behind the bed – The back of the bed can be the best place to add art to your bedroom. The headboard at the back of your bed is usually large enough to fit a fantastic art piece. You can add portraits or even canvas paintings to replace the headboard. You can also add sculptures, big and small.
- Unused fireplace – Central heating makes most fireplaces in the city unused. It also saves you from the pain of cleaning and maintaining your fireplace. The unused fireplace is also an opportunity to add exquisite pieces of art. It completely captures the attention of your visitors as soon as they enter the room and adds vibrance to the dull and gloomy fireplace.
- Bathroom – When it comes to art placement, the bathroom is a very versatile location. You can add art to the adjacent wall of the bathtub or replace a few tiles with them. When you add art pieces to your bathroom, it gives you a sense of tranquility. With the right change in decor and lighting, you can also make it a cozy and personal space where you can meditate and be one with your thoughts.
- Kitchen – Your kitchen doesn’t need to be all shiny metal or colorful blocks. This zone is often forgotten despite its strategic advantage. If you have an island kitchen the walls of the countertop can be your canvas. You can commission artists to make amazing artwork in that place to wow your guests. You can also use all the different places in the kitchen shelves and rows to add small pieces of art.
- On the ceiling – Imagine you lie down and are welcomed by a gorgeous ceiling with beautiful paintings and art pieces. It’s unusual and a unique way of expressing yourself. Most people don’t expect you to place any art piece there and that’s why they would remember it for a long time.
- Hallway – You can add amazing style to your hallway when you line it with art pieces. However, you need to do it carefully since it’s a narrow space. Line them in such a way that they make geometric sense.
Mark Roemer Oakland suggests that you use these tips to decorate your home with art pieces in the most unexpected places.
Handy Shares Home Design Tips for a Sustainable Lifestyle
According to Handy, you can follow environmentally sustainable interior design practices to incorporate eco-friendly design and decoration without harming the environment. There are several ways to reduce your ecological footprint on the environment and reduce the impact on the environment.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few home design tips you may follow for a sustainable lifestyle:
- Decorate your home with plants – One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your home is to decorate it with mini bonsai plants or indoor plants. These not only enhance the natural beauty of your home but also improve the air quality inside your home by providing oxygen and absorbing harmful chemicals that may be lingering in the air.
- Use furniture and products made from natural, eco-friendly, or recycled materials – Avoid using furniture made from plastic molding, polyester, chromed metal, particleboard, or any other forms of synthetic material. Instead, use furniture made from sustainable materials such as natural wood or other organic material.
Typically, you can find rocking chairs, wood mantels, coffee tables, etc. made from reclaimed wood. It suits well in a rustic home and makes for a good flooring option as well. Bamboo is another good option. Bio-glass is a green alternative for items such as bathroom sinks, flooring, and countertops.
- Avoid products that contain VOC content – Many common household products such as adhesives, paints, air fresheners, household cleaning products, carpets, and furniture often contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) which are organic chemicals that evaporate even at room temperature. VOC is not only damaging to the environment but is also harmful to your health since it can cause throat irritation, eye problems, nausea, nervous system problems, headaches, liver damage, and even cancer.
Thus, before you buy any products such as adhesives, paint thinners, etc., make sure there are green seal-certified or labeled ‘low odor’. You should also avoid products that contain fungicides, pigments, biocides, and other such products.
- Set up sustainable lighting options – Conventional light bulbs utilize a lot of energy and much of it is wasted in the form of heat. A better alternative is to use LED bulbs that utilize up to 75% less energy and can last up to 25 times longer. Thus, you should only buy lightbulbs that are labeled ‘green’ and energy efficient.
It is also important to maximize the amount of natural sunlight that enters your home in order to reduce the usage of artificial light sources. An easy way to do that is to use Venetian blinds or opt for lightweight or pure cotton blinds.
It is also necessary to inspect your light sources for heat loss and add extra insulation to prevent the heat inside from escaping outside.
Handy believes that people can lead a life of minimalism by decluttering, organizing, and simplifying their homes. If that is not possible, you can adopt a Scandinavian decor that focuses on pure earthy, organic materials that are environmentally friendly and made from renewable resources.