(BPT) - With many family budgets feeling the effects of inflation this year, it’s important to find ways to save where you can. If you own a swimming pool, there’s one way to help cut costs on pool maintenance that is often overlooked: maximizing chlorine efficiency.
Here are five basic ways you can reduce expenses this year, while ensuring your pool is in the best possible condition for your family.
1. Keep it clean
Chlorine lasts longer in a clean pool than in a dirty one, so performing regular, thorough pool cleaning will help you save on chlorine.
- Skim, brush and vacuum your pool regularly and/or use an automatic pool cleaner.
- Run the pump and filter for an ample time each day, and keep the filter, the pump basket, and the skimmer basket(s) clean.
You can find all the supplies you need to keep your pool clean at Leslie's, including cleaning accessories and automatic pool cleaners.
2. Make sure it's balanced
Staying on top of your pool water balance and sanitization weekly is another highly effective way to ensure you’re not overusing chlorine, and that the chlorine you use is able to work at its best. To achieve balance, check these levels:
- Proper pH between 7.4–7.6 is essential to optimize chlorine efficiency.
- Total alkalinity between 80–120 ppm helps maintain pH levels; the ideal range depends on the type of sanitizer used.
- Cyanuric acid (stabilizer or conditioner) around 30–50 ppm helps protect chlorine from the sun.
It's also important to shock or oxidize pool water weekly to break down chloramines, oxidize organic contaminants, and restore free available chlorine levels.
Need help keeping your pool water properly balanced? Bring a water sample to your nearest Leslie's location for a free in-store AccuBlue® water test and customized step-by-step treatment plan. You'll also find water balancers to maintain your pool.
3. Cover it up
When the pool is not in use, you can use a solar cover to reduce evaporation and cut down on exposure to the sun's UV rays, both of which can help reduce chemical usage. Covering your pool also has the advantage of keeping out dirt and debris, which can help your pool stay cleaner.
Keep in mind that solar covers are primarily used to heat the water and extend swimming season during the cooler spring and fall months. Warmer water increases chlorine consumption, so they're not ideal for conserving chemicals during the peak summer months.
4. Use specialty chemicals when needed
To help maintain perfect balance and cleanliness in your water, you can also use specialty chemicals to prevent recurring problems, such as algae blooms. This is especially helpful if your pool experiences heavy usage and/or frequent rain.
- Enzymes help break down organic contaminants in water, which can prolong the life of your free available chlorine.
- Removing phosphates and/or using algaecide reduces the chance of an algae bloom, which uses up chlorine quickly.
- Liquid solar covers can help reduce evaporation, similar to regular solar covers.
To help make your pool maintenance routine more efficient, Leslie’s Perfect Weekly combines the benefits of all three in a single, convenient application, which maximizes the chlorine efficiency in your pool. This unique Triple Action product combines SMARTzyme, PHOSfree and COVERfree technologies into one powerful pool chemical. Apply a weekly maintenance dose throughout the swimming season for the best results.
5. Consider alternative sanitizers
If you’re looking to significantly reduce chlorine use, or if you’re seeking a substitute for chlorine tabs, look no further than an alternative sanitizer. These sanitizing solutions are available at all price points, and each type offers unique benefits. To know which one will work best for your pool, here are a few available options:
- Mineral systems — Use silver and/or copper ions to reduce chlorine usage by up to 50%.
- Salt systems — Saltwater pools use a chlorine generator cell to produce a steady stream of natural chlorine, without the need for chlorine tablets.
- Ozone and UV light — These are natural sanitization solutions for quickly neutralizing living organic contaminants. Properly sized ozonators can reduce chlorine use by as much as 60–90%, and UV light systems reduce chlorine use by up to 50–70%. Most pool owners combine both systems to maximize chlorine longevity. A chlorine residual is still required for complete pool sanitization with these systems.
Learn more about how to save on chlorine and keep your pool in top condition at LesliesPool.com.