Cleaning your spa or swimming pool effectively requires more than just draining the water. You’ll have to administer everything from chemicals and chlorine tablets to managing the pumps, filters, and knowing when to seek additional service, if necessary. Our guide to pool spa supplies can walk you through the list of must-haves for any homeowner.
Read on to learn everything you need to keep your pool clean and running effectively.
Spa And Swimming Pool Supplies
Understanding the wide array of spa and pool cleaners, tools, and supplies is a responsibility that everyone in possession of a pool should share. Keeping your water clean can ensure more time for entertainment when you need it the most and can save you money in the long-run.
Here’s a breakdown of each cleaning tool and chemical that every pool owner should have:
- Pool Brushes
- Rakes, Skimmers, and Nets
- Pool Vacuums
- Pool Hoses
- Test Strips
- Water-testing Kits
Pool brushes are among the most common tools used in keeping a swimming pool clean. The basic function of a pool brush is to scrub and remove debris from the walls of a pool and floors.
Brushes come in various forms and brush head sizes. Some have brackets made of steel, aluminum, or even plastic. Connected to the brush heads are long poles that can be extended to access hard-to-reach areas.
Pool brush bristles are non-scratch, which makes them useful in scrubbing everything from pool tiles and cement to fiberglass and vinyl. It’s all to remove undesirables like algae, dirt or building rust.
Rakes, Skimmers and Nets
Pool rakes, skimmers and nets can collect leaves almost anywhere. It can handle all jobs whether it’s skimming the surface, scrubbing the bottom of the pool or catching stray leaves floating throughout the pool itself.
And unless you have a screened surrounding your waterworks, these tools will probably become the most used objects when during spa and pool maintenance. Also, the rubber rim on the frame makes for the easy collection of leaves, tree branches and toys.
Pool Spa Supplies: Vacuums and Hoses
Rakes and nets are great for daily pool maintenance. But to ensure you always have sparkling clean water, you’ll need to remove large debris with vacuuming. That’s especially true if your pool or spa is outdoors, uncovered and exposed to the elements. Dirt from leaves, rocks, bugs, tree limbs and rain can cloud water and settle into the bottom of your pool.
Pool vacuum cleaners are quick and easy to use when cleaning. They work on all types of pools, including above ground or those in the ground. There are also multipurpose vacuums can operate in spas as well. Vacuums can be accessorized with telescopic poles to reach the deepest, furthest areas of your swimming pole.
Types Of Pool Vacuums
The traditional and inexpensive is the pool vacuum. The manual cleaner attaches to an extension pole to reach all areas of a swimming pool and sweep algae. You operate the manual similarly to a vacuum inside of your home.
These have no mechanical components and can also be an inexpensive option. However, it takes much longer to clean a pool in comparison to other selections.
Also known as side cleaners, these vacuums connect directly to the pool filter’s water intake by a hose. The power of the pool pump creates a suction that can collect all debris.
Your pool pump should be running during this process, so stay mindful of your usage, since these use electricity. Also, after cleaning, consider cleaning your filter to remove debris and adding more DE. (More on that later.)
These are self-piloted, self-contained and energy efficient units that have a built-in motor and containment filter. Robot vacuums are precise and can clean even the smallest particles in your pool.
These cleaners use the pool pump intake to propel across the surface of the water and collect floating debris. Pressure cleaners work independently and on their own power. They have a large containment bag, so it doesn’t burden the circulation system of the pool.
Luxury pools usually come installed with in-floor cleaners which operate by a jet-heads and high-pressure. When the system activates, the jet-heads funnel a powerful stream of water to produce a current. The current forces any dirt, rocks, leaves or algae toward the drains. It is then siphoned out to the pool filter.
Vacuum hoses are built from high-quality tubing, yet are found in plenty at local or online retailers at an affordable price. Before you purchase one, make sure the hose has the length you seek and is compatible with your pool vacuum.
Spa And Pool Maintenance
Pools require a mixture of additives to stay balanced. It can be a confusing task for anyone with little to no pool service experience.
If you don’t know where to start, we’ve provided a summary of the most common pool chemicals and their purpose to help you maintain sparkling, clean water:
- Algaecides are designed to kill algae living in your pool and also prevent any new plants from growing.
- Chlorine is a well known and commonly used disinfectant for swimming pools.
- Dry acid, also known as sodium bisulfate, is a granular, potent material that is designed to lower a pools PH levels and alkalinity.
- Hypochlorite, or free chlorine, is a highly active substance that sanitizes a pool to kill most bacteria and algae.
- Muriatic acid also helps to lower pH levels or alkalinity.
- Stabilizer also goes by the name, cyanuric acid, conditioner or isocyanuric acid. It works to extend the life of active chlorine that is already present in the water. That is useful with pools exposed to direct sunlight which can diminish the chlorine content.
How to Use Water Testing Kits and Strips
You don’t have to be a chemist to accurately use a test kit or strip to check the quality of your water. Here’s some information that can help guide you through the process before you begin.
What Types Of Chemicals Should I Test For?
There are five types of chemicals to check for with your test kit:
- pH levels
- Total Alkalinity
- Calcium Hardness
- Cyanuric Acid
You can also test your pool for base, but only if you want to alter the pH levels.
How Many Times Should I Test Water?
It’s a good rule of thumb to test your pool or spa levels every day. Direct sunlight, rain or a high bathing load can dramatically alter your chlorine and pH levels in just a few hours.
Proper status checks to your pool can reveal these discrepancies, and allow you the opportunity to make adjustments before chemical levels plummet.
If you run or manage a commercial pool, then you are required by law to check and record your chlorine each and every hour during regular pool operations.
However, if you own a pool, then you may not be exposed to the same risks as a high-capacity community pool. So plan to check your pH, chlorine, and alkalinity two to three times per week.
What Types Of Chemical Levels Should I Maintain?
The Centers for Disease Control recommend these levels for your pool and spa:
- pH: 7.2 to 7.8
- Chlorine: 1.0 to 2.0 ppm in pools; 3.0 ppm in hot tubs or spas
- Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium: 200 to 400 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid: 20 to 50 ppm
Are There Any Other Pool Tests That I Should Perform?
Yes, there are other things you should do. In fact, there are several tests that you can perform, each one dependent on your type of pool or spa.
Saltwater pools accumulate—you guessed it—salt in high levels. Though these pools typically come with controller displays that show chemical readings in real time, you can also double-test with salt test strips.
Phosphate test kits can identify whether or not your pool has phosphates which are food sources for various forms of algae. So if your pool has recurring issues with algae, perhaps your phosphate levels are higher than normal.
If you have a fair amount of metal or aluminum rail work in your pool, it’s best to check for metals that may be lurking around too. Most test kits can check for copper material or iron deposits that are freely flowing in the water which cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Should I Even Consider Pool Test Strips?
Testing strips are quick and easy methods to check your water quality. They are simple to use. You just dip the paper strip into the pool watch as the colors change which will indicate your pH levels, total alkalinity and free chlorine presence in the pool.
But that’s not all. Pool test strips can also reveal calcium hardness and current chemical levels of cyanuric acid, minerals, metals, phosphates and bacteria.
Test strips may sound like the cream of the crop amongst pool spa supplies. But they will not be as accurate as the higher-quality, versatile testing kits. Do not rely on test strips solely.
Time To Clean Your Pool.
No one can operate a pool without the proper tools. And the more educated you become about chemicals, pool supplies, spa and pool maintenance, and pool servicing, the easier it will be to preserve crystal clear pool water to entertain your friends, family or yourself.