Did you know? 12 Fast Facts About pHin

Whether you’re a long-time pHin user or testing the water for our smart pool care, learn these 12 fun facts and technical details you might not know about pHin:

  1. Born in 2015: A pool owner was tired of testing his water and calculating chemical dosing, so he created pHin to remove the guesswork to getting safe water. After building a team and developing the product, pHin launched in 2015.
  2. Works with over 200 chemicals: Pool owners can choose which chemicals they’d like to use with pHin from a large database – and they can request additions if their brand isn’t included already.
  3. pHin measures the water more than anyone: Most homeowners check their pool or hot tub water weekly. pHin blows their tests out of the water, by measuring the water up to 1,000 times per week.
  4. 1 billion samples: Over the years, pHin has collected and analyzed over 1 billion water samples in thousands of pools, hot tubs, and swim spas across the country.
  5. Algorithms makes measuring smarter: pHin does more than check the parts per million (ppm) of chemicals in the water, it analyzes the effectiveness of the sanitizer, whether chlorine, bromine, or salt, to provide intelligent dosing instructions. Learn more about “Kill Power” here.
  6. pHin is friendly with any pool: pHin isn’t only for pools, it can monitor and help you balance a hot tub or swim spa, too!
  7. Amazon Alexa talks to pHin: Now you can check on your water balance without even opening the app. Ask Alexa if your pool water is safe or for the temperature of your hot tub before jumping in. Learn more here.
  8. pHin doesn’t like the cold, but has a “Winter” mode: pHin can’t stay outside in the cold weather, but it has a special winter setting so pHin can hibernate for the winter and come out for the next pool opening.
  9. You can travel with pHin: Worried about the water quality of pools and hot tubs at rental homes and Airbnbs? Take your pHin on the road to check that the balance is safe before taking a dip.
  10. pHin can help your pool tech: Your pool technician can be connected to your pHin so they can check in on your water balance remotely and schedule service as needed.
  11. Data from pHin could save your pool: Monitoring your water does more than keep it in balance, the start of an imbalance could indicate that a piece of equipment is on the fritz or about to break. John Sciacca wrote about his experience in Residential Systems.
  12. Unlimited help from pHin: The smart monitor has a battery that can last up to two years, but if it runs out you can get a free replacement any time if you have the monitoring subscription.

Learn anything new? If you’re ready to add smart technology to your water care routine, click here.

Prep Your Pool for Winter Hibernation

Homeowners in Northern, cooler states are expecting temperatures to drop over the next few weeks. When the first autumn leaves fall, it’s time to start closing your pool for the season – A general rule of thumb is to wait until outdoor temperatures start to steadily fall below 65 degrees. To avoid damage or other issues next pool season, follow these steps and precautions:

  1. Clean the Pool

Before it can be closed, you’ll want to get your pool as clean as possible. Using a vacuum or skimmer, make sure there are no leaves or other debris floating in the water. The pool walls and stairs should be scrubbed with a brush to break up any algae build up. You’ll want to get your pool as clean as possible before it’s closed for the season.

  1. Lower the Water Level

As you’re getting your pool ready for the off season, drain water to avoid problems with ground water and temperature levels if/when they drop below freezing. How much water should you drain? That depends on the climate of the area you live in. If temperatures are generally cold in the winter, you’ll want to drain the water 4 to 6 inches below the tile line to avoid any potential issues with freezing water.

  1. Check and Clean Filters

Even through the winter, check on your filters regularly to make sure they are running properly and keeping the water clean and safe. Pool filters help remove debris from the water but can’t do their job properly if they aren’t cleaned regularly. You’ll be thankful later – this step will help to preserve the lifespan of the filter system and keep your pool clean during the off season for an easier opening in the spring.

  1. Adjust Chemical Levels

Before you close your pool for the winter, test the water’s chemistry levels and get it balanced. Closing your pool with unbalanced levels will make it difficult to open it up the next season. For help checking and correcting the balance, you can turn to pHin. The pHin Smart Water monitor will help you understand if your pool is balanced with color coded discs. pHin’s simplified chemical dosing instructions will help you understand how much of each chemical needs to be added to get the water balanced.

  1. Set to Winterize

pHin has a special setting for winter: Pool owners can get their monitor and pool ready for hibernation by tapping on the “subscription” icon on the app homepage and click “winterize pool.” Then they can remove pHin from the pool and store it in a safe spot until next season.

The Buddy System! Why Every Hot Tub Needs a pHin

Hot tubs make a great addition to a home or backyard, whether for warming up on a cool winter night or taking a soak after a tough workout. Among the benefits of owning your own at-home spa, a hot tub can be challenging to maintain. Hot tub rash is real, and chemicals need to be added in exact doses for balanced water. Not to mention, worrying about whether or not the water is safe and balanced can take the relaxation out of your daily soak.

Maximize your hot tub relaxation time with the smart water monitor that can remove your worry about hot tub water! Every hot tub needs a pHin Smart Water Monitor to get the most benefits, here’s why:

Real-Time Temperature Status

There’s nothing worse than having your hot tub soak delayed because the water’s too cold. With pHin, you can simply check the app or ask Alexa about the temperature of your water, so you can see if the heater needs a boost before you go in.

Avoid Hot Tub Rash

Hot tub rash can be caused by poorly maintained water, according to the CDC. Keeping the water in balance is important to avoiding it and it can be hard to know which contaminants are causing the issue. pHin measures the water over 1,000 times per week and will notify you immediately if the water isn’t balanced, with a color-coded guide. A blue disc indicates your water is safe, balanced and ready to use.  An orange disc means your water is still safe to enter but needs some attention while a red disc appears when you should avoid the unsafe water.

Chemistry Support

Chemistry can be confusing, and hot tub owners need to pay close attention to their water to keep it safe. Understanding chemical dosing is a challenge. pHin uses built-in analytics to calculate dosing instructions, so users can simply follow the instructions in the app to balance their water.

With balanced water, hot tubs are great for relaxing, soothing sore muscles, and warming you up in cool weather.

3 Ways pHin Removes the Guesswork Out of Water Care

Keeping pool water balanced all season can be stressful. But for many pool owners, measuring and adding chemicals is a lot of guesswork. Converting the ppm of chlorine in the water to how much chlorine to add can be a challenge, even for veteran pool owners.

Instead of making the wrong measurement that can leave your pool water over chlorinated or cloudy, technology can remove the guesswork.

pHin is a powerful new product that has built-in analytics that make water care easy for any pool or hot tub owner. The device floats in the pool and measures the water over 1,000 times per week, using the information to make pool water care easy for anyone. Here’s how:

Easy-to-Read Status

How do you know if your water is safe before you jump in? With the pHin app, pool and hot tub owners can easily see whether their water is safe, needs action, or is unsafe. A color-coded disc on the home screen provides at-a-glance status:

If the water is out of balance, a red disc will alert users indicating that the water is unsafe and requires action. When water is balanced and safe, a blue disc will indicate that the water is ready to go.

Alerts and Instructions

pHin is also proactive, it sends alerts in the app or via email when the water is out of balance or needs action, like adding shock or chemicals.

Instead of guessing how to fix the water, users get step-by-step instructions about which chemicals to add and how much of each chemical is needed to bring the water back to a safe level. pHin’s app also features detailed graphs of the pool’s chemistry levels in the past giving pool owners easy access to their pool’s chemical history.

Chemical Database

pHin works with leading chemical brands to provide customized chemical dosing instructions based on the brand of your choice. Users can simply scan any supported chemical’s barcode and pHin will calculate exactly how much of the chemical you need to add to the water. pHin recently doubled the number of scannable chemicals, you can see the full list of scannable chemicals here.

pHin takes the guesswork out of adding chemicals to your pool with easy-to-read alerts, action notifications and instructions, and customized chemical dosing instructions. pHin handles the pool chemistry guesswork so you can simply add the necessary chemicals and enjoy!

What Makes Your Pool Green?

As a pool owner, there’s nothing worse than looking out at your pool and seeing green water. It can happen even to experienced pool owners, but it’s easily reversible once you know what caused the issue in the first place.

The pHin experts put together a list of reasons why pool water goes green:

#1 Not Enough Chlorine

Chlorine is important for sanitizing water from bacteria and other contaminants. Lack of chlorine is one of the most common causes of green pools. If the pool water is not balanced with proper chlorine levels, algae will start to grow, causing the water to turn green. The growth of algae also speeds up as warmer weather arrives so a regular pool care routine can keep it in check.

#2 The Weather

Depending on where you live, the weather can have an impact on your pool water clarity. When pollen levels are high, the water may turn green more frequently. Pollen is too small to be properly managed by the pool filter and it might require cleaning with a brush or skimmer. For those who live in hot and humid climates where algae thrives, a higher amount of chlorine can help prevent potential algae buildup.

#3 Unbalanced pH

pH measures the acidity of your pool water, and can fluctuate due to weather, temperature, and pool use. If the pH of the water is too high, chlorine becomes less effective, which can allow algae to grow in the water.  Monitoring your pH levels, along with a regular pool care routine, can help prevent an environment where algae can grow.

#4 Pool Pumps and Filters

If your pump or filter is too small for the size of your pool, the system can’t properly filter and get rid of algae and other debris that enter the pool. Or even the right size pump can’t effectively clear the water if it’s not running regularly. Check with your pool manufacturer for the right size and run time required for your pool to keep it safe.

Keeping an eye on your pool water conditions and equipment can prevent a cloudy green pool. pHin can help by reporting whether your pH levels need attention. It takes over 1,000 measurements a week,and will alert you through your smartphone app if your water’s pH is off. When there’s a problem, you’re not on your own – pHin also helps out by providing chemical dosing instructions to right the imbalance before the water gets off track.

Learn more about pHin here.

Get Smart About Testing: How to Use Test Strips + pHin

Proper water balance is essential for safe swimming and relaxing. All pool, hot tub, and spa owners know that they need to do regular testing as a part of their water care routine.

We are often asked why test strips are still necessary when using pHin. While it is true pHin does much of the work to simplify pool and hot tub care, it does still rely on test data collected monthly from test strips.

Why is this the case?

The pHin hardware has sensors that measure temperature, sanitizer levels, and pH over 1,000 times per week. These elements impact the vessel’s overall balance and can quickly be affected by things like environmental influences and usage.

The test strips check for total alkalinity, total hardness, and cyanuric acid levels. These three factors can also impact the overall health of the water but do not change as quickly as temperature, sanitizer and pH. Still, they are key to maintaining balanced water since total alkalinity measures the alkaline substances in the water and prevents the pH from getting out of range, total hardness measures the amount of lime dissolved in the water, and cyanuric acid stabilizes chlorine levels. Learn more about total alkalinity and total hardness here.

Test strips are the time-tested standard measurement tool and are considered relatively accurate. When combined with new smart pool technology like the pHin Smart Water Monitor, users can simplify their water care routine while also having more confidence that their water is safe for swimming. pHin prompts users to take a water sample and photo once a month to help them keep an eye on the overall status of their water. pHin test strips are uniquely calibrated to work with the pHin app. Read the full instructions for using pHin test strips  here.

pHin users can view their water report results immediately within the app and track trends about their water alkalinity and sanitizer over time. This provides important insight: in fact, one pHin user noticed that the water balance was off from the daily pHin data. After investigating the change, he found that the cause was a piece of equipment that was about to fail, and he was able to replace it before real damage was done.

The combination of pHin and the test strips, makes water care simple and routine. Users can rest easy knowing the exact status of their water without having to worry about making their own chemical calculations.

Smart Water Monitoring Leads Long-Time Pool Owner to Clear Water

Even long-time pool owners can experience the headaches, frustrations, and challenges of balancing the water for safe swimming. Many factors can affect the balance, like a recent rainfall, a pool workout, or even the temperature.

In Southern Rhode Island, pool season starts by Memorial Day. As he was gearing up for the summer, Kevin St. Lawrence began preparing his pool for barbecues, relaxation, and even for the dog to swim in!

An experienced pool owner of eight years, Kevin was stumped when the water was cloudy. “Our pool was always getting cloudy at random times. I wanted to figure out how to solve the water problems in my pool before they became too significant,” said Kevin. “We’ve had our pool for a few years but I’m no expert when it comes to testing the water.”

Kevin was exploring his options online and found the pHin Smart Water Monitor. The device promised to remove the guesswork out of his everyday pool care routine so he wouldn’t have to fuss with interpreting test strips and charts on his own. This was just the tool his family needed to keep their pool water from getting cloudy! pHin has built-in sensors that analyze data collected over 1,000 times a week to provide water charts and chemical dosing recommendations.

After getting his pHin set up, Kevin simply dropped his pHin in the water and connected it to the wireless bridge. It now floats in his pool 24/7, and allows him to check its pH, temperature, and sanitizer levels anytime in the pHin app. When the water needs attention, pHin sends a smartphone alert letting Kevin know exactly what chemicals to add to his pool, and how much of them to add – eliminating the guesswork he’d begrudgingly grown accustomed to!

The easy-to-read charts and color-coded discs made it easy for anyone in the family to understand. “I like the in-app charts because they tell you if your pool is trending in the right direction even if it’s not at the perfect level yet,” he added.

The St. Lawrence family relies on pHin to advise them on whether or not their pool is ready for guests to dive in. “Our family is always entertaining friends and family for pool days,” said Kevin. “It’s been nice to have pHin floating in the pool so I can easily check the water before we’re expecting company to make sure it’s safe for swimming.”

pHin combines the power of technology and analytics to bring families the peace of mind knowing whether their water is safe for swimming or not. This summer, Kevin St. Lawrence and his entire family will be relaxing more and enjoying his crystal clear water, thanks to pHin.

Kill Power: A Smarter Way to Measure Pool & Hot Tub Water Chemistry

Most pool and hot tub owners set a weekly schedule to measure and balance their water, requiring test strips, tables, interpretation, and calculation before chemical dosage. But the pHin team developed a smarter way to measure, they call it “Kill Power.”

Rather than measuring the specific levels or parts per million (PPM) of the sanitizer that is in the water, a Kill Power rating is an analysis that focuses on ORP (oxidation-reduction potential) that shows how effectively the sanitizer is doing its job, for chlorine, bromine and saltwater sanitizers.

Proper ORP levels are important for understanding the effectiveness of your chemicals. OPR sensors within the pool and hot tub water will have a voltage created between them from the electrons in the water, measuring the ORP reading. If the chemicals aren’t bonding properly, sanitizers become less effective. When ORP is low, the chlorine has a hard time keeping up with the bather load and additional adjustments are needed to get the pool balanced.

When ORP is high, the water’s cyanuric acid levels are also high which is the number one factor that can prevent sanitizer from working effectively. Factoring ORP levels in overall pool and hot tub water readings allows for a detailed analysis of the cleanliness of the water and its ability to break down contaminants.

How pHin measures “Kill Power”

pHin constantly measures the pH, sanitizer, and temperature of pool, hot tub, and swim spa water. Kill Power is measured electronically through the pHin monitor’s sensors, and is used as a factor when calculating chemical dosage recommendations that users see in the app.

When taking measurements, pHin analyzes the ORP level of the water to make sure the sanitizer is doing its job to keep your pool safe. pHin has built-in algorithms that analyze the water samples over time. With this data, pHin simplifies the chemical dosing process for pool and hot tub owners by providing easy to understand chemical instructions for balancing the water.

pHin factors your pool or hot tub’s Kill Power/ORP level into all measurements and makes it easy to read with a color-coded system, so you can always know whether your pool or hot tub is safe. 

For accurate pool and hot tub water readings, check out pHin on Amazon.

Smart Pool Technology Helps Early Adopter Manage His Pool Water

Technology is making our lives easier, whether it’s household supplies showing up at our doorstep on a schedule or smart home devices helping save energy and provide us with peace of mind. Many pool owners don’t know that smart connectivity can even make pool care easier too.

California homeowner Shannon Jean has been a technology early adopter for years and decided to extend tech to his backyard. He’s always relied on a local pool company to keep the water in his home pool balanced, but he sought another way to take control of his pool care. He heard about pHin, a smart water monitor that helps pool owners monitor and manage their own water care.

“I watched a few videos and testimonials about pHin before I bought it. One day I decided to ‘jump in,’” said Jean. “Because I’ve never taken care of the pool, my main concern was that I didn’t want to screw it up.”

pHin makes pool care easy – the monitor floats in the water 24/7, taking over 1,000 measurements per week. Users can see the status of their water’s pH, sanitizer, and temperature in the pHin App, which also sends them alerts when it needs attention. The system has built-in intelligence – it analyzes the water data to provide an easy-to-understand, color-coded water status. When users get an alert, they can see whether the water is safe for swimming or if it needs attention.

pHin makes water analysis easy to understand and doesn’t stop there – it also gives users exact instructions to balance the pool water for most chemical brands, for saltwater, chlorine, and bromine pools. “In the morning I go out to my pool, and it tells me what to do.”

“I’ve had pHin for about a year and a half, and it works fantastically, and I don’t know anything about pool chemicals,” added Jean.

Customers can choose any chemical brands to use with the pHin system. Jean follows the pHin app on his phone, which tells him exactly what to do for chemical dosage. “When I have had problems or questions, the pHin customer service has been great and they get back to me quickly,” said Jean. “Their customer service isn’t cut-and-paste – it’s a real person that troubleshoots with me.”

 “With the pHin app, the whole pHin system is pretty powerful.”

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Adding Hot Tub Chemicals

Managing the pH level of your hot tub is like an ongoing science experiment. It can be difficult to keep up with your water’s chemical levels as they’re ever-changing. It’s  critical to keeping your hot tub safe for your family and friends, as unbalanced water can have health implications for those who come in contact with it.

To keep your hot tub balanced, avoid making these three mistakes:

#1: Not Testing the Hot Tub Water

When it comes to hot tub water, pH and alkalinity are cousins, and you can’t adjust the pH and alkalinity of your hot tub accurately if you don’t know the levels in real-time. Most people check manually with test strips and charts to balance their pH and alkalinity levels. The process can be tedious and sometimes might feel like you need a chemistry degree to figure out the right balance — but it doesn’t really have to be that hard.

Hot tubs can be fickle. When a pH is too high in a hot tub, the water becomes scale forming. High pH can cause premature equipment failure and increase your sanitizer consumption. Highly acidic water makes it more difficult for your sanitizer to work effectively, leaving bathers in your hot tub exposed to potentially harmful contaminants. Alkalines serves as buffers for the pH. When any metal part comes into contact with water that has low total alkalinity, it can corrode, putting heating elements, pipes, and heaters at risk. Calcium scaling can also occur, making it more difficult to keep surfaces clean and plumbing free of scale buildup.

You can use a smart water monitor like pHin, which tests your water balance over 1,000 times per week and sends you an alert if anything needs to be adjusted. The proven technology makes the process much easier, more convenient, and more accurate.

Recommended pH Level: 7.4 – 7.6

Recommended Alkalinity Level: 125 – 150ppm

#2: Not Keeping the Cover Off Long Enough While Adding Chemicals

It takes time for the chemicals you add to your hot tub to become fully functional, as they emit gases while absorbing into the water. When adding chemicals to a hot tub, it’s important to leave your hot tub cover open for at least 15 minutes so they can breathe and work effectively. When chemicals don’t properly dissipate, the water feels acidic. Bathers may also feel uncomfortable, experiencing skin or eye irritability as acidic water strips their skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling itchy and dry.

Sanitizers such as chlorine and bromine will better defend against bacteria, viruses, algae, and other contaminants from forming in your water if you keep the cover open for an adequate amount of time. Without oxygen, the chemicals are less effective. Chemicals like shock also require oxygen to circulate, oxidize, and clean the hot tub.

#3: Not Checking and Adjusting Chemicals Often Enough

There are a lot of reasons as to why your water level are off. Often, people accidentally add too much pH increaser when they are trying to correct a low pH level, they measure incorrectly or they spill. For some of us, the local water source may naturally have a higher than normal level. You may have to check and adjust your chemicals more frequently depending on how much you use your hot tub. If you use it daily or recently had a party with a large group of people, you might need to add more chemicals than usual. It’s a best practice to check and adjust the chemicals and shock your hot tub at least once a week, However if you have a large group or if there’s a possibility that leaves and other organic materials may have gotten into your hot tub, you may need to check it more often.

Smart water monitors check the chemical balance of your hot tub multiple times a day and will alert you if you need to add any chemicals. The beauty of an automated system is that you always know your hot tub is perfectly balanced the second you are ready to hop in.

The 9 Common Hot Tub Questions

Hot tubs are a great way to unwind in the privacy of your own home or backyard. Whether it be with family, friends, or even just by yourself after a long day, your hot tub helps melt away stress and lets you relax. Since you never know when opportunity will strike, you want your tub to be ready whenever the mood strikes. This can be difficult if you don’t know how to maintain your spa, but caring for your tub should be just as easy as relaxing in it. Here are the top hot tub questions to consider.

1) How Often Should I Clean My Filters?

You want to thoroughly rinse your filter with fresh water every other week. A garden hose works great for this, since it easily dislodges hair and most other materials from the filter. You should also soak your filter cartridge in a filter-cleaning compound every three to four months, as well as whenever you change your water. Keep two filters on hand – one in the spa and a clean, dry spare. This allows you to pop in the spare while soaking the main filter. Then, after you rinse the cleaning compound off after the original is done soaking, you can replace it and clean the spare. Your filters last longer and you get to keep enjoying your hot tub.

2) How Often Should I Drain My Hot Tub?

The answer mainly depends on how often you use the tub and your sanitizing system. However, draining and refilling your spa every three to four months is a good schedule to follow to ensure that contaminants and solids that dissolve in the water do not become excessive, which makes it difficult to maintain proper sanitation.

3) Why is My Water Cloudy?

Cloudy water in your spa usually means one of two things: either the filtration system is failing to clean smaller particles out of the water or bacteria are growing in your spa. If it is a problem with the filtration system, products that act like a coagulant to trap the dust and dirt should help. Just make sure to pull out and clean your filters once the hot tub is clean, otherwise the coagulants can break down and reintroduce all the dust and dirt they just collected. If it is bacteria you need to act fast and use a double dose of both chlorine and non-chlorine shock.

4) Can I Use Pool Chemicals in My Hot Tub?

It might seem like a good idea to just use pool chemicals for your hot tub, but that is a big mistake. Pool chemicals are much stronger than those meant for a spa and can cause serious damage to your tub. When it comes to buying the chemicals for your spa, remember that you get what you pay for. Cut-rate products are more likely to include fillers and additional chemicals that can cause issues with your water and the filtration systems. A quality product keeps your hot tub running well for years to come. In addition, product labeling differs between pool and hot tub chemicals, particularly as regards acceptable EPA guidelines. Chemical overdosing is very common when you use products specifically intended for a swimming pool in your hot tub.

5) Should I Use Bromine or Chlorine as a Sanitizer?

The chemicals that you use to sanitize your hot tub really come down to personal preference. Chlorine has a stronger odor, but is a very effective sanitizer. However, chlorine can also cause colors to fade, whereas bromine does not. Bromine also causes less eye, skin, and nose irritation and can be an effective sanitizer in its own right when administered properly in a two-part form.

6) Can I Get a Rash From My Hot Tub?

Yes, but it typically means that something is wrong with your chemical routine, not the tub. Skin rashes can be caused by both a surplus of chemicals and a lack of chemicals. For example, pseudomonas folliculitis is a skin rash commonly known as “hot tub rash.” It occurs when hot tub water is not properly sanitized. It is important to make sure the chemical balance of your water is exactly where it needs to be. This is where your pHin device comes in handy. But, when in doubt, drain, clean, and refill your spa.

7) How Should I Care for My Hot Tub Cover?

Twice a month you should remove the cover and wipe the entire surface with a cover cleaning agent. You only need a few squirts, and make sure to use a clean, damp cloth when you wipe it down. To guard against odors and bacteria growth, clean the underside of your cover with a mixture that is one part bleach to nine parts hot water. You may also use a cover cleaner such as 303 Aerospace vinyl cleaner and preserver. These products are available at most local pool and spa retailers.

8) Why is My Hot Tub Green?

Your hot tub should never be green; this means that there is bacteria growth in your spa. Drain the water and scrub every surface with a chlorine solution, then rinse the tub out with water. Refill your spa and shock the water with a dose of chlorine and non-chlorine shock. Remember, you should use your hot tub if the water is not crystal clear.

If the problem persists even after you sanitize the tub, your water may contain excess copper, which attacks the plumbing and equipment. Similarly, chromium may turn the water a lime green Jello  color. Proper water chemistry, especially pH, balances chromium and copper levels in your hot tub water.

9) Why Doesn’t My Hot Tub Get Hot?

The most common culprit when your hot tub goes cold is the filter. When the filter gets clogged, the heater shuts off because it needs water flow to be able to operate properly. Pop out your filter and give it a thorough rinse and soak in a cleaning solution. If your filters are over two years old, it is probably time to replace them. If cleaning the filter does not bring back the heat, turn the heater off for about 15 minutes. If it is still not working when you turn it back on, it is most likely time for a service call. Another common cause of heater failure is scale buildup on the heater core or element, typically caused by not using a stain and scale control. Scale buildup on the heater element of only 1/20” can reduce the heater’s efficiency by 40 percent!

To ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced, consider pHin. It constantly monitors your water and tells your smartphone what you need to do to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. Use it with your own chemicals for flexibility or get our single-dose, pre-measured chemicals delivered to your door. If you need someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand connects you to local, qualified pool techs.

How to Shock a Swimming Pool

The post How to Shock A Swimming Pool first appeared on Swim University.

You should shock your pool every week or two with the correct amount of shock, but what is shock?

Shock Treatment – The addition of an oxidizing compound or a mixture of oxidizing compounds to the water to destroy chloramines and other undesirable compounds. – Bioguard

When you add chlorine to your pool, the chlorine molecules attach themselves to bacteria and other unwanted material, and it forms a chloramine. Chloramines are essentially dead chlorine. They do nothing and you should get rid of them – this is where shock comes in.

Shock oxidizes the chloramines turning it into a gas. When you smell chlorine, you are smelling chlorine that is NOT in the water because it’s oxidized.

Now that we’ve given you the reason on WHY you should shock your pool, let’s talk about how to shock your pool.

4 Types of Pool Shock

There are 4 different types of pool shock on the market today:

It is important to understand the difference between these 4 types of shock, as they all work differently.

Calcium Hypochlorite

This is the most popular chlorine pool shock. It contains about 65% available chlorine and is cheaper than the rest. When adding to the water, you must first pre-dissolve each pound in a 5 gallon bucket of water to prevent bleaching. This type of shock is slow dissolving, so it will not completely dissolve before it hits the bottom of the your pool. Once added, you will need to wait 8 hours before swimming.

  • 65% chlorine
  • Pre-dissolve required
  • 8 hour wait time
  • Adds calcium to the water
  • Add at night

Lithium Hypochlorite

This type of shock is commonly used in areas that have a high amount of calcium in the water since this shock doesn’t use calcium. It contains about 35% available chlorine and is more expensive than using calcium hypochlorite. The one positive is you don’t have to pre-dissolve this type of shock, but you still need to wait 8 hours before swimming.

  • 35% chlorine
  • No pre-dissolve
  • 8 hour wait time
  • Add at night

Di-Chlor (Grandular Chlorine)

Grandular chlorine is simply 60% chlorine that you can pour directly into the water. You will need to wait 8 hours before swimming again, but no need to pre-dissolve and it contains cyanuric acid (chlorine stabilizer) that protects the chlorine from being burned off by the sun. It’s more expensive than calcium hypochlorite, but you can use it for regular chlorine dosages and shock treatments.

  • 60% chlorine
  • No pre-dissolve
  • 8 hour wait time
  • Adds cyanuric acid to the water
  • Add at night

Potassium Peroxymonosulfate (non-chlorine shock)

Non-chlorine shock is typically used in bromine pools, but you can use it in chlorine pools as well. You do not need to pre-dissolve and it only takes 15 minutes before you can swim again. However, this type of shock can get very expensive.

  • No chlorine
  • No pre-dissolve
  • 15 minute wait time
  • Add anytime

How to Shock a Pool: Quick Tips

  • Always use gloves and protective eye wear.
  • Add 1 pound of shock a 5 gallon bucket of water about 3/4 full.
  • Always add shock to water not water to shock.
  • Wear clothes you don’t care about – they might get bleached.
  • Warm water dissolves shock faster than cold.
  • DO NOT add shock directly to your skimmer!
  • Use a wooden stick and slowly stir in the shock making sure it dissolves completely, or as much as possible.
  • Slowly pour the bucket of pre-dissolved shock around your pool. You may have some undissolved shock at the bottom of your bucket. In this case, just dip your bucket in some pool water give it a slow swish around and pour it back into the pool to help dissolve some of that shock.
  • DO NOT mix all the bags together in one bucket.
  • Always shock at dusk or night time. The chlorine works better when it’s not being burned off by the sun.
  • Shock should also be added every week to ensure a clean and algae-free pool.

Once your pool is restored to order, ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced, consider a pHin smart monitor. This little device constantly monitors your water and automatically sends you the exact chemicals you need to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy.