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.