Dads Love pHin! Hear Why From 4 Users

Summer is in full swing and many pool and hot tub owners have gotten their water care routine started, with the help of pHin. Dads who handle pool water care want to make sure it’s safe, and pHin is a great helper. With Father’s Day around the corner, we asked a few dads why they trust pHin to keep their water in safe swimming condition for their family:

“The pHin Smart Monitor was a breeze to install and instantly gives me all the feedback on the overall health of my pool right on my phone. I especially like that it can send notifications via the app so any chemical imbalances can be addressed immediately by me or sent to my pool maintenance company.” – — Joe Hageman, Narragansett, Rhode Island

“The pHin smart monitoring system is extremely accurate and reliable. The size is non-intrusive, not annoying like a large pool float. The product is sleek like a fin and floats 24/7 in the pool. It is pretty darn accurate when it comes to diagnostic readings of pH levels within the app. When used properly and following the recommended chemicals it automatically evaluates the water and let’s you know right away if the pH is balanced, the smart technology app capability really takes the guesswork out making this a good investment. I love this product I talk about it to all my coworkers and neighbors.  Living in sunny southern California all my neighbors have pools and have asked how they can get one.”

— Kevin Oswald, Murrieta, California

“Owning a pool should be fun, but it is frequently more a guessing game and source of irritation. Is there enough chlorine? Is there too much chlorine? Is algae going to start blooming? Is the pH level correct? Is the water healthy to swim in? How much of what chemical do I need to add and when? With pHin I can take a quick look at the app and know everything is the way it is supposed to be, and if something is off, see exactly how much of which chemical to add. Plus, I can check on the water temp and have visible proof for my girls that the water is definitely still too cold for dad to go swimming!” — John Sciacca, Myrtle Beach, North Carolina –

“Anyone tasked with taking care of a pool or spa will love having a pHin. It allows you to keep a regular eye on your pool, tells you which chemicals need to be added and when, and if your treatments are having the desired effect. So far, this pool season has been great thanks to pHin!”

— Kevin St. Lawrence, Richmond, Rhode Island 

Want to gift a pHin for Father’s Day this year?  Buy now on pHin.co.

Why and How Do We Shock Our Pools?

Seasoned pool owners know shocking is important to water care. When new pool owners research maintenance tips, they quickly find the advice: “Shock your pool. Shock your pool. Shock your pool.”

But, why do we shock?  

Regular pool shocks are critical to keeping the water safe, and to maintaining balanced water.

The main reason you need to shock is to get rid of the chloramines in the pool, which can be responsible for eye irritation and an ammonia smell. Shocking is an extra boost to burn off of bacteria so that the free chlorine can do its job.

Chlorine or bromine sanitizers can get overworked and need to be removed from the pool. This could be after a heavy rainstorm, lots of kids in the pool, or a pool party. Using a non-chlorine shock is the first step to eliminating bacteria, and doesn’t disrupt your chlorine or bromine levels, so your water can remain balanced.

How do you shock?

  • Check the label: If you have shock for a chlorine pool, carefully read the instructions to know how long the manufacturer recommends waiting before you can swim.
  • Set a schedule: Shocking your pool should be done each week – and it can be as simple as tossing a pod in the water. There are many brands that offer shock, so find what works best for your pool, or consult a local pool retailer or service technician.
  • Pick a time: Shock your pool when it’s not going to be occupied. These chemicals aren’t stabilized, so you may have to stay out of the water for at least a few hours to let the shock spread and start working, depending on the type of shock you’re using. Evenings or late afternoons work, or if you’re not a morning swimmer, maybe your shock can be in the morning.

In addition to pool shocking, make sure you check your pool water balance regularly. The right water balance keeps your pool safe to jump in anytime, and it can be simple. Pool experts created the pHin Smart Monitor, a system that measures your pool water chemistry, sends you alerts, and helps with chemical dosing. 

Need more pool know-how? Check out our Pool Chemicals 101 guide.

Pool Chemicals 101: What You Need To Know

When you first decide to get a pool, you’re thinking about the fun you’ll have: pool parties, kids frolicking, swimming laps in the morning. Unfortunately, once you fill your pool up with water you can’t just “set it and forget it.”

Pools tend to grow algae and get dirty from the chemicals and skin cells from all those swimmers, plus debris and other natural contaminants can also cloud the water and create an unswimmable, bacteria-infested environment. The last thing you want is to go for a pleasant dip and find that the water is too dirty and might even make you and your friends or family ill.

Sometimes it seems like you need a degree in chemistry to make sure your pool chemicals are perfectly balanced. Not true. It doesn’t have to be hard to make sure your pool is always clean, safe and ready for a good time. Once you understand the basics of pool chemicals and maintenance, it becomes easier and less time-consuming to make sure your pool is balanced and swimmable, especially if you have a smart water monitoring system to help.

It’s important to check your chemicals often and to perform regular maintenance. Why? One: You won’t have the long-term issues like algae blooms or bacterial infections that might create health issues for you and your swimmers. Two: You’ll avoid issues that might require draining and refilling your pool, or even more serious repairs that are expensive and will have your pool out of commission for a long time. Three: Your pool will always be ready and waiting for you to dive in and enjoy.

This overview of pool chemical basics will help any new pool owner as well as those with years of experience owning and maintaining their pools. The basic chemicals you need to monitor and adjust are:

●       Pool Sanitizers: Chlorine and Bromine

●       Algaecides

●       pH Balancers

●       Alkalinity Balancers

●       Hardness Balancers

●       Pool Shock

Don’t worry! It may seem like a lot to manage but we make keeping track of your pool’s chemical balance simple and easy.

What are pool sanitizers and why do you need them?

What do pool sanitizers do?

Pool sanitizers combine with bacteria, viruses, algae and other natural contaminants in your pool to neutralize (destroy) them. The two most popular pool sanitizers are chlorine and bromine. Sanitizers are the most important pool chemical, but it’s important to know that they work best when all of the other levels in your pool — alkaline, pH and calcium hardness — are balanced as well.

What is the difference between chlorine and bromine?

Chlorine neutralizes bacteria and viruses by attaching to them and changing their chemical profile. Once this happens, the chlorine is no longer effective, but the contaminants are gone.

Chlorine comes in a granule form which you can drop right in the pool. Granular chlorine has to be added to your pool  and tested  almost daily so it’s a little more time-intensive to manage.

Chlorine also comes in 1-inch or 3-inch tablets which can be administered using a floating chlorine dispenser, through the pool skimmer, or through an automatic chlorinator. These methods guarantee a more consistent distribution of the pool sanitizer and are also less labor intensive, especially if you have a smart pool monitor that will send you alerts about your current chemical levels if and when they get out of balance.

Chlorine 101:

●       The ideal target balance for chlorine is 3ppm (parts per million). If you are under 3ppm, your pool is probably starting to become a petri dish. Anything more than 3ppm, and you probably need to dilute the chemicals in your water.

●       Most brands of chlorine are pretty similar. If you’re looking for a reason to buy one over another, check the “active ingredients” list which is what actually works to destroy the bacteria. 

●       Weekly pool shocks are required with chlorine to clear the pool.

Bromine is similar to chlorine, but it tends to work better in pools, spas and hot tubs that run at warmer temperatures. Bromine is a great option for people whose skin is sensitive to chlorine, although it is actually chlorine-based, in case you have anyone who is allergic to chlorine.

Bromine can be more expensive than chlorine; however, bromine actually ionizes the bacteria and viruses and then continues to work, unlike chlorine, so it does last longer. Bromine comes in tablets and must be administered using a chemical dispenser.

Bromine 101:

●       The ideal target balance for bromine is between 3ppm (parts per million) and 5ppm.

●       Weekly pool shocks are required with bromine to clear the pool.

●       Bromine does not add cyanuric acid or chlorine to the water.

●       Bromine is less stable than chlorine when exposed to the sun, so you need to make sure you are constantly checking your pool chemical levels.

What are algaecides and why do you need them?

What do algaecides do?

If, or when, you see your pool looking a little cloudy and green (green pool water is a warning sign, but it can also be  yellow, blue, or black) it’s time to worry about algae. Sometimes you can spot an algae outbreak before it shows in the pool water by checking the water line, the corners of the pool and stairs for discoloration. It’s important to keep an eye out for algae in your pool as it can cause bacterial skin infections or even injuries due to slips and scrapes from a slimy surface. You want to jump into a crystal clear pool, right?!

There are several types of algae that can infest your pool; green algae is the most common and black algae is the hardest to remove. Algaecides stop algae from growing in your pool and prevent outbreaks from happening. It’s much easier and more efficient  to use the right pool chemicals during regular maintenance to prevent an outbreak rather than to try to use algaecides to cure an algae outbreak in your pool. Most algaecides are based on copper sulfates or copper chelates which stop the algae from growing. Copper-based algae treatments may stain your pool — so make sure to check before you purchase.

Algaecides 101:

●       Monitor your pool’s chemical levels constantly. A smart pool water management system, like pHin, can help you make sure that your chemical levels are balanced to help avoid an algae outbreak.

●       Make sure that your pool circulation is functioning correctly: Stagnant water is a breeding ground for algae.

●       Brush the waterline of your pool regularly to make sure that algae isn’t breeding at the surface of your pool.

●       Shock your pool. Shock your pool. Shock your pool. This should be a weekly ritual if you want to ensure healthy, swimmable water for you, your family and friends.

●       Mustard and black algae are not impacted by chlorine so you will need an algaecide to treat those conditions.

What are pH balancers and why do you need them?

What do pH balancers do?

pH balancers maintain a healthy pH range in your pool, critical to its overall health and functionality. If your pH gets too high or too low, swimmers will experience eye irritation or other skin discomforts. It can also corrode your pool tiles and damage your pumps and other expensive pool systems. Plus, if your pH is not within the correct range, your pool sanitizer and other chemical levels will be less effective.

A pool’s pH level is extremely sensitive. Anything that comes in contact with your pool — leaves, bugs,  popsicles, sunscreen, beer, kids — will affect it. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to maintain your pH levels with consistent monitoring. Keep a pH increaser and a pH decreaser in your stockpile of pool chemical management tools.

pH balancers 101:

●       To keep your pool at the best, most effective pH level, readings  should be between 7.2 to 7.6. Use a smart pool monitoring device that checks these levels constantly every day and sends an alert to your mobile device letting you know if you need to make any adjustments.

●                   Alkalinity and pH are yin and yang. You need to make sure they’re both in the right zone in order to maintain your overall pool chemistry.

●                   7 is a neutral zone for your pool’s pH. Anything below 7 will be acidic. Anything over 7 indicates that it is too alkaline. If your pool is over or under, you’ll need to add acid or alkaline to get back in balance.

What are alkalinity balancers and why do you need them?

What do alkalinity balancers do?

Alkalinity balancers are used to maintain a safe total alkalinity range for a comfortable swimming experience. Alkalinity acts as a buffer or a shield for pH levels so if your levels are off, you need to adjust for the alkalinity first and sometimes the pH will correct itself.

Alkalinity 101:

●       The recommended level for alkalinity is 125 ppm, but anywhere in the 100 – 150ppm range should be acceptable.

●       Make sure you have an alkalinity increaser in your chemical kit just in case. There is no such thing as a chemical decreaser but a pH decreaser will lower both pH and alkalinity.

What are calcium hardness balancers and why do you need them?

What do calcium hardness balancers do?

You’ve heard of hard and soft water, right? The “hardness” of your water is based on how much calcium is in the water. This is totally dependent on where you live and what source you use to fill your pool. If your calcium level is too low, it can corrode your pool systems, equipment and plumbing. If the calcium level is too high and you have a plaster or tile/mason pool, it will damage the interior of the pool. Either way, nobody wants to replace expensive pool infrastructure because they didn’t monitor the calcium hardness level of their pool so it’s an important chemical level to check regularly.

Calcium Hardness 101:

●       The ideal targets for calcium are 80-150ppm in a vinyl pool and 150-200ppm in a concrete, plaster or tile pool.

●       If your calcium levels are off, check your alkalinity first, then address your pH levels. If those adjustments don’t fix the issue, there are some more advanced tools and chemicals you can use to correct the calcium hardness.

●       Check your calcium levels regularly. This is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked, steps to extending the longevity of your pool.

What is a pool shock and why is it so important?

What does a pool shock do?

Pool shocks clean your pool when its sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) is overworked and needs to have the remnants removed from the pool, which is why regular pool shocks are so critical. You may want to shock or superchlorinate your pool after specific events as well like a heavy rain storm, a big pool party, or a few small children who may or may not have accidents! Shocking your pool on a weekly basis with non-chlorine shock eliminates bacteria without shifting your chlorine levels and goes a long way towards keeping it balanced.

 Pool Shock 101:

●       Shock your pool every week. EVERY WEEK. A smart water monitoring system will remind you to shock your pool so it’s always ready and waiting for you to have fun.

●       Pool shock chemicals aren’t stabilized, so it’s best to shock your pool in the late afternoon or evening. Make sure to run the pump for several hours to make sure the chemicals are spread evenly and working.

●       If you use a chlorine-based pool shock, make sure you know how long the manufacturer recommends to wait before allowing swimmers into the pool.

Pool chemical testing and why is it so important?

So, you’re not a chemist — although you might be starting to feel like one! But you are a pool owner. Now that you know the basics of pool chemicals, balance and the importance of keeping your pool at the right chemical levels, you know that measuring chemical levels is the first and most important step. If you don’t know the status of your pool’s chemical levels, you won’t know how to correct and get back in balance.

You can use test strips at home, or take a water sample to your local pool store to determine what you need to adjust at any given time but that can be time-consuming, annoying and frustrating. There are now digital pool test kits like pHin that will automatically check your pool water 24/7 and send you alerts if anything needs to be adjusted so all you have to do is fix what’s broken… and enjoy your pool!

How to Clean Up Your Pool or Hot Tub After Hurricane Season

Weather-related disasters can damage pool and hot tubs with heavy wind and rain. As hurricane season comes to a close along the coast, here are some steps you can take to get your backyard back to a beautiful and safe oasis:

1. Clean up debris and check water levels

Start restoring your pool to its pre-season glory by cleaning debris from the pool water. If your pool doesn’t drain excess water on its own, remove the necessary amount of water to get your pool back to its normal water level. Check that the pump and skimmer aren’t clogged with debris to ensure they’ll work properly. A pool vacuum may be helpful for catching any debris or dirt that has fallen to the bottom of the pool.

2. Restore power to your pool

Flood waters caused by hurricanes may have damaged your pool or hot tub’s electrical equipment. Before restoring power, double check that no equipment is water damaged. If you are unsure, it’s safer to have an electrician double check the area. Once the power is restored, the pool will begin to filter properly again, getting rid of the small debris and particles that were not picked up during the cleaning process.

3. Check water quality

Hurricane flooding and rainfall could have contaminated your pool or spa area, making it unsafe for swimming. Before you re-balance the water, don’t let anybody (including pets!) swim until it’s back to normal chemistry levels. Pools should be at a 7 pH level, which can be affected by the hurricane; it’s also important to check the chlorine, hardness, and cyanuric acid levels in the water. Once you’ve gotten your pool or hot tub back in balance, use the pHin Smart Monitor to easily maintain your water health. pHin monitors your pH, and sanitizer and temperature levels over 1,000 times per week and notifies you when your chemicals need adjusting.

Learn more about pHin here: www.phin.co

How Brushing Your Pool or Hot Tub Interior Surfaces Weekly Saves You Time and Money

It can be a long and difficult process to maintain and clean a pool. While most people remember to perform such necessary tasks as removing debris, emptying skimmer baskets, or cleaning tiles, brushing the pool is a job that often gets forgotten if you don’t use a pool cleaning service. Sweeping may seem like an unimportant task, but it needs to be done on a regular basis for both aesthetic and sanitary purposes. If you do not regularly and consistently brush the interior surface of your pool or spa, it may lead to issues down the road. Read on to see how brushing your pool or hot tub interior surfaces weekly saves you time and money.

Why Is Brushing So Important?

Brushing your pool is one of the most important aspects of pool maintenance, yet a surprising number of pool owners don’t do it. Much like brushing your teeth, brushing your pool is meant to prevent, not solve issues. By consistently brushing your swimming pool’s interior surface, you prevent algae buildup, remove dirt particles, and smooth the surface to ensure a long lasting finish. Also, brushing your pool is a major contributor to proper circulation, as it breaks up debris, biofilms such as pink slime, white water mold, and other microorganisms, introducing them into the water and your filtration system.

How Often Should I Brush?

You should brush the walls, ladders, steps, and corners of your pool at least once a week. To prevent any lurking algae formations, make sure to get into every nook and cranny your brush can reach. It is also important to make sure that your brush’s bristles are in good shape. Over time, the sunlight causes them to deteriorate, sending errant bristles into your filtration system or causing you to miss spots. Not brushing your pool or hot tub at least weekly allows algae and other bio-films to build up along its interior surface. If you already have an algae buildup in your pool, you need to treat the problem; brushing will not solve it.

How to Brush Effectively

Brushing a pool is truly a simple process. Even if you hire a professional cleaning service, if they come only once a week, you still need to brush weekly yourself.

Start with a nylon pool brush, or one made of stainless steel and nylon, providing the pool’s interior surface is of a cementitious finish. Do not leave the brush out in the sun, as this reduces its lifespan significantly. Properly storing your pool care tools protects them from the elements and ensures they enjoy a long life.

Attach the brush to your telepole and run it along the surfaces of your pool’s walls, steps, and benches. You don’t need to apply a great deal of force, but you do need to use firm pressure. Begin at the top of the tile line and push straight down. Work your way completely around the pool in this manner, always moving toward the drain.

If you use an automatic pool cleaning system, you do not need to brush the floor every time you brush the walls, although it never hurts. However, you should brush the entire surface at least every six to eight weeks, even if you have an automatic cleaner.

Saving Time and Money

Regularly brushing your pool and hot tub prevents algae and mineral buildup that may cause damage in the long run. Taking care of widespread algae growth costs far more time and money than a weekly brushing, and severe growth may require completely draining the pool to take care of the issue. With effective brushing and properly balancing the chemicals, you save yourself the time, effort, and money required by more intensive cleaning methods.

Keep it Clean

Brushing the interior surfaces of your swimming pool keeps it clean, healthy, and smooth. Dirt and mineral buildup doesn’t just keep it from being clean; it can also cause surfaces to become rougher. Make the time to give your pool a thorough brushing every week, particularly if you do not employ a cleaning service. Establishing a weekly routine helps keep your pool and hot tub in tip-top shape, saving you valuable time and resources.

To ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced, consider pHin. It constantly monitors your water and tells your smartphone when you need to take action to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. If you need someone to service your equipment, try Pool Service on Demand.

Landscaping Around Your Pool And Hot Tub: How to Choose the Perfect Plants

There should be a lot of thought when planning the landscaping around your pool and hot tub. After all, it’s not just a matter of planting what looks good. You also need to worry about planting what is good for your pool and hot tub. Issues to consider include whether the plants will shed into the water, if they have thorns that could possibly hurt swimmers, or if they have invasive roots (the last thing you’d want near a pool or a hot tub). Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to planning the plant-life around your pool or hot tub.

Ideal Planting

A pool or hot tub and the plants around it should create a luxurious and relaxing space, where one can both lounge and entertain. It is important that the plants you place around your pool or hot tub are in line with the look and feel you want to create. Ideally, you want to surround your pool area with plants that create privacy, add texture, and bring some color. Plant sun perennials (such as windflowers or day lilies) to transform this area into an oasis. Plant bamboo, hedges, or palm trees to create a tropical fence about the pool (but note that palm trees do shed and can be messy). Mix a variety of plants in multiple shapes and sizes to add the most texture and get the most out of this area’s landscaping.

What to Plant

While you may be looking to achieve a specific theme or vibe with the vegetation you plant, there are some important things to consider. First and foremost is the type of plants that work, not just around the water, but in the area where you live. For example, in desert climates, cacti, agave, or palm trees would work perfectly around your pool or hot tub. But in that same climate, it might be difficult to keep certain types of flowers or shrubbery alive. It can be difficult or costly to try to keep plants that require more attention or water in hotter, drier areas of the country than it would be in areas that receive plenty of rain or enjoy more mild temperatures. Always do plenty of research before choosing the plants for landscaping.

Problems Vegetation Can Present

One of the main problems that any plant can present for a pool is shedding; acorns, leaves, blades of grass, or berries can be a pool or hot tub’s worst enemy. Beyond just causing extra maintenance or cleaning, these things can stain the pool’s floor and walls, as well as the deck surrounding the pool. And when it comes to maintenance, they can throw your entire water chemistry out of balance, leading to cloudy water or algae outbreaks.

Two more things to consider are how the plant takes root and whether or not it will drop pollen. Overgrown roots tend to grow towards a water source and, when they’re right next to a pool, that pool becomes the water source their roots reach for. This can lead to erosion of the soil around your pool or hot tub, uneven pool decking, or a complete shift in the pool’s structural integrity. Pollen can cause an algae breakout in the pool and invite some unwanted and pesky insects to the area.

Bottom Line

Choosing the proper, beneficial plant-life to place around your pool has practically endless benefits. Aside from creating the perfect look or atmosphere, you can provide shade, privacy, and even play a hand in dictating your pool’s temperature. Picking the perfect vegetation may seem daunting, but always remember that the primary goal should be to keep it simple. Personal preference and geographic location will always dictate what you want and choose to plant, but also remember to consider the shedding and rooting of each plant.

If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced year-round, consider a pHin smart monitor. This little device constantly monitors your water and automatically sends you exactly what you need to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. If you’re looking for someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand instantly connects you to local, qualified pool techs.

10 Ways to Maintain An Eco-Friendly Pool

The post 10 Ways to Maintain An Eco-Friendly Pool first appeared on Swim University.

No, we don’t mean turning your water green with algae. We all want a pristine blue swimming pool, but we can be eco-conscious about it. Check out the top ten ways to be an environmentally friendly pool owner.

1. Switch To A Greener Cleaner

Chlorine is the most commonly used chemical to clean pools, mainly because it works so well. But, did you know that chlorine is considered a pesticide by the Environmental Protection Agency? It can be harsh on hair, skin, and eyes, and misuse can result in illness, injury, or worse. If not handled properly, chlorine can be very dangerous. It can also wreak havoc on the plants and animals in your backyard.

However, there are several chlorine alternatives that are better for you and the environment. These include bromine, PHMB (polyhexamethylene biguanide,) Ozonator systems, and natural mineral sanitizers. With any of these systems, you may occasionally have to add chlorine or algaecide, but they’re still more eco-friendly in the long run.

f you want to go completely chemical-free, consider a natural swimming pool that uses plants to clean the water. These types of pools need a bit more time and effort to maintain, but once a balance is struck, they can be a safe place for your family, friends, and pets to swim.

2. Switch To A Solar Heater

It’s always a toss-up as to whether having a pool heater can even be considered green at all. On the one hand, the less energy you use, the greener you are. On the other, a heater allows you to use your pool for more months out of (or even the whole) year.

The principles of green living involve conserving water and getting the most out of what you do have. Not having to drain your pool every fall and making the best use of your backyard feature are definitely good things.

When you want to conserve energy, but you also want to use your pool to it’s fullest potential, what’s the best way to go? The answer is definitely a solar heating system. Solar-powered pool heaters use a series of tubes that absorb heat from the sun to warm the water after it passes through the filtration system.

Harnessing the sun’s power won’t only save energy; it will save you money on your energy bills each month. While switching to a solar heater involves an initial investment, the returns will be worth it in the end. Heat from the sun is renewable, and it will always be free.

3. Install A Heat Pump

Solar heaters are a great, green option, but they may not be necessary in all climates. If you live in an area with warmer air, or in an area where the water only needs to be heated a little, a heat pump is the greenest way to go. Heat pumps use minimal energy because they don’t actually generate any heat: they draw thermal energy from the air and transfer it into the water.

While heat pumps are electric for the most part, they consume much less energy than their counterparts. To make sure you get the most from your heat pump, be sure to maintain it properly by cleaning debris from the intake and keeping it in an area with good air flow.

4. Use A Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners are one of the simplest, quickest, and most inexpensive ways to green your pool. You can make your pool instantly greener today if you want. Most are ready to use out of the box, and only require that they be plugged in or charged before use. There are also solar cleaners on the market, if you want to conserve even more energy.

Robotic pool cleaners are green for a number of reasons: first, they reduce the amount of chemical cleaners your pool needs. Second, they reduce the amount of times you’ll have to clean and change your pool filter. Third, they are over 90% more efficient than a traditional pool filtration system, and cost less than five cents an hour to run.

5. Clean Your Filters

Another way to ensure that your pool utilizes less energy is to keep your filters clean. A dirty filter doesn’t work as well as a pristine one, causing your pump to work harder more often and your cleaning agents to be less effective.

Cleaning your filters is generally very easy, so there isn’t much reason not to keep up on this task. Backwashing a sand filter is a minimally involved process, so is backwashing a DE filter (DE stands for dichotomous earth.)

You should backwash both of these types of filters once a month, or when the pressure is 8-10 above average PSI (pounds per square inch.) You should also remove and clean the entire filter once a year, and occasionally replace the materials.

Cleaning a cartridge filter is a more tedious process, but you won’t have to do it as often, and replacing the cartridges is much easier than replacing sand or DE. No matter what type of filter you use, keeping it in tip-top shape will ensure that the rest of your equipment runs smoothly.

6. Add A Timer To Your Pumps

Most circulation pumps are running more often than they need to, which consumes unneeded energy and costs you more money than it’s worth.Energy.gov recommends you only run your pump for six hours a day, which should be sufficient so long as your pump is sized properly to your pool’s volume.

However, turning it on and off daily can be a hassle. This either leads to your pump running unnecessarily, or your pool’s circulation suffering. Adding an automatic time clock to your pump system is the best way to make sure your water gets filtered regularly without consuming unneeded energy.

7. Cover Your Pool

Eco-conscious pool owners know that the simplest and cheapest way to conserve water and energy is to cover their pool when they’re not using it. Pool covers keep heat in and debris out, and also discourage water from evaporating out.

Sealing heat in means you’ll use less energy heating your pool. Keeping debris out means you’ll use less energy filtering your pool. More water staying in your pool means using less water to refill it.

Your best bet is a solar pool cover, which will do all those jobs plus it will seal heat in and trap warmth from the sun to be absorbed by your pool, which means even less energy consumption and cost.

8. Add A Windbreak

A pool cover can cut down on debris and evaporation, but that’s not the only thing that can help. A windbreak can be installed around some or all of the pool. Windbreaks come in many different forms. Anything from a fence to a custom-ordered windbreak to fit your pool dimensions will do the trick. If you want to be extra-green, you can even plant your own windbreak using trees, shrubs, or local foliage.

Windbreaks not only provide privacy; they also make your pool eco-friendly by lessening the amount of water evaporation and helping to keep out debris that need energy to filter out. Not to mention that they provide relief from harsh winds, and whatever dirt and dust they may be blowing around.

9. Install A Pool Enclosure

If you’re after the ultimate in comfort, privacy, and eco-friendliness, a pool enclosure is the way to go. Having your pool partially or fully enclosed will provide shade and seclusion, and keep the ground around the pool from getting too hot. On top of all of the comfort benefits, there are green ones too.

A pool enclosure will help keep your pool cleaner and warmer, and lessen evaporation of precious water into the air. You’ll be able to clean, heat, and fill your pool less often. A pool enclosure will also extend the amount of time you can swim, or even turn your pool into an oasis that’s swimmable year-round.

10. Party Green

Don’t forget to keep things green when you party! There are lots of ways to throw an eco-friendly pool party: from the grub to the decor, you can be an environmentally conscious host. There’s no need for wasteful paper invitations and plates. You can invite friends through email or Facebook, and invest in reusable plastic plates and servingware that won’t shatter if dropped poolside.

You don’t have to buy disposable decor to make the place look festive, just get creative with the home decor you already have. Try to find locally sourced and humanely treated food to serve your guests, and use LED string lights if your party will roll on into the night.

How Do You “Green” Your Pool?

These are just the top ten ways to be a green pool owner. What are some of your best tips for maintaining your pool while keeping the environment on your mind?