The Ultimate Pool Care Routine for A Stress-Free Summer

School is wrapping up and the days are getting longer and warmer – which means summer is finally here!

If you’ve opened your pool (hot tub, or swim spa) for the season, it’s time to set a routine to keep it safe for swimming all summer long.

The pHin team put together these steps to stress-free pool care:

1.       Set a schedule

Your pool water needs regular care to stay balanced and safe throughout the summer. To stay on track, set up a schedule to use water test strips, adjust chemicals, and add shock (Learn more about shocking here.).

Plan a day to brush the pool weekly, it’s an important step towards preventing algae buildup, removing dirt particles, and smoothing the surface to ensure a long-lasting finish. And, remember to use the skimmer daily to remove leaves and debris that may collect overnight.

2.       Stock up on chemicals

You may already have chosen your favorite chemical brand, or are going with the recommendation from your pool builder or hot tub manufacturer. Stock up on a good supply of chemicals, shock, and test strips, so you don’t run out unexpectedly. You can even keep a chart nearby to note when items are getting low. Store them safely, secured and away from children and pets.

Your local pool technician can help keep you stocked too. Many are taking online orders and offering curbside pickup, so getting the supplies you need is even easier. You can even find a pool store near you and place an order if you’re a pHin user, right through the pHin app!

3.       Get Ready for Testing

Water testing can be challenging, even for experienced pool owners! Most pool owners check their temperature daily and test the water with strips weekly. A helper like the pHin Smart Water Monitor can boost the number of tests for accurate measurements available anytime through the app. It floats in the pool, measuring the pH, sanitizer, and temperature over 1,000 times per week.

The measurements are put through an algorithm that will give a clear status of whether the water is balanced, or needs action. If the water isn’t safe, the pHin user will get a push notification, with actionable instructions and exact chemical dosing.

4.       Plan for fun!

Once you know your pool is safe for swimming, accessorize and plan for fun! Schedule wine nights by the pool, plan your Fourth of July barbeque, and stock up on pool floaties, water games, and lots of sunblock.

Want to keep your pool in top swimming shape? Try out pHin! Learn more here.

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.

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.

New Pool? Tips for Getting Water Ready for Swimming

You wanted a pool, longing to jump into cool water after a hot day, splashing with your family on the weekends, or floating around with a cocktail after work. So, you researched. You planned and consulted. You purchased, you landscaped, and you waited.

Congratulations on your new pool! A pool full of new water isn’t safe to swim in right away. To get the most out of it (and protect your investment), you need to prepare it before welcoming swimmers. pHin team put together what you need to know to get your water safe and ready for swimming:

Assemble your tools.

Every pool owner should have a standard set of tools they use to test and treat their pool water. That includes:

  • A water test kit
  • Pool brushes and cleaning tools
  • Chemicals
    • Chlorine or salt, depending on your system
    • Baking soda
    • Muriatic acid: One of the chemicals used to lower pH and total alkalinity in pools. Follow the instructions on the label, and make sure it is compatible with your pool; some muriatic acid can’t be used in hot tubs or with fiberglass, vinyl, or painted pools.
    • Sequestering agent: Iron and copper can build up in your pool. Sequestering agents help prevent staining and scaling by suspending the metal particles in solution.

Test the pool water.

Take your first water measurements with test strips to get the pH, chlorine, and total alkalinity levels of the water. You can purchase a test kit at your local pool store, or online.

Safe water should have pH between 6.8 and 7.2, and total alkalinity between 70 and 80 ppm.

There is a range for an optimal pH, which should then be raised between 8 7.1 and 7.7 for chlorine pools and 7.0 and 7.5 for salt pools. Lower pH provides better sanitizing benefits. At the same time, this will raise the total alkalinity. For example, concrete pools should have total alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm, where painted, vinyl, or fiberglass pools should be between 125 and 170 ppm.

Remember, whenever you’re adding chemicals to your pool, use extra caution to prevent them from touching your skin or eyes, by using gloves or goggles. Keep the chemicals secured and stored safely away from children and pets.

Grab your scrub brush.

To get the water balance right, you’ll need to keep your pool clean.

As a best practice, brush the pool often using a nylon brush. Particles, leaves, or dirt can get stuck in corners, steps, and other crevices, so make sure they get extra attention. You can also use a pool skimmer to catch leaves or bugs that accumulate on the surface overnight.

After the pool is balanced, you may want to add algaecide. Always check with your manufacturer to make sure it’s compatible with your pool, how much to add, and when it would be safe to swim.

Let the water settle.

Your pool water needs time to run through the system. Allow the pump to run for 1-2 days, and, as you add chemicals through the process, you may need to wait a few days in between to allow for stabilization.

You should also wait until the chemicals settle before using a heater or vacuum. If you don’t wait, it could interfere with the pool’s curing time, which can cause long-term damage. Some experts recommend letting your pool cure for 21 days, but it’s best to check with your manufacturer or local pool expert to determine the most suitable time-frame.

Set your pool care routine.

Once your pool is open and ready for swimming, you need to set a routine to keep it safe. Schedule weekly water test strips and chemical adjustments.

If you’re brand new to pools, testing, and chemicals, technology like the pHin Smart Water Monitor can remove the guesswork of water care. Instead of testing just once a week, pHin gives you a clear picture of your water quality in real-time. The device takes over 1,000 measurements a week (few pool owners can match that by hand!), and sends alerts, reminders, and chemical dose instructions in the app. See what users think of pHin.

When Should I Open My Pool for the Season?

When the temperatures start to rise, we begin longing for days spent poolside in the sunshine. A ripple effect of pool openings starts across the country as we approach the first day of summer with some pool owners wondering, “When should I open my pool for the season?”

Many factors can play into the decision for opening day. The pHin experts share tips for picking the ideal date:

 When Is It Too Early To Open Your Pool?

Each pool owner’s opening date varies depending on where they live. When temperatures are consistently over or around 70 degrees it’s usually the perfect time to start a pool opening. While it might be a little chilly for swimming for those who don’t have heated pools, it’ll leave you time to get ready for warmer days to come. Keep an eye on the weather – consistency is important because you don’t want to experience freezing temperatures a few days after the big opening.

 Along with outdoor temperatures, there are a few other factors to consider:

1.    Algae

With warmer temperatures, your pool can become a breeding ground for algae. To prevent algae buildup that can turn your pool green, opening your pool sooner can get you up and running. This gives you extra time to start cleaning to prevent the algae from growing.

2. Expense and Equipment

Pool openings can add extra expenses. Before you open your pool, consider the costs of additional chemicals, parts, or labor that will be needed. Also, do a check of what you’ll need for the season, including test strips, chemicals, cleaner, etc.

3.     Aesthetic

Pulling the cover off your pool adds beauty to your backyard. It might also be time to have the surrounding deck or patio power-washed, uncover your pool-side lounge chairs, and see if there’s anything you want to add this year, like rock speakers, lighting, new toys, or even a water slide.

4.     Entertainment         

Pools offer endless fun for families to enjoy all season long. After you’ve planned your pool opening date, start planning the first day for fun and games with your family, or a workout right in the backyard!

These pool opening tips should help you keep your pool in top shape all summer long.  The water needs to be balanced and safe for swimming, and technology like pHin can help guide you through the process. Enjoy the pool season!

5 Tips for A Safe Pool Season

All pool owners need to have a safety plan, whether for monitoring the pool or ensuring proper water balance. In recognition of National Water Safety Month, the pHin team put together tips to brush up on pool safety for a safe season this year:

1.            Practice Swimming Skills

Basic swimming skills are needed before jumping into any body of water including pools, oceans, and lakes. The American Red Cross recommends mastering a few basic skills before swimming: before taking a swim, you should be able to enter water that is over your head and return to the surface, tread water for at least one minute, swim 25 yards, and exit the water.

2.             Establish A Protection Plan

When children are in the water, parents should be vigilant with no distractions, and stay no more than an arm’s length away from the child while they swim. If an emergency occurs, be prepared to help by knowing the signs of drowning, enrolling in CPR training, and always paying close attention to all swimmers in the pool.

3.             Know Your Limits

Take extra precautions, even if you don’t plan on going for a swim. Swimmers should know their physical limitations; don’t overexert yourself or get stuck in a situation that your body can’t handle. It’s also a good idea to save the cocktails for after the swim, to make sure you are alert aware and smart around water.

4.            Use Protection in and Around Water

Set up a game plan with your family for pool time. All pools should have a fence or some type of barrier surrounding them to prevent anybody from getting in the area without adult or pool owner supervision, and it’s a good idea to teach young children to ask permission before they jump in. Children and other inexperienced swimmers should also use life jackets or flotation devices when entering the water. Keep a first aid kit and phone in your pool area for quick access if an emergency occurs.

5.            Invest in Proper Pool Equipment

If your pool equipment isn’t functioning properly, you might run into some safety issues. Check if your pool cover is in good working order and ensure that your pool has proper drain covers. Check your water balance regularly to make sure it’s safe for swimming. While chemicals can be confusing, technology like pHin helps eliminate the guesswork. pHin floats in your pool water and constantly measures the water’s balance while providing real-time alerts if the pool is not safe for swimming.

During National Water Safety Month, the pHin team wishes all a safe and fun swim!

[Infographic] How Well Do You Know Your Olympic Sports?

The Olympic games originated from ancient Greece where men from all over the region initially competed in 7 events dedicated to the Olympian gods. The Olympics have come a long way since then with the addition of many new sports. Let’s take a dive through the history of Olympic swimming pool sports.

Swim_Timeline_

Whether you are an Olympic athlete, backyard dipper or poolside lounger, remember that pHin is there to ensure a perfectly balanced pool or hot tub so you can have a gold medal experience every time.