Fighting off pool algae can often be difficult once it starts to develop in your pool. One of the best ways to manage the overall health of your pool is by working to prevent algae from forming in the first place. Simply maintain sufficient chlorine levels (or FC) in your pool at all times to make sure that algae will not form. Chemicals like algaecides or pool shock can grow expensive over time and are unnecessary. Once your pool starts to form a green film inside of it, clearing a green pool can be time consuming and expensive.
In this article, we are going to discuss algae, some of its main causes as well as how it can be properly avoided.
What causes algae in pool water?
If you walk away with only one piece of knowledge from this entire article, please let it be this. Pool algae is almost always caused when the chlorine level isn’t sufficient and high enough which allows algae to grow faster than the sanitizer can kill the organisms. Once you have a serious algae problem, there are two crucial things to understand about getting rid of it. First, algae is constantly growing. If you skip a day before you have gotten rid of it all, it starts growing right back. Skip a couple of days, and any time and chemicals you invested up to that point will be wasted.
While some users may find it beneficial to use products such as algaecides we’ve learned it’s often an unneeded step and expense. While certain products may slow the growth of algae, they do add unnecessary cost for the home owner. When properly maintained, chlorine is able to kill most algae and bacteria in under a minute. Thus often there’s no need to slow growth down. If a user wishes to use certain algaecides please be aware that some may contain copper which can stain the pools surface and turn swimmers hair green. Simply put, maintain a proper chlorine level and algaecides aren’t needed to prevent pool algae.
How to prevent pool algae
If you jog your memory back you’ll remember our goal of preventing pool algae before you have a green pool. To do this we suggest maintaining your Free Chlorine (FC) level according to the FC/CYA Ratio Chart and avoid allowing your Free Chlorine level drop below the Minimum level. A user will want to test daily and add chlorine to stay above the minimum level.
Now we know there are those users out there reading this who’s pool may already be green. To those users we hope you have gained some ideas how to avoid the issue in the future. Trouble Free Pool has developed a system to clear a green pool that works wonders. If you’re pool is already green, we invite you to read more about the SLAM Process.
Tell me more about algaecides
As previously mentioned, certain algaecides can help slow the growth of algae. These products can be viewed as an insurance policy for the homeowner. If the chlorine level ever drops below the minimum level the algaecide may give the homeowner an extra day before algae really takes hold. That said, it’s also going to add additional cost for the user that’s not needed IF the chlorine level is always maintained.
Certain Algaecides also contain trace amounts of copper. Copper can stain the surface and change the color of swimmers hair. If your hair starts to go green after regular swimming, this can be an indication there’s copper in your water. This green color is not the algae forming in your hair but a reaction to the copper. By regularly measuring your chlorine levels, you can make sure that you never need to invest in algaecides.
What about a weekly pool shock?
Well good news, that weekly pool shock the pool store tells you is a must, you don’t need it. The pool store’s theory is that there will be some algae growth forming in the pool. They have the homeowner add pool shock to kill this pool algae that has formed. The problem is often pool shock contains various products that build up in your pool as explained here.
Many stores will recommend that you shock your pool after algae has formed in the water. There is a small chance of the algae in the water will consume the chlorine and stop growing. If a sizable amount of algae is in your pool it will quickly consume the pool shock, then continues to grow once the chlorine has dissipated.