What chemicals do I need to start?
If you are lucky and your water is low maintenance you may only need a sanitiser (chlorine or bromine) if you're not so lucky (and few are) you will need chlorine or bromine (tabs or granules), shock (non chlorine shock for bromine treated water) , ph balancers (ph plus and ph minus) although it's rare that both are needed and algecide. We sell a starter kit that gives you all you need plus some instructions in our store, this is usually helpful while you learn about your water chemistry and what is needed to keep your water readings safe and clean. Non-chemical items that are also useful are test strips or kits and floating dosers, all the above are available from our shop and we are always available via phone/email or the chat option at the bottom of the page for any help you may need with getting started.

Should I use chlorine or bromine?
Both work to keep your water bacteria free, bromine works over a wider ph range and is more effective at higher temperatures so is more suited to hot tubs but is more expensive than chlorine. Both can be used for pools and tubs. There is not a right or wrong answer as it's really down to personal preference but as a rule chlorine is more suited to pools and bromine for hot tubs.

How much chlorine or bromine should I use?
This is probably the most asked question about swimming pools and hot tubs but is also the hardest to answer! Every body of water is different and your dosing depends on your local water chemistry, frequency of usage, how the water is covered, how it is insulated etc etc. The best advice is to test regularly and note your results. This way you can build up a comprehensive picture of how your water reacts to different dosing and how your readings are affected by different usage. 
 

What are safe sanitiser readings?

Regardless of how frequently or what system you use to add chlorine to the water, the chlorine level should stay between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm) to maintain a healthy swimming pool. Hot tubs are generally kept at higher temperatures so require a higher concentration of sanitiser we recommend a reading of 3-5ppm for Free Chlorine and 4-6ppm for Bromine in hot tubs, spas and swim spas.

What is a safe PH reading?

We recommend  a ph reading of between 7.2-7.6 this allows your sanitiser to work at its most efficient and provides "neutral" water so is less harmful to your skin whilst preserving your equipment.  However if your water is out of this range, don't worry, we sell ph balancers in our store.

What is the best temperature for my pool or hot tub?
We recommend 28 degrees celcius for outdoor pools, this is a comfortable swimming temperature and also preserves chlorine in the water, any warmer and chlorine is depleted quickly and algae can grow rapidly, leaving you with green or unsafe water. Hot tubs can operate at higher temperatures, 35-40 degrees, however be aware that they are quite expensive to heat so watch your electric bill!!

Can I shock with stabilised chlorine granules?

In a word NO. It's a common misconception that to shock your water is to add a large dose of chlorine. Shock chlorine and stabilised chlorine are two seperate compounds, they both do roughly the same job but shock is unstabilised so works, and then disperses quickly, stabilised chlorine is designed to stay in your water longer but works more slowly too. Shock chlorine is useful for problem solving (for example a green pool or tub, stabilised chlorine is used for maintaining clean water. Using stabilised chlorine granules as a problem solver can leave your pool or tub with dangerously high chlorie levels for too long. Also the cyanuric acid that "stabilises" the chlorine is very difficult to breakdown and stays in your water, meaning that you will have to empty your pool and tub more frequently by using stabilised granules instead of shock. Shock is also generally cheaper than stabilised granules so it's more economical to use both.  Both are available in our shop.

If your question isn't answered here please call us on 01376 528774, mail palmtreepools1@gmail.com or use the contact form on the homepage.