Search Results for: pool care

Pool Care After Swimming

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As fun as it is having a pool party for an occasion like Memorial Day or July 4th, there can be some consequences for having that many people in the pool. Sweat, dirt, oil, and sunscreen people may be carrying all may enter your pool.

This can alter your water chemistry and maybe even allow algae to begin growing. Being proactive with your maintenance both before and after could be the difference between swimming in clear water the next day and having either cloudy water or even a large algae bloom on your hands.

About 24-48 hours beforehand, it would be a good idea to shock your pool with Chlor Brite Granular Shock or Power Powder Plus. This boosts your chlorine level up drastically, sanitizes the pool, and then allows a nice chlorine level to be maintained using either 3” Chlorine Tabs or a your salt system. This will get your pool as ready as possible to deal with whatever swimmers bring into the pool.

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An oxidizing product such as Leslie’s Fresh ‘N Clear may be during the party to help free up chlorine and reduce any oil slicks that may appear from people entering the pool. After using Fresh ‘N Clear, swimmers only need to wait for 15 minutes before entering the pool again, so it’s a great option to use when everyone is taking a break.

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Afterwards, it would be a good idea to shock your pool yet again. While there should have been a good chlorine base in the pool that is hard at work sanitizing the water, it is already burning off quickly. If left as is, you may run the risk of having a low chlorine level. Therefore, shocking will introduce enough chlorine into the water to overpower whatever entered your pool and prevent your chlorine from quickly dropping. Make sure to run your pool for at least 8 hours after adding the shock at night.

As with any shock treatment, it is best to apply the chemical once the sun is down and your system is running. With your system running, debris and particulates, along with whatever has been killed by shocking the pool, can be filtered out, keeping your pool clean.

After you have completed this process, it would be a good idea to test your water either yourself or by taking a sample into a Leslie’s location. Your chemistry can change quite a bit when having a lot of people in your pool, and Leslie’s can tell you what is needed to keep your water in balance.

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Pool Care After a Haboob

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In 2011, every pool owner in Phoenix, AZ had to deal with incredible dust-storms called “haboobs”. These storms were widely considered some of the biggest Phoenix had ever seen.

Phoenix Haboob Video

So what is the best way to take care of your pool after a haboob? There are a few steps that, if followed, will help making caring for your pool after a dust storm easier.

  1. Ensure your filter is working properly. The debris entering your pool needs to come out somehow. By making sure your filter is working effectively, whatever enters your pool can be removed.  Once your pool is clean though, make sure to check the filter pressure. If your filter pressure is about 8-10psi higher than what it was originally, it would be a good idea to clean the filter. 
  2. Brush, skim, and check your filter baskets. Your system can’t handle all types and sizes debris. By skimming to remove bigger leaves and other outside materials, you can prevent any issues with the system caused by a blockage or clog. By brushing, you can speed up the cleaning process by moving dirt and other finer materials toward the main drain in your pool. Using a manual vacuum is also a good option to help remove dirt. This also prevents anything from getting stuck on your pool surface that could cause a stain, for example. Any debris that then makes it through the system will be caught in your filter basket, which needs to be cleaned regularly for optimal system performance.
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  4. Shock your pool using a product like Power Powder Weekly Shock or Chlor Brite Granular Shock from Leslie’s. Algae spores and other material can enter your pool because of a storm. By adding the recommended amount of shock, you can make sure your pool stays sanitized. If you have a chlorine generator (salt system), you can typically find a “boost” feature to increase the amount of chlorine produced by the cell for a short period of time.
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  6. Run your system overnight. Brushing and shocking won’t be effective at cleaning your pool if the water isn’t being filtered and circulated. Running your system for an extended period of time allows not only the debris you’ve stirred up in the water, but also the material that has been killed by the shock, to be removed by your filter.
  7. Manually test your water or bring a sample to a local Leslie’s store. Rain and other debris can interfere with your pool’s water balance and sometimes things need to be adjusted afterward. In order to get a sense of what has chemically changed from the storm, a simple water test can show you what you need to do to make sure your pool is ready for use.
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  1. Obviously, each storm is different, but by following these general guidelines, recovering from a haboob can be easy and you can get back to swimming in no time.
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Basic Pool Care

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will teach you how to keep your pool clean by having a regular maintenance schedule.

If you have any other questions about cleaning your pool, visit lesliespool.com or one of knowledgeable staff members at one of our 800 stores.

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Video transcription:

Hi! I’m Lauren. Here at Leslie’s we’ve been serving the needs of do-it-yourselves pool owners since 1963. We believe that every pool owner can care for and maintain their pool with help from the experts at Leslies.

Today I’ll be showing you some simple and easy steps on how to care for your pool to keep it clean, clear and ready to use. Routine cleaning is important to keeping your pool working properly and looking great.

During the swimming season you should spend about an hour a week cleaning your pool. This video will demonstrate the 5 main steps of Pool Cleaning.

The first step to cleaning your pool is to remove leaves and debris that are on the pool surface and floor. Any leaves and debris that are left in your pool can cause staining and algae growth.

The skimmer net is used to catch and remove leaves and debris on the pool surface. The Leaf Rake will remove larger debris like rocks, twigs and acorns that sink to the bottom of your pool. If you don’t remove these larger items out of the water they can clog your main drain and damage your pump.

Your pool has at least 2 baskets that should be checked regularly. The skimmer basket catches leaves, bugs and any other floating debris. You should check this basket whenever you’re cleaning your pool. After emptying, use a garden hose to clean out any excess debris. The basket in your pool pump needs to be emptied on a regular basis too especially after heavy rain and wind storms.

Your pump basket will trap leaves and debris before they enter the filter a clogged basket can damage your pump and cause pool circulation problems. Make sure the O-Ring or gasket inside your pump lid is in good condition and well lubricated with Leslies pool and spa lube.

Next remove all dirt and debris that settles on your pool walls steps and floors by brushing stains can develop and algae can grow in you pool if you don’t brush regularly. For best results while brushing, you should divert maximum suction to the pools main drain. This is done by turning the suction control valve in front of your pump to close off suction from the skimmer. Always make sure your pool pump and filter are running while you brush. Brush strokes should be slow and smooth starting just under the water line. Begin in the shallow end and move towards the deepest part of the pool. All dirt should be brushed towards the main drain. If u diverted your pool suction while brushing re-adjust the suction control valve so that 80% comes from the skimmer and 20% comes from the pools main drain.

The next area to take care of is the water line around your pool. Oil, dirt and bacteria in your water can form a ring or scum line around your pool. To prevent and eliminate a ring or scum lines brush the water line regularly. Depending on your pool surface, you can use a product like Leslie tile cleaner to cut through the oil and dirt on your tile and restore its shine. We recommend using Natural Chemistry’s Pool Perfect regularly to prevent an oil and scum line from forming.

Pool Perfect breaks down organic matter in your pool water making the water feel soft and silky. To prevent scale formation make sure to keep your water balanced. If you have a scale ring of scum line around your pool. Leslies has a variety of products you can use to eliminate it .The final step is to vacuum your pool. To manually vacuum your pool, you will need a tele-pole and vacuum head and a vacuum hose. Attach the tele-pole and the vacuum hose to the vacuum head. Next you’ll need to prime the hose. Slowly lower the vacuum head into the pool feeding the vacuum hose hand over hand straight down into the water forcing air out of the hose.

Place your hand firmly over the hose that no air gets inside. Attach the hose to the suction port inside the skimmer. You can now begin to vacuum your pool. Use smooth and even strokes. Over lap to ensure complete cleaning. During swim season you should manually vacuum your pool at least once a week depending on weather conditions.

If you don’t want to manually vacuum your pool, you can use an automatic pool cleaner which vacuums the pool for you and cuts your cleaning time in half.

When cleaning your swimming pool, remember these 5 easy steps:

1. Clean the pool surface & floor
2. Empty the skimmer and pump baskets
3. Brush the pool walls, steps and floor
4. Clean the water line
5. Vacuum your pool

You should also test your pool water regularly and at least twice a week during swim season to ensure it’s balance and ready for swimming. You can use test kits or strips to test your water or bring in a sample to any Leslies store for a free test and analysis.

We hope this video has shown you just how simple it is to take care of your swimming pool. Our goal here at Leslies is to make pool care easy.

Thank you for watching.

For more information please visit our website at lesliespool.com or any one of our more than 800 stores nationwide.

Hot Tub Care

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Keeping a clean, well balanced hot tub is much like maintenance on a pool, just a bit faster rate. Hot tubs go through faster chemical changes due to heat and aeration so they require additional care and upkeep. Below we have outlined some simple steps to ensure your hot tub stays clean and safe.

When taking care of your hot tub there are two major methods of sanitation, chlorine and bromine. Chlorine tends to be the cheaper option out of the two choices, but requires more maintenance.Due to the heat in hot tubs, chlorine becomes ineffective at a quicker rate, where as bromine lasts much longer, requiring less application and maintenance. Whether convenience or price rules out the use of chlorine or bromine, maintenance and upkeep is key for healthy water. Below we have put together some easy to follow steps to keep your hot tub clean and clear.
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Upon filling or re-filling your hot tub, shock (the process of adding an excess of chlorine to raise FC levels to destroy bacteria and algae)  your water with a dichlor shock, such as Leslie’s Chlor Brite. Test your water and add Chlor Brite until you reach about 10 ppm of free chlorine or FC.
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After the initial shock, you will want to keep your FC levels around 3-6 ppm on a regular basis, adding Chlor Brite accordingly.
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For first time hot tub owners, you’ll want to test your FC levels before and after hot tub use on a daily basis. Veteran hot tub owners will want to test weekly. Remember 3-6 ppm of FC is what your looking for. Once you have established the amount of dichlor needed to stay within this range, you can adjust dosage as needed.
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Make to account for any heavy usage of your hot tub. For instance, if you have multiple people in the hot tub for an extended period of time, it’s always a good idea to then shock your hot tub to bring FC levels up.
Note: If FC levels drop below 0, it creates a breading ground for bacteria and can cause problems, so it’s important to test your water to maintain a trouble free hot tub.
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Start by creating a Bromide reserve. This can be quickly achieved by adding sodium bromide to your hot tub. To be an effective sanitizer bromine needs this reserve of Sodium Bromide plus an oxidizer such as shock.
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After successfully adding a bromide reserve, shock your hot tub. You will want to test and  shock your hot tub until your reach about 10ppm of bromine. Wait until this level drops below 10ppm before entering the hot tub.
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Upon reaching proper bromine levels, you have the option add bromine Tabs with a bromine dispenser or continue to apply bromine and and oxidizer such as chlorine or Leslies Fresh ‘N Clear (sometimes referred to as non-chlorinated shock or MPS) to maintain proper bromine levels. Either way, you will want to keep bromine levels around 4-6 ppm.
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Using bromine does not eliminate the need to shock your hot tub. You will still have to shock weekly to burn off any organic contaminants that accumulate in the hot tub. After each shock wait until bromine levels drop below 10ppm before entering.
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Obtain a good test kit and test the bromine and pH before entering in your hot tub each time. Test for bromine, pH TA and CH weekly. CYA does not affect a bromine system and does not have to be tested.
Note: Whether or not you decide to sanitize your hot tub using chlorine or bromine, you will always want to drain and fill your hot tub every 3-4 months to keep it well sanitized.
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The most important step in maintaining a healthy, clean hot tub is balancing your water. Keeping well balanced water will ensure the chemicals added to your hot tub do their job and leave spa goers with clean water. Start out by acquiring a good test kit or taking your water in to one of the 800 national Leslie’s Stores to get your water tested for free. follow the steps below to test and balance your water.
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Test for CH or Calcium Hardness levels. You want your levels to be at about 150 ppm. If your CH levels are below 100 ppm you’ll want to add a calcium increaser such as Leslie’s Hardness Plus. Low CH levels can lead to corrosive conditions that can damage your hot tub and high levels will cause scale build-up.
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Test your TA or Total Alkalinity in your hot tub. Levels should be at about 50ppm. If levels are low use Leslie’s Soda Ash to quickly raise the TA levels in your hot tub. If your levels measure low add Leslie’s Dry Acid to increase levels. It’s important to note that the aeration of hot tub jets will also lower TA levels. If you will be running the hot tub jets, take this into account.
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Test pH levels. Your levels should be in the 7.2 to 7.8 range. To increase levels add Soda Ash or add Dry Acid to lower levels. If you have continuous level changes that are hard to maintain, consider using a product like pH Lock when refilling your spa with water. This stabilizes the pH and controls water balance, making maintenance easier. Don’t forget, aeration will increase pH levels and lower TA levels. A good idea is to test pH before and after hot tub usage, then account for the chemical changes when using the hot tub.

Pool Test Kits

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will teach you how to properly use a test kit at home.

  • Test kits measure pH, total alkalinity, and sanitizer
  • We recommend the DPD Deluxe Test Kit from Taylor
  • The test kit has enough supplies to last for 1 year
  • Store your test materials in a cool, dry place, and pay attention to the expiration date

Video transcription:

Regularly testing your water is the best way to keep your pool and spa clean, safe and ready to enjoy. During swim season we recommend testing your water two times per week.

Now the two most common ways to test your water are by using test kits or test strips. This video looks at test kits which use chemicals called reagents to react with the sample of your pool water and give you an accurate reading on your pools pH, total alkalinity and sanitizer like chlorine or bromine.

We recommend the DPD deluxe test kit from Taylor. It’s the perfect test kit for people who want to test their water at home. It has enough supplies to last a year and includes a simple waterproof instruction card. When you’re not using the test kit, store in a cool dry place. That helps keep the equipment and reagents in tip top shape.

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In addition to testing your water at home, you should bring in a sample of your water into one of our stores every two weeks for a free test and analysis. Our trained team members will conduct a nine-point of your water sample and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix any problems or maintain your pool’s water chemistry.

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Thanks for watching. Our goal at Leslie’s is to make pool care easy.

If you have any other questions about water testing, visit Water Testing, or go to lesliespool.com

Spa Care

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will show you how to maintain your spa.

  • Use bromine as a sanitizer instead of chlorine
  • Many chemicals have specific spa versions, because the strength of those chemicals is better suited for the smaller size of spas
  • Drain your spa every 3-4 months
  • Test your water often

Video transcription:

Hi I’m Peter with Leslie’s swimming pool supplies and this video will teach you how to take care of your spa. Caring for spa is basically the same as taking care of a pool except everything happens much faster. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be able to keep your spa just as clean and clear as your pool.

One of the biggest differences between pool and spa care is that bromine tablets are commonly used to sanitize a spa instead of chlorine because bromine holds up better in heat. Chlorine can be used but it’s recommended to use a sodium dichlor product. Even though chlorine is less expensive you have to add it more often to your spa.

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Many chemicals have specific spa versions because the strength of those chemicals are better suited for the smaller size spas compared to pools. For example leslie’s carries a specific version of Chlor brite that’s just for spas.

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Spas also need to be drained every three to four months. This will extend the life of your spa and allow your water to be more easily maintained. Testing your water more often is essential for proper spa care. Because the heat speeds up changes in water chemistry, your water has a higher likelihood of being out of balanced.

In addition to testing your water at least twice a week at home bring a sample to your local Leslies store every two weeks for free test and analysis.

If you have any other questions about spa care, visit lesliespool.com or reach out to one of our knowledgeable staff members at you local Leslie’s Store.

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Using Conditioner in Your Pool

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Not only will chlorine burn off when sanitizing water, but it can also be dissipated by the sun’s UV rays if not protected. This protection is from cyanuric acid (CYA) in your pool that is provided by Leslie’s Conditioner. If there is no CYA in the water, up to 90% of your chlorine may burn off in 2 hours. Ideally, your CYA level should range from 30–50 parts per million for pools using tabs and 80-100 parts per mission for salt pools.

Adding Conditioner to your water is a process that is not complicated, but requires you to follow addition instructions carefully.

Conditioner takes days, rather than minutes, to dissolve, unlike many chemicals. It also has a tendency to expand slightly once exposed to water. Because of this, the application process is different compared to adding a chemical like Soda Ash.

  1. Determine the correct amount of conditioner needed to reach your intended target of between 30-50 parts per million or 80-100 parts per million. Your cyanuric acid levels can be tested using a home test kit or visiting a local Leslie’s.
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  3. Shut the system off.
  4. Remove the skimmer and filter basket from your system. Baskets can halt the flow of conditioner into the filter once it’s added.
  5. Replace all lids that were removed to take the baskets out of your system.
  6. Turn the system on.
  7. Add the required amount of conditioner into a bucket of pool water and mix it into a slurry.
  8. In small increments, add the slurry into the skimmer. Once you notice the conditioner disappear, add the next small dose. Continue this until all of the mixture is gone from the bucket. By adding conditioner this way, the product will get stuck in the pool filter, allowing it to safely dissolve into the water without staining.
  9. Continue running your pump for one hour after the addition of conditioner.
  10. Replace all baskets in your system.
  11. At night, make sure to run your system for at least 8 hours to help the conditioner dissolve.
  12. Avoid backwashing or cleaning your filter for 48 hours after the addition of this product. Because it takes multiple days for conditioner to dissolve, if the filter is cleaned only 24 hours later, some product will be removed with it.
  13. Retest your water in 7 days to ensure your CYA is within the necessary range.

If you have any questions throughout this process, contact a professional at a local Leslie’s location and they will be happy to help you through this process. Or visit lesliespool.com

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Calculating Pool Volume

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Knowing how many gallons of water your pool holds is essential to properly balancing your water. Rough estimations can be made, but errors can end up causing issues. Over estimate how many gallons you have and you could end up spending more money than you need to and end up adjusting your chemistry too much. On the other hand, if you under estimate, you will end up having to reapply your treatment at another time in order to properly balance the water.

Sometimes, owners are not aware of how many gallons their pool is. If the amount is not in the original documentation that came with the pool, it is simple to calculate an approximate amount by yourself.

You will need three measurements from your pool for this formula: average length, average width, and average depth.

There are more specific, but also more complicated, formulas for measuring volume on oddly shaped pools, so for now we’ll just focus on the basic one. The other formulas can be found in Chapter 3 of Leslie’s Pool Care Guide.

After recording your measurements mentioned above, take each number and multiply it by one another. This result will then be multiplied by 7.5 (approximately how many gallons are in a cubic foot).

The combined formula should look like this:

L × W × D × 7.5 = Total gallons in pool

Once you have this number, you should be able to accurately apply the correct amount of chemicals to your pool and avoid any future dosage issues.

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For more information on pool size or chemical usage, visit www.lesliespool.com or reach out to one of our knowledgeable staff members at your local Leslie’s Store.

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Seven Pool Safety Tips

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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2005-2009 there was, on average, almost 10 unintentional drownings per day. To help prevent these, staying safe around the pool isn’t an option; it’s essential.

Pool safety is mostly talked about in terms of young children, as they are sadly affected most by a lack of safety in a pool environment. Every swimmer, though, can benefit from following simple pool rules while around the pool area.

  1. First off, the most important rule. Parents, ALWAYS watch your kids around water. Even if you need to go inside to use the restroom, answer the phone, or refill your water, have your child get out of the pool and come inside with you. Many adults sadly affected by child drownings mention that they “only turned away for a second”. Unfortunately that is all the time it takes. Don’t take any chances. The most useful step you can take towards keeping young swimmers safe is simply keeping an eye on them at all times.
  2. Install a pool fence and keep the gate locked. Many drownings happen when a parent loses track of their child inside and he/she wanders outside. A high pool fence with a self-closing gate will go a long way toward preventing anyone from finding their way into the pool area and accidentally falling in.
  3. Make sure children know how to swim. While it’s important to note this does not guarantee anything, it drastically reduces the risk of an accidental drowning. Simply enrolling your child in swimming lessons at a local pool goes a long way to keeping them safe at home.
  4. Keep people from running near the pool. With water on the pool deck, it is incredibly easy to slip on a wet patch. Any number of injuries could result from this.
  5. Do not allow horse-play in or around the pool. A swimmer could end up hitting their head, for example, on the side of the pool if pushed into the water. Someone could also be injured when being “dunked” underneath the water.
  6. Talk to kids about the importance of looking where they’re jumping when entering the pool. Not only should they watch out for other swimmers, but children should be jumping into a section of the pool that has adequate depth.
  7. As far as water chemistry is concerned, maintain proper water balance, using a test kit and chemicals. A pool that isn’t properly maintained can end up causing issues for swimmers, for example, if they accidentally ingest bacteria-filled water. Ultimately, always watching kids around water is the best safety tip possible. A pool can be a great source of fun, but it also can be dangerous if owners aren’t careful. Make sure to take every precaution possible when dealing with pool safety. It may seem like there are too many things to worry about, but when it comes to keeping swimmers safe, every step is worth it.
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Spa Care

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Caring for your spa is really no different than taking care of your pool, except everything happens faster. There are some changes, but ultimately if you follow the same general guidelines your spa will be just as clean and clear as your pool.

Sanitizing

One of the main differences is bromine is commonly used to sanitize a spa instead of chlorine. This is because bromine holds up better under heat and will therefore be a more effective sanitizer over time. The most common application of bromine for spas is tablets in a floater which need to be refilled on a regular basis. Bromine is more expensive than chlorine, so while it may be more effective, spa owners who use bromine will be paying more.

When using chlorine in your spa, a product such as sodium dichlo (Spa Chlor Brite) is recommended. Dichlo has a more neutral pH, unlike bromine, and is also less expensive. Unlike bromine that is added in a tablet form, dichlo comes in a granular form and therefore needs to be added much more often than bromine tablets. It is recommended to add this at least once per week.

Mineral packs are also popular options for chlorine spas to reduce the amount of sanitizer needed to keep the pool clean. Products such as a Nature2 Spa Purifier are inserted into the water and work to remove bacteria and algae. When using this product, it is recommended to also apply Leslie’s Fresh N’ Clear on a regular basis to help remove organic contaminants from the water. We recommend adding Fresh ‘N Clear both before and after using the spa.

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Custom Covers

Leslie’s also offers custom spa foam covers. If your current cover needs to be replaced because it either does not function well or simply does not look good, view our ordering form to see what we offer. Leslie’s will make your spa cover exactly to your specifications.

General Tips

-Testing your water more often is essential for proper pool care. Because the heat speeds up changes in water chemistry, your water has a higher likelihood of being out of balance. Testing your water at least twice a week (or more if you have a high swimmer load) will make sure your water chemistry stays under control.

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-Spas need to be drained every 3-4 months. Regular draining helps keep your Total Dissolved Solids and Calcium Hardness levels under control. This will extend the life of your spa and allow your water to be more easily maintained.

-Many chemicals come with specific spa versions because the strength of those chemicals are better suited for the size of spas compared to pools. Because of this, it is important to use not only proper dosages but also proper, spa-specific chemicals. For example, to increase your alkalinity in pools you can use Leslie’s Soda Ash, but in spas it is recommended to use Leslie’s Alkalinity Up.

-If you have a significant chemistry problem like having metals in your spa, for example, sometimes it may be a better idea to simply drain your spa and refill it. Because of the number of gallons present in a spa, this is a much easier task than having to drain a pool.

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