There are many ways to prevent algae, but regardless of what you put into your pool, there isn’t one surefire way to keep it out. Products such as Phos-Free and Algae Control from Leslie’s certainly help, but many people want to know how to keep their pool clean for as little money as possible.
If you follow 3 simple steps, most pools can stay relatively algae free in the long run which will help make pool care easier.
1) Manage your chlorine. This is the most important part of this process. Without chlorine, your pool isn’t being sanitized. If you are using 3” Chlorine Tabs, make sure you check on your tab level twice a week to ensure you are keeping the proper amount in the pool. A salt system is more complicated, but can still be managed by ensuring that the cell is clean and the salt level is in the recommended range. If you have any doubt as far as your chlorine production or salt level is concerned, bring a water sample into a Leslie’s store. It is also recommended to use pool shock once a week during peak swimming season and continue to use it, only less often, during the offseason.
2) Brush, skim, and empty your skimmer and filter baskets. Debris left in the pool can have a negative effect on the chlorine level of the water. The more debris in the pool, the more likely the chlorine will be burned up sanitizing whatever is in the water. Therefore, skimming and emptying your baskets weekly (or as needed if storms roll in) is ideal. Brushing at least once a week is also helpful because it keeps the surface of the pool clean, which is where algae prefers to grow. Once brushed into the water, the algae has a harder time establishing itself and therefore the chlorine has an easier time preventing its growth.
3) Run your pool for at least 8 hours a night. Depending on your environment, you may even considering running your system one hour for every 10 degrees of water temperature. Proper filtration and circulation is essential for keeping the pool clean and clear. It is therefore necessary to let your pool run for its recommended time.
Preventing algae has costs, but the only costs associated with this process is the cost of 3” Chlorine Tabs if you use them, a few bags of shock, the cost of electricity to run your system for 8+ hours a night, and then simply 10-20 minutes a week of your time to brush and skim your pool. It’s also helpful to make sure the rest of your chemicals are balanced and your equipment is working properly. As long as that stays the case, this process will help you save both time and money.