What You Need to Know About Pool Shock - Pool Shock 101 - Bromine vs. Chlorine - Liquid vs. Tablets & Much More -QuickDips by leisurepoolinc.com

Pool Shock – What You Need to Know

Quick Dip: Pool Shock – What you Need to Know

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN POOL SHOCKS & MORE – SHOCK 101

Liquid chlorine, lithium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite – all of these have one thing in common, they are all considered to be pool shocks. Shocking your pool water is one of the keys to proper pool water quality maintenance. Failing to shock your pool water can lead to algae and bacteria build up. This creates a swimming pool that is not only uninviting, but hazardous to pool patrons as well. Just because your water is clear, does not mean it is safe to swim in. This article covers a few of the most common types of shock, the difference between a shock and an oxidizer and chlorine vs. bromine. Read on for more!


Common Types of Pool/Spa Shock

Sodium Hypochlorite – Liquid Pool Shock

Sodium hypochlorite solution aka liquid chlorine is probably the most common choice amongst pool operators for use as a pool shock. Liquid shock contains no chlorine stabilizer (cyanuric acid) and thus is useful for use in commercial indoor pools and/or when cyanuric acid levels are high. Sodium hypochlorite comes in varying concentrations (we sell it at a commercial grade 12.5 – 15% strength) and can be purchased in sizes ranging from 1-gallon jugs to full-on rail cars.

Calcium Hypochlorite – Cal-Hypo

Poolife TurboShock - Shock Treatment for Pools & Spa - for sale by Leisure Pool & Spa Supply, Inc.

Calcium hypochlorite contains a high amount of available chlorine and is available in varying concentrations. Cal-hypo contains no chlorine stabilizer (cyanuric acid) and thus is useful for use in commercial indoor pools and/or when cyanuric acid levels are high. As it can bleach vinyl pool liners, we recommend caution if you are attempting to use this product in vinyl pools.

Calcium hypochlorite, as the name suggests, contains calcium and will increase the calcium hardness levels of your pool water. Examples of Cal-hypo products include Arch Poolife TurboShock, the product we recommend as the replacement for the now discontinued Breakout 35, lithium hypochlorite.

Trichlor & Dichlor – Stabilized Products

Trichlor products are most often seen in stick or tablet/puck form while Dichlor is available in granules. The tablets are fed into the pool water via floaters or automatic erosion feeder systems. Granules are broadcasted over the pool water or pre-dissolved prior to insertion. (Consult your product’s manual or directions on the packaging) Both of these products contain cyanuric acid chlorine stabilizer making them preferred for many outdoor pools. With a high available chlorine level, trichlor and dichlor products are often used in commercial settings.

Lithium Hypochlorite – A Discontinued Product

Lithium Hypochlorite was a favorite of many of our clients. This product was fast to dissolve, safe for vinyl pools and had very little to no wait time between application and a ready to swim pool status. Unfortunately, this product is no longer being produced for swimming pool use. This is due to limited lithium supplies being used in the production of lithium-ion batteries. We recommend the use of Cal-hypo in most situations as a replacement for lithium pool shock.


Shock vs. Oxidizer – What’s the Difference?

Pool Shock for Sale - Pool Chlorine and More -LeisurePoolInc.com

Shock is any kind of product (liquid chlorine, bromine concentrate or granular shocks are just a few examples) used to increase the available free chlorine level of your pool or spa water to a highly concentrated level.

Shock attacks the bacteria and organics in your water. Organics can come from dead skin cells, waste, sweat or any other material brought into your water by swimmers. This creates a feeding ground for bacteria and can cause algae to form. This is why we recommend regularly shocking your pool.

In regards to waste, a straight Oxidizer works the same as a traditional sanitation shock and works to break down the organics in your water through oxidation. The difference between a straight oxidizer and a shock/oxidizer is that there is no chlorine in a straight oxidizer. Using an oxidizer in conjunction with shock allows for you to use less chlorine since the shock that you are adding is being aided in the oxidation of waste by the straight oxidizer.

This difference is an important one to note. We have often had clients use a straight oxidizer, not realizing they are not adding any chlorine sanitizer to their pool water. Remember, a straight oxidizer does not contain chlorine, that is what sanitizers and shock products are used for.


Bromine vs. Chlorine

Another question we run into a lot here at Leisure Pool & Spa Supply is what is the difference between bromine and chlorine?

Chlorine – Chlorine is the most common type of sanitizer used in swimming pools. Many products contain available chlorine. From sodium hypochlorite solutions (liquid chlorine) to tablets, to granular calcium hypochlorite, chlorine products are seen everywhere. When used in outdoor pools, chlorine can be used with cyanuric acid stabilizers which act as a sunscreen against the sun’s UV rays – increasing its life expectancy in outdoor scenarios. Due to its ubiquity, chlorine is cheaper than Bromine in most situations.

Spa Essentials Brominating Concentrate - for Spas & Hot Tubs - 2 lb BottleBromine – Bromine works the same as chlorine when it comes to its basic function as a sanitizer. Bromine offers a few benefits that make it a good choice in certain scenarios. Bromine is more effective in high-temperature situations. This means that Bromine, even though more expensive, can actually be the same cost or more affordable when used in hot tubs.

In hot tubs, less product is needed to get the same sanitation results, making bromine a good choice for those with sensitive skin. Bromine produces less odor as well, perfect for hot tub use. Bromine cannot be stabilized with cyanuric acid meaning that in sunny situations, the product will bake-off very quickly. Want to learn more about pool and spa operation? Click here to read more Quick Dips!


 

Have a Pool or Spa Question?

Enjoy your Pool & Ensure Peace of Mind - Trust the Experts at Leisure Pool & Spa Supply

Leisure Pool & Spa Supply, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Syracuse, Indiana. We focus on serving the service and supply needs of both residential and commercial clients. We have grown to include a branch office in Indianapolis allowing us to work with clients across the State of Indiana. Our service technicians are highly experienced and have combined decades of experience in the aquatics industry.

If you have any questions regarding your pool or aquatic center needs, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always available via phone or email and look forward to assisting you. If you are looking to purchase products directly online, visit our online pool and spa supply store.

Leisure Pool & Spa Supply – Pool & Spa Service & Expertise Since 1982

Pool Care 101 - Quick Dips - How to Balance you Pool Water - Swimming Pool Care Guides by LeisurePoolinc.com

Balancing Your Swimming Pool Water – Total Alkalinity, pH Levels & Calcium Hardness

Quick Dip: Pool Water Balance – Total Alkalinity, pH & Calcium Hardness

WHY POOL WATER BALANCE IS IMPORTANT & HOW TO FIX IT – Water Balance 101

Finding balance – it is essential in life and very important in the proper maintenance of your swimming pool or hot tub! Utilizing a quality test kit from companies like LaMotte or Taylor, you are able to quickly ascertain the balance levels of your pool. In this ‘Quick Dip’ article we explore the top three pool water balance factors, Total Alkalinity, pH and Calcium Hardness. Dive in and read on!


Total Alkalinity Level

Swimmer’s Advantage Sodium Bicarbonate – pH Booster/Increaser

Optimum water Total Alkalinity level: 80 – 120 Parts Per Million (PPM)
Chemicals to lower TA level: Muriatic Acid, Sodium Bisulfate
Chemicals to raise TA level: Sodium Bicarbonate

Acting as a pH buffer, the Total Alkalinity (TA) helps keep your pH level in its correct range with reduced swings from lows to highs. It is important to check and correct your Total Alkalinity level prior to working on your pool’s pH level. Often, correcting your TA level will correct your pH level as well. Below is how to adjust your total alkalinity level.

  • To lower your TA level, the most common chemical used is liquid Hydrochloric (Muriatic) Acid. Muriatic Acid is available in both standard and low-vapor options (AcidBlue by Champion). Sodium bisulfate (acid salt) is a commonly used granular product which achieves the same effect.
  • To raise your TA level, sodium bicarbonate is the preferred material of choice. (Typical sodium bicarbonate label instructions list a rate of 1.4 lb per 10,000 gallons of water for a 10 PPM increase.)
    • When lowering or raising your TA level, ensure there are no swimmers in the pool and you are utilizing the chemicals in accordance with best practices and to the label instructions.

pH Level

AcidBlue - Balancers for Sale
AcidBlue Muriatic Acid – pH & TA Decreaser

Optimum swimming pool water pH level: 7.2 – 7.4
Chemicals to lower pH level: Muriatic Acid, Sodium Bisulfate
Chemicals to raise pH level: Sodium Carbonate aka Soda Ash

Controlling the pH level of your pool water is important not just for swimmer comfort, but also aides in the efficiency of chemicals and the life expectancy of pool mechanical and structural components. There are many factors that can influence the pH level. This includes debris, chemicals and skin oils/waste brought into the pool by swimmers. (One of the many reasons you should shower before jumping into a pool!) Before checking or correcting the pH levels, check and correct the Total Alkalinity level. As the pH level of the human eye is 7.5, pool patrons often experience stinging eyes and discomfort when the pH levels are too far out of spec. Although the optimum pH level is 7.2 – 7.4, 7.2 – 7.8 is the acceptable range. Below is how to adjust your pH level.

  • To lower your pH level, the most common chemical used is liquid Hydrochloric (Muriatic) Acid. Muriatic Acid is available in both standard and low-vapor options (AcidBlue by Champion). Sodium bisulfate (acid salt) is a commonly used granular product which achieves the same effect.
  • To raise your pH level, sodium carbonate aka soda ash is the preferred chemical of choice.
    • When lowering or raising your pH level, ensure there are no swimmers in the pool and you are utilizing the chemicals in accordance with best practices and to the label instructions.

Calcium Hardness Level

OMNI Calcium Hardness Increaser - 12 lb Bucket
Calcium Hardness Increaser aka Calcium Carbonate

Optimum water Calcium Hardness level: 200 – 275 Parts Per Million (PPM)
Chemicals to lower calcium hardness level: REPLACE WATER
Chemicals to raise calcium hardness level: Calcium Chloride aka Calcium Hardness Increaser

Low calcium hardness in your water can result in corrosion and etching of your pool/hot tub surface. If the calcium hardness level swings too high, this can result in calcium buildup, clouded water, and clogged mechanicals. The optimum Calcium Hardness level is between 200 to 275 PPM. To remove calcium from the pool, the old water must be drained and new water with less calcium added to dilute. Below is how to adjust your calcium hardness level.

  • Calcium chloride is used to raise the calcium hardness level in pool water.
  • To lower the calcium hardness level, partially drain your pool and replace the ‘hard’ water with ‘soft’ water to dilute.
    • When lowering or raising your calcium hardness level with calcium hardness increaser, ensure there are no swimmers in the pool and you are utilizing the chemicals in accordance with best practices and to the label instruction

*Statistics referenced from the Pool & Spa Operator Handbook by the National Swimming Pool Foundation. This is utilized as the textbook for the Certified Pool Operator Course & Certification. [Want to learn more about pool maintenance? Click here to read about using the right sand in your pool’s sand filter.]


Have a Pool or Spa Question?

Enjoy your Pool & Ensure Peace of Mind - Trust the Experts at Leisure Pool & Spa Supply

Leisure Pool & Spa Supply, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Syracuse, Indiana. We focus on serving the service and supply needs of both residential and commercial clients. We have grown to include a branch office in Indianapolis allowing us to work with clients across the State of Indiana. Our service technicians are highly experienced and have combined decades of experience in the aquatics industry.

If you have any questions regarding your pool or aquatic center needs, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always available via phone or email and look forward to assisting you. If you are looking to purchase products directly online, visit our online pool and spa supply store.

Leisure Pool & Spa Supply – Swimming Pool & Spa Service & Since 1982 – Shop our Online StoreConnect on Facebook

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Leisure Pool & Spa Supply, Inc.

Serving the Midwest Since 1982

With over three decades of experience, Leisure Pool & Spa Supply offers the following services; New Commercial Pool Construction – Splashpad Construction – Aquatic Facility Renovation – Mechanical Systems Maintenance & Replacement – Consulting – Design Assistance – Weekly Mandated Water Quality Testing – NSPF C.P.O Certification Courses [Northern Indiana] –  Commercial Pool & Spa Maintenance – eCommerce Online Store & of course, Commercial Pool & Spa Chemicals/Supplies.

Choosing Swimming Pool Filter Sand - Play Sand vs. Pool Filter Sand - Quick Dips from LeisurePoolinc.com

How to Choose the right Sand for your Swimming Pool’s Sand Filter

Quick Dip: Pool Filter Sand vs. Play Sand – What’s the Difference?

Why Using Play Sand in Your Pool’s Filter is Asking for Trouble.

Question: “Why can’t I just use play sand from Home Depot or Lowes in my swimming pool filter? It is a bit cheaper. Are there any downsides to this? What’s the difference between play sand and pool sand?”

In the words of Anakin Skywalker, “I don’t like sand, it’s course, rough and gets everywhere.” Having gritty sand pouring into your pool is one of the last things you want, but is just what can happen if you use the WRONG sand in your pool’s sand filter system.

How Sand Filters Work

Pool sand filters use sand as the medium of choice to trap dirt and debris. Water flows through the sand while unwanted particles are caught and trapped. Sand meant for use in these filtering systems is specially graded to make sure the individual grains of sand are the right size. (Usually .45 to .55 millimeters.) Sand is a durable, lasting filtration medium. Backwashing the filter to clean out the sand should be done every few years. Fully replacing the sand only needs to be done when performance begins to suffer.

Using the RIGHT Sand

In an attempt to save money, some of our clients have tried to use play or sandbox sand purchased from local hardware stores. Unfortunately, this is asking for trouble. Sand formulated especially for use in pool filters is just the right size to ensure it works with and stays in the filter. When grains of sand are too small, these can pass through the filter system’s laterals and right into your pool – not a fun problem to deal with. When the sand is too large, it is ineffective and allows unwanted debris to pass right through the filter.

Pool filter sand size (such as Mystic White) is highly controlled and is much more effective at actually removing contaminants than play sand alternatives. This means higher efficiency and less needed changes.

Conclusion: It truly is best to use specialty pool filter sand in your sand filters. It really isn’t worth the several dollars in savings when compared against the list of potential issues. When should you change your filter sand? We recommend fully changing your filter sand when the performance of the filter becomes apparent. [Want to learn more? Click here to read about balancing your pool’s pH, TA and Calcium Hardness levels!]

Article by Zac Carr & Benjamin Rogers


Have a Question?

Tim Yoder Unloading Pallets of Sodium Hypochlorite - Liquid Chlorine, Bulk Pool Supplies
Tim Yoder Unloading Pallets of Sodium Hypochlorite – Liquid Chlorine at the Leisure Pool & Spa Supply Warehouse

Since 1982, Leisure Pool & Spa Supply has been serving the needs of both commercial and residential aquatics. From commercial construction to chemical supplies, we offer a wide range of services to get you swimming today.

If you are looking to purchase pool filter sand for your swimming pool, get in touch with us today. We have filter sand, pool chemicals, equipment and more in stock at our Syracuse, IN. showroom and warehouse.

If you have any questions regarding your pool or aquatic center needs, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always available via phone or email and look forward to assisting you.

Leisure Pool & Spa Supply, Inc. – Service Since 1982 – Shop our new Online Store

Warsaw-High-School-Keifer-Starting-Block-Install - Leisure Pool

Dive In With New Starting Platforms for your Pool – A Budget Friendly Upgrade!

New Pool Competition Starting Platforms from Leisure Pool & Spa Supply

Article by Marc Yoder & Benjamin Rogers 

At the time of the writing of this article, it is the dead of winter – January 2019 to be exact. In other words, right smack in the middle of swim season. With the increased daily usage, annoying little issues with either your swimming pool’s mechanical system or deck equipment have more than likely begun to pop up. (These issues always seem to pop up on the day of the big swim meet.) In our opinion, now is a good time to catalogue some of those issues (at least the ones that you can “band-aid” your way through the rest of the season) and begin to plan ahead and budget for the annual summer shutdown, maintenance, & cleaning of your aquatic facility’s pool and natatorium.

Warsaw, Indiana High School Starting Platforms by Kiefer - Installed by Leisure Pool & Spa - Syracuse, IN
Warsaw High School Starting Platforms – Installed by Leisure Pool & Spa

As you and I both know, large pool equipment renovations and (or) aquatic facility improvement projects can take months and in some cases, years of planning, lots of design meetings, & frustrating delays. Not to mention actually securing funding from your facility’s capital improvements budget.

What if you have JUST enough in your pool maintenance or capital improvement budgets to tackle some of the issues more narrow in scope within the natatorium? Often, many of these types of issues have been lingering, possibly getting worse season after season. It is always best to be pre-emptive, even if the issue can be seen as ‘small’ in scope. Small problems can quickly balloon in size.


Deteriorating Deck Equipment – A Liability Issue

One of the issues we often see is the deterioration of your natatorium’s deck equipment. Years of wear due to usage as well as exposure to an indoor aquatic facility environment causes corrosion & rust. Over time the deck equipment fatigues to the point of failure. Starting platforms are a good example.

Starting platforms (or starting blocks) are often manufactured out of stainless steel. Over time the welds can breakdown from corrosion due to exposure in an aquatic environment. This is called “crevice corrosion” and is caused when impurities in the metal that are exposed during the manufacturing welding process come in contact with the “off-gases” put off by your indoor pool. These welds are where a starting platform’s strength lies. If they fail during use, they could cause severe injury and could expose your facility to a potential lawsuit.

If you are looking for a good, worthwhile upgrade to your aquatic facility that matches with the available funds, we would suggest considering the purchase and installation of new, competition level, starting platforms. Here are some of the benefits;


  • New equipment = improved safety – We have seen the breakdown and failure in the welds of starting platforms as described above, causing the platform itself to break off during use! Luckily in that instance, no one was seriously injured. A proactive approach is a key way to keep your facility safe and trustworthy for your patrons.
  • Customizable colors and printing – match and spruce up your decor. Keeping your pool area looking sharp increases professionalism and helps influence others to treat your equipment with respect. Competition pool starting platforms are eye-catching and serve as visual focal points in a pool deck’s design. Secure your school or organization’s logo the promotion it deserves!
  • Easy Selection, Design, & Installation Process – Don’t know where to start? Want to know what type of platform is best for your facility and athletes? Leisure Pool & Spa Supply, Inc. will work side by side with you from design to delivery. We’ll work with you on platform selection, coordinate the color & logo design with the manufacturer, and take care of the delivery and installation process.
  • Interested? Request a Quote today.

Your Trusted Partner

Concord High School, Elkhart, IN. - New Starting Platforms - Leisure Pool & Spa Supply
Concord High School, Elkhart, IN. – New Starting Platforms Purchase From & Installed By Leisure Pool & Spa Supply

About Us: Since 1982, Leisure Pool & Spa Supply, Inc. has worked diligently to become one of Indiana’s leading recreational and commercial aquatics businesses. With locations in Syracuse and Indianapolis, IN., our qualified aquatics team stands ready to dive in and assist you!

We are pleased to provide a wide variety of products and services including, pool & spa supplies, construction, consulting, ongoing maintenance, pool starting platforms, water quality testing and much more. Interested in learning more? Get in touch today, we are happy to answer any questions you may have.


Leisure Pool & Spa Supply – Premier Aquatic Construction, dba – Service Since 1982