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The Truth Behind Pool Water pH and Alkalinity

The Truth Behind Pool Water pH and Alkalinity

So I have been bombarded by my colleagues with numerous YouTube videos on pH experiments on bottled water from all of our favorite places. I love seeing so many people interested in the truth behind water chemistry. I decided to write this post about it since my employees and myself have such a huge appreciation for water chemistry. 

I love water dog

All of us here at Pool Toy Express and Valley Pool & Spa take water chemistry VERY serious. We get asked more times than we can count during the summer what the pH and alkalinity have to do with pool water... 
 
For those that don't know here is a simple chemistry lesson- pH is measurement of how acidic (or basic) the water is and alkalinity is the pH buffer that keeps the pH from bouncing back and forth. So from there we have your swimming pools and spas.
 
We recommend that our local pools keep a pH balance of about 7.4 ppm (parts per million) which is a neutral water balance (not too acidic not too basic). Different levels of pH can do different things to not only your pool but your body. When a swimming pool is acidic (lower than 7.2 ppm) it is damaging to vinyl liners, pool walls, equipment, AND your skin! This is when you get rashes, itchy and burning eyes, and the water just doesn't feel comfortable. The tough thing about acidic water is that it is hard to detect with your eye, your pool water will look absolutely beautiful and crystal clear!
Clear water
 
You're probably asking yourself well then the higher the pH the better, right? Wrong. When the pH starts getting into the 7.9 ppm and up range the water becomes basic which means it becomes "lazy". Corrosion can start on pool walls, etching and scaling can happen in liners and your skin will not feel comfortable. This however is very easy to notice by looking at the pool. High pH in pool water looks very cloudy, in most cases this is when you take action quickly to bring your pool back to the beautiful oasis you originally built and you come in to see us to help you fix it.
Cloudy pool from high ph
(It has been known that the more basic the pH in drinking water is the better, due to our bodies being so acidic.)
 
If you do not live by a local (reputable) swimming pool store there are plenty of gadgets and gizzmos (on Pool Stuff Express...) to help you do water testing at home. Home tests are not always 100% accurate but they will help you determine if you need to put chemicals in the pool or spa to get the best water chemistry for swimming.
 
Water Test Kit
For all of you water snobs like me out there here is a list of YouTube videos that prove not all water is the same! 
 
 
For more information on testing pool or spa water check out our Facebook page weekly @pooltoyexpress.
 
Just Keep Swimming! 
~Kristin

Swimming for Fitness

Swimming for Fitness

Swimming Pools for Fitness

A backyard swimming pool offers movement that translates to exercise that builds stamina and muscle strength. Your pool is good for physical therapy, burning calories and losing weight, and basically a healthier you!

Swimming relaxes and rehabilitates muscles and joints and can be enjoyed by the injured, the elderly, and the handicapped. Moving your arms and legs against the resistance of the water is equivalent to exercising with weights. Even if you have issues that typically prevents you from exercising, you can be active in the pool because the natural buoyancy of water supports you. Swimming is often prescribed as the remedy for people with back or joint problems or injuries suffered from sports or accidents. Older generations, especially, find that swimming is an excellent way to realize the aerobic benefits of exercise with minimal stress. Swimming in a pool is great for pregnant women, too as is known to help you rest easier when baby is at ease in the water. You are lighter in the water so all movement is easier. You see on all the extreme weight loss shows that are cramming our TV guide lately that they mostly start out exercising in the water. 

Swim off the excess weight! The more body fat a person has, the more buoyant, which makes it easy to enjoy swimming and exercising. Water aerobics are a popular and effective way to move and shed the excess pounds, but even just being in the pool and moving around is a step in the right direction. Make a plan when you are in the pool to tread water, swim back and forth, run side to side, jump up and down, and do aerobic exercises. You can even use inexpensive pool toys and floats to help with your routine. Try using a noodle to push and pull water away and towards you to strengthen arms or use a raft to hold on to while kicking the water to exercise leg muscles. It’s not only good for your health, it is loads of fun!

Get all the toys and floats you need to exercise at PoolToyExpress.com!

- Corinne S. Kraft

Staycation Anyone?

Staycation Anyone?

You’ve Heard the Term Staycation?

 

A newer term that we’ve all heard the past few years is staycation. Well, it is true that you can spend a few thousand dollars on an aboveground pool for your backyard and actually enjoy staying home all summer long vacationing, or spend the same few thousand dollars on a one week vacation. Then, you’re back to the grind. Why not vacation at home every weekend and unwind at home any day you want. A backyard pool is a source of relaxation, togetherness, entertainment, and fun all summer!

If you already have a pool, you can invest some vacation dollars in pool care, pool toys, rafts and other backyard amenities such as a fancy grill and smoker, patio furniture, and yard games (Hmmm...I wonder where you can find those things? OH YEAH! Pooltoyexpress.com!). You can create your very own backyard resort. 

Sometimes we wish we could escape the hustle, bustle, and day-to-day responsibilities of our normal lives, but cannot always afford a vacation between restaurants, hotels, and travel costs. They can add up fast especially when we are taking the whole family.  Sometimes work obligations prevent us from leaving town anytime, too. The answer: Staycation!

When summer time rolls around and the kids are home from school, with a backyard pool, you can have that vacation! Yes, you can enjoy every weekend and various days and evenings, but you still have your day-to-day responsibilities. This year, how about planning a vacation in your own backyard?  I mean, actually make a plan for week off. Schedule backyard enjoyment each day! How about planning a family day with games and activities, a party day for the kids with their friends, a day with friends and neighbors, and a romantic evening for two? Plan on NOT doing any work around the house or checking in with the office. Make a commitment to yourself and a promise to your family that you are all on staycation!

So kickback, relax and vacation at home.

 

- Corinne S. Kraft

Fun for Everyone!

Fun for Everyone!

Fun for Everyone!

YAY! The pool is open, the water is clear, and the kids are ready to go! Pool toys can make just swimming in the pool a backyard wonderland for your children. Let’s get the kids off the couch, and away from the televisions, computers, IPads and cell phones. Let’s get them outside and moving around! Active kids are healthier kids. Pool toys are not only fun, but they help develop hand-eye coordination, promote healthy competition and teamwork, and advance their swimming skills.

The kids can have a ball with the Swimline Shootball Game, for example. Dunk or throw the ball into the top of the game hoop and wherever the ball comes out is how many points you win. This game will bring the competitive side out in kids and adults alike. Dive Games are the perfect way to keep the kids busy for hours. Throw them into different areas of the pool then have the kids seek and find! This game promotes healthy swimmers by practicing their underwater swimming skills.

Pool toys are not just for the little ones, but think about your pool as a center of activity for the teenagers. There are many games that are fun for older kids and help keep them motivated to stay at home in the backyard. They can set up Swimline Slalom Hoops as an obstacle course and race through them to see who can get the best time! Even when swimming alone, they are perfect to have fun swimming against the clock. Think about how much fun volleyball, water polo and badminton could be at pool parties, too! Basketball is always a slam dunk hit for all occasions!

Take a look at all the cool pool toys available and let your family and friends of all ages stretch their imaginations.

- Corinne Kraft