Must-Have Pool Supplies for First-Time Owners

pool supplies.jpgBy Alfred Ardis

Here's an overview of the basic pool supplies needed to maintain a clean, safe, and fun backyard swimming hole!

Filters

A filter system is one of the most important pool supplies. A pump and drain(s) keep the water cycling while debris is caught in a net-like filter. In most areas of the country, filter standards are legally regulated.

Cleaners and Vacuums

Many underwater vacuums look like household vacuums. Nets are useful for manually skimming leaves and bugs off the water's surface. Other, higher-tech pool supplies for fighting grime include pressure cleaners (connected to the filter system), suction cleaners (like a vacuum without the pole), and automated robot cleaners (self-contained Roomba-like gadgets.)

Disinfecting Chemicals

To ward off harmful bacteria, disinfectants must be regularly introduced. The most popular option is chlorine. To counteract its acidity and ensure that the pH levels of the water aren't harmful or irritating to swimmers (and also ensure that they do not corrode or damage the walls or floor) other chemicals are needed and must be added in the correct balance.

Test Kits

These at-home kits test pH, total alkalinity, chlorine, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardness levels (and sometimes others depending on the particular pool), and they let owners see how much of each chemical they should be adding. The most common test kits are paper strips that turn different colors according to the levels of the different chemicals. Liquid kits and digital testers are other options.

Salt Generators

Salt water pools are becoming more and more popular in private residences as well as public institutions. They still require some chlorine but not nearly as much as in "fresh" water ones. The generator works to extract chlorine from salt, making your purchases more efficient. Salt water hasn't been shown to harm swimmers, but, as with traditional options, make sure you are testing and regulating chemicals and salinity.

Covers

Unfortunately, it isn't summer all year long in most areas of the US. Covers are one of the most basic labor-saving pool supplies. They're essential for protecting pools during the winter months. However, heat pumps and gas heaters can go a long way toward extending the season and keeping swimmers comfortable longer.

Ladders, Slides, Steps, and Diving Boards

Means of getting in and out should always be safe and can also be pretty fun. Decide which combination of ladders and steps works for you, and consider getting a diving board or slide installed by a professional as well!

LED Lights

If you're swimming at night, LED lights are essential for safety and comfort. These are waterproof and installed in various places under the water's surface.

When considering pool supplies, NJ homeowners go to http://valleyspasnpools.com/pool-supplies.php.

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