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Looking After your Swimming Pool

Having a property with its own outdoor swimming pool in a country where the climate allows it to be used regularly can be a big deciding factor for many people when considering a move to North Cyprus. An outdoor swimming pool though does require extensive maintenance to keep it in a useable condition.

The first thing you need to do to make your pool ready for use is to get the water chemistry right. This involves adding a disinfectant, such as chlorine or bromine to the pool water and then adjusting the pH of the water, its total alkalinity and its calcium hardness.

For outdoor swimming pool water that is not heated chlorine is recommended as it performs better than bromine in this situation. However, if the pool water is heated, other than by the sun, then you are better off using bromine as it is more suited to hot water environments. Both chlorine and bromine are available in liquid, granular and tablet form. You should follow the instructions as given on the packaging to achieve the right balance of disinfectant in the water, but as a guide you should aim for between 2-3ppm. If using chlorine then you'll need to add a chlorine stabiliser, as otherwise it will react with sunlight, and so require constant topping up.

The pH level is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the pool water is, and is very important because it determines the effectiveness of your chlorine/bromine disinfectant. A pH scale of 7.4 to 7.6 (slightly alkaline of neutral) is what you should aim for, and is achieved by adding sodium bicarbonate to normal pool water delivered direct from the tap.

Stability of the pH level is a little trickier to achieve, and is based on the overall number of sodium bicarbonate ions in the water (total alkalinity). A low ratio of these ions to water results in an unstable pH that always requires attention. Get the ratio right through trial and error, and you'll be able to fix the pH at your desired level. Finally, the calcium hardness of your pool water should be measured and adjusted to at least 150ppm. This will protect your pool's fixtures and fittings from being corroded.

Once your pool is set up for use you should establish a maintenance routine that includes checking the water chemistry, cleaning the pool and backwashing the filters on a regular basis. If the pool is used frequently, the water chemistry should be checked every couple of days as disinfectant becomes diluted during heavy use.


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