How to Get Rid of Pool Algae

algae-green-pool-algaeAlgae is a pool owners worst nightmare. The more you know about it, however, the easier it will be to prevent or remove it. There are numerous products on the market that do one or the other and it can be confusing. We fine there are generally three different ways that seem to work well, depending on the type of algae that is forming in your pool.

Types of Algae

Algae is a living organism, a plant-like fungus that will only continue to spread if it is not handled properly. There are three common types:

  1. Green or blue algae
  2. Yellow or mustard-colored algae
  3. And, last but not least, the ominous black algae

Green is the most common, usually resulting from improper filtration or sanitation procedures.

Pool owners can see the green algae floating on top of the water, along the sides of the pool, or on the bottom of the pool floor, which essentially makes the entire swimming pool look filthy green. However, green algae is the easiest to eradicate when caught early through the use of a little algaecide or sanitizer. Yellow algae is a bit more stubborn, and the black variety usually requires a bit of elbow-grease and a strong pool brush. The trick is to keep this nasty stuff from growing in your pool in the first place.

Method One: “Shock” the System

Pools with a larger amount of algae growing will appear darker green in color. One method of how to get rid of pool algae is to “shock” the water. Shocking is a way of quickly oxidizing contaminants – that means getting rid of the bad stuff. There are non-chlorine products for routine shocking but for removing algae, you need a chlorine shock. One of the most common chlorine shocks is Cal Hypo and a brand name that has a strong reputation among pool owners is HTH found at most retailers. Just remember not to add shock to a skimmer or inside any floater or chlorinator.  Add to the pool only as you walk around the perimeter.

Method Two: “Algaecide” the System

Think of algaecide as “pesticide for pools”. This should be used as a preventative measure to safeguard your pool from future algae assaults. In tough algae cases, you may want to use algaecide and a shock treatment but not at the same time. Add your algaecide first and wait a few hours before adding the shock. The combination can give your pool an extra big jolt of cleaning power.

Method Three: “Floc” the System

“Floc” is short for “flocculant” which is a chemical additive that breaks up the algae into tiny particles that eventually settle to the swimming pool floor. Once this chemical has performed its job, then you can easily vacuum the debris away. It takes a bit more time, but works great for more persistent infestations.

Other Prevention Methods

Proper filtration (running the pump and filter more hours per day) and proper sanitation levels can help prevent algae breakouts. ‘HEY! Cool Pool’ makes a great little contraption called Flip Plop. This device is filled with minerals that destroy bacteria and a low dosage of chlorine to keep your pool water clean and clear. When Flip Plop is empty, it “flips” over. No guesswork needed!

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