Phosphate Levels In Swimming Pools | All You Need To Know…

Beginner Info, Pool

Phosphate levels in swimming pools
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Well, in this post, I would discuss each and every aspect of phosphate in the swimming pool.

Trust me, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned professional, it is equally important that you’re well-informed about phosphate levels in your swimming pool to deal with any unprecedented situation successfully.

Well, when I was just starting out, like many of you out here, I too had a lot of queries related to phosphates in the swimming pool.

Should I get rid of it or ignore it?

How can I test for phosphate in my pool water on a budget?

Will a phosphate remover be of great help?

Cutting long-story-short, there could be hundreds of queries if NOT thousands, right?

However, I wouldn’t be able to cover all of the queries but I can assure you that post-reading this piece of information, you would be well equipped with the needed and essential phosphate-related information to deal with problems related to phosphate in an effective and hassle-free manner.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

What is the best phosphate remover for pools?

First and foremost, I’m not a big admirer of using a phosphate remover for your pools.

But, at times, when the phosphate level touches or exceeds the benchmark of 1000 parts per billion, you don’t have any option but to control its surge.

In that case, you can give PHOSfree pool cleaner a try as it claims to be an all-natural, non-toxic enzyme pool cleaner additive.

Moreover, it claims to make water soft and silky, and thus, eliminates eye and skin irritation.

Though I’ve not used it personally still I’m recommending it because my clients have given very good feedback about this idiosyncratic product.

However, it’s none other than you who have to make the final decision, right?

Should I add shock before PHOSfree to my pool?

Well, it depends.

You should opt for a shock if the algae are present in your pool in a tangible amount.

What you need to do is to brush off the algae from the walls and floors of your pool, and then clean the filter.

Once you’ve expedited the aforementioned steps, it’s high time that you shock your pool.

Post that, add phosphate remover, keeping in mind that it is hard on the filter.

And, as a result, you would experience reduced flow after a day or two.

So, in order to bring the filter on track, all you need to do is to clean the filter after 24 hours of circulation post adding phosphate remover.

Should I get rid of phosphate in my pool water?

Well, it DEPENDS!

I’m assuming that most of you would be aware of the fact that phosphates are a great source of food for algae and other aquatic plants that might be responsible for turning your pool green or cloudy.

At the same time, it is really important for you to understand that there are many other food sources for algae, and phosphate is just one of them.

Moreover, as per some pool experts and researchers’ findings, phosphate can influence algae growth only at extremely high levels of ppb, that is, more than 1000 parts per billion.

As per my knowledge and experience, I would suggest you should keep a track of phosphate levels in your pool water but at the same time, don’t get overcautious.

Phosphates are bound to be present in traces even in crystal clear and clean pool water.

What phosphate is present in my pool water?

Well, if you’ve owned a pool for quite a few years then definitely, you would’ve found quite a few uninvited guests in your pool water, right?

And, this is very prominent when you plan to open your pool after winter.

Correct me, if I’m wrong.

To be precise, like other invited guests including algae, debris, sediments, leaves, etc, phosphate is also bound to present in your pool water.

Frankly speaking, we don’t have a problem with the presence of phosphate in the pool water but the point of concern is that it can adversely affect the pool ambiance if it reaches 1000 ppm.

So, where does phosphate come from in our pool?

The sources of phosphate are all around us including fertilizers, rotten leaves, skin, hair products, pool chemicals.

And, on the worst part, even traces of phosphate is found in water supply which is added with an intention to keep copper and lead level low in the supply water.

In simple words, it is next to impossible to completely eradicate phosphate from your pool water.

All you can do to negate its impact is simply maintaining phosphate at a lower level, that is, less than 1000 ppb (parts per billion).

How can I test for phosphate in my above ground pool water?

Whether it’s above ground or inground pool, the procedure followed for testing phosphate remains the same.

So, how to test for phosphate in your pool water?

Definitely, you can use a test kit for this purpose but unfortunately, most of the pool test kits don’t come with an option for phosphate test.

However, you can buy a phosphate test kit for a pretty affordable price.

In case, you’re not at all interested in buying test strips for phosphate testing then definitely, you can take the water sample from your pool to the local pool supply store to get it tested.

Since phosphate build-up doesn’t happen overnight and takes a long time to show its tangible presence in your pool water so testing quite a few times a year would do the trick for you.

How can I lower phosphate in an inground pool?

To start with, you can follow the same step for both inground and above-ground pools when it comes to lowering phosphates.

After testing for the phosphate level if you find the readings to be close to 1000 parts per billion then it’s high time that you find some way to reduce phosphate concentration in your pool water else you might have to deal with some unprecedented events.

Many of the frequent readers of this blog would be very well aware of the fact that I own a pool for over a decade now, and so you can expect me to have face loads and loads of issues.

For managing the phosphate level, I use to add a product called phosphate reducer but it is NOT only the way to tackle excessive phosphate in your pool water.

Well, PHOSfree is one such product that would definitely help you to tackle excessive phosphate levels in an effective way.

What PHOSfree does is that it usually cleans the filter media and uses a rare earth metal to not only bind but also remove phosphate from your pool water successfully and effortlessly.

Moreover, the probability is very less that you would be having a need to use a product like PHOSfree.

Another thing that you can do to keep the phosphate level under control is cleaning your pool on a regular basis and removing leaves, debris, and other organic matters from your pool water as fast as possible.

In simple words, the main trouble that phosphate can bring to a pool owner like you and me is the uncontrolled growth of algae and other organic materials.

So, if you’re able to keep control of the existence and growth of algae then in return the phosphate would be in control for sure.

In case, I’ve missed out any points, please feel free to let me know in the comment section.

You shouldn’t be carried away by these myths about phosphate…

Let’s face it, there are certain myths about phosphate that needs to be cleared right now right away to help you prevent from making any wrong decision.

I would be discussing some of these myths so that they wouldn’t be able to create any problems for you in the future.

Does it make sense?

Even a small amount of phosphate is dangerous for my pool

Definitely, NOT…

As discussed earlier, it’s really next to impossible to prevent the presence of phosphate in your pool water.

Moreover, phosphate takes a lot of time to get accumulated and reach a particular level wherein it can be a cause of concern.

And, lastly, the concentration of phosphate in your pool water should be somewhere around 1000 particles per billion to have a significant impact on algae growth.

Chlorine level gets depleted in the pool water because of the presence of phosphate

Frankly speaking, there isn’t any correlation between the two.

In fact, both are entirely different, and if someone is saying to you that because of the phosphate presence the chlorine level has depleted then definitely S/he is giving you the wrong information.

The fact is phosphate maintains their perfect oxidation levels all by themselves so they don’t react with chlorine at all.

Natural elements contribute to phosphate levels in the pool water

This is again a very big misconception, and I don’t know from where such statements are getting air.

I’ve seen gurus claiming that rainwater, soil, and debris are the major contributors to the phosphate level in pool water.

Well, I wouldn’t deny the fact that the aforementioned materials contribute to the surge in phosphate level in pool water but their contribution is minimal.

The major contribution comes from the pool chemicals including scale and stain-removing products that are used on a frequent basis in your pool water.

Should I use a phosphate remover?

Well, you can use a phosphate remover, but if you would like to go with my recommendation and opinion then I don’t find its need at all.

To be honest, a certain amount of phosphate presence can’t be denied in your pool water.

And, take even the best and most sophisticated pool, you’ll find the presence of phosphate in its pool water.

Moreover, if you’re taking proper care and maintenance of your pool, and the algae and other aquatic plant growth are under control then definitely, you don’t need to worry at all about phosphate.

Last but not least, a phosphate remover can do swimmers more harm than good.

Some of the phosphate remover products are found to contain an element named lanthanum which has been found to be toxic to humans and can even cause cancer.

So, the gist is, why do I need a chemical to my pool water which isn’t gonna make any tangible difference?

How to Keep Phosphate at the Normal Levels in Your Pool Water

I never recommend my clientele to use a phosphate remover rather I ask them to expedite certain processes to keep the phosphate surge in pool water at bay.

Let’s have a quick look at each one of them.

  • Keep your pool free from leaves and other specks of dirt by skimming them out from the pool water
  • On a weekly basis, remove buildups and spores on the pool surface with the help of a brush
  • Always use a high-quality and high-performing algaecide
  • It is important that you clean out the skimmer on a weekly basis
  • Take the help of pool cover when you’re not using the pool
  • Lastly, keep chlorine, pH, calcium hardness, alkalinity levels within the normal range

ALRIGHT, let’s sum up the entire discussion.

Well, the truth is that it totally depends upon you whether phosphate remover should be used in your pool or NOT.

However, I’m not a big admirer of using a phosphate remover and have explained the same with help of a couple of points as well.

I had a word with quite a few pool experts, and they also agreed with what I’ve said.

The phosphate in your pool water isn’t a problem until and unless it reaches a mark of 1000 parts per billion.

So, don’t be overcautious about phosphate rather concentrate on maintaining a healthy ambiance by doing regular testing for various chemicals including pH, calcium hardness, chlorine, etc.

What are phosphates?

Well, I know that most of you’re well aware of what phosphate is, but there are some newbies who have no idea about phosphate and so I would be discussing some basic phosphate-related terminology.

Phosphates are nothing but a sort of element that is derived from none other than phosphoric acid.

To my surprise, phosphate is the naturally occurring form of the element phosphate and is present in almost all the living organisms that exist on mother planet earth.

It’s A Wrap

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

Secondly, the gist of the discussion is, you shouldn’t use a phosphate remover until and unless you’re NOT left with any other option.

And, phosphate can only be a point of concern if its level touches or crosses the benchmark of 1000 parts per billion.

So, work on the steps that help you to control the phosphate surge in your pool water.

After all, prevention is better than cure.

Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.

And, of course, don’t forget to rate us on a scale of 1 to 5 wherein the latter being the best.

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