Swimming pools are a great addition to any home. They provide you, your family and your friends with a way to relax, exercise and keep cool on hot summer days. But unfortunately, swimming pools are not maintenance-free. They must be kept clean and the water must be tested and treated to make sure that it’s safe to swim in.

It’s important to gather all the right pool supplies to properly care for and maintain your pool. Sometimes the number and variety of swimming pool supplies can be overwhelming. There are so many models, styles and options to choose from. Which home pool supplies are essential and which are optional?

Of course, pool cleaning supplies are essential. Every pool owner needs a skimmer. The skimmer is used to collect and remove insects, leaves, small twigs, and any other bit of debris you find floating on the surface of the water. If this debris isn’t removed regularly, it could end up clogging your filter system.

Unless you enjoy vacuuming, an automatic pool cleaner should be included in your swimming pool supplies. Automatic pool cleaners take care of the dirt and debris that collects on the bottom of your pool. Some models also brush the vertical sides of the pool. Robotic pool cleaners are the most expensive to purchase, but may save you money in the long run.

There is a whole range of pool chemical supplies that you need in order to keep your water clean, clear and hygienic. The most important weapon in your arsenal of chemical supplies is chlorine. Chlorine attacks any organic material that happens to be in your pool water and oxidizes it. Trichlor is the most common type of chlorine used in swimming pools.

Additional pool chemical supplies you may need include algaecide to kill algae (that’s what makes the water green) and specialized chlorine for a “shock” when your chlorine levels have fallen too low and need to be raised quickly.

Adding chlorine to your swimming pool water can raise the acidity level. Your pool supplies should include a pH testing kit to make sure that you keep your water properly balanced.

A pool cover is highly recommended. Pool covers help keep your pool clean, they reduce the rate of water evaporation, and certain models provide a high level of safety against accidental drowning. Basic pool furniture is also considered to be part of your pool supplies. It’s possible you could do without pool furniture, but a swimming pool wouldn’t be very relaxing without it.

It may be possible to reduce your pool supply costs if you can purchase your swimming pool supplies wholesale. However, you should make sure that the quality isn’t compromised, especially when it comes to your pool chemical supplies.

As the amount you spend for pool supplies adds up, you may begin to wonder what made your pool such a great investment. It’s true that swimming pools do have ongoing maintenance costs. But as long as you have the pool supplies you need and don’t let pool problems get ahead of you, then you should be able to spend most of your time relaxing and enjoying your investment.

Jeff King writes on many consumer topics.

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