Few unofficial holidays are as eagerly anticipated as National Pool Opening Day, which is celebrated on the last Saturday of April — April 27 this year. For much of the country, it marks the arrival of summer and all the great times to be had in a backyard pool.

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Pool care experts at Leslie’s took this moment to review some of the common pool care myths and misconceptions about owning and maintaining a pool.

Myth No. 1 – Clear pool water is clean pool water. In a recent Harris Poll commissioned by Leslie’s, 71% of Americans surveyed believe that clear water is safe for swimming.

The origins of this myth are understandable. However, clear, sparkling pool water may harbor contaminants that pose a danger to swimmers. Pool owners shouldn’t assume a pool is safe for swimming just because the water is clear.

“The only way to be certain pool water is clean, healthy, and safe for swimming is to check if the water is properly balanced and sanitized,” said Clay Spann, SVP of Merchandising at Leslie’s.

The team at Leslie’s makes pool water testing easy with its AccuBlue® and AccuBlue Home® testing and treatment solutions, which precisely measure 10 aspects of water chemistry to ensure pools stay clean, safe, and beautiful.

Myth No. 2 – If the pool smells of chlorine, it’s clean. In fact, the opposite is true — a pool with a strong chlorine odor may not have enough sanitizer in it. As the chlorine sanitizes, it binds to ammonia in the water, which comes from swimmers, sunscreen lotions, bird droppings, fertilizers, and more. This results in combined chlorine, otherwise known as chloramines, which are responsible for that strong, unpleasant chlorine-like odor. Chloramines are also problematic because they can trigger skin, eye, and airway irritation.

So, if a pool smells strongly of chlorine, that’s usually an indication that sanitizer levels are too low. You should test, balance, and shock the pool to increase free available chlorine levels and destroy any chloramines in the water.

Myth No. 3 – Shocking a pool solves all problems. Giving a pool a weekly dose of shock — such as Leslie’s Power Powder Plus — is a highly effective way to keep pool water clean, algae-free, and safe for swimming. It’s especially useful for boosting free available chlorine levels, breaking down living and non-living organic contaminants, and destroying chloramine compounds that give off that heavy chlorine-like odor.

However, sanitization is only one aspect of a sound pool water treatment plan. Regular cleaning, maintenance, and water testing are crucial for swim-safe water and to avoid costly pool and equipment damage like corrosion, staining, or calcium scale buildup.

In addition to weekly water testing, Leslie’s recommends a 1-2-3 approach to ensure pool owners use the right chemicals to protect their pools. 1: Sanitize the water daily with a primary sanitizer, such as 3-inch chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, or a saltwater chlorine generator. 2: Shock the water weekly to break down contaminants in the water and ensure sufficient sanitizer levels. And 3: Prevent algae by removing phosphates, a primary food source for algae.

Myth No. 4 – Maintaining a pool is complicated. A recent Leslie’s/Harris Poll survey also found that more than 70% of pool owners said they think pool care is complicated. 

Keeping a backyard pool clean and safe requires a minimum of three things: proper circulation, regular cleaning, and balanced water chemistry.

Circulation is simple — just make sure to run the pool pump for at least 8–12 hours each day. Remember to increase the run time during hot weather or periods of increased contamination, such as a storm or pool party. Automatic pool cleaners not only help with circulation, but they can do the heavy lifting for the cleaning portion of pool care, freeing up owners to enjoy more pool time.

The final piece of the puzzle is water chemistry. Leslie’s makes it easy for pool owners to keep the pool clean and maintain proper water chemistry with two advanced water testing and treatment solutions. One is Leslie’s AccuBlue®, a free water test offered in more than 1,000 Leslie’s stores nationwide. In 60 seconds, AccuBlue delivers precise results for 10 critical aspects of water chemistry, in addition to a customized, step-by-step treatment plan to keep your pool water balanced and well-sanitized. Or the convenience of at-home water testing with AccuBlue Home®, which delivers the same industry-leading technology found at the local Leslie’s store. Both provide easy solutions to ensure pool water stays clean, safe, and beautiful.

 Pool Accessory Preparedness 

This year for National Pool Opening Day, Leslie’s is excited to extend a special in-store offer to kick off pool season. On Saturday, April 27, the first 20 customers to make a purchase at each of Leslie’s 1,000-plus store locations will receive one free Big Joe® Super Noodle, while supplies last.

“A big part of swim season preparedness is making sure you have the latest pool accessories for relaxation and fun — whether it’s games, floats, towels, goggles, lounge chairs, or other essentials,” said Kim Tokarski, Category Director for Pool Lifestyle Products at Leslie’s. “This doorbuster deal is just one way we aim to help our customers start pool season off right.”

“Among the hottest items this year is our swim gear collection from TYR, an official outfitter of the U.S. National Swimming Team that will compete at the Olympic Summer Games in Paris. This collection features the same items to be worn by the Olympic swimmers,” Tokarski continued. “Additionally, for competitive players, we offer plenty of in-pool games, including water lacrosse, water polo, basketball, and volleyball, as well as poolside games like pickleball and cornhole.”

After the competitive play ends, swimmers can relax on a variety of floats offered in a range of creative and festive designs, from motorized loungers to those featuring glitter unicorns and angel wings. Poolside ambiance and relaxation are assured with Leslie’s diverse selection of lounge chairs, patio umbrellas, speakers, deck boxes, lanterns, and more.