Maintaining your pool water

Our simple 1, 2, 3 system makes do-it-yourself pool care simple and easy.
  • For help with a specific question, you can call our free helpline at 1-800-SOS-POOL (767-7665)

Step 1: Balance

To maintain a proper water balance, routinely test the pool water pH and total alkalinity. Why? Because the pH levels and the water’s total alkalinity are joined at the hip; all products that affect pH levels also affect total alkalinity, and vice versa. pH levels: pH levels need to be tested every other day and total alkalinity every month. The ideal range of pH is 7.2–7.6 parts per million (ppm). Total alkalinity: When the pH level is in this optimal range, test for total alkalinity for best results.  The total alkalinity in pool water shows how resistant the water is to changes in pH. For plaster pools, the ideal range is 80–120 parts per million (ppm). For vinyl, painted or fiberglass pools, the ideal range is 125–150 ppm. Two other factors that affect balance are the hardness (the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water) and metal content of the water. If needed both of these can be controlled by using Metal and Calcium Eliminator. The following products are ideal for adjustments
  • Alkalinity Booster to correct total alkalinity below the ideal range
  • pH Plus to correct pH below the ideal range
  • pH Minus to correct total alkalinity and/or pH above the ideal range

Step 2: Chlorinate

Free chlorine -- the most active chlorine in pool water -- should be tested every other day and maintained at an ideal range of 1 to 3 ppm. In addition, you should test the chlorine stabilizer level at the beginning and middle of each season. The ideal chlorine stabilizer level is 30 to 50 ppm if you are using chlorinating tabs; if you are using liquid chlorine it is 75 to 90 ppm. Short-term chlorination If you are starting up the pool for the first time, or if the free chlorine range falls below the 1.0 ppm level, add  All-In-One  Chlorinating Granules or Chlorinating Liquid to the pool as a sanitizer. Note: Be sure the water is balanced first (proper pH level, total alkalinity and calcium/hardness levels achieved first.) Long-term chlorination After the pool is up and running, you can use chlorine for long-term chlorination. Our products include: These products allow you a consistent means of chlorination that will protect your water from bacteria and algae growth. The type of chlorine you use depends on the size of your pool and your personal preference.

Step 3: Shock

Use a shock product such as Shock Quick 10, Shock Quick 10 plus 5, Shock Quick 15 or Super Shock Quick 20 or Vinyl Pool Shock regularly to kill off growth and oxidize or remove waste including suntan oils, perspiration, body oils, fluids and other organic waste. During swim season, test your pool’s total chlorine and free chlorine levels frequently. (The difference between total chlorine and free chlorine is referred to as chloramines.) You will need to shock your pool when chloramines are 1 ppm or greater to eliminate them. To shock, add one of our fast-acting products to raise the level of chlorine. The best time to shock is early evening, with the pool circulating system in operation. Note: Do not allow anyone into the pool after shocking until the chlorine level is below 3ppm.