Routine Care & Maintenance
Owning a pool can make every day seem like a holiday. But like all good things, a pool needs care and attention if you are to get the best out of it. Clear, sparkling, pure water doesn't just happen by itself. This guide will help you achieve that brilliant water quality.
Why is it necessary to treat water at all? The answer is that swimming pool water is re-circulated and constantly reused. Bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms are carried into this water by bathers. Some of these organisms may be harmful to health and must be destroyed before they can pass from one bather to another. Dirt and impurities can also be introduced by bathers, wind and rain and need to be removed to achieve good water quality.
Water treatment must also be carried out to prevent the growth of algae - tiny aquatic plants which can rapidly turn your pool water or pool surfaces green. Finally, water must be treated to ensure the pool, equipment and fittings come to no harm through corrosion or scale formation.
The poolife® Routine Maintenance Program
4 Easy Steps to the Most Brilliant Clean Ever Seen.
Test the pool water and adjust the pH. Then select your preferred poolife® Pool Care System.
Chlorinate and clarify to keep bacteria at bay 24 hours a day. Use your preferred poolife® Primary Sanitizer.
Shock once a week to clear up cloudy water, kill algae, and destroy organic contaminants and much more. For best results use calcium hypochlorite based poolife® TurboShock® shock treatment or poolife® Rapid Shock® shock treatment.
Prevent algae, especially in the hot summer months by adding your preferred poolife® Algaecide once a week.
Your pool water should be tested for pH, free available chlorine (FAC), total alkalinity (TA), calcium hardness (CH) and stabilizer levels. Testing your pool water is a very simple way to ensure your pool has balanced water. Take a sample of pool water to your Authorized poolife® Dealer each month during the summer season for a detailed analysis. Or you could invest in a good quality test kit or poolife® test strips to measure for pH, free available chlorine and total alkalinity. Test strips are a quick and easy alternative to the traditional test kit.
Wait 24 hours after a shock treatment before testing for FAC or pH.
Routine Pool Care Summary
Bring a water sample into us for a full water analysis. This should include: pH, FAC, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, TDS, Cyanuric and Metals.
Nothing creates a better impression than having a pool with water that is crystal clear and with a sparkle on the surface. If algae get into the pool or if there are tiny suspended particles in the water, it can spoil the appearance and in extreme cases even stop you from using the pool. The best way to prevent this happening is to use one of the poolife® Pool Care Systems and follow the 3-Step poolife® Program.
Q. What are algae?
A. Algae are microscopic-plants that grow in water. They are usually green, but you can find blue-green, black, yellow or mustard. They can grow on the pool surface or float in the water. Algae can turn pool water green, and if you are unlucky this can literally happen overnight.
Q. Won't chlorine kill algae?
A. Yes usually. But there are occasions when chlorine levels are allowed to drop too low or the chlorine is not acting effectively because the water is out of balance, or the pool water has very high levels of stabilizer (cyanuric acid).
Q. What can I do to prevent algae?
A. Always ensure there is adequate chlorine in the pool at all times. Follow the poolife® 3-Step Pool Care Program and add a preventive dose of algaecide once a week.
Q. What can I do once the algae have taken hold?
A. If this happens, you should shock treat and then add a poolife® algaecide. To treat common algae like green and yellow, use poolife® AlgaeBomb® 30 or poolife® Super AlgaeBomb 60. poolife® Mustard Algae Treatment, when used in conjunction with a poolife® shock product, cleans up both green and yellow algae. Mustard and black algae are more difficult to remove, so we recommend using poolife® AlgaeBan II or poolife® AlgaeKill II. Always follow product label directions carefully.
Shock. Shock treat. Shock treatment. All these terms mean the addition of chlorine to pool water in larger than normal amounts. Shock treating your pool is of the utmost importance because it protects you and your family from bacteria and organic contaminants.
A shock treatment adds 5.0 - 10.0 p.p.m. FAC. This concentrated blast helps prevent and correct most common pool water problems. You should shock your pool water while the pump and filter are in operation. After a shock treatment, check to make sure the FAC is 1.0 - 4.0 p.p.m. before entering the pool.
Choose the "Right" Shock Product
To give your pool the ultimate cleaning and to help ensure your family's safety and enjoyment, be sure to use a poolife® calcium hypochlorite based shock treatment product. Using a superior calcium hypochlorite product such as poolife® TurboShock® shock treatment or Rapid Shock® shock treatment is the best way to be sure you're killing harmful bacteria.
When using these products they won't increase the water's stabilizer (cyanuric acid) level and won't corrode the equipment. Do not use a shock product that is stabilized (i.e. contains cyanuric acid - read the label). It will increase the stabilizer level and can interfere with the effectiveness of the chlorine.
Always use a shock treatment product that controls algae and kills bacteria (read the label). Some products are promoted as shock treatment, but they're not sanitizers. This means that a sanitizer must still be added to the pool to kill bacteria and to control algae.
When Should You Shock Treat?
You need to shock your pool water when opening and closing your pool.
You should also shock treat weekly during the pool season to kill bacteria, algae and other unsightly contaminants. We recommend shocking at the same time and on the same day each week. The optimum time to shock your pool is sundown. At this time of the day, the chlorine can work without fighting the sun's ultraviolet rays. Shocking after sundown also gives chlorine more time to restore the water clarity.
An additional shock treatment should be given when any of the following situations occur:
Keeping your pool properly balanced is one of your most important assignments as a pool owner.
Many things can throw the water out of balance. How often you use the pool, rain, sun, wind algae, dust debris, circulation, even which sanitizers you use. The source of fresh water (well, municipal, etc) will also affect water balance in a number of ways. Six factors need to be monitored for their effect on water balance:
2. Total Alkalinity
3. Calcium Hardness
4. Total Dissolved Solids
6. Cyanuric Acid
When all these factors are within acceptable ranges, it is unlikely that your water will cause corrosion or scale deposits. Well balanced water also provides maximum bather comfort. Use your poolife® Test Strips daily, and bring a water sample into us every month for a laboratory analysis.
Understanding pH is one of the most important aspects of pool care. Low pH can lead to skin irritation and corrosion of equipment. High pH can result in cloudy water and contribute to scale formation. More importantly, the incorrect pH will reduce the effectiveness of the chlorine in your swimming pool. Remember to check the pH at least twice a week. The ideal range is between 7.2 and 7.6
Total alkalinity (TA) refers to the quantity of alkaline materials dissolved in water, which act as a buffer in controlling pH change. TA is an important factor that should be taken into account in optimizing water conditions.
The ideal range for TA for pools using poolife® calcium hypochlorite based primary sanitizers, such as Active Cleaning® Granules, Caplets or Tablets is 60ppm - 100 ppm and for pools using trichlor based primary sanitizers such as 1" Cleaning Tablets, 3" Cleaning Tablets and the MPT Extra™ chlorinating tablets, the recommended range is between 80 and 120 ppm.
If the TA is below 60ppm the pH will not stay in the proper range and the pool water may promote corrosion and cause damage to pool fixtures and equipment. TA that is above 120 can cause cloudy water or scale.
NOTE: Cyanuric acid (stabilizer) will interfere with the test for total alkalinity, therefore it is necessary to compensate for this interference. For pools with properly maintained pH and a cyanuric acid level above 50 ppm, the correction formula is Tested Total Alkalinity Result - 1/3 Cyanuric Acid Reading = TRUE TOTAL ALKALINITY. In other words, subtract one-third of the cyanuric acid reading from the tested total alkalinity reading to compensate for the interference.
All water contains some natural hardness, which will vary by geographic region and by source within a region. Calcium hardness (CH) refers to the calcium and magnesium content of the pool water. It is wise to test the CH levels regularly to prevent problems on the pool shell or in the circulation system. The recommended range for calcium hardness is 200 - 500 ppm (up to 1000 ppm is acceptable).
Pool water with a calcium level above 1,000 ppm may become cloudy and if left long enough will form scale on pool surfaces and fittings. CH below 200 ppm can corrode pool equipment. In plaster pools it may result in pitting or etching problems.
Testing for hardness should be done by your Authorized poolife® Dealer, preferably at spring opening (or new pool opening) and once a month during the swimming season. You could also use the poolife® Test Strips.
Total Dissolved Solids
The total dissolved solids (TDS) are the total amount of material dissolved in your pool water. Solids that are dissolved and can't be filtered out. So the TDS level naturally goes up over time as more water is evaporated and more chemicals are added.
Although the TDS concentration has little effect on water balance, above a certain level (2000 ppm) problems may occur with water clarity and taste. Testing for TDS should be done by your Authorized poolife® Dealer, preferably at the spring opening (or new pool opening).
For the most part water temperature also has little effect on water balance. But when water temperatures stay over 90F, scale formation can develop rapidly. Prevention is the easiest solution - so test the water more frequently when it's consistently that hot.
The problem with a high metal level is the staining it causes on pool surfaces. Unwanted metals can be the result of unbalanced water.
Source water can be a primary cause of unwanted metals
Corrosive water can attract metals from exposed metallic surfaces such as ladders.
Copper-based algaecides can also be a source of metals.
Ideally, no detectable metals should be present in your pool at any time. Ask your authorized poolife® Dealer to test monthly. If metals are present, use poolife® Intensive Stain Prevention™ product, which helps prevent and even remove some stains.
The Bottom line on Water Balancing
You'll be a lot more comfortable in the water, and your pool and equipment will be much better protected, if you maintain well-balanced pool water. This means keeping the pH, total alkalinity (remember the effect of cyanuric acid on the true TA reading), calcium hardness, and total dissolved solids within their acceptable ranges (see table below).
Summary of recommended ranges for water balance factors
pH: 7.2 - 7.6
Total Alkalinity: 60ppm - 120 ppm [depending on your sanitizer]
Calcium Hardness: 200 - 500 (up to 1000 is acceptable)
Total Dissolved Solids: up to 2000 ppm
Copper: 0 ppm
Iron: 0 ppm
The Clear Path to Pool Care Bliss
With premium BAQUACIL® pool care products, you can finally achieve the kind of clarity your pool was designed for in the first place. After all, BAQUACIL® brand does away with tedious pool care by enabling you to convert your pool into a chlorine-free, carefree sanctuary in less than 24 hours. The result? Clear, beautiful water that's gentle on eyes, hair and skin, not to mention pool surfaces and swimsuits.
Pool care that's effective
How effective is BAQUACIL® Swimming Pool Sanitizer and Algistat? BAQUACIL's® chemical structure makes it extremely stable and is not affected by sunlight, temperature or pH fluctuations.
BAQUACIL® brand offers the CDX® system, a pool care system that features a 3-step, three product chlorine-free routine that is easy to use. You can learn more about it on this site or by chatting with your local Authorized BAQUACIL® Dealer.
Stability, freedom & peace of mind
The real advantage behind BAQUACIL® brand is the peace of mind all of our products offer thanks to the brand's dependable, consistent bacteria control. And less time worrying about bacteria means more time to enjoy fun in the water with your family.
Count on BAQUACIL® brand for long-lasting effectiveness against bacteria with the chemistry found in BAQUACIL® Swimming Pool Sanitizer and Algistat. Better still, it's more stable than chlorine, so it won't burn off in the summer heat and sun. And that means your pool maintains consistent bacteria protection day after day... true pool care bliss!
Chlorine levels vary widely throughout the day and may require daily additions. Even with these daily additions, bacteria levels fluctuate greatly.
BAQUACIL® Swimming Pool Sanitizer and Algistat
BAQUACIL® brand offers consistent, long-lasting protection. With just one application, bacteria levels are controlled for as long as 10-14 days.
Understanding Free Available Chlorine (FAC)
Healthy pool water is achieved by using a chlorinator to kill bacteria, control algae and destroy organic contaminants.
Q: What is free available chlorine (FAC)?
A: Free available chlorine is the amount of active chlorinator in the water.
Q: What is the correct amount of FAC?
A: The FAC in your pool should be 1.0 - 4.0 p.p.m.
Q: Why should the FAC be at that level?
A: Below 1.0 p.p.m. can cause algae problems, cloudy water, swimmer rashes and bacteria problems.
Q: What should you do if your FAC is less than 1.0 p.p.m.?
A: Just add poolife® chlorinator or shock treatments until you reach the desired FAC level.
Q: How often should I test for FAC?
A: Test at least twice a week during the summer season (daily is better).
Start Up / Pool Opening
When it's time for you to open your pool, you have one goal in mind - getting the water "just right" so you and your family can enjoy the swimming season. You can contact your authorized poolife®® Dealer for a professional pool opening service, however if you are a seasoned pool owner or a do-it-yourselfer, follow these simple steps:
Preparing the Equipment
Preparing the Pool Water
Simple Steps to Sparkling, Clear Water
Your pool is a thing of beauty. And keeping it that way is simple with the right knowledge and great products.
With over one-hundred years of combined experience in the pool industry our team has seen it and done it all when it comes to pool water chemistry and maintenance. As far as the chemicals go, we're proud to have Pool Life one of the industries largest suppliers as our partner!
Following tour advise in these pages will help you prevent problems before they start and solve problems as they occur.
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