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5 Keys to Good, Basic, Easy Pool Care (it's not just pool chemicals)
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Ronald Parrs, Basic Author

The 5 Keys to Pool Care are easy to follow and for the average swimming pool, will only take an hour or less to complete each week.

Each of the keys work synergistically with the others to provide you with the best method of swimming pool care.

Whether you have a custom designed 35,000 gallon pool with rock slides and fountains or a simple 5,000 gallon aboveground pool for the kids or grandkids, proper care is essential for everyone's health and safety as well as long life for the pool and its equipment.

Key 1 - Circulation
Good circulation in your pool means much more than filtering water - it's getting all of the water in the pool moving & through the filter.  Circulation is more than filter or pump turnover; its removing dead spots - you know those areas where algae always seems to grow or where dirt & debris always seems to accumulate. The better the water circulates, the better the filtration, the cleaner the pool.  In fact it typically takes up to FOUR turnovers to get all of the water completely filtered.  Click here for more information on how to improve water circulation.
Key 2 - Filtration
Now that the water is circulating properly, good filtration removes dirt, debris & even certain large bacteria & algae.  Sand filters remove the largest particles, Cartridge filters remove smaller particles & DE filters remove the smallest.  Filter your water for 8 to 12 hours every day from opening to closing. Use a timer so that you don't forget and save money. By the way, for the best filtration, be sure to chemically clean your filter about twice each season to remove accumulations of greases, oils & other swimmer and environmental waste that clog your pool filter & that routine backwashing & rinsing will NOT remove.  Click here for more information on pool filtration.
deluxe plastic leaf net Key 3 - Cleaning
Most swimming pools have at least one area with little or no circulation. This is where algae and bacteria can begin to grow. These areas produce the "stuff" that contributes to cloudy or green water and higher than normal chlorine or sanitizer usage. At least once a week, the walls and floor should be brushed and vacuumed to remove debris that the filter misses. Brushing is a must, even if you use an automatic pool cleaner or retain a weekly service.  It's like taking care of your teeth - you know that you should brush & floss, but...Oh, and don't forget to clean that water line regularly to break up bio-film build up.  Learn all about cleaning here.
OTO - pH test kit

Key 4 - Testing
Test your pool water at least 2 times per week & bring in a 1 quart water sample for a complete computerized test & analysis 3 times per season for best results.  Testing keeps you up to date on what's going on with your pool water.  Don't rely solely on how the water looks.  In fact most of the SERIOUS water problems that we see (skin rashes, colored hair, pool surface etching, etc.) occur when the water is "crystal clear" about the middle of the swimming season.  Make pH, total alkalinity & calcium hardness adjustments promptly.  You'll protect the filter system, the pool surfaces, get better chlorine & sanitizer efficiency and virtually eliminate red eyes & dry skin. Here's what you need to know about water testing.

BioGuard 3 step once a week pool care systemKey 5 - Water Chemistry
Last but not least it's water chemistry. Many people are nervous about chemicals.

Don't be. is here to help. You only need to follow our step by step information for sparkling blue, crystal clear, free from algae & cloudiness water. 

Pool water chemistry IS easy - just 4 simple steps:

  1. Maintain a constant level of sanitizer in the pool. Slow dissolving chlorine sticks or tablets; proper level of biguanide (Soft Swim); bromine; salt level.
  2. Shock the pool weekly or at a minimum every 2 weeks (biguanides shock every 3 to 4 weeks).  Shocking oxidizes unfilterable wastes & breaks up chloramines that lead to cloudy water, algae, smelly pools & red eyes.
  3. Add algicide weekly or at least every 2 weeks to prevent algae growth.  A good quality algicide (concentrates sold in quart sizes) backs up the chlorine or sanitizer in case it is exhausted due to heavy bather load or heavy rain.
  4. Maintain good water balance.  Without good water balance, the sanitizer doesn't work properly or efficiently.  The water can become cloudy (high pH) or aggressive (low pH - water is often times really clear).  You'll also protect your friends & family who use your pool.

Keep Pool Water Chemistry simple.  Here's how...

The 5 Keys typically take about ONE hour or less to accomplish each week.  Yes, that's it!  Just 1 hour.  Now you can enjoy your pool more & actually work less.  In the long run, you'll also spend less time & money.

Remember, Par Pool & Spa is always able & ready to help if you need us.  Just stop by or give us a call. Always helpful, always friendly.

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Links to products for all of the 5 Keys:

  1. Circulation
  2. Filtration - products to keep your filter running clean
  3. Cleaning & Maintenance
  4. Testing - test kits & strips
  5. Water Chemistry & Pool Care Chemicals
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