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General Water Chemistry Questions -

Q. How do I figure out how big my pool is in gallons?
A.  Very simple, just click here!

Q. How often do I need to test my pool water?
A. Ideally, chlorinated or brominated pools need to be tested DAILY. SoftSwim® pools can be tested weekly.

Q. Why do I need to test my pool water?

A. Regular, accurate testing of your pool water prevents water problems which lead to down time & unhappy pool users. It also prevents long-term problems such as corrosion of filters & metal pool accessories & parts. Prevention of scaling of a pool's heater is another long-term need.

Q. What's so important about pH?

A. Your pool's pH is a critical factor in how well everything works. When the pH is high, the water becomes cloudy, the sanitizer works less efficiently, algae & bacteria grow more quickly, scale can begin forming on metal surfaces (especially heaters). Low pH causes very clear, but unhealthy water in that the sanitizer is used up quickly, the water becomes corrosive, eye & skin irritation are noticed. That's what's so important about pH!

Q. How often should I bring in a sample for a complete Computerized Testing & Analysis?

A. We recommend that a water sample be brought in about once a month for routine testing & analysis. Water samples should also be brought in at pool opening & closing. Many customers bring in samples weekly, just to be sure. It's FREE, so why not?!

Q. My water is cloudy, why?

A. Cloudy water is caused my many things & is an indicator of other pool issues such as: high pH or Total Alkalinity high Calcium Hardness (especially true for regular users of calcium hypochlorite in mid-season as the water warms) early algae growth improper filtration improper circulation unfilterable matter such as suntan lotion, body oils, urine, etc., need to be oxidized from the water. Chlorinated/brominated pools need to be shocked at least every 2 weeks. Softswim® pools, every 3 - 4 weeks. Be sure to bring in a 1 qt Water Sample for Testing & Analysis. Prevention is normally the solution! Here's the scoop on cloudy water.

Q. My pool turns green every couple of weeks. Why?

A. You have what we call, chronic algae. Chronic algae is normally a symptom of a larger pool care problem, such as the items listed above. We would definitely suggest using Optimizer Plus. The initial cost of Optimizer Plus will definitely pay for itself even with 1 bad algae problem. Chronic algae can be eliminated, but it will take some effort. Chemicals alone won't treat or prevent it. Again, be sure to bring in a 1 qt Water Sample for Testing & Analysis. Prevention is normally the solution! For more detailed information on algae found in swimming pools plus how to prevent or treat it, click here.

Q. Why do I have to "shock" my pool so often?

A. Pools MUST be "shocked" on a regular basis to eliminate unfilterables that can cause short filter runs that lead to cloudy water & algae growth. More serious problems such as white water mold & pink slime WILL occur if the water is not properly & regularly oxidized. "Shocking" should be done at least every 2 weeks in a chlorine/bromine pool and every 3 - 4 weeks in a SoftSwim® or biguanide pool. Try to concentrate the shock treatment near suction & skimmer openings so that a higher concentration will be drawn in through those fittings. Pink slime & white water mold breed especially well in those areas. Remember that sunlight is a great oxidizer, so the more sun that you get on the pool & all of its surfaces, the better (consider removing the skimmer top for several hours a day or week to get sunlight in the skimmer. Take caution on inground pools that no one is in the pool area near the skimmer & accidentally trips or falls in.) Shock whenever: Heavy or large amounts of rain, parties or large bather loads (some people shock before the party ).  Large amounts of make-up water are added (more than 1/2 inch). Your yard or a neighbor's yard has been fertilized or sprayed The last "shocking" was longer than 2 weeks.

Download a FREE brochure to learn about shocking.

It is less expensive & easier to prevent a problem than it is to cure it.

Q. Why do I have to "shock" my pool after I've added make-up water to it? Isn't that water already treated?

A. Yes, the tap water may already be treated (well water is generally untreated), however as complaints about chlorine in the water system have risen, the water suppliers have cut back on the amount that is used in treating the water system itself. Because of that, people are seeing much higher incidents of common bacteria and algae in a variety of places; sinks, toilets & most important to you, garden hoses. Pink slime & white water mold love dark, moist, warm areas in which to breed. Your garden hose that is used to fill the pool is a perfect habitat. Let the water run for one or two minutes before putting the hose into the pool. This will help flush out most residue that is accumulating in the hose & prevent it from getting into the pool.

Return to the Main Pool FAQ Page

For more detailed Pool Chemistry Information, please visit our knowledge base

If you still need help, here's how to reach us:

Telephone (during store hours): Shelton  203-377-0100


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