Plaster Pool Care
Proper Water Maintenance
It is crucial that you take the time
to understand the key factors that
proper water balance. The key factors
are as follows:
1. Total Alkalinity
3. Calcium Hardness
4. Free Chlorine
Testing of your pool's water should be done frequently and
necessary chemical adjustments made as soon as possible based
on your tests. In addition it is suggested that you take a sample of
your water in at least once a month to have all of your levels
tested at a professional pool retail outlet with a water- testing
laboratory, and keep a record of these tests.
Basic Pool Water Chemistry Terminology
SANITIZER - These are the chemicals such as chlorine or bromine
which are used daily to kill bacteria and algae. The most common
types are as follows:
1. 3" Pucks or Tabs - These are probably the most common
form of chlorine. These products are sometimes called tri-
chloro chlorine. They should be placed in the skimmer..
2. Sodium Di-Chloro - This granular form of chlorine dissolves rapidly so that the chlorine is
quickly dispersed in the water.
3. Chlorine Generators -These devices, such as the Nature Soft System, produce chlorine from
brine (saltwater) and subsequently introduce chlorine into the pool during the filtration cycle of
your pool's equipment. (You will still need to check chlorine levels regularly and be prepared to
add chlorine should the automatic generator malfunction.)
4. Brominating Tablets - These small 1" compressed tablets are used predominately to sanitize
5. Ozonators -These devices produce ozone, which is introduced into the pool during the pool's
operating or filtration cycle. Ozone will kill most forms of bacteria and remove swimmer wastes
but a small residual of chlorine or bromine (for spas) must be kept in the pool to prevent algae
OXIDIZERS AND OXIDATION - These chemistry terms, which (for all practical purposes), refer to
the breaking down of organic contaminants in the water Oxidizers remove swimmer's waste such as
perspiration, urine, body oils, and cosmetics from the water.
There are two primary types of product used to oxidize your water. This process is sometimes
referred to as "shocking" the pool.
Chlorine "shocks" or Oxidizers - These are usually granular type products such a
calcium hypochlorite which will remove swimmer's waste through a process known as "break point
chlorination or shocking". It is important to follow the instructions on the
container or package and these products should be used at least every two weeks
during the swimming season and every four weeks in the fall/winter when the pool is
no longer in use. (This can be accomplished with the Nature Soft System also.)
Non-Chlorine Oxidizers - Are granular products such as potassium monopersulfate,
which do not use chlorine to remove swimmer's waste but will allow a much quicker return to
swimming activities. Non-Chlorine Oxidizers will allow you t swim in 15- 20 minutes after its use.
pH - the measure or scale of whether the water is acidic or base. It should be tested 2
to 3 times weekly and the ideal range is 7.4 to 7.6. If the water tests above 7.8, muriatic
acid should be added to bring the pH back down and if the water tests lower than 7.2,
then granular pH increaser should be added. Your local retail test station pool professionals can
advise you how much to add.
Total Alkalinity - the key to your water's balance (test 2 to 3 times weekly). Total
Alkalinity is a measurement (in parts per million) of buffering minerals present in
your water that provide a buffering capacity to resist rapid pH change. The ideal range
varies based on the type of sanitizer that you use and the type of interior finish that
you have (see chart at conclusion of terns). Total Alkalinity may be lowered through
addition of acid if to high. If your Total Alkalinity is too low you will need to raise the
level with additions of sodium bicarbonate. Consult your test kit or pool professional
at a pool retail test station.
Calcium Level - Calcium Hardness is a measurement in parts per million of the
dissolved calcium in your pool's water. Ideal levels for pools and spas is 200-300 ppm.
If your calcium level is low then additions of calcium hardness increaser will be
required. If your calcium hardness levels are high you may have to partially or
completely drain you pool. Consult with a retail test facility pool professional for
either low or high levels of calcium hardness. Calcium Hardness should be tested 2
times a week for the first month and monthly there after at your nearest retail pool
water test station.
Stabilizer - A cyanuric acid (stabilizer) test is not included with the AquaChek Select
test kit. However, a separate cyanuric acid test strip is available under the name,
AquaChek Green for Stabilizer. The dichlor or trichlor, you will not need to add extra
cyanuric acid since it is already a part of either of these sanitizers. The National Spa &
Pool Institute standard for cyanuric acid concentration in pool water recommends a
minimum of 10 ppm, an ideal range of 30-50 ppm and a maximum of 150 ppm,
although health authorities often set a maximum of 100 ppm for public pools and spas.
(Note: Stabilizer must be in the recommended range for Nature Soft System to operate
Sequestering or Chelating Agents - Are chemical compounds that tie up iron, copper
or calcium and thus minimize staining or scaling.
Algaecides - An Algaecide is a chemical added to the pool water to kill established
algae infestations and to prevent their recurrence. As there are many different types of
algae, you should bring in a sample of your water along with a description of the
suspected type of algae (green, yellow and black) to your pool retail test station and
they will advise you on the proper algaecide. Note - Most algaecides are not intended
to be used on a weekly basis.
The pH and chlorine instructions are only to be used as a guideline. They do not take
into consideration all the water conditions in the greater DFW area.
1. Always run pool filter and pool cleaner at least two hours before and after adding
2. Store acid and chlorine separately.
3. Store chemicals in a dry place with plenty of ventilation.
4. Never add chemicals to a dirty pool.
5. Have a sample of your pool water analyzed every month.
REMEMBER CHEMICAL BALANCE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!
Pool Maintenance Summary
1. Test and adjust every other day or as needed.
2. Maintain alkalinity between 100& 140 ppm. .maintain Ph at 7.5. maintain chlorine at 1.5.
3. Calcium hardness between 200 & 400 ppm. (above 600 considered unmanageable)
4. Maintain stabilizer between 35 & 60 ppm.
5. Shock your pool once a month in winter, twice a month in summer.
6. Shock your pool when chlorine reading drops below 0.5
7. Have a sample of your pool or spa water analyzed every month.
Brush pool twice a week or as often as necessary. pay special attention to places where the
pool vac cannot reach.
Skimmer and Filter Baskets
Clean skimmer and pump hair/lint baskets once a week or as needed.
D.E. filters: backwash when pressure reaches ten pounds over normal or once every three
Sand filters: backwash once a week or sooner if pressure reaches ten pounds over normal