POOL AND SPA WATER CARE FAQ's
We know you have many questions about caring for your pool or spa. Our experienced team of
professionals are standing by to answer any questions you may have that are not covered below.
Additionally, all of our 5 retail locations offer
state-of-the-art computerized water testing for your pool or spa, absolutely free of charge!
Let us handle your water care details – you enjoy the pool or spa!
See our BioGuard Instructional Water Care Videos and the BioGuard Literature web resource page - both exceptional sources of watercare information!
Why do I need to balance my pool or spa water?
The general answer is to avoid expensive repairs. Specifically, water with a low pH can corrode equipment and etch
and pit the pool or spa finish. Water with a high pH can leave deposits that may clog the filter and pipes, and
leave stains on the surface and tile. The ideal pH range is 7.2 – 7.8. There are other factors in the water which
contribute to the “balance” of your water. For more information, please see the questions below.
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What is “Free Available Chlorine”?
Free chlorine is the active chlorine that kills bacteria and sanitizes your pool or spa water. For everyday sanitizing
it is recommended to use stabilized chlorine that will help to keep FAC within the acceptable range of 1 - 3ppm.
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What is “Combined Chlorine?
When nitrogenous compounds (such as urine, perspiration, cosmetics, lotions, rain and fertilizer) enter a pool or spa
the chlorine attaches itself to them to form a new compound called chloramines, or combined chlorine. The chlorine
in these chloramines no longer functions as an effective sanitizer and as they build up can cause several other problems
to occur (strong chlorine smell, water irritates nose and eyes, water is cloudy and dull looking). To rid the pool
of chloramines, you must add a sufficient amount of an oxidizer (shock) to break the chlorine and nitrogen apart.
To remove chloramines and maintain good water quality we recommend to “shock” on a regular basis.
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What is pH?
pH is the primary factor in balanced water. pH is a number that measures the acidic or basic characteristics of a substance. The acceptable pH range is 7.2 - 7.6. A pH of 7 is neutral. The benefits of staying within this range are swimmers comfort, water clarity, sanitizer effectiveness, and equipment and surface protection.Go to Top
What is Total Alkalinity?
This is a measurement of how much sodium bicarbonate is dissolved in your pool. It serves to reduce a rapid fluctuation of pH level with the addition of chemicals, rain, or bather load that typically have an affect on the pH of water. The ideal range for Total Alkalinity is 125 - 150 ppm. If the Total Alkalinity is low, the pH will bounce around dramatically making it difficult to keep the water clear and comfortable. If the Total Alkalinity is high, pH will also be high and is difficult lower. You also face problems of cloudy water, dry skin, scale formation and inactive chlorine. Go to Top
Why is Stabilizer important?
Without stabilizer (aka conditioner or cyanuric acid) the suns rays would quickly destroy the chlorine in your pool. Stabilizer acts as a “sun shield” to make the chlorine last longer - up to 3 1/2 times longer! Your pool professional can test for and tell you how much to add. New pools require a minimum starting level of 40ppm. Afterwards, simply use stabilized chlorine to maintain the proper stabilizer level. For pools using a chlorine generator, stabilizer will have to be added once or twice a year.Go to Top
What is Scaling?
Scaling is a term that refers to the mineral deposits or formations that accumulates on equipment and pool or spa surfaces. Water that contains high levels of calcium, high pH and high Total Alkalinity can contribute to scaling problems. When these “balances” are out of range and water temperature raises it may precipitate out of solution and form deposits. To avoid scale formation it is recommended that you test your pool and spa water on a routine basis and adjust when necessary. Regular brushing of the surface and tile will also help to reduce the build up of scale.Go to Top
How important is Calcium Hardness?
Calcium Hardness refers to the amount of dissolved materials (mostly calcium carbonate) in water. A low calcium hardness can lead to corrosion of equipment or the etching of a plaster finish. A calcium hardness level that is high causes cloudy water and scaling. The proper range varies depending on surface type and sanitizer used. Plaster and Biguanide pools/spas: 200-275ppm. All other pools/spas: 175-225ppm.Go to Top
What is a cartridge filter?
A cartridge filter uses a pleated paper like material to remove particles suspended in the water. They can remove particles as small as 10 microns. These filters need to be cleaned every 1 to 6 months depending on the type.Go to Top
What is a sand filter?
A sand filter uses silica sand as a filter media. Water passes down through the sand where particles as small as 20-25 microns are captured. Sand filters need to be “backwashed” on a regular basis to remove captured debris.Go to Top
What is a DE filter?
A DE filter uses a series of fabric-covered grids coated with diatomaceous earth (DE) to filter particles (down to a few microns in size) out of the water. This filter is generally capable of filtering smaller particles than cartridge or sand. DE filters need to be “backwashed” to remove captured debris. Frequency depends on the filter pressure, typically once a month. After backwashing the filter must be recharged with DE powder to recoat the grids, (see your owners manual or DE package for application amount).Go to Top