FAQ and how to fix problems with your pool.

You must add enough chlorine to attack the “flower” of the algae. Usually twice the normal dosage. If there is algae on the walls and floor, that algae must be brushed as soon as the pool is shocked. Brushing will open the pores of the bloom and allow the chlorine to penetrate and kill the organism. After the pool has been shocked and brushed, let the dead algae settle for a day, then vacuum the pool to waste. Get rid of it, and keep your chlorine residual between 1ppm and 3ppm, to keep it gone.

Once the bulk of the algae has been removed, treat the remaining algae and stains with Blackspot Remover.

In addition, an algaecide will help you control algae problems and associated health risks. We recommend regular doses of Algecide Weekly.

Green algae is a common swimming pool problem, which may appear as a greenish growth on the floor and walls of a swimming pool, a green tint to the pool water, or greenish material suspended in the pool water. The only swimming pool chemical that will kill an algae growth is chlorine based swimming pool "shock". Shock is a granular form of highly concentrated chlorine, which quickly raises the chlorine level of the swimming pool water. The elevated chlorine level makes the pool water conditions unlivable for anything organic, and algae quickly dies.

There are a number of causes of cloudy water. These are the most common.

Early algae growth. Before the pool goes green, it will first go cloudy. See green pool for how to fix this.

Poor water balance can also cause this. Use a test kit, or bring us a sample of water from your pool. Add the correct chemicals to fix the problem.

Dissolved particles, or poor filtration also give cloudy water. First run your filter for more time. If this does not fix the problem, you need to ensure all your pipes are clean of calcium buildup. Use Flowrite Pipework Cleaner.

It is a common misconception that red eyes and a strong chlorine smell to the water is the result of too much chlorine. Actually, the cause is not enough chlorine! The combined chlorine compound, called a chloramine, is produced when a free chlorine molecule combines with a nitrogen or ammonia molecule. These compounds smell bad, irritate the eyes and skin, and get in the way of free chlorine trying to do its job.

You can super chlorinate, or use Shock It to oxidise, or break apart these compounds.

Continuously fluctuating pH levels are often the result of low total alkalinity.

Test the water, or bring us a sample to test for you. Adjust the alkalinity as required with Buffer.

Green hair on your swimmers is the result of excessive copper levels in the pool water.
To remove unwanted metal compounds from your pool use Super Floc.

If the copper is fully dissolved and the water is clear, you will need to empty some water from the pool by backwashing then topping up with fresh water.

You must add enough chlorine to attack the “flower” of the algae. Usually twice the normal dosage. If there is algae on the walls and floor, that algae must be brushed as soon as the pool is shocked. Brushing will open the pores of the bloom and allow the chlorine to penetrate and kill the organism. After the pool has been shocked and brushed, let the dead algae settle for a day, then vacuum the pool to waste. Get rid of it, and keep your chlorine residual between 1ppm and 3ppm, to keep it gone.

In addition, an algaecide will help you control algae problems and associated health risks. There are a number of products you can use. Call us for advice.

Assuming that the total alkalinity level is correct, we adjust the pH according to the results of the pH test. Most better test kits have an acid demand test, which allows you to calculate the amount of acid to add in order to correct the pH. You generally need to know the volume of the pool to calculate the quantity required.

In general, the pH of pool water tends to rise. This is a result of chlorination, swimmer's wastes (sweat, urine, . . .) and nature's tendency to balance the pH of standing water at about 8.5 .

High pH can be reduced with an acid. The most common pool acids are:

Extreme care must be taken when adding acid to the pool, as negligence can result in serious burns. Before adding the acid, be sure there are no swimmers in the water and that the pump is running. You will need a plastic bucket to mix the acid in.

Always add acid to water; never add water to acid! 3/4 fill the bucket with water from the pool. Add the acid to the bucket and pour it slowly around the deep end of the pool. If you are adding a large quantity of acid, do it in stages - DON'T add large amounts of acid to the pool at one time. Allow the pump to circulate the water for at least 4 hours and then test the pH again. A pH reading of 7.0-7.6 is required, with 7.2 being the ideal level.

If you add too much acid to the pool at one time, you risk etching the walls, corroding the pipes and pump fittings and you lower the total alkalinity of the water.

Low pH is increased with an alkali - this is most commonly soda ash (sodium carbonate).

Water color resulting from oxidized metals can come in an assortment of colors, and is mostly translucent in its early stages. Green, red, brown, and black are some of the more common colors produced by dissolved metals. Green color is usually produced by either copper or iron. Red and brown colors are generated by iron. Black/brown pool water is usually caused by manganese.

Often these colored water conditions appear after a pool is initially filled or after a Shock Treatment. If the fill water contains metals it should be treated with a sequestering agent and/or clarifier prior to chlorine additions. A shock treatment can cause metals to oxidize, which allows them to fall out of solution and become more visually apparent.

Use Blackspot remover applied directly to the spots.

In addition add an algecide to keep algae under control. we suggest regular addition of Weekly Algecide

Identify the cause of your pool stain. If you see leaves in your pool, then the stain may be caused by something organic. The stains on your pool may be caused by leaves which are usually greenish and with an algae-like appearance. If, however, you see a reddish brown stain on your pool then it is probably caused by rust and the source can be a metal and you have to study this issue very well as this not just look nasty but rust stains, if not treated as soon as possible, may cause other deleterious effects on your pool.

Next, is for you to remove these stains. Organic stains can be easily removed by scrubbing the surface hard with a brush and an Organic Stain Remover. There are also available pool chemicals that contain enzymes which can actually destroy the source of the stain without having to scrub it. You just have to leave it there and let it do its job. This is much more preferable if you own a more luxurious pool which is sensitive to scrubbing.

To remove rust stains, which usually appear as reddish or brownish stains, you have to see what might have caused the stain. The metals which contain iron are the ones responsible for these rust stains. However, other metals such as manganese and copper may also corrode and will result in a different stain. Example of the possible sources of rust stains on your pool are ladders, drain etc. Rust stains have to be addressed properly and as soon as possible. Try using Metal Away Stain Remover against these stubborn stains. However, other acids in your pool may compete with your rust remover and what you have to do is to lower the acid concentration of your pool water and let the product do its job.

Corrosion of the metal surrounds of lights, ladders and stairs in your pool is caused by the pool water being too acidic (low pH).

Test the water, or bring us a sample and we will test it for you. If the pH is too low, adjust with pH Up.

Chlorine in your pool is destroyed by sunlight. Adding stabiliser will reduce this effect.

Add more chlorine, run the filter, then retest.

Also test the pH to ensure this is within correct levels as this can also destroy chlorine if incorrect.

Coloured water is usually the result of high levels of iron, manganese, or copper. These particles remain in suspension and need to be removed to achieve a beautiful healthy blue colour for your pool.

To remove these metal compounds from your pool use Super Floc.

Basics of Chlorine
•Chlorine is a "sanitizer/disinfectant/oxidizer that is most widely used by pool owners to kill any bacteria, living organisms, ammonia or other contaminates that are present in water." It is produced by the electrolysis of saltwater and is effective by breaking through the cell walls of microorganisms such as algae and oxidizing them. Chlorine is unstable and will continue to break down once produced until it is ineffective. Chlorine is also a hazardous material, and needs to be handled very carefully.
Chlorine Use and Monitoring
•Chlorine is the safest and most inexpensive way to keep pool and spa water sanitized. Organisms and bacteria are constantly present in water and pose a health risk as well as an aesthetic problem. Chlorine is the tried and true method of controlling these situations. To effectively use chlorine, its level must be constantly monitored in the water because the weather, amount of microorganisms, temperature, use and other factors will cause it to fluctuate continually. Testing kits are readily available where you purchase the chemicals needed to stabilize the water and should be used according to instructions. Chlorine, no matter the form, is only as effective as its proper use allows.
Liquid Chlorine
•Liquid chlorine is made by bubbling the gas form of chlorine through caustic soda, as described on It has a high pH level (around 13) and can be poured directly into the pool, but it is recommended to be added in a peristaltic pump for even distribution. Liquid chlorine use is dominant in large commercial pools because it can be delivered in 200 litre drums and added in bulk. For residential use, the cost can outweigh its efficiency, the amount of acid needed to counteract its high pH and the difficulty in use. Liquid chlorine is less expensive than other forms. It is highly corrosive, which is a factor that should be considered.
Powder Chlorine
•The common form of granular chlorine is called di-chlor, or sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione. It's lower pH of about 7 means less acid is required to balance it. It dissolves rapidly and begins working on contaminates immediately, but only contains about 62 percent actual chlorine per pound. It contains cyanuric acid, which makes it more stable, and this product can be used as a shock treatment. Di-chlor as a treatment can be very expensive. There are two other forms of granular or powder chlorine called hypochlorites--lithium hypochlorite and calcium hypochlorite. Lithium has only 35 percent available chlorine per kg and its pH of 11 means use of acid to balance is necessary. Its advantages are it dissolves very fast before hitting the pool bottom, reducing the chances of bleaching effect for vinyl pools, it has less calcium and does not contribute to water hardness. It is also dust free and non-flammable. Cal-chlor is available in both powder and tablet form and, at 65 percent available chlorine, is a popular shock treatment product. It has a high pH of 12, but its inexpensive price makes it a popular product, even though it is unstable and breathing its dust is highly dangerous.
Making the Decision
•Whether to choose liquid chlorine or powder or which is the better choice greatly depends on how it will be used. Liquid would be an obvious choice for a large institution, but may be prohibitive for a residential homeowner. The variances in pH levels, available chlorine per pound and the equipment it will be used in come into play. Keep in mind the needs and budget allowed, and choose based on these factors.

Slippery pool walls and floor are caused by algae growth.

You must add enough chlorine to attack the “flower” of the algae. Usually twice the normal dosage. If there is algae on the walls and floor, that algae must be brushed as soon as the pool is shocked. Brushing will open the pores of the bloom and allow the chlorine to penetrate and kill the organism. After the pool has been shocked and brushed, let the dead algae settle for a day, then vacuum the pool to waste. Get rid of it, and keep your chlorine residual between 1ppm and 3ppm, to keep it gone.

In addition, an algaecide will help you control algae problems and associated health risks.

Etching of the pool wall surface is caused by poor water balance, usually a low calcium level.

Test your water, or bring us a sample and we will do it for you.

Add Calcium Plus as required.

There are a number of different types of stains you can get on your pool surface.

Stains from organic matter such as leaves can usually be removed with Organic Stain Remover.

Stains caused by metal such as hair pins and clips, or around steps and ladders can be treated with Metal Away Stain Remover.

If you have recently added algaecide, this can cause foaming for a short period. If this is the case, either wait and it will clear, or you could backwash some water out of the pool then top up with new water.

Sun tanning lotions, moisturisers and oils are the usual cause of this problem. Use Water Polisher to remove these impurities.

If this is not the case, check all pipework for air leaks.

The pH level indicates how acidic or alkaline the water is at any given time. A pH level of 7 means that water is neutral; above 7 means the water is alkaline, while below 7 indicates acidity. You should aim for a pH level of between 7 and 7.6. If the water pH is higher than 8, anyone who swims in the pool is at risk of skin rashes, while a pH of lower than 7 can sting the swimmers' eyes. Some of the many factors that can affect your pool's pH level include heavy rain, lots of swimmers and pool chemicals. Remember to regularly check your pool's pH level.

Step one is walk out to your pool early in the morning. This is usually the time of the least amount of breeze but you can do this "check " at anytime of day. Do you smell chlorine? If you answered yes your pool needs to be shocked. When you have enough chlorine in your pool contaminates are burnt off (oxidized) and when you don't the chlorine combines with these contaminates and comes off as a gas (the chlorine you smell)Does this mean every time you have gone to a public pool and smelled chlorine there wasn't enough chlorine in the pool?- YES !


Chlorine is the most widely used sanitiser. It is an oxidant, which means that it actually burns to kill the germs and other organisms.

Regular vacuuming and removal of organic matter will reduce chlorine consumption. How effective your chlorine works depends on a number of factors:
How much you use the pool
pH of the water
How much organic matter in the water
How stable is the water

When chlorine is added to the water, it has the ability to change into 2 different compounds, either Hypochlorous acid, or Hypochlorite ions. The ions are poor sanitisers. Your pH reading has a huge effect on how the chlorine works. When pH is high at 8.5 all the chlorine becomes Hypochlorite ions and you will have no sanitation. If the pH is low at 6.0 approximately 95% of the chlorine becomes Hypochlorous acid, but at such a high percentage all will immediately escape to the atmosphere. So, we need to find a compromise. At a pH of 7.5 you get 50% of each and this will give the Hypochlorous acid time to work as a sanitiser.

It is important to realise that chemicals added to your water, including chlorine, will alter your pH. You will need to adjust your pH regularly.

There are 2 types of chlorine. Liquid is the easiest to use, but it has a limited shelf life, so don't buy too far in advance. Liquid chlorine is Sodium Hypochlorite, which has a high pH, so you will need to counter this by adding acid at regular intervals. Granular chlorine also contains calcium. Care should therefore be taken to check your Calcium Hardness level. To reduce this effect, put the granular chlorine into a busket of water. Wait for the chlorine to dissolve. Then tip the liquid from the bucket into the pool, discard the calcium powder that will not dissolve.

Another way of chlorinating your pool is with a salt water system. It operates by converting salt into liquid chlorine. The size of the unit is important as this controls the amount of chlorine it produces. These units do not usually produce enough chlorine to sustain the temperatures we see on our hot summer days. Test the water, and if needed, add either Liquid Chlorine oe Salt Cell Chlorine Booster. DO NOT add granular chlorine at any time bacause the calcium will build up and damage your salt cell. You should add one bag of salt after every 20 backwashes. Your cell will from time to time build up a white calcium deposit. When this occurs, use Salt Cell Cleaner. Remember to check salt levels after rain. Always make sure you turn your automatic pool cleaner off when you add salt to your pool water.

When you add tap water to your pool or spa, the water has 5 characteristics that we measure.

These are pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, total dissolved solids, and temperature. When these 5 items are in harmony with each other, we have what we call "balanced water".

The measurement unit we use in pool and spa chemistry is parts per million (ppm).

You will take a reading in ppm and then you will have to calculate how much chemical you need to adjust the water. In order to do this you will need to know how much water your pool holds. Use the tab at the top marked "Calculators" to help determine your pool volume.

"pH" is measured between 0 and 14. 0 is heavily acidic, and 14 is heavily alkaline, 7 is neutral. The correct pH for your pool is between 7.2 - 7.7. If your pH reading is high, you need to add acid. It is available in liquid and powder form. If the pH is low, use pH Up to raise pH without raising total alkalinity. Buffer will raise the pH but will also raise the total alkalinity. Many water problems are pH related, such as cloudy water, scale, algae, corrosion of metal parts, and burning eyes. Several factors can change pH, swimming, rain, algae, and adding of chemicals. The best way to counter these changes is to have a good total alkalinity.

"Total Alkalinity" lets us control the speed and ease with which pH can change. The higher the alkalinity, the steadier the pH. Alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm. Because pH and alkalinity are so closely related, anything you do to one will affect the other. Raise alkalinity with Buffer, and lower it with acid. It is important to understand that small quantities of acid will sharply affect the pHbut will not have a big effect on the alkalinity level. Large quantities of acid will affect both. pH that is very low will also bring the alkalinity down.

"Calcium Hardness" is important in all pools. If the water is too soft (low calcium level) the water will start to remove calcium from the pool surfaces. If the water is too hard (high calcium level) it will deposit the calcium on the pool surface, or lead to cloudy water. Some pool surface types like Quartzone and Pebblecrete are prone to deposit calcium into pool water. If this is the case, add Calcium Stop every 6 months to combat this problem. When calcium is dissolved, and it is not visible it means that it is in balance with the water. The recommended level for calcium is between 0 and 500ppm, but a concrete pool should have a reading of between 100 and 500ppm. If the reading is too low, use Calcium Plus. If the reading is too high, partly empty the pool by dumping 1m of water and top up with fresh water.

"Dissolved Solids" are the solids in solution in your water and is caused by contact with surfaces. When the reading is too high it slows down any chemical reaction. The recommended TDS should not be more than 1500ppm in pools, and not more than 1000ppm in spas. The only way to lower this is to dump water and top up with fresh water. You cannot usually test for this with a home test kit. Bring a sample of your pool water to us, and we will test it for you. Take the water from 300mm below the water line, and collect 1 litre in a clean bottle.

"Temperature" has a sizeable impact on the chemicals in your pool. Keep an eye on the temperature to determine chemical treatment of the water. Now that you have balanced water you need to sanitise the water to remove all germs and bacteria.

If you do not have an automatic pool cleaner, you will need to regularly vacuum your pool. You cannot ignore organic and inorganic matter in your pool, as it will deplete the chlorine level in the water.

To manually vacuum the pool, you will need a vacuum plate to attach to the skimmer box, an extension pole, and a vacuum head.

First attach the vacuum plate inside the skimmer box. This will seal the skimmer from receiving water from the box, and suck water from the vacuum fitting.

Next, attach the pole to the vacuum head, and lower it into the water. Hold the end of the hose below the water until all the air has drained out of the hose. Then keeping the end of the hose submeged, pass it through the flap of the skimmer box and attach it to the vacuum plate.

Then attach the hose to the vacuum inlet fitting.

When you have finished vacuuming, switch off the pump so you can remove the vacuum plate.

The most important thing you can do for your pool, is to regularly test the water with a good quality test kit.


Water balance is fundamental to a healthy pool or spa system.

Unbalanced water is corrosive and will not only leave your water unsightly, but may corrode your pool or spa surface, as well as your pump, filter, and pipe system.

Always store your test kit in a cool and dark place. Use fresh test solution with the start of each swimming season. Make sure you read and understand the test procedures of your specific test kit.

Chlorine is destroyed by sunlight so first thing in the morning is the best time to test your water.

The water sample you take should be from half an arms length below the surface, and away from the water inlets. It is a good idea to keep a book and write down your test results.


Whenever you change your valve settings, always shut off the pump first. If you don't you may break pipes, pressure guages, or even the valve itself. To change the setting, you need to push down on the handle, turn the valve to the required setting, then release the handle.

Backwash valves come in many forms. The most popular being the multi part backwash valve. It has many settings other than backwash.

"FILTER" allows water from the pool to pass through the filter in the normal direction and return filtered water to the pool.

"BACKWASH" pushes the water through the filter in the reverse direction and flushes the dirt and small particles down the drain. It will also remove the DE coating of the filter pads in a DE filter. You need to renew this after backwashing. Your filter may have a sight glass ( a small glass bulb attached to the valve). When the pool is running normally, this will appear clear. When vacuuming, backwashing or rinsing, various colours from clear to black will be visible. When the water runs clear on the backwash setting, you know you can then move on to the next cleaning cycle, rinsing.

"RINSE" allows the water to pass through the filter in the normal direction, but it dumps the water down the drain. This cleans the valves and pipes in all filters, and the sand in a sand filter. Use this setting after backwash, and before going back to the filter cycle.

"CLOSE" this setting will stop water flow in all directions. NEVER START THE PUMP IN THIS SETTING, AND BE SURE THE TIME CLOCK IS OFF OR YOU MAY ACCIDENTLY START IT! Use the close setting only for service reasons, and always remember to open it as soon as you are finished.

"RECIRCULATE" allows the water to flow from the pump to the pool via the valve without passing through the filter. This setting is useful for distributing chemicals that you do not want passing through the filter, such as acid.

"WASTE" takes water from the pool straight to the drain. This is a useful function if the pool floor is extremely dirty so you can vacuum to waste. You would do this after a storm, or after flocking your pool. Top up the water level with a hose in the skimmer box. Put a brick or something heavy on top of the hose so it does not come out and flood your garden!


As a guide, if your pressure gauge reading is 35kba for sand filters, or 70kba for DE filters, then it is time to clean your filter. This number is the rise over the number for a clean filter.

If you do not have a pressure gauge, then a slowing in the water flow from the return is an indication that your filter is dirty and needs to be backwashed.

You will need to backwash at least once per week, but keep an eye on the water return strength.

Backwash for 2-3 minutes, or until the drain water has become clean.