How To Treat Pool Water For The First Time

Written By Timothy Te

08th September 2021

If you’re a long-time reader of our blogs here at Mr Pool Man, you’d probably recognize that this is an on-going theme to pool ownership, treating pool water. If you’re just passing by or if you’re new, then welcome to the world of pool ownership!

For many, the dream of waking up in the morning, sitting down beside the pool and enjoying a nice cup of coffee or winding down a long day with a nice glass of wine staring at the shimmering waters of a private backyard oasis is something that’s definitely on the top of their lists!

What’s not on the list is the massive amount of work that’s required just to keep your pool in top shape! Don’t let that scare you though, with the right preparation and getting it right the first time, it can be as routine as brushing your teeth and become second nature.

Getting everything ready

Whether you’re a first-time pool owner or if you’re waking your pool up from its long winter slumber, the best thing you can do is to prepare! And how do you prepare? Well, the first step would be to actually know which chemical levels to look out for and how often they should be treated. If you ask any experienced pool owner, the most important thing to have in your arsenal would be your water testing kits or strips.

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Test kits like the Water TechniX 5in1 reagent testing kit or the Water TechniX 7in1 pool test strips will tell you exactly what needs treating in your pool. Not because your pool water looks clear and inviting does that mean that everything is fine. Remember, many of the contaminants in your pool start as microscopic and invisible, when problems become visible then it’s probably too late! Well, not too late, but that just means more work! And one of our main advocacies here at Mr Pool Man is to keep maintenance at a minimum while keeping enjoyment to a maximum.

How often do I need to treat the pool water?

In a perfect world, the answer would be as much as possible, or as little as possible, depending on how you’re feeling. But if we’re talking about calendar days, if you’re just a casual pool water then once a week is a good starting point. If you’re using the pool a lot then twice a week would be a better (and safer!) bet for when it comes to pool treatment schedules.

What do I need to have to treat pool water?

At the very least, you should have the following chemicals on hand whenever we’re talking about treating pool water:

  • Shock Chlorine Granules or pure liquid chlorine
  • Chlorine tablets or Stabilized chlorine (if not using a salt water chlorinator)
  • pH Regulators (pH up and pH down)
  • Cyanuric Acid
  • Calcium Up and Down

 

Other chemicals which are highly recommended (although not required)

  • Clarifiers
  • Algaecide
  • Scale and Stain Preventers
  • Phosphate Removers

 

Now for the “optional” chemicals, with PERFECT (yes, we’re stressing perfect) chemical maintenance routine, you won’t be needing them. But if you do use them, it will make your pool treatment routine much, much easier. I know it’s a Catch-22 but these optional chemicals do make pool chemical maintenance a breeze and in turn, gives you more savings when it comes to chemical expenses! Spending more to save more? Confusing right? But that’s the way it works! Not only will you save more money on chemical expenses but you’re going to save time as well, which is priceless!

So many chemical levels to keep track of!

Five in one kits, seven in one kits, each test will look at multiple chemical levels in your pool. So which one do we treat first? Do we just dump everything in and call it a day? There’s actually a method to adding pool chemicals to make it more efficient!

First to adjust: pH levels

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pH affects all of the chemicals in the pool so it’s best to control your pH levels and set them to their perfect levels before adjusting anything else. pH consists of many things like the acidity of your pool and alkalinity levels. Too acidic and it will eat away at your pool’s surfaces, too basic and it will cause staining and calcium deposits. The pH levels will also affect the effectivity of your chlorine so keeping it in check will ensure that your chlorine will do its job in sanitising the pool.

Second: Calcium levels

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Pretty straightforward here, once your test kit reveals that your pool’s calcium levels are over or under their recommended levels then simply add the required chemical (calcium up or down) then re-test to ensure that they’re at the proper levels.

Third: Cyanuric acid / Stabiliser levels

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Cyanuric acid is needed to keep your chlorine from burning up in the sunlight and so that it can do its job and sanitise your pool. Now cyanuric acid is tricky as putting in too much can make your chlorine ineffective! Always err on the safe side when it comes to adding cyanuric acid! And don’t forget, if you’re using stabilised chlorine or chlorine pucks, it already has cyanuric acid built in so be sure to add that to your calculations.

Final level to adjust

Once everything is adjusted to spec, you can now add the most important pool chemical of them all, chlorine! After that, allow the pool water to circulate for a bit and then test again to check that all the levels are where they should be! And now you’re done!

Want to know exactly how much chemicals and what levels are needed? We suggest checking out this handy guide on pool chemical levels that you can check out here.

As for the optional chemicals, you can add them as per the manufacturer’s directions on the packaging after everything else has been balanced. Algaecide can kill algae before they even have chance to grow, leaving your chlorine to deal with other contaminants in your pool. Phosphate remover destroys algae food, essentially starving them out. Clarifiers take care of tiny particles that get past your filter so that your pool water will remain crystal clear. And finally, stain removers and stain preventers will prevent stains from grabbing hold of your pool surfaces.

Conclusion

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Here's a dirty little secret that many pool shops don't want you to know. The chemicals included in the care package displayed above are the MOST USED chemicals in our pools. This is why we've bundled them up together with a large discount so you don't have to get them piecemeal. Of course you still have to have the other chemicals on hand, but the savings when you get the most-used chemicals in a bundle will save you a bundle! (pun intended)

With the right know how and having everything on hand when you need them, treating your pool won't be as hard as a task as many new pool owners fear!  

Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Happy swimming :)

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Written By

Timothy Te

Pool Guru at Mr Pool Man

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