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Advice

Swimming PoolThe Pool Chemical Products Advice section offers instructions on how to remedy some of the most common problems faced with swimming pool, hot tub and spa water and keep it sparkling clean and clear.

For easy reference, you can download our pdf guide on Overcoming Common Problems with Swimming Pool, Hot Tub or Spa Water here. For basic hints and tips for managing your swimming pool, hot tub or spa water, visit our Tips section.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on ways to overcome other problems with swimming pool, hot tub or spa water.

Common Problems

PROBLEMREASONSOLUTION

I don’t know what chemicals I need for my swimming pool!

New swimming pool owner

Regular water balance testing will help to determine chemical requirements, so testing equipment is the best place to start. The key products are sanitizer (usually chlorine), water balancers, algaecide and clarifier. See our Tips page for a full description and water balance guidelines

Products:

Basic Swimming Pool Starter Kit

Complete Swimming Pool Starter Kit

All products in our starter kits can be purchased individually

I don’t know what chemicals I need for my hot tub / spa!

New hot tub or spa owner

Regular water balance testing will help to determine chemical requirements, so testing equipment is the best place to start. The key products are sanitizer (usually bromine for hotter temperatures), water balancers, algaecide and clarifier. See our Tips page for a full description and water balance guidelines

Products:

Basic Hot Tub Starter Kit

Complete Hot Tub Starter Kit

All products in our starter kits can be purchased individually

Cloudy pool water (i)

Build up of dirt and bather pollution and insufficient chlorine or poor filtration

Backwash filter then super-chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine to 10mg/l of free chlorine. To polish water, add water clarifier

Products:

Shock Chlorine

Pool Clean Water Clarifier

Organo Clean

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Cloudy pool water (ii)

Start of algae growth due to insufficient chlorine levels or lack of algae prevention treatment

Super-chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine then backwash filter after 24 hours. Ensure recommended chlorine level is maintained.

Alternatively, shock with algaecide and continue to dose regularly

Products:

Shock Chlorine

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

Algaecide

Cloudy pool water (iii)

Over stabilisation making chlorine ineffective

Dilute pool water and super-chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine.

Products:

Shock Chlorine

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

Cloudy pool water (iv)

High pH or high alkalinity causing precipitation of salts and suspended particles

Test pH and correct to recommended level.

Products:

3 Way Test Strips

Digital pH Tester

pH Test Strips

pH Reducer

Cloudy pool water (v)

Water has reached the saturation level, meaning the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level is so high, particles cannot be dissolved and float in suspension

Check TDS level and use flocculent clarifier to easily remove particles.

Products:

Pool Clean Water Clarifier

Organo Clean

Digital TDS Meter

Green pool water

Presence of algae in the water due to insufficient chlorine levels or lack of algae prevention treatment

Super-chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine then backwash filter after 24 hours. Ensure recommended chlorine level is maintained.

Alternatively, shock with algaecide and continue to dose regularly.

Products:

Shock Chlorine

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

Algaecide

Out of specification water balance:

pH too high

High alkalinity, insufficient amount of dry acid

Decrease alkalinity to recommended level using a pH reducer.

Products:

pH Reducer

3 Way Test Strips

Digital pH Tester

pH Test Strips

Out of specification water balance:

pH too low

Excessive use of pH balancer or low pH of water used to fill

Increase pH to recommended level using a pH increaser. Stabilise pH with alkalinity builder to avoid fluctuations.

Products:

pH Plus

3 Way Test Strips

Digital pH Tester

pH Test Strips

Alkalinity Builder

Out of specification water balance:

pH locked

High Total Alkalinity

Check pH, correct to recommended level.

Products:

pH Reducer

3 Way Test Strips

Digital pH Tester

pH Test Strips

Erratic pH levels

Incorrect Total Alkalinity

Check pH, correct to recommended level and stabilise with alkalinity builder, which will also help to avoid erratic fluctuations.

Products:

pH Plus

pH Reducer

3 Way Test Strips

Digital pH Tester

pH Test Strips

Alkalinity Builder

Slimy swimming pool walls

Bacteria and algae growth due to insufficient chlorination or use of algaecide

Test water for bacteria levels. Super-chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine to kill algae then sweep or vacuum debris. Implement ongoing algaecide treatment.

Alternatively, shock with algaecide and continue to dose regularly.

Products:

Bacteria Dipslides

Shock Chlorine

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

Algaecide

Slimy spa walls

Poor cleanliness meaning build up of dirt, organic material and bather pollution

Test water for bacteria levels. Super-chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine to kill algae then sweep or vacuum debris. Wash spa sides with a mild cleaner and brush. Implement ongoing algaecide treatment.

Products:

Bacteria Dipslides

Shock Chlorine

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

Algaecide

Foaming spa water

Build up of oils, organic material and concentration of minerals in the water

Dose with antifoam.

Products:

Antifoam

Foaming pool water

High level of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) from chemical treatments plus build up of oils, organic material

Check TDS level, replace some of the water and treat to meet water balance requirements (see Tips and Advice). Add antifoam.

Products:

Antifoam

Digital TDS Meter

Itchy or sore eyes, throat or skin when in swimming pool, hot tub or spa (i)

High Combined Chlorine as chlorine levels are too low

Test chlorine levels. Combined Chlorine should ideally be 0 and is calculated as follows:

Combined Chlorine = Total Chlorine – Free Chlorine

Super-chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine

Alternatively, try using bromine as your sanitizer

Products:

Shock Chlorine

Total Chlorine Drop Test Kit

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

Bromine Tablets

Complete Hot Tub & Spa Testing Kit

Itchy or sore eyes, throat or skin when in swimming pool, hot tub or spa (ii)

Incorrect pH

Test pH and raise or lower as required to meet recommendations.

Products:

pH Plus

pH Reducer

3 Way Test Strips

Digital pH Tester

pH Test Strips

Chlorine level difficult to maintain (i)

Chlorine is not established, can be destroyed by sunlight

Use stabilised chlorine rather than unstabilised chlorine.

Products:

Stabilised Chlorine Granules

Stabilised Chlorine Tablets

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

Chlorine level difficult to maintain (i)

High water temperature allows organisms to multiply quickly

Increase chlorine dose rate. As hot tub and spa water is a higher temperature, bromine may be a more effective sanitizer.

Products:

Stabilised Chlorine Granules

Stabilised Chlorine Tablets

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

Bromine Tablets

Complete Hot Tub & Spa Testing Kit

Unable to achieve chlorine reading on test kit after adding chlorine

Chlorine level might be too high

Test chlorine level. Dechlorinate water if reading is very high.

Products:

Dechlorinator

Free Chlorine Drop Test Kit

3 Way Test Strips

Complete Swimming Pool Test Kit

The above advice should not be assumed as an all encompassing diagnosis as a number of common problems can originate as a result of equipment failures or the use of other products not supplied by Pool Chemical Products. Advice has been provided specifically to issues where Pool Chemical Products can provide our own product recommendations.