Pool Care and Maintenance
contained in this section of the TPS On-line site is provided as a guide only.
It should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a local pool care
Much of this information is not required by users of TPS
Pool and Spa Controllers, which take care of many of the day-to-day pool
Instrumentation in swimming pools requires the continuous control of
the ORP/Redox potential and of pH while keeping the pool clean and periodically
adjusting pH buffers and occasionally cleaning the filters, replacing the
water and shocking. TPS supply instruments for measuring and controlling
pH and ORP/REDOX. See our Pool Instruments
Swimming pool owners want pools to be low maintenance, clean, safe and
To determine amounts and types of chemical required, your pool should
be tested daily for pH and free chlorine; and periodically for alkalinity,
stabilizer, and hardness.
Proper maintenance of pools and spas requires...
|Removal of most suspended debris from pools - filter |
|Killing all bacteria and algae present in the water - disinfect
& sanitize |
|Removal of unpleasant body excretions (sweat, urine and oils) from
the water - oxidize|
Available chemical treatments can...
|kill bacteria and algae|
|oxidize unpleasant organic compounds|
|combine with unpleasant compounds producing smelling amines|
|combine with unpleasant compounds producing active sanitizers which
do not smell.|
Chlorine produces Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) in water
- HOCl dissociates (breaks up) HOCl <===> H+ + OCl-
- HOCl reacts with bacteria and organics. HOCl is a very effective sanitizer.
- OCl- reacts with ammonia (NH3). OCl- is an extremely strong
- HOCl reacts with sunlight and needs to be stabilized with Cyanuric
- Chloramines formed from reaction with ammonia are unpleasant and smelly.
- Chlorine compounds change pH which
then needs adjustment.
- Some chlorine compounds change water
- Some chlorine compounds include Cyanuric acid - regular pool draining
- The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
of an average pool is increased
- Chlorine is the most popular sanitizer chemical.
Salt in Water with electricity will produce Chlorine + Caustic Soda
The total Chemistry is: 2NaCl + H2O = CL2 + 2NaOH
Bromine produces Hypobromous acid in pools and spas
- HOBr dissociates (breaks up) HOBr <===> H+ + OBr-
- HOBr reacts with bacteria and organics. HOBr is a very effective sanitizer.
- OBr- oxidizes ammonia into Bromamines which are active
- HOBr reacts with sunlight, it lasts longer but can not be protected.
- Bromide can be oxidized back into hypobromous acid with a strong oxidizer.
- Bromide compounds change pH which then
- The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
of an average pool is increased.
Pools which are fitted with a TPS
Pool Controller do not require Shocking, as the Chlorine is constantly
kept at an optimum level. One of the main advantages of ORP control is
that it immediately responds to heavy bather loads and/or hot weather. The
reverse is also true, resulting in a cost saving to the pool owner during
the cooler months when there is little or no bather load.
For "uncontrolled" pools, it is recommended that Shock treatments
are done once a week during peak season when
temperatures and bather load are heavy. Cloudiness and/or strong chlorine odours are indications that a shock treatment is needed. Shock treatment
is the "burning up of pollutants with a strong oxidizing chemical".
Incorrect amounts of chlorine used will cause problems. Not enough will
raise the level of eye burn and skin irritation because the level of combined
chlorine compounds is increased. Too much chlorine will take days to drop
to safe levels.
Non-chlorine shock products like potassium peroxymonosulfate, also known
as permonosulfate solve these problems. Like chlorine, permonosulfate is
an oxidizer that will destroy organic contaminants such as ammonia in swimming
pools and spas. Permonosulfate compounds do not kill or disinfect. Permonosulfate
reacts directly with the ammonia and chloramines to produce chloride ions
and nitrogen. Swimming can be resumed after the permonosulfate has had
a chance to dissipate, usually in just a few minutes.
Ozone is a gas (chemical formula O3) that is one of the strongest oxidizers
and disinfectants available. It is stronger than chlorine, bromine, hydrogen
peroxide and hypochlorous acid.
Ozone is produced in a corona discharge. Air passing through an electrically
sparking chamber produces ozone from oxygen. Air passed close to one or
more Ultraviolet lamps will produce ozone from oxygen.
There are some significant differences between Chlorine and Bromine
as sanitizers. Chlorine requires superchlorination to remove unpleasant chloramines, bromine doesn't. Bromine can be regenerated using a strong
oxidiser, chlorine can not.
How much sanitizer product do we need to purchase to achieve the right
amount of active chlorine? Use this chart to calculate the best priced
|Types of Sanitizers|
|% of Available Sanitizer|
|pH of the Product|
|Stabilizer included in this product ?|
|Soda Ash required to neutralize pH effects ?|
|Hydrochloric Acid Required to neutralize pH effects ?|
Once the chlorine level is allowed to drop below 1.0 ppM, unsightly
algae may appear. Algae can discolour water and give off unpleasant odours.
This condition may also be an indication of improper sanitation. Should
this problem occur, consult your professional pool dealer.
pH is the scale of measurement of acidity or alkalinity in aqueous solutions.
A neutral solution such as pure water has a pH of 7. Solutions with a lower
pH are termed acidic and solutions with a higher pH are termed alkaline.
pH ranges from highly acidic pH 0 to highly alkaline pH 14. The pH of the
human eye is about 7.6. Under normal conditions, it has been found that
the proper pH for pool water is approximately 7.6 with pH 7.2-7.8 being
an acceptable range.
Balanced water is a term used to describe an ideal condition of pool
water. Water is "Balanced" if it is at the correct pH level and contains just the right amount
of Sanitiser, pH Buffers, Calcium and Magnesium
Hardness and dissolved solids.
Water high in hardness can become cloudy and Scale the insides of pipes
restricting water flow. It can cause calcification of sand in filters,
reducing their efficiency. Scale can also discolour a pool's interior. Low
hardness and unbalanced water can contribute to corrosive water conditions.
A certain amount of hardness is desirable. The desired range is between
100-400 ppM. Once again, your water should be tested periodically for hardness.
Some minerals such as iron and copper can stain
(sometimes referred to as Total Alkalinity by pool people)
Buffering represents the amount of generally alkaline minerals in water
that act as a pH buffer. It is the measure of the buffering capacity or
resistance to a change in pH of water. These chemicals minimize changes
in pH, making pH easier to control. The proper buffer range is from 80
1. Opening Your Pool
The information below is provided for owners of uncontrolled pools. A
pool fitted with a TPS Pool
Controller does not need to undergo the much of the normal maintenance
procedures. TPS recommends maintaining correct Chlorine levels and pool
balance even during winter when the pool is not being used. An ORP controller
inherently will add less Chlorine when there is less sunlight, the
temperatures are lower and there is less bather load. Depending on the
local climate, one 25L drum of Chlorine should last all winter.
The cost of restoring a pool that has been left un-maintained over the
winter is usually higher than keeping it in good order, not to mention the
time and effort required to restore it. It is far more rewarding to have a
sparkling clear pool all year round.
|Check Filtration System -|
Make sure all components are in working order and that the filter
is running before adding any pool chemicals.
|Shock Your Pool - |
At the beginning of each swimming season it is necessary to superchlorinate
the pool to establish a chlorine residual. Shock your pool with a chlorine
shock product or simply add 3-5 times your normal daily chlorine dosage.
Chlorine Stabilizer (Cyanuric acid) is added to the pool water
to protect the chlorine from UV breakdown by the sun. Have the pool water
tested to determine how much stabilizer should be added to maximize chlorine
|Balance - |
Pool water "balance" is determined by several factors
including: pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness.
2. During the Swim Season
|Be Attentive -|
Pool water chemical levels and requirements are constantly changing
due to weather, pool location and types of chemicals being used. Periodic
water tests, either at home or at your pool centre are essential to eliminate
water problems before they occur.
|Summer Shocking -|
After a heavy rain, prolonged periods of hot weather or heavy bather
load, it is advised to shock your pool. Shocking the pool will help destroy
visible algae, restore low chlorine levels and burn off accumulated organic
3. Closing Your Pool
|Putting your Pool to Bed -|
How to winterise a pool depends on where that pool is located.
If you live in a climate where the pool water does not freeze, it may not
be necessary to shut down and cover your pool. Check with your pool dealer
for particular winterising instructions.
|Winter Shocking -|
If you live in a region where it is necessary to cover your pool
for the winter, the addition of a WINTER ALGAECIDE and a soluble granular
or liquid CHLORINE will help insure that your pool is sparkling clear when
the pool is opened the following spring.
Copyright © 1996, 1997, 2002 TPS Pty Ltd