TPS_Logo.gif (100759 bytes)   
TPS Home Contact Us Products Distributors Brochures Service Support Dealer Login

Pools and Spas


Pool Products
Pool Sanitation
Pool Chemical Safety
Pool Size
Chlorine Sanitiser
Bromine Sanitiser
Chlorine Vs Bromine
Chlorine Generators
Copper & Silver Ionisers
Ultra Violet Ray Sanitisers
Algae and Algaecides
Super Chlorinating

Pool Care and Maintenance

The information 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 expert.

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 management functions.

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 page.

Swimming pool owners want pools to be low maintenance, clean, safe and healthy.

bulletHow big is your pool
bulletChemical Safety Tips - Handling and storage

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...

bulletRemoval of most suspended debris from pools - filter
bulletKilling all bacteria and algae present in the water - disinfect & sanitize
bulletRemoval of unpleasant body excretions (sweat, urine and oils) from the water - oxidize


Available chemical treatments can...

bulletkill bacteria and algae
bulletoxidize unpleasant organic compounds
bulletcombine with unpleasant compounds producing smelling amines
bulletcombine with unpleasant compounds producing active sanitizers which do not smell.

Chlorine will sanitize and oxidise but needs protection from UV light

Chlorine produces Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) in water

  1. HOCl dissociates (breaks up) HOCl <===> H+ +  OCl- (hypochlorite ion).
  2. HOCl reacts with bacteria and organics. HOCl is a very effective sanitizer.
  3. OCl- reacts with ammonia (NH3). OCl- is an extremely strong oxidizer.
  4. HOCl reacts with sunlight and needs to be stabilized with Cyanuric Acid.
  5. Chloramines formed from reaction with ammonia are unpleasant and smelly.
  6. Chlorine compounds change pH which then needs adjustment.
  7. Some chlorine compounds change water hardness
  8. Some chlorine compounds include Cyanuric acid - regular pool draining required.
  9. The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) of an average pool is increased
  10. Chlorine is the most popular sanitizer chemical.

Chlorine can be made locally at the pool by electrolysis

Salt in Water with electricity will produce Chlorine + Caustic Soda + Hydrogen

The total Chemistry is: 2NaCl + H2O = CL2 + 2NaOH + H2

Bromine will sanitize and oxidise.

Bromine produces Hypobromous acid in pools and spas

  1. HOBr dissociates (breaks up) HOBr <===> H+ + OBr- ( hypobromite ion).
  2. HOBr reacts with bacteria and organics. HOBr is a very effective sanitizer.
  3. OBr- oxidizes ammonia into Bromamines which are active sanitizers.
  4. HOBr reacts with sunlight, it lasts longer but can not be protected.
  5. Bromide can be oxidized back into hypobromous acid with a strong oxidizer.
  6. Bromide compounds change pH which then needs adjustment.
  7. The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) of an average pool is increased.

Shock Treating / Super Chlorinating

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 Gas

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.

Comparisons Bromine vs. Chlorine

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.

bulletCopper and Silver Ion Generators
Copper ions in water will inhibit algae growth and Silver ions kill bacteria.
bulletUltraviolet Light will Sanitize
UV Light at the right wave length kills bacteria and algae but not viruses.

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 options.

bulletTypes of Sanitizers
bullet% of Available Sanitizer
bulletpH of the Product
bulletStabilizer included in this product ?
bulletSoda Ash required to neutralize pH effects ?
bulletHydrochloric 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.

Water Balance

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 your pool.

Buffering (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 to120 ppM.

In Summary

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.

bulletCheck Filtration System -
Make sure all components are in working order and that the filter is running before adding any pool chemicals.
bulletShock 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.
bulletStabilize -
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 efficiency.
bulletBalance -
Pool water "balance" is determined by several factors including: pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness.

2. During the Swim Season

bulletBe 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.
bulletSummer 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 wastes (chloramines).

3. Closing Your Pool

bulletPutting 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.
bulletWinter 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

Web Author : TPS Pty Ltd
Copyright 2002-2010 T.P.S. Pty Ltd
A.B.N. 30 009 773 371
Last modified: May 27, 2013