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Learn More About Your Pool and Spa Water Care

Frequently Asked Water Care Questions

Water care chemicals are an important part of maintaining a clean pool, but too often pumps and filters get overlooked. However, running your pump and filter is key to clear, sparkling water that’s free of debris and contaminants. Depending on the size of your pool, your filter and pump should run for a minimum of eight to 12 hours.

Running your filter on a schedule helps to circulate the water, which in turn circulates your pool chemicals — giving you the results you need for a sparkling pool. Circulating water also helps cut down on the growth of algae, which thrive in stagnant, unmoving water. Give your pool the upper hand by running your pump and filter on a schedule. You can even split the time between two circulation periods each day if you desire.

Phosphates occur naturally in your pool water due to organic materials that can cause phosphate increase. When decaying leaves, grass clippings, lawn or garden fertilizer, run off, well water, perspiration, cosmetics, urine, bird droppings and other contaminants make their way into the water, it can cause an uptick in your phosphate level.

So, why is this important for your pool? First, phosphates are already naturally in your water. But when contaminants boost the phosphate levels, that can mean trouble for your water chemistry. Algae love to dine on phosphates, making high-phosphate pool water an algae colony’s dream. When algae start to feast on phosphates, it can cause a bloom that can be hard to control. 

Don’t make a bad situation worse. Save time and money (and redeem the swim season) with expert solutions from Tredway Pools Plus. Our water care experts can help you find the exact products to lower phosphate levels in your water. Just bring in a water sample for complimentary water testing. Our ALEX® water care computerized system can offer the exact solution you need for quality water. Skimming your water often, cleaning your filters, and removing debris from the bottom of your pool will also go a long way in keeping phosphate levels where they need to be.

Proper pool maintenance is key to a serene aquatic experience. Keeping your water perfectly balanced is one of the first steps to having a pristine pool or spa. pH and alkalinity play a major role in successful water maintenance. First, pH plays an important role in how well your sanitizer works. Since you want a safe and sanitized swimming or soaking space, you want your chlorine, bromine, or salt system to be able to work effectively. That’s where pH comes in. Water that has a neutral pH (between 7.4 and 7.6) allows your free chlorine to work the way it’s designed — destroying bacteria and contaminants and keeping algae at bay. When your pH is balanced, you’ll spend less money on sanitizing chemicals and see better results. 

Alkalinity serves as support to help balance your water’s pH. This buffer keeps your water chemistry stable so that pH does not move up and down as rapidly. Low alkalinity can mean corrosion, surface and equipment etching, burning and itching skin and eyes, and pH that fluctuates erratically. High alkalinity can cause scale build up, cloudy water, and a pH that you will have a hard time getting back to the right level.

When water is imbalanced, you’ll notice a difference in the performance of your sanitation chemicals. But you’ll also experience skin and eye irritation, as well as possible corrosion to your pool and spa fixtures and equipment. That’s why it’s so important to keep those levels right where they need to be.

Problems balancing your pool or spa water? Just bring in a water sample and we can help you find the solutions you need. With professional-grade chemicals and free water testing, Tredway Pools Plus has the solution for all of your water maintenance needs.

As a general rule, it’s a great idea to shock your pool weekly to bi-weekly, especially if you test your water and see that your free chlorine is getting low. Shocking helps to oxidize combined chlorine and contaminants in your water — leaving you with a pool that’s clean, clear, and free of unwanted compounds.

However, there are a few extra instances where you’ll need to add a shock treatment to your pool maintenance schedule. These include:

  • After a large party. Increased bather load can throw off your water chemistry
  • After a heavy rainfall. 
  • During pool opening.
  • At pool closing.
  • After any other abnormal event like a large storm, excess leaves in the water, an algae bloom and more.

Keeping your pool on a routine shock schedule will help it stay clean and clear all season long. And with professional-grade shock from Tredway Pools Plus, you’ll have just the solution you need for a strong and powerful ally in your fight to keep your pool perfectly maintained.

Do you have to? Well… no. But should you? Absolutely! Algaecides are designed as both preventative and resolution treatments in the battle against algae. Wind, storms, and even rain can blow algae into your pool — giving it the perfect space to multiply quickly and take over your beautiful, relaxing retreat.

If you don’t use algaecide as a preventative treatment, you are going to wind up with a mess on your hands when an algae bloom runs wild. No pool owner enjoys battling green, yellow, or black algae in their water. Your best bet is to use a quality, professional-grade algaecide so that you don’t miss out on any of the wonderful swim days of summer. It’s also imperative that you add it for a proper pool closing before covering your pool for the winter. With an algaecide from Tredway Pools Plus, you can stop the issue before it ever becomes a problem. And if you ever have any questions about which algaecide is right for you, your local Tredway customer care team members are water care experts. They can recommend the right algaecide for your specific needs.

When you test your water, you’ll notice that there are results for total chlorine and free chlorine. Total chlorine is a combination of combined chlorine (chlorine that’s already done its job by combining or being consumed by a contaminant in your water) and free chlorine (the rest of the chlorine left over after the combined chlorine has done its work). Free chlorine is what you are looking for.

You want enough chlorine left in your water to sanitize, kill bacteria, and provide a fresh, clean space for you and your swimmers in the upcoming days. That’s why shocking your pool is so important. Shocking oxidizes the combined chlorine and contaminants and leaves free chlorine in your pool to continue to work against future contaminants that will come into your water.

As a pool owner, you know that keeping your pool sanitized and balanced is part of routine maintenance in the care of your pool. But what happens when you test your water over and over again and chlorine isn’t found, even though you know that you just added some to your water? That’s exactly what happens in the situation of chlorine demand. It’s an issue where you can’t maintain enough chlorine in your water to keep your pool clean. 

But how does this happen? That’s a great question, and knowing how chlorine works is key. Chlorine is designed to bond with all contaminants in the water — whether that is perspiration, organic debris, sunscreen, cosmetics, yard waste, detergent or any other substance. These contaminants use up the chlorine as the chlorine gets to work. The combined substance is either consumed or gassed off during evaporation or shocking your pool. Usually, part of the chlorine you add will combine with contaminants and the rest will remain to fight the good fight over the course of the next few days. This leftover chlorine is called free chlorine. But when the contaminants in your water are more than what the chlorine added can kill, that creates a chlorine demand. It all binds to the contaminants. Your chlorine is so quickly used up that there’s no chlorine left in your pool to sanitize your water.

A chlorine demand can be caused by anything that uses up chlorine. Heavy rains, large pool parties with loads of bathers, algae, leaves in the fall that drop into your pool, or grass that blows in after you mow the yard… literally anything and everything can cause a chlorine demand. It is a situation that can quickly get out of hand. That’s why it’s important to test and see what your free chlorine is. If your free chlorine is zero, even if your total chlorine is high, there’s no chlorine left in your pool to do any work.

The solution for chlorine demand is to shock your pool at least once every week or two. This will help oxidize all of the substances that your chlorine has already combined with. Getting those out of your water will help you have a fresh start to making sure you have enough chlorine for proper sanitation. Need help? Tredway Pools’ water care experts are always available. Just bring in a water sample, and our free computerized water analysis can help you get exactly the product you need to take care of chlorine demand. With professional analysis and expert advice, you’ll be well on your way to pool water that’s perfectly balanced, clean and clear.

As a pool owner, you’ve probably already learned the value of consistently maintaining your pool’s water. A pool, in a lot of ways, is like a new puppy. You want to love it well, give it all of the nutrition and supplements it needs, and keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t get into trouble. 

During the summer especially, it’s important to have a friend or family member check on your pool at least every other day if you will be away. Hot days can wreak havoc on chlorine and pH — leaving you with pool water that can quickly become imbalanced and unsanitary. It would be awful to return from vacation to pool water that’s green and grimy. Instead, have a friend or family member check in on your pool every day or two, test the water, and add any needed chemicals. They’ll want to make sure that there is enough chlorine and that no algae have taken hold of your water. If you want, the pH and alkalinity can be taken care of when you return home.

Do you need more trusted help for when you are out of town? Tredway Pools Plus offers vacation pool service for our current customers. One of our trusted experts will maintain your pool while you are out of town — saving you both time and money on resolving issues when you get back home. When you return from vacation, your aquatic space will be perfectly cared for and ready to use. Contact us to schedule vacation service for your pool.