Pool Tips: Easy Swimming Pool Chemistry and Maintenance Advice 

Pool tips and weekly swimming pool water maintenance. 

Pool tips and weekly swimming pool water maintenance.

Do you have swimming pool questions?  Looking for answers about your above ground, inground, and saltwater pools.  This information is from my years of servicing and maintaining pools since 1999.

Swimming pool care is easy when you have the right information and the proper pool water maintenance schedule.  Pool water chemistry is only one aspect of total pool care.  My largest piece of advice I can give is to fully know and understand your pool and your unique situation.  Through my years of taking care of pools I've realized that each pool and situation is different. 

This pool water maintenance page will help answer your questions and reduce your maintenance cost. 

Pool Maintenance Tips Made Easy

Easy Swimming Pool Tips.  Pool tips and weekly swimming pool water maintenance.

To maximize your swimming pool care and maintenance, you'll need to perform the following a minimum of 1-2 times per week, regardless if you have an above ground or inground swimming pool.  Your spa and Hot Tub are no exception.

To get the most out of these swimming pool tips and pool water care, stay on top of it with regards to the:

  • Swimming pool chlorine - 2 - 4 ppm
  • Combined Chlorine - 0.0 ppm
  • Pool pH - 7.2 - 7.8
  • Pool Total Alkalinity (TA) - 80 - 120 ppm
  • Calcium hardness (for plaster pools) - 150 - 250 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid (CYA) - 30 - 50 ppm

Cyanuric Acid is your pool's stabilizer/conditioner and is mainly for outdoor above ground and inground pools.  Anything higher or lower and the free chlorine (FC) will be unable to effectively sanitize and oxidize the organic matter in the pool water.

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The Best Swimming Pool Tips


Chlorine has 3 functions and they are to sanitize, oxidize, and kill organic matter in the pool.  Test and maintain your swimming pool chlorine between 2 - 4 ppm.


pH is "Power of Hydrogen".  The pH scale goes from 0 - 14, and 7.0 is considered neutral.  6.9 and under is acidic and 7.1 and over is alkaline.  Your swimming pool pH should be between 7.2-7.8.  You'll use too much acid to keep your pool any lower. If you have any kind of pool fountain, waterfalls, or pool slides I would suggest using it as you want to keep the water circulating while increasing the pH level.


Your total alkalinity (TA) is the measurement of how alkaline the water is.  You can use muriatic or dry acid to lower it and regular baking soda to raise it.  The range is 80 - 120 ppm.

Calcium Hardness

This is mainly for plaster pools, but vinyl and fiberglass can also benefit from having the hardness in the proper range which is 150 - 250 ppm.  You can use calcium chloride to increase the pool water hardness level.  A partial water change will be needed to lower it as there's no chemical that effectively lower the hardness.


Your CYA helps to keep chlorine active for a longer period of time.  Sun, heat, UV rays wreak havoc on the chlorine and can destroy it within a matter of a day or two.  Maintain your CYA between 30 - 50 ppm.


Not everyone has metal in their water, but it's good to know when you do.  If you have well water, you can have it tested for metals.  If the tests come back positive, you can use a good metal sequestrant.  These don't remove metals.  They hold them in solution until they can get filtered and back-washed out.


Whether you have a sand, cartridge, or DE filter, you need to know the ins- and-outs of your particular filter and make sure they're working at peak performance.  Go HERE for more details. 

Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tabs are designed to dispense 1 ppm chlorine per day so your chlorine level doesn't bottom out.  They are not meant to be the sole source of chlorine.  They can be added to either a tab float or tab feeder.  Never put chlorine tabs in the skimmer. 

Remove Debris

Once per week empty the skimmer baskets, pump basket, and use a wide-mouth and deep pocket leaf rake to remove leaves, insects and other debris from both the pool surface and the bottom.  Brush the walls and steps weekly and vacuum the bottom when necessary.  You may want to use your swimming pool vacuum every other week, but especially after a windy dust storm.  Be sure to backwash your filter after you vacuum or after excessive sweeping of dirt and debris found on the bottom of the pool.   Begin at the shallow end and work your way down.  Remember these pool tips.  Go slowly because the dirt will seem to "fly up".


Backwash once per month or when the pressure is too high, usually about 8-10 psi above normal operating pressure.  Only use the water you need to keep your pool at its proper level, about 1/3 to 1/2 up from the bottom of the skimmer.

For many more money saving swimming pool tips you can go HERE.  

Important Pool Tip

strongly suggest you get a good Taylor Reagent K-2006 Water Testing Kit.  This kind of test kit is, in my opinion, the best on the market.  The TF-100 is also a good choice.  Test strips and safe and easy but will NEVER give you the accurate measurements and numbers like the Taylor kit can.  And a real pool guy would NEVER suggest test strips for weekly pool maintenance.  "Red" or "Bright Orange" is not a chemical number. 

Most Important Part Of Pool Chemistry and Clear Water

If I told you I can toss a pen in the air, make it spin, and fly around the room, what would you think?  Probably something like, "Yeah, right.  You can't do that without some kind of string, or wire, or thread, or magical smoke-and-mirror hocus-pocus mumbo-jumbo.  It's not possible because that statement contradicts the known Laws of Physics that we've understood for the last 350 years."

And you know something?  You'd be exactly right!!  I can't do that without some kind of external force influencing the pen.  We don't need a Ph.D. in Physics to know that statement is false. 

Now, if so many people are quick to dismiss that statement, then why are do so many pool owners readily accept the statement, "Oh, your pool is green or cloudy.  Let me tell you how to clear it up.  First get your pH and alkalinity in line.  Then shock the pool and add 2 bottles of phosphate remover and 2 bottles of Green Out.  If that doesn't work, add 3 bottles of algaecide, one more bottle of phosphate remover, add 2 tabs to the skimmer, and circulate the water for 12 hours." 

I'll tell you why my friends.  It's because they've not been taught the Laws of Pool Chemistry and Physics that apply equally to every outdoor chlorine and salt pool in the world.  They don't have anything upon which to test that theory or statement. 

The first example is easy to dismiss.  You have these laws that are understandable, applicable, observable, testable, and easy to duplicate.  A 1st grader knows I can't throw a pen in the air and make it perform tricks without some kind of help.  The first statement can be tested against these known applicable laws, and the results of the test will either CONFIRM or CONTRADICT these laws. 

But the 2nd statement?  The "let me tell you how to clear up your pool" statement?  That's where we get lost.  And that's why tens-of-thousands of pools are messed up each year.  The information pool owners are getting simply CONTRADICT the applicable laws of pool chemistry.

And that, folks, is why so many pools are messed up, costing pool owners hundreds of dollars and countless hours in a feeble attempt at clearing up the pool.  Bad pool tips always equal bad results.   

Simply by studying and understanding the Laws of Pool Chemistry and Physics and how they apply to your pool and your situation, you will always have a perfectly balanced and crystal clear pool.  These pool tips are so easy a 1st Grader can understand them.  I taught this information to over 35 lifeguards at the YMCA in Oregon, many of whom were only 16 - 17 years old.  And yet they were able to manage and troubleshoot a 100,000 gallon commercial salt pool with 6,000 swimmers per month!!

And you know how long it took them to understand it?  Not days.  Not weeks.  Not months.  Nope.  It only took them, get this, 1 hour.  That's right!!  After only 1 hour of being properly taught and trained by me, they were able to do everything perfectly and pass every state health test. 

I absolutely guarantee that if a 16 year old kid can grasp these concepts and pool tips, and apply them, you can too!!

"The Universal Laws of Pool Chemistry and Physics That Apply Equally To Every Outdoor Chlorine and Salt Pool In The World."

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Helpful Pool Videos

Non-Chlorine Shock

Remove Debris From Your Pool

Get Rid Of Yellow Algae

You may want to invest in a automatic water-filler or just keep an eye on the hose while you're topping off the pool.  If you have an automatic pool cleaner, be sure it's in proper working condition.  Check with your pool professional if there are signs of wear on your cleaner or it's simply not cleaning properly.  With the proper swimming pool tips and information, you'll have the pool that's the envy of the neighborhood.

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Acid Washing A Pool Not rated yet
Our pool is 12 years old and is in need of an acid wash. I'm trying to figure out how much muriatic acid and what type of brush (regular pool brush or …