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Pool Chemicals Troubleshooting

Sometimes even the most experienced pool managers will run into problems that require special treatments. Here we provide a list of some of the most common problems and recommended actions.

Please keep all chemicals away from the reach of children. Only use as directed by manufacturer.


  1. Make sure filter is operating properly and correct filter media is being used.

  2. Check and adjust the pH to 7.2 - 7.8 ppm and Shock treat the water

  3. Add Clarifiers or filter aids and continue running the filters.

  4. Make sure correct level of chlorine exists in your pool.

If your pool water is too 'old' it may have a high amount of dissolved solids such as calcium, chlorides, stabilizer and other salts you may need to drain a portion of your water and refill with fresh water. Your pool professional can test this for you and advise on the correct action.

Persistent Algae

There are many types of algae that can affect your swimming pool water.

  • The most common types are floating or clinging green algae. They respond quickly to a SHOCK treatment and a dose of strong ALGAECIDE. Be sure to adjust the pH to 7.2 - 7.8 before Shocking and brush all pool surfaces to expose algae hiding in cracks or wrinkles. Apply the Algaecide the next day after applying the Shock treatment.

  • Pink algae and mustard algae require extra care because they tend to re-infect the pool water very easily. Treat pink algae in the same manner as already outlined above but, in addition, sanitize all pool parts that come in contact with the water, such as vacuum hose and head by immersing them in the pool during the Shock treatment. Mustard algae may require special algaecide designed to combat their varietals.

  • Clinging black algae that tend to appear as dots or nodules can be treated by applying a slow dissolving algaecide directly on the algae and by brushing the algae vigorously to expose it's roots.

In all cases, be sure to apply the algaecide directly into the pool as close to the algae as possible.


Colored Water

Many time pool owners will experience colored water that smear the beauty of your pool water.
  • Reddish or brownish colored water is usually caused by oxidized iron or manganese. Treat the pool water with STAIN & SCALE REMOVER to coat the inerals and prevent the oxidation process.
  • Greenish or bluish colored water is usually caused by oxidized copper. Apply the proper MINERAL CONTROL application. Improper application of copper algaecides may cause staining. Copper algaecides are often very effective but must be used carefully according to the instructions of the manufacturer.

Many pool owners often confuse green, slimy water that indicates an algae infection with the greenish cast associated with copper.



Stains and Scale

Pool owners will have to deal with different stains and scales that form in their swimming pool water.
  • Stains can develop when colored water is left unattended or when metals such as coins are accidentally left in the pool for longs periods of time.
  • Scale is a crusty build up on pool floors and walls and is usually caused by excessive calcium levels and high pH. Usually both conditions must occur for scale to form. 

Both stains and scales can be controlled by lowering the pH to acceptable levels and by using a STAIN AND SCALE REMOVER. Use according to label directions of the manufacturer.

Severe conditions, especially in plastered pools, may require an "acid wash", a draining and cleaning performed by your pool professional.



Unstable Chlorine

Inability to hold a chlorine reading usually indicates lack of STABILIZERS in the water. Check your water for Stabilizers and add if necessary. Also be sure to check your floater or chlorinator to insure a steady supply of chlorine. Low readings could signal an excessive chlorine demand that is not being met. In this case a SHOCK treatment is appropriate. Also, your testing chemicals reagents may be old and need to be replenished.

A high chlorine reading that won't dissipate gradually may indicate too much chlorine is being added to the water. Check your floater or chlorine dispenser and make necessary adjustments. On occasion, chloramines, chlorine reacted with swimmer waste can develop and cause high chlorine readings. In this case a Shock treatment will be necessary to break up the chloramines.

Be aware that swimming in high chlorine water is not safe and should be avoided.





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Pool Chemicals Troubleshooting Guide - Swimming Pool Chemicals