Frequently Asked Questions

Become a Pool and Spa Maintenance Expert!


Common Questions

  • How do I kill green algae in my pool?

    Double shock the pool (min.) - 2 lb. of Power Magic Shock per 10,000 gallons. Run the filter until the pool clears! Chlorine Kills Algae! It’s easier to prevent algae growth than to treat it! Use a good algaecide…MicroFloc or Prevent.

  • How to do I clear cloudy water?

    Check the chlorine level, if it's low then shock the pool. Once you have shocked the pool and it is still not clearing up, add MicroFloc Clarifier to help pull the small particles together and filter continuously. You should also check your filter to see if it needs to be cleaned, backwashed, or sand changed. If pool is not clear in 2-3 days, contact Poolmart for a Filter Test.

  • I have a brown sandy substance on the bottom of my pool that puffs up when I try to vacuum.

    You probably have mustard algae. Mustard Algae is not killed by chlorine. You must you a special killer called Mustard & Black Magic or PolyMagic to destroy the mustard algae so your filter can pull it out. Using Supreme Plus will be helpful in preventing mustard algae.

  • I have trouble maintaining chlorine residual.

    Shock the pool. If you still have trouble, bring your water into Poolmart for a FREE water analysis. The water test will help determine why your chlorine keeps dropping.

  • How often do I need to clean my grids?

    Depends on the usage of the pool and pool care. Typically, you will need to backwash the filter monthly. Not enough DE will clog grids quickly reducing water quality. Thoroughly clean your grids using Filter Magic at least once at the end of the season. Do this more often if you encounter algae problems or low filter flow.

Spa Questions

  • Basic Spa Knowledge

    Other important information you should know about your hot tub.

    Sanitizers, Oxidizers, pH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness.

    Vision - Mineral systems use silver, zinc, alumina or copper ions. Kills bacteria and reduces sanitizer use. You need to remember to change the mineral system as directed. Your nose and eyes are one of the best gauges for sensing if it is working properly. If it looks good and smells good...enjoy!

    Chlorine - A good cold water sanitizer of choice, but very sensitive to pH fluctuations. DO NOT use chlorine tablets in your hot tub. Chlorine tablets are very acidic and will lower pH and alkalinity.

    Bromine - Bromine is the spa sanitizer, because it is not pH sensitive and still works well at temperature or with a high pH. It is not as odorous as chlorine. Recommended Bromine Level Between 3 and 6 ppm.

    Note - Many sanitizer systems are incompatible with each other. Here are a few to look out for.

    Mineral/Vision NOT compatible with Bromine. Results in Silver Bromide forming in your tub.

    Biguanide (aka BaquaSpa) is NOT compatible with Chlorine, Bromine or Monopersulfate. Results in a sticky ring around the tub and gums up the equipment.

    Ozonators - Considered a supplemental oxidizer and must be used in conjunction with an EPA-approved disinfectant/sanitizer. Aids in partially oxidizing organics and minerals. This helps bind the particles together, so the filter can remove the contaminates.

    Potassium Monopersulfate - Sometimes referred to as an oxidizing shock. A Non-Chlorine Oxidizer used to reduce contaminants and activate bromine ions. Designed to be used in conjunction with a good sanitizer.

    Shock Treatment - This may be done with one of many products. Brominating Concentrate, granular chlorine concentrate or Spa Di-Chlor Shock. This heavy oxidation/disinfection is used to destroy the residual body oils, hair sprays, cosmetics, bacteria, algae and other non-filterable junk to bring back the sparkle to the water and boost the sanitizer level. If you are using bromine, DO NOT try to boost a zero reading by cranking your floater full open...simply boost with Brominating Concentrate to increase bromine level.

    Recommended Treatment After every 6-10 uses (people) or if the water looks funky, shock the spa. Usually once a week.

    pH - measures how acidic or alkaline your water is; pH of 7 is neutral. The further from 7 (up or down) the stronger the solution. pH can be confusing and intimidating so be sure to use Gentle Spa and you won't have to worry about it. The only time you have to react to your pH reading is if it is below 7.4. You should have little or no need for pH increasers or decreasers when you are on the Gentle Spa system.

    Correct pH Level Anything above 7.4

    Alkalinity - This is a measurement of a group of minerals dissolved in your water namely carbonates, bicarbonates and hydroxyl ions. Basically, this is the "shock absorbers" in your water balance. Therefore, with the Gentle Spa System, we allow this level to be high.

    DON'T LET THE ALKALINITY LEVEL DROP BELOW 200 PPM! THE CORRECT LEVEL IS ANYTHING BETWEEN 200 & 400. IF THE TOTAL ALKALINITY DROPS BELOW 200, EVERYTHING ELSE STARTS TO FALL APART...YOUR WATER CHEMISTRY, YOUR EQUIPMENT, ETC.

    * Low T.A. also causes excessive foaming and strong chemical odors.

    Calcium Hardness - A portion of the total hardness of water is measured by levels of calcium in the water. Only hot tubs which are made of cement, plaster or concrete need be diligent about hardness levels. Gentle Spa will tie up calcium in your water or replace calcium in soft water spas. Calcium level may be ZERO...so don't try and raise it.

    Do not use household cleaners on your spa. They are not compatible with spa water chemistry or most spa finishes.

    Do not use Clorox, bath oils or baking soda to the spa...despite your neighbor's advice.

    Other products you may wish to use in your spa include antifoam, various spa scents, clarifiers, filter cleaners, spa polish, etc... all products are sold at Poolmart and Spas.

  • Mineral System Start-Up

    A spa is not something to be ignored, it can be a very dangerous toy if used improperly. That body of water can be a primordial soup of harmful critters that can cause some very serious illnesses like pneumonia, legionnaire's disease and staph infections to name a few. There is absolutely no reason to be concerned with any of these if you follow a few simple rules. The most important of which is Don't get in the spa unless you know if has a good sanitizer level.

    Fill your spa with fresh water; you may use hard or soft water. Soft water simply makes it a whole lot easier. If you are refilling, make sure you have done all your housekeeping chores such as cleaning the cartridges, polishing the spa’s finish to remove the oxidized finish and whatever else needs caring for.

    Follow These Steps

    1. If you have an iron problem, add a double dose of METAL MAGIC as you are filling up the tub (2 oz. per 100 gallons). Let the spa run for TWO DAYS before putting in the VISION or NATURE 2 cartridge.
    2. When filled, add the entire bottle of PROTEAM GENTLE SPA.
    3. Run spa at half or low speed for at least an hour.
    4. Add a packet or capful of SPA SHOCK.
    5. Rinse the VISION or NATURE 2 cartridge per instructions and put in the chamber. IF YOU HAVE DONE STEP ONE MAKE SURE YOU WAIT THE FULL TWO DAYS BEFORE PUTTING THE VISION or NATURE 2 CARTRIDGE IN THE SPA.
    6. Let the system run until clear and/or up to desired temperature.
    7. If your spa does not clear up within 24 hours, use water clarifier and run at low speeds until clear. Also, check your cartridge filters and clean them as often as necessary (at least once a day) until the spa clears.
    8. Now you are all set. Enjoy! You should not have to do anything except shock occasionally.
    9. Add SPA PERFECT to enhance water clarity, reduce foaming, oils and water lines, keeping the filter cleaner.
    10. A couple of times a week, check your spa chemistry with the tests strips. If LOW readings show on EITHER pH or Alkalinity, adjust immediately.
  • Bromine Spa Start-Up

    First off, let’s get it into the light that a spa is not something to be ignored. It can be a very dangerous toy if used improperly. That hot body of water can be a primordial soup of harmful critters that can cause some very serious illnesses including pneumonia, legionnaire's disease and staph infections to name a few. There is absolutely no reason to be concerned with any of these if you follow a few simple rules. The most important of which is don't get in the spa unless you know it has a good sanitizer level.

    Fill your spa with fresh water; you may use hard or soft water. Soft water simply makes it a whole lot easier. If you are refilling, make sure you have done all your housekeeping shores such as cleaning the cartridges, polishing the spa’s finish to remove the oxidized finish, and whatever else needs caring for.

    Follow These Steps

    1. If you have an iron problem add a double dose of METAL MAGIC (2oz per 100 gallons) as you are filling up the tub.
    2. When filled, add the entire bottle of PROTEAM GENTLE SPA.
    3. Run Spa at half or low speed for at least an hour.
    4. Add the packet of SODIUM BROMIDE to build up the bromide bank so that the Bromine tablets will sanitize properly.
    5. Add a packet or capful of SPA SHOCK.
    6. Fill the floater with BROMINE TABLETS and put it in the spa.
    7. Let the system run until the water is clear or up to the desired temperature.
    8. If your spa does not clear up in 24 hours, use some SKY BLUE CLARIFIER and run at low speeds until clear. Also, check your cartridge filters and clean them as often as necessary until spa clears.
    9. Now you are all set...enjoy! You should not have to do anything except refill the bromine floater and shock occasionally.
    10. Add SPA PERFECT to enhance water clarity, reduce foaming and oils, and keeping the filter cleaner.
    11. A couple of times a week, check your spa chemistry with the tests strips. If LOW readings show on ANY of the colors, adjust immediately.

Weekly Spa Maintenance

  • Bromine Users
    1. Always maintain a bromine level by keeping the bromine floater full of tablets
    2. Check the hot tub at least twice a week with test strips, adjust as necessary.
    3. Shock the hot tub every 6 to 10 uses.
    4. One capful of Spa Perfect every week.
  • Vision System Users
    1. Change the Vision Cartridge EVERY 6 Months! It has enough active ingredients to work effectively up to 6 months, and not a day longer! So, mark it on your calendar.
    2. Check the Hot Tub at least once a week with test strips, adjust as necessary.
    3. Shock the hot tub every 6 to 10 uses.
    4. One capful of Spa Perfect every week.
  • What is the proper pH and alkalinity for my hot tub?

    Is pH and Total Alkalinity Important for me to check?
    How about Calcium, do I need to have hard water?

    Yes, pH and total alkalinity are two extremely important factors to check weekly with your test strips. Total alkalinity is the buffer for your pH and must be maintained at a certain level in order for your pH to be correct. With Poolmart & Spas' GENTLE SPA system, we can allow this level to be high (if you are using Bromine or the Vision system). It is recommended that the total alkalinity be at 120 ppm or higher and pH should be 7.4- 7.8.

    Your hot tub must have some type of hardness in the spa. The hardness can either be calcium, which comes naturally from the ground or from borates, a mineral used in Proteam Gentle Spa. Filling your hot tub with softened water is recommended because you do not have all the calcium build-up or iron and potential staining of your tub. HOWEVER, if you fill with soft water, you MUST use the ENTIRE bottle of Proteam Gentle Spa at start-up. NO exceptions!

  • What is Spa Perfect?

    Virtually every water problem in spas can be traced to organic build-up... cloudy or hazy water, filter blockages, chemical odors, excessive foaming and scum lines. Many of these can be controlled with an application of chemicals, or a complete water change and some heavy scrubbing. If the underlying problem remains, the symptoms will return and the cycle starts all over.

    Fixing these problems is actually quite easy with Natural Chemistry’s Spa Perfect. It’s a natural enzyme-based formula that biodegrades organic contaminants. Spa Perfect is compatible with all spa water sanitizers.

    In spa systems, the classic problems created by organic contamination are magnified due to the higher heat and the smaller water volume. Spa Perfect biodegrades organics such as perspiration, cosmetics and body lotions so they cannot create problems in spas. It helps to eliminate waterline rings, clogged filters, chemical odors and those unappealing brown soapy bubbles. Only clear, clean, sweet-smelling water will remain.

    Clear Perfect Water

    • No Waterline Ring (Scum Line)
    • No Clogged Filter - less cleaning
    • No Chemical Odors
    • No Foaming
    • No skin & eye irritation
    • No Scrubbing
    • For great results, add one capful to your hot tub every week.
  • How often do I change my water?

    The amount of time you wait between changing your hot tub water depends on the amount of use that you get out of your hot tub. No matter how many chemicals you put in your water, the water in your hot tub will eventually become old and dirty. Changing the water at least twice a year or every six months is a good rule of thumb. Again, it depends on the amount of usage in the hot tub. If you and your family are in the hot tub 3 times or more a week, you may want to change the water every 3 to 4 months.

    When the tub is empty now is a good time to clean the shell of the hot tub. You can use a Spa Surface Cleaner or Natural Chemistry's Clean N Perfect. Do not use household cleaners on your hot tub. These cleaners are abrasive and could damage the shell. After cleaning the shell make sure you thoroughly rinse the hot tub out. Now is also a good time to clean or replace your hot tub cartridge. It is a good idea to remember to clean you hot tub filter at least once a month.

    After it has been cleaned, now is the time to refill the spa and start adding your chemicals.

    If you get behind on your daily hot tub maintenance and find that you cannot get your water to stay clear, it is usually a sign that it is best to go ahead and drain your hot tub water. Not only will you be glad you did, but your friends and family will be glad you changed your hot water as well.

Pool Questions

  • How do I open my pool?

    Instructions for Opening Your Swimming Pool

    STEP ONE: EQUIPMENT (the cover is still on)
    Since you followed the closing instructions from Poolmart, this should be very easy! First, if you have a sand filter replace the sand or use PROTEAM FILTER MAGIC to clean the sand. Next…hook up your filter, hoses, and pump to the correct places and lubricate o-rings with Magic Lube. It is a good idea to replace the hoses at the beginning of the season to eliminate the possibility of leaks. Once you have hooked up the pump, filter, and hoses, put your garden hose under the cover and turn it on. What this will do is raise the cover up while you remove the leaves and debris off the cover. Siphon the water off the cover or remove with a Little Giant Water Wizard Pump.

    STEP TWO: REMOVING THE COVER
    Once you have removed all the debris and water off the top of the cover, turn your hose off and remove the cover. Now it is time to clean the winter cover with HAVILAND COVER CLEANER or NATURAL CHEMISTRY SPRAY ON CLEANER. Rinse it well and let it air dry. Fold up and place it in a safe place away from any little critters that will chew it up! If necessary, use Vinyl Cleaner or Surface Cleaner to clean the surface dirt and oily film off your pool finish at the waterline.

    STEP THREE: CHEMICALS
    First, it’s time for those with the D.E. filters to add earth per your filter instructions (Doughboy Sequel I gets 3 scoops, Sequel II gets 5). If this doesn’t help you and you need to know how much, please call Poolmart and we will gladly help you out. Now, turn on your filter system, run it continuously for 48 hours and skim the surface. Add POOL MAGIC SPRING & FALL + PHOSFREE per label. If you have problems with iron, now is the time to treat it. Add one quart of PROTEAM METAL MAGIC per 10,000 gallons, this will coagulate the metals and allow the filter to pull them out preventing staining. If you have a fiberglass pool, this is highly recommended to do on a weekly basis. Wait 24 hours before shocking the pool; otherwise you will oxidize the Metal Magic out of the water. You can add PROTEAM Pure Stix or PROTEAM HIGH TECH TABLETS to the skimmer basket, automatic chlorinator, or floater - whichever applies to your pool.

    Now it is time to clean up and shock the stagnant stale water! Add 2 pounds of PROTEAM POWER MAGIC per 10,000 gallons, 4 pounds for 20,000 gallons, etc. If you have a vinyl liner or fiberglass pool, make sure you pre-dissolve the shock in a bucket of water before adding it to your pool. Allow this to circulate for 12 hours before adding PROTEAM PREVENT or PROTEAM MICROFLOC CLARIFIER; this will help prevent algae from growing. For 12,000 gallons you will add half a bottle, for 25,000 gallons you will add a full bottle. Allow this to circulate for another 12 hours. If you have an automatic vacuum, you may put it in at this time. If your pool is still cloudy or green, continue running the filter until the water is clear; backwash as needed. If you have a sand filter, add some water clarifier or use PROTEAM DRY CLARIFIER per label.

    STEP FOUR: WATER BALANCE
    After the water has circulated for at least 48 hours, bring a water sample into Poolmart and Spas’ water analysis lab for a complete diagnosis. Bring in a pint of water taken 18 inches below the surface. It is very important to start the summer off on the right foot for your water clarity, your pool equipment and your sanity. It is a FREE test so why not bring your sample to our certified water diagnostic center? Our lab has the capability of testing many different chemical make-ups of your water which cannot be done at home.

    STEP FIVE: ENZYMES & PHOSPHATES
    Add PROTEAM POWER ENZYME or NATURAL CHEMISTRY POOL PERFECT per label to help keep the pool crystal clear, prevent the bath tub ring, eliminate oils, prevent clogged filters, etc. If you have Phosphate problems, use PROTEAM PHOSAWAY or NATURAL CHEMISTRY PHOSFREE on a regular basis. Remember when you backwash, get into the habit of using PROTEAM FILTER MAGIC to help keep your filter working to its fullest efficiency. Relax and enjoy your pool!

  • Have you thought about adding PROTEAM SUPREME?

    ProTeam Supreme & Supreme Plus has completed extensive testing for EPA registration in 1986 and is supported by thousands of satisfied customers, including hundreds of Poolmart & Spas customers. This unique, patented formula significantly increases the efficiency of your pool chemicals and filtration. Here are a few reasons to use ProTeam Supreme or Supreme Plus

    • NO more red eyes or skin irritation
    • Inhibits ALGAE growth by removing its food source
    • More stable total alkalinity & pH
    • Reduces chlorine consumption
    • Lasts season to season with only small touch up applications
    • Water sparkles and feels softer
  • Balancing Pool Water

    Think of the perfect swimming pool. What pops in your head? Sparkling water, happy swimmers, easy maintenance, etc. If you take the proper steps to sanitize and balance your pool water, it will be free of algae, free of disease-causing pathogens and swimmers will not complain about red eyes or chlorine smell. Below you will find a description of the certain tests that should be performed on your swimming pool routinely.

    1. Free Chlorine is regularly dispersed into the pool water and should be tested weekly for proper disinfectants. Routine super-chlorination (shock treatments) kills harmful microorganisms that can cause health-related problems, such as gastroenteritis, Legionnaires disease, ear infections and athlete’s foot. Keeping a proper chlorine level in the pool is what keeps your pool clear and free of algae. Learning how to properly test your water will allow you to identify the chlorine residual and demand in pool water. More frequent testing is needed if there is heavy swimmer use. You need to maintain a free chlorine level of at least 3 ppm.

      There are three types of tests you can do to perform a chlorine test at home. A. Test Strips (Poolmart recommended) - tests for free available chlorine B. DPD - tests for both free available chlorine and total chlorine C. OTO - tests only for total chlorine. If the water is properly sanitized, free and total chlorine will be the same. If contaminates are present, the total will be higher. Combined Chlorine = Total Chlorine minus Free Chlorine (total chlorine is NOT a sanitizing chlorine).
    2. pH and Alkalinity should also be tested regularly. These levels fluctuate throughout the summer. Heavy bather loads, chemicals, and weather can all affect pH and alkalinity levels. If these levels are not in proper balance, it will cause discomfort to swimmers and corrosion to the pool and its equipment.

      pH and alkalinity are closely related. If you adjust alkalinity, you will adjust the pH with it. Alkalinity acts as a buffer for the pH, helping to stabilize it so that the pH does not continually go up or down. Always adjust the alkalinity first, then the pH. Many references suggest different alkalinity ranges for your pool water, the national average is 80 - 120 ppm. In Southeastern Michigan, alkalinity is very aggressive and should be maintained between 150 - 250 ppm. Chlorine's ability to destroy bacteria is greatly affected by the pH; that is why the ideal range for pH is between 7.4 and 7.6.
    3. Calcium hardness is important for the pool. It protects a liner from shrinking, plaster from etching, and corrosion of the pool. There is no reason you would need a home kit to test calcium hardness. Typically, it is only necessary to test the calcium hardness in the beginning of the season and the end before you close-up your pool. The calcium hardness does not fluctuate like pH, alkalinity, and chlorine.
    4. Cyanuric Acid (CYA) is a pool enhancer. It is not necessary to have it in the pool, but it will sure save you a lot of money in the long run on chlorine consumption. Stabilizer or UV Shield is sunscreen for the pool water. When the sun is beating down on your pool, Stabilizer protects the chlorine from UV rays consuming the free sanitizing chlorine.

    Check your pool with your Aquachek* Chlorine test strips at least twice a week. Also, it is recommended that you bring your water into Poolmart & Spas once a month during the summer for a FREE complete water analysis.

    Water Test

    Ideal Ranges

    TDS - Total Dissolved Solids

    below 2,200

    CYA - Cyanuric Acid

    40 - 90 ppm

    Free Chlorine

    3 - 5 ppm

    Total Chlorine

    3 - 5 ppm

    pH (potential hydrogen)

    7.4 - 7.6

    TA - Total Alkalinity

    150 - 250 ppm (SE MI only)

    Calcium Hardness

    175 - 275 ppm vinyl pools
    200 - 275 ppm gunite, fiberglass

    Proteam Supreme

    50 - 100 ppm

    Phosphates

    0 ppm

    Copper

    0 ppm

    Iron

    0 ppm

  • What are the proper water tests results?
    TERM CORRECT LEVEL DEFINITION
    TDS below 2000 Total Dissolved Solids. (Measures all dissolved materials). Erratic pool behavior, scaling, staining, reduced chlorine efficiency.
    Cause Evaporation of water, solids remain behind.
    Remedies Drain pool half way and re-fill with fresh water.
    CYA 40 - 90 Cyanuric Acid helps to stabilize the breakdown of chlorine under sunlight. Frequent testing for both Cyanuric Acid and pH will help to minimize chlorine consumption.
    Free Chlorine 3 - 5 ppm The active and working chlorine.
    Total Chlorine 3 - 5 ppm The combination of the free chlorine residual and the level of combined chlorine in your pool or spa. This number alone is not a true measure of how sanitized your pool is. Remember only the free chlorine residual is what is active and working to kill algae and bacteria.
    pH 7.4 - 7.6 pH scale - a system for measuring the acidity or alkaline of water. Readings above 7 are alkaline, readings below 7 are acidic.
    Alkalinity 150 - 240 Total alkalinity measures the pool's ability to buffer pH changes. If Alkalinity is low your pH will not remain at the proper levels. Adjust Alkalinity FIRST!
    Calcium 175 - 275 The hardness of the water. If the levels are too low, it will etch, shrink and destroy the pool. Water will pull calcium out of whatever it can. If it is too high, it will scale up and cloud the pool water.
    Iron 0 Iron is a metal that will stain your pool walls and equipment. Its source is usually naturally from the well water.
    Copper 0 Copper is a metal that will stain your pools, especially Fiberglass pools. Copper is introduced into the water a number of different ways. If the alkalinity or pH drop too low, it will strip the copper from the inside of your pool heater. It is also naturally from well water. It is also thought to be found in Fiberglass shells. Copper is the cause of GREEN hair, not Chlorine!
    Supreme 50 - 100 Sodium tetraborate pentahydrate (Boron) mineral. This product does TONS AND TONS of things for your water...all good! How would you like CLEAR water ALL the time? How would you like your water to actually feel SOFT? No more RED ITCHY EYES? Use LESS CHLORINE? SAVE MONEY? Click PROTEAM SUPREME for more information!
     
  • Salt Water Pool

    Salt Water Pools are NOT chlorine free nor maintenance free.

    • Salt generators will electrolytically convert sodium chloride (salt) to chlorine…so you still have a chlorine pool.
    • Salt pools require the same water balance as any other swimming pool.
    • Additional maintenance includes cleaning the generator cell a couple times a season and maintain a salt level around 3000ppm.
    • Removes phosphates & organics and reduces build up on cell
    • Increases filter efficiency & waterline build up
    • Monthly application
    • Scale Free prevents calcium & mineral build up
    • Controls staining
    • Protects generator cell
    • Monthly application

Vacation Instructions

  • Going on Vacation? Just follow these simple steps
    1. Make sure you set your automatic timer for 12 hours on/12 hours off. If you do not have an automatic timer, pick one up at Poolmart or have a neighbor come over and turn your pool pump on and off daily. If you leave your pump off while you are gone, there is a very high probability that your pool will turn most of the colors of the rainbow!
    2. Fill up your automatic chlorinator, floater or skimmer basket with chlorine. Or have your neighbor add sticks to your skimmer basket, as needed.
    3. Double Shock your pool. This means if you normally use 2 bags to shock your pool, add 4 bags and run the filter for 12 hours. This may seem like a lot, but it’s better to have too much chlorine in your pool than not enough. Too little or no chlorine will allow your pool to turn green as quick as overnight!
    4. Finally, add a double dose of algaecide.

    You can put on your solar cover while you are gone to keep out critters, leaves, bugs, etc. Also, it retains heat and reduces evaporation. Once you return, run the filter overnight and bring a water sample to Poolmart for a FREE analysis.

  • What are Phosphates?

    Phosphates are a primary nutrient or food source for algae*.

    If you starve algae of this important food source, they cannot grow. Phosphates enter your pool from a variety of sources, including

    • chemicals & cleaners
    • rainwater & fill water
    • body fluids & waste
    • decaying vegetation
    • and the list goes on...

    These phosphates build-up in your pool water, providing a necessary food source and bloom environment for algae. Typically, algae are treated with harsh chemicals like algaecides or other sanitizing products.

    This is where Pool Perfect+PHOSfree shines. Natural Chemistry has developed a regular maintenance program to continually remove phosphates as they enter the water. The program works in conjunction with the enzyme-based Pool Perfect; combining the benefits of both products into an easy maintenance program for swimming pool owners. While the PHOSfree removes the phosphates, the natural enzymes gently biodegrade organic material in the pool water.

    Another great benefit to Pool Perfect+PHOSfree is it is gentle on the skin, non-toxic and 100% safe for your family and the environment!

Easy as 1-2-3-4

  • Poolmart’s Four Step Pool Care Program

    STEP #1 Use ProTeam Supreme or Supreme Plus. Add 3 pounds per 1000 gallons of water. Initial treatment should be added in two doses.

    STEP #2 Use ProTeam High Tech Chlorine Tablets. This is the most effective sanitizer available. These patented tablets are blended with Supreme for more effective sanitizing. Use up to 40% less chlorine…saving you money. Available in 1” or 3” tablets.

    STEP #3 Use ProTeam Microfloc Clarifier. The weekly maintenance dose is 4 ounces per 10,000 gallons of pool water. This unique formula will prohibit algae growth by eliminating algae spores and coagulates particles making it easier for the filter to remove them. This is your algaecide and clarifier all in one.

    STEP #4 Use ProTeam Power Magic Super oxidizer. Shock your pool at least every other week to kill bacteria and remove swimmers waste. Add 1 bag per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Vinyl liner and fiberglass pools need to pre-dissolve in a bucket of water.
    Bring us a water sample at least 3 times a season – beginning, middle and end.

  • How do I winterize my pool?

    These are suggestions for closing above ground round and oval pools. These are guidelines only and Poolmart & Spas accepts no responsibility for damage caused by, but not limited to, inclement weather, improper winterization, normal deterioration, etc.

    Winterizing - Vinyl liner above ground pools

    Proper winterizing of your pool should save you hours of problems and headaches next spring if you take the time to do it right. There is no 100% guaranteed way to do it because we have no way of knowing what Mother Nature is going to throw at us in the next seven months. All we can really do is give it our best shot which, historically, has worked pretty well. Basically, the whole process is mostly common sense and a little water chemistry by your favorite pool store…Poolmart & Spas.

    STEP 1: WATER BALANCE Cold water absorbs minerals! So, if your pool water's calcium hardness and total alkalinity were a little low over the summer, you should get them balanced before the water really cools down. Remember, the only thing your water has to dissolve over the winter is your pool liner. The three things that must be done are A) Get the total alkalinity to at least 150, B) Get the pH as close to 7.5 as you can, and C) Get the calcium hardness close to at least 200. Bring a water sample into us for a FREE water analysis.

    STEP 2: HOUSEKEEPING CHORES Go to bed dirty and wake up dirty! You want the pool as clean as possible before you put on the cover. Brush the walls, skim the surface, and clean the “bathtub” ring around the water line with Tile & Vinyl Cleaner or Surface Cleaner; these are designed for pools. DO NOT use household products such as "409", "Fantastic" or "Comet Cleaner" as they contain solvents that are not compatible with your pool water chemistry and may score, scratch and deteriorate your liner. After everything has settled, vacuum the entire pool.

    With the filter running, broadcast the Winter Block across the pool; brush if necessary. Sprinkle the Quick Shock around the pool surface; if the water is below 70 degrees, you might want to pre-dissolve. Let the pool circulate for a couple of hours before going to step 4.
    Suggested add Pool Magic Spring & Fall + Phosfree or Pure-Zyme to prevent waterline rings and simply make for an easier pool opening in the spring. If you have a sand filter, you may want to clean the sand bed with ProTeam Filter Magic.

    STEP 3: DRAIN AND BACKWASH Drain your pool down to just below the skimmer/vacuum opening or return jet, whichever is lower. You may do this with the filter on the pump to waste or backwash until you start to pull air, then shut off the pump. DO NOT leave the pool unattended during this procedure as you may burn out your pump if it runs dry. You may want to pick up a Little Giant Water Wizard to drain the balance of your water or siphon the rest using a garden hose. Simply put your garden hose in the pool as if you were going to refill, turn on the water until all the air is out of the hose, turn off the water and disconnect the hose from the spicket. You are now siphoning your pool, but do not forget to pull the hose out when the level is where you want it or you might empty the entire pool.

    STEP 4: EQUIPMENT Thoroughly clean the skimmer basket and housing. Get out the "Pool-Goo" by using Clean & Perfect or Surface Cleaner. Do the same with the pump strainer and basket. Remove the eyeball fittings from the return jet and insert a winterizing disk or plug. We do not recommend removing the skimmer unless you have a winter skimmer plate because your liner may slip and moisture will get between the wall and liner causing possible deterioration to the wall. Next, disconnect the hoses from the filter and pump, leaving them attached to the pool, this will help take the overflow away from the pool. Do not plug the skimmer as it will fill with water, freeze and crack. Remove the skimmer weir and the vacuum port cover assembly. If you do not remove these items, ice may sheer them off. It is a good idea to put an empty half-gallon milk jug upside down in the skimmer to take up any ice expansion and then replace the skimmer lid. All filters, regardless of the type, should be taken apart at this time and cleaned. If you put them away dirty, you will have a real problem in the spring. Dismantle your tank to clean it. If you have a D.E. filter, spray off the grids and tank with a high-pressure garden hose, spray ProTeam Filter Magic on each grid, and thoroughly rinse after 30 minutes. This should bring them back to new. Reassemble the filter, making sure you grease up all the o-rings & gaskets with Magic Lube so they won't dry out and degrade over the winter.

    SAND FILTERS Inspect your sand bed. It's no fun, but do it now and save yourself a problem in the spring. If dirty, clean off the top inch or so and carefully dig down into the bed. If it's a mess, don't aggravate yourself, dump the sand and replace it with new filter sand next spring.

    Make sure that you store all the little parts like drain plugs, eyeballs, skimmer baskets, etc., in a safe place where nobody will ever find them so Poolmart can sell you new ones next season….you get the idea! If possible, store your filter and pump inside except sand filters full of sand. Do not try to move them, you will only hurt something. Leave the bottom drain plug off all winter so water and moisture do not accumulate and crack the tank.

    STEP 5: THE COVER Simply place the cover over the pool, pull the cable tight, and hope for a short winter. Add Cover Clips or Winter Wrap to better secure your cover. If you are in a high wind area and your cover is flapping, see Poolmart for our special Wind Stabilizer Bags. Remember to drain the extra water off your cover during the winter.

    STEP 6: HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND THANKS FOR BEING A VALUED POOLMART CUSTOMER. SEE YOU IN THE SPRING!

Filter Questions

  • Filter Maintenance

    Diatomaceous Earth Filters

    Backwash When pressure goes up 10 psi (typically every 4 to 6 weeks).

    Cleaning End of season, clean grids with ProTeam Filter Magic. Lube all o-rings when reassembling the filter.

    Replace After each backwash, add the proper amount of D.E.

    Cartridge Filters

    Cleaning Disassemble filter typically monthly, clean cartridge(s) with ProTeam Filter Magic, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before putting the cartridge back in the canister.

    Replace Cartridge every 1 to 2 years.

    Sand Filters

    Backwash When pressure goes up 10 psi (typically every 1-2 weeks).

    Cleaning Use 6 oz. ProTeam Filter Magic once a month while backwashing.

    Replace Change the sand at least every 3 years

  • How do I clean my spa filters?

    Cleaning Your Cartridge

    1. Remove the cartridge and rinse it off using a garden hose. Work from the top and spray in between all the pleats.
    2. Remove excess dirt and oils by using PROTEAM FILTER MAGIC. In a clean spray bottle, add FILTER MAGIC - do not dilute.
    3. Saturate the cartridge with FILTER MAGIC and put into a black garbage bag. Tie the bag shut.
    4. Put the garbage bag in direct sunlight for 30 minutes.
    5. Remove the cartridge from the garbage bag and rinse it thoroughly with water to remove oils and the FILTER MAGIC.
    6. Return clean cartridge to filter for normal operation.
  • Sand, Cartridge or D.E. filters?

    Why are D.E. Filters rated #1 in the pool market?

    D.E. filtration systems are considered to be the finest pool filter in the industry because it is capable of removing much smaller particles than either sand or cartridge filters. It is the fine powder (diatomaceous earth) that removes particles as small as 2 microns.

    All earth filters have internal elements that become coated with D.E. It is this 'filter cake' that strains dirt, dust, algae and some forms of bacteria from the water.

    When a D.E. filter becomes dirty, it is cleaned either by backwashing or regenerating and draining the clogged D.E. to the 'waste' line. To restore filtration, a fresh 'charge' of D.E. is added to the filter. This typically is done once a month or more often if the pool is dirty or green. D.E. filters will pull iron and copper out of your water without the help of any metal coagulant products!

    Hands down...D.E. filters offer superior filtration compared to Cartridge or Sand filters - no questions asked.

  • What is the proper pressure for my filter? What is the normal pressure for my filter?

    Each filter system has different water pressure ranges. Please refer to your original owner's manual or startup instructions to identify the range of proper pressure for your filter.

    Typically, check the pressure (psi) on your gauge after you first backwash and then once the pressure goes up 10 to 15 psi, backwash again. Another indication is the return flow back into the pool...if the pressure is slow, backwash!

    If the pressure is too high, makes sure the pressure gauge reads zero when the pump is off. If it does not fall back down to zero, you will need to replace the pressure gauge.

Troubleshooting

  • My water is cloudy!

    Cloudiness is caused either by low chlorine or poor filtration. Boost your chlorine level above 5 ppm by super-chlorinating or shocking the pool. Then it is up to your filter to pull out those little particles so run you filter continuously until it clears. You can add water clarifier to speed up the process, especially for cartridge or sand filters.

  • My pH keeps dropping!

    First, check your alkalinity level, make sure it is above 150 ppm. Alkalinity and pH run hand in hand, so if one is low the other usually is low too. By just raising total alkalinity, your pH will automatically come up with it! Rain, leaves, swimmers, and chlorine all contribute to lowering your pH level.

  • I have no pressure coming from my return line!
    1. Your filter is clogged with debris and needs to be backwashed. When your pressure increases 10-15 psi on your filter, it is time to backwash. For cartridge filters, just spray off or degrease your filters.
    2. You may need to replace the strainer pot gasket on your pump, it may be sucking air.
    3. Your impeller on your pump might be full of debris or broken.
    4. Clogged filters can also be from high calcium scaling inside the tank, build-up of swimmers waste, or algae.
  • My water is green!

    Your pool needs to be super-chlorinated or shocked to kill the algae. Use POWER MAGIC to kill the algae, brush down the walls to loosen it, and run your filter constantly until the water clears. Then backwash. Double the normal dose of shock for algae-infested water. To prevent this from happening again, make sure are doing all your pool maintenance. You might want to try using PROTEAM SUPREME.

  • Why are the swimmers' eyes burning and itching?

    Check the Alkalinity and pH, and adjust if necessary. Shock the pool to oxidize out the bather waste. Check to make sure you do not have combined chlorine, bring us a water sample for a FREE analysis. Add PROTEAM SUPREME to make the pool a comfortable atmosphere for swimmers.

  • Why is my pool staining? What can I do to take the stains out and keep them from coming back?

    There are metals (iron or copper) in your water. They were introduced into the water from tap water, copper heat exchanges, or copper-based algaecides. To remove the stains add PROTEAM METAL MAGIC per label instructions. To prevent the stains from coming back, add weekly maintenance doses of PROTEAM METAL MAGIC. If you have a Fiberglass pool, you should be doing this all summer long!

    Also, low Alkalinity can cause staining on the pool surface. To avoid having these stains, maintain the proper Alkalinity level, and adjust when needed throughout the summer.

  • Why is my pool foaming?

    You either added too much algaecide, or the wrong type of algaecide. Or you have a lot of organic matter in your water. Use POOL FIRST AID to correct this problem.

  • I have white, gray, or brownish deposits on pool surface or heater coils. What is this?

    You have too much calcium or total dissolved solids in the pool. In order to remove the scale, you must add PROTEAM METAL MAGIC per label instructions. Consider diluting the pool water and added fresh water to the pool.

  • I have funky colored water in my newly filled pool?

    Iron, copper, and manganese in water turn blue, brown, or black when first treated by chlorine shock. Use PROTEAM METAL MAGIC to help tie the metals together and allow the filter to remove them.

  • My blonde hair has turned green! Why did this happen?

    Don't start pointing fingers yet! It is NOT the chlorine's fault! You have copper in your water. Chlorine does not turn your hair green. The metals are oxidized by the chlorine and then bond to your hair, causing the greenish hue. To remove the copper from your water, run you filter continuously and add PROTEAM METAL MAGIC to your pool water.

Glossary

  • POOL

    A body of water contained by walls usually located in the backyard of a home!

  • ALGAE

    Over 20,000 species known to man! Algae may form on your pool surfaces or it may bloom in suspension. We typically know algae to be green, but it may also be yellow (mustard algae), black, blue-green or any shade in between. It may form separate spots or seem to grow in sheets. Pink algae is not algae at all, but a form of bacteria. Algae are living, breathing organisms that need warmth, sunlight and carbon dioxide to thrive.

  • ALGAECIDES

    Chemicals that prevent and control algae growth. Some types kill algae, others are preventative.

  • ALKALINITY

    Alkaline refers to the condition where the water's pH is above 7.0 (neutral) on the pH scale. It is the opposite of acidic. Alkalinity is the amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water, measured in ppm of Total Alkalinity.

  • BACTERIA

    Microscopic organisms (germs) that contaminate the pool water. Introduced by swimmers, air, rain storms, dust, dirt and other outside elements.

  • BROMINE

    A member of the halogen family. Commonly used as a sanitizer in spas because of its resistance to hot water with rapid pH fluctuations.

  • CALCIUM HARDNESS

    The amount of calcium dissolved in the water. A pool must have calcium hardness in the water or it becomes aggressive and will harm the pool equipment. If the calcium level is too high, it will scale up the pool and equipment. A titration test is used to determine the levels of the mineral calcium dissolved in the pool water. Pool water should always have some type of hardness in the water, whether it be calcium, borate or potassium.

  • CHLORAMINES

    The chlorine molecule that is strongly attracted to nitrogen and ammonia. When these two hook up, they form chloramines which are undesirable, foul-smelling, space-taking compounds that require shocking of the pool water to get rid of them.

    They are also formed when free chlorine combines itself with nitrogen. Nitrogen is introduced into the pool from urine, perspiration and also airborne through certain fertilizers, etc. Chloramines cause eye and skin irritation, as well as unpleasant odors. Chloramines often cause cloudy water, which in turn lead to a green algae filled pool.

  • CHLORINE

    The most efficient and commonly used disinfecting agent for swimming pools. The preferred type of chlorine used in swimming pools is a stabilized chlorine like PROTEAM HIGH TECH TABS.

    A member of the halogen family of sanitizers, it's use in swimming pools is in the elemental form of a gas, or as a liquid, granular or tablet compound. When added to water it acts as an oxidizer, sanitizer and disinfectant. Free available chlorine is that which is active, not combined with an ammonia or a nitrogen molecule, and ready to destroy organic material.

  • CHLORINE DEMAND

    (Free) chlorine is used to destroy unwanted bacteria and algae in the pool. The chlorine demand is the amount of chlorine demanded to kill and disinfect all the waste being added to the pool.

  • CHLORINE RESIDUAL

    The amount of chlorine remaining in the pool after chlorine demand has been satisfied.

  • COMBINED CHLORINE

    The measure of chlorine which has already attached itself to other molecules or organisms. Most of this is made up of chloramines.

  • COPPER

    Comes from certain kinds of algaecides, from acidic water going through heaters, and well-water. Turns hair green! 

  • CYANURIC ACID

    (also called Stabilizer) A product that helps prolong the useful life of chlorine in the water by slowing down chlorine destruction caused by the suns UV rays.

  • ENZYMES

    All-natural product put into the pool to eliminate organic matter. It's benefits include sparkling water, prevents scum and waterline ring, eliminates chemical odors, keeps filters clear extending filter life and reduces shocking. Enzymes used in swimming pools are designed to break down and digest oils in a pool or spa similar to the way enzymes are used in oil spill cleanup efforts. USE NATURAL CHEMISTRY'S SPA PERFECT AND POOL PERFECT.

  • IRON

    A mineral usually found in well water that causes staining on pools. When mixed with chlorine it can turn the pool water green.

  • NITROGEN

    When combined with chlorine, nitrogen creates chloramines which do not belong in your pool. Nitrogen can be found in many swimmer wastes (perspiration, suntan oil, hair tonics, etc.) or be introduced by other means like lawn fertilizers.

  • OXIDATION

    Product used to break down organic matter, bacteria and other swimmer waste in pools.

  • pH

    A system for measuring the acidity/alkalinity of water. Readings above 7 are alkaline, readings below 7 are acidic. What's really being measured is the hydrogen ion concentration. Some would say pH stands for "power of hydrogen".

  • ppm

    Parts per million. Unit of measure.

  • PSEUDOMONAS

    A pathogen known to cause disease in recreational water environments. The Pseudomonas bacteria is able to thrive in pools and hot tubs quite easily. Once Pseudomonas has taken root in an area, it is hard to eliminate. A slime coating protects the bacteria and is able to survive in otherwise harsh environments. Many common symptoms can include red, bumpy rash usually in the hair follicles. These may be associated with puss filled blisters around the hair. Swimsuit rashes are a good indicator that one has been introduced to this water born illness. Pseudomonas has also been known to cause the condition known as Swimmer's Ear.

  • SANITIZER

    A product used on a daily basis to keep pool sanitary, free of algae and crystal clear.

  • SEQUESTERING

    A product used to tie up metals (iron and copper) in the water so they do not stain the pool. It is the filters job to pull out the metals. 

  • SODIUM TETRA BORATE PENTAHYDRATE

    (SUPREME) An algaecide and fungicide comprised of boron derivatives which are added to swimming pools . The boron derivative is effective in killing and repressing unwanted algae and fungal growth. It also, is a pH and alkalinity buffer, lowers chlorine consumption, ties up calcium hardness and gives pool water a soft and silky feel.

  • SUPER CHLORINATION

    (Shock treatment) The practice of adding 5 -10 times the normal daily chlorine dose to destroy algae, or to prevent problems after heavy bather loads or severe rains.

  • TOTAL ALKALINITY

    This helps the water resist changes in pH.

  • TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS (TDS)

    Measurement of the amount of material dissolved in water. The chemicals added to the pool, dust, dirt, human waste, etc all increase this level. If the level reaches 2,200 ppm, the pool water must be diluted.

  • TURBIDITY

    The clarity of the water.

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