1. First Time Buyers
   2. Sanitisers
   3. Shock
   4. Pool Water Balancers
   5. Algaecides
   6. Clarifiers
   7. Preparing your pool for winter
   8. Filteration

There are five groups of chemicals used with swimming pools:

In Bulgaria I have found using fast dissolving Chlorine and 5 action Chlorine has been successful in keeping the pool clean. available from Aquatec in varna and other cities.

When  the new pool is filled put 12 fast dissolving tablets in the floating container, then next day do water test to see if you need any more.

after this has been done leave 2 5 action chlorine tablets in the container all the time as they dissolve put new one in.

Make sure the pump is set to come on with a timer.

We recommend aprox 1 1/2 to 2hrs on every 4 hrs .
Please read up on your new pool. If you get it right from the start its very little maintenance, If you dont learn about the pool from the start  you will learn the hard way .
  1. Sanitisers - these chemicals kill any micro-organisms present in the pool water (bacteria, viruses, algae). They are normally chlorine or bromine based chemicals.
  2. Shock - chlorine or oxygen based chemicals used periodically to break-up impurities that accumulate in the pool water. Shock the pool every two weeks in the season or if you get a large build up of algae.
  3. Pool balancers - used to make your pool water comfortable to swim in and not corrosive to the pool fabric and equipment. They are pH adjusters, alkalinity builder and calcium builder.
  4. Algaecides - these chemicals stop the build up of algae on the pool sides or in the water, which can turn your pool green
  5. Clarifiers - These chemicals are used to keep pool water clear and treat a cloudy pool. There are two kinds, flocculants and coagulants. They work by causing microscopic pollutant particles in the pool to stick together, allowing easy removal by filatration.
Test Kits - It is very important that your pool water is tested regularly particularly for chlorine or bromine levels. This allows you to keep the right levels of chemicals, protecting both anyone using your pool and the pool itself. You will require a test kit.

Sanitising agents come in a number of different kinds, which one is right for you depends mainly nature of your local water supply.

Maxi tabs and mini tabs are stabilised chlorine (trichloro isocyanuric acid) which will reduce the alkalinity and the pH. Use them in hard water areas. They can be placed in the skimmer or in a floating dispenser where they dissolve slowly.

Stabilised chlorine granules (sodium dichloro-isocyanurate) does not reduce pH and alkalinity so they are best used in soft water areas. Mix up with warm water in a plastic bucket and add to the pool.

Bromine tablets do not reduce pH or alkalinity. They do not smell of chlorine. They can be placed in the skimmer or in a floating dispenser where they dissolve slowly.

Please be careful with all these chemicals as they will bleach your clothes.

Shock treatments are used every two weeks during the pool season to break-up accumulated pollutants in the pool water. It is especially important in keeping outdoor pools free from algae.

Chlorine shock (calcium hypochlorite granules). Use on most large swimming pools. Mix with warm water in a plastic bucket and add to the pool every two weeks. Leave overnight before using the pool.

Oxygen shock (potassium peroxysulphate). It is quick acting and does not smell of chlorine. Used on jacuzzis and hot tubs. Dissolve in water in a plastic bucket and add directly to the pool water. Leave for 30 minutes before using the pool.

Please be careful with all these chemicals as they will bleach your clothes.

It is important to keep your pool water balanced, by controlling the acidity. Balanced pool water is essential for your sanitiser to work properly and keep the pool bug free and also to protect the pool fabric from damage. There are essentially two ideas involved in balancing pool water. Firstly the pool water must be brought to the correct acidity, or pH, usually between 7.4 and 7.6. This is done by adding pH plus if the pool water is too acid (pH less than 7.4) or pH minus if the pool water is too alkaline (pH more than 7.6). Secondly enough bicarbonate and calcium must be kept in the water to keep the pH stable, using Alkalinity Builder and Calcium Builder.

pH minus (sodium bisulphate). It is used to reduce the pH of pool water to between 7.4 and 7.6. It is required in hard water areas if chlorine granules or liquid chlorine are used. Mix with warm water in a plastic bucket and add directly to the pool.

pH plus (sodium carbonate). It is used to increase pH of pool water. It is required in pools using maxi or mini tablets (trichloro isocyanuric acid). Mix with warm water in a plastic bucket and add directly to the pool.

Alkalinity Builder (sodium bicarbonate). It stabilises the pH of the pool. It is required in soft water areas. Add directly to the pool and agitate with pool brush to dissolve.

Calcium builder (calcium chloride). It is used to increase the calcium level in soft water areas. A shortage of calcium will lead to pool grout marbelite and concrete being dissolved by pool water. Add directly to the pool and brush to dissolve.

Algae will build up in the pool especially if you do not maintain a good level of chlorine or bromine in the water. These build-ups can turn your pool water green and produce slimy films on pool services. Algaecides are added to the pool when it is filled and a smaller amount each week to prevent the build up of algae. If there is a severe build up of algae it will be necessary to shock the pool at the same time as adding algaecide.
Used to treat cloudy water and keep your pool sparkling clear.


The flocculant used on large pools is Aluminium Sulphate. It forms a mat on the filter that allows it to filter finer particles. It is a solid that is added to the strainer after back washing the filter.


Sparkle is a coagulant normally used on small to medium sized domestic pools. It makes the particles of solid in the pool stick together so they are more easily filtered out.

Even though you do not use your pool as often during the winter it is still very important to look after it to enable the following summer to be a trouble free one. By preparing your pool in the correct way for the winter you can significantly reduce the chances of algae occurring and increase the chances of your pool remaining clean for the following summer season. To achieve this follow these simple guidelines.

  1. Backwash the filter and clean the strainer.
  2. Check the pH is between 7.2 and 7.6 and use sodium bisulphate (to lower pH) and sodium carbonate (to increase the pH) to adjust if necessary.
  3. Using Calcium Hypochlorite, boost the chlorine level to remove any algae that maybe present in the pool.
  4. To prevent algae from growing add winterising algaecide.
  5. Turn on the circulation to disperse the solution through the water for a period of 24 hours.
  6. Reduce the water level to just below the skimmers. This is to allow for any extra water that enters the pool, ie rainfall, therefore preventing it from overflowing. WARNING: Do not lower the level too much especially if the water table is high as this could cause structural damage to the pool shell.
  7. To protect any exposed metal surfaces, drain the water from the pump(s), filter(s), heater and pipework. And remove the pump if your not sure the water is completely drain.And store in a dry area.
  8. Leave any valves above the water level open. Any below should be closed to protect from frost damage.
  9. Switch off the electricity supply to the system.
  10. Cover the pool with a heavy-duty winter pool cover.
  11. Check the appearance of the water, and the chlorine/pH levels occasionally during the winter. 


Your pool filter has been designed as a highly efficient dirt collector; it is essential that you remove the dirt that accumulates. On Above Ground Pools that are equipped with Sand Filtration a process known as “Backwashing” is used to clean the Filter. Backwashing involves reversing the flow of water through the filter sand for several minutes. This process removes dirt trapped in the filter sand, the dirty water is pumped to waste.

It is not possible to clean Cartridge Filters by backwashing. Cartridge Filters need to be physically removed before they can be cleaned. (refer to your pool installation/operation manual)

How long should I operate my Circulation System for?

Different pool manufacturers specify different run times for filter systems. The general consensus from pool professionals is that to ensure high water quality you should run your pool filter system for at least 8 hours a day. You should increase this during peak summer months to at least 12 hours per day. If your pool is heated you will possibly need to operate the circulation system for longer periods to allow the heater to achieve the desired pool temperature. If your pool becomes green or cloudy you will need to filter the water continually until the problem has been remedied. Shortening your filtration cycle will usually prove to be a false economy.

A key component on any swimming pool circulation system is a Time Clock. When setting your Time Clock it is worthwhile splitting the daily run time into at least two segments; e.g. If you decide to operate the circulation system for 10 hours per day you should split the 10 hours into 5 hours in the morning and 5 hours in the evening. You should avoid running the filter when the pool is being used.

As with all electrical equipment on your pool, the Timer should be linked to An Earth Leakage Circuit Protector Device. (E.L.C.P.)

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge Filters, as opposed to Sand Filters, will sometimes be supplied on Above Ground Pools. Cartridge Filters have the advantages of being smaller, and cheaper than Sand Filters. However, Cartridge Filtration is not as efficient as Sand Filtration; if your pool is fitted with a Cartridge Filter and you repeatedly experience water quality problems you should consider upgrading to a Sand Filter.

If your pool experiences clarity problems you should use a Clarifier to enhance the performance of your Pool Filter. Very small particles of dirt suspended in your pool water will be too small to be caught by your Pool Filter; this often results in cloudy pool water. Pool Water Clarifiers work by attracting the small particles of dirt suspended in your pool water. As the smaller particles are clumped together into larger particles your pool filter will be able to trap them. A multitude of Pool Water Clarifiers are available from your Pool Dealer. Choose your Pool Clarifier carefully; in general, the tablet, granular and gel type Clarifiers available from your Pool Dealer are not compatible with Cartridge type filtration. The liquid clarifiers available from your Pool Dealer are usually the most effective on pools fitted with Cartridge Filtration.

It is essential that the Cartridge Elements are kept clean at all times. They should be removed, hosed down and soaked in a solution of Cartridge Cleaner. Your local Pool Dealer will be able to supply you with a product specifically formulated for cleaning cartridges. Wear rubber gloves when handling these products, they are highly concentrated. Cartridges should be soaked in a bucket overnight and thoroughly rinsed before being reused. Don’t be tempted to use a household-cleaning product or put them in your dishwasher; this will do more harm than good. You should buy a spare Cartridge Element, this will prevent your filtration system being out of service when your original Element is being cleaned. Cartridge Elements should be replaced at the beginning of each season.


To improve the quality of your pool water, run the filtration for 24hrs per day during the busy season. The longer the filter is left running, the better the water quality. The increased cost of running your Pool Circulation Pump for 24 hours per day will be more than offset by the savings made in water treatment products.

Sand Filtration

Larger Above Ground Pools will incorporate a Sand Filter, rather than a Cartridge Filter. Sand filtration is an effective means of physically removing particles from your pool water. Your sand filter will incorporate a Multiport valve. Your Multiport valve controls the various functions of your filtration system; it is essential to understand it’s various settings. A Multiport will typically incorporate the following settings:


You should consider filter to be the normal setting for your Multiport Valve. Whilst the Multiport is set in this position, Pool Water is drawn through the pump, passed into the top of your filter and pushed through the filter media, trapping suspended matter. At the bottom of your sand filter is a set of “laterals”; these act as an underdrain system and will allow your pool water, but not the sand to return to the pool.


Sand Filters are designed to accumulate dirt. It is important that they are cleaned regularly; this process, commonly known as backwashing, should typically be carried out every two weeks. Backwashing involves reversing the flow of water through the filter for several minutes, or until the site glass shows clean water. During this process the water is automatically discharged to waste, taking the accumulated dirt with it.
Before carrying out a backwash ensure that the water level in your pool is at least 50mm above the skimmer centreline. Never allow the pool water level to drop more than half way down the skimmer during normal operation.


This setting should be used immediately after backwashing, but only for 10 – 20 seconds. Your pool water follows the same path as when on FILTER, except the water exits to waste rather than returning to your pool.


This setting should be used if your filter is temporarily out of action. Pool water will be circulated, bypassing the filter tank. RECIRCULATE is useful for retaining heated water even if your filter is not being utilised.


Takes water from your pool, bypasses the filter and runs to waste. By using this setting when vacuuming a heavily contaminated pool you will prevent your filter from becoming clogged.


Must only be used when