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Pool Care: A to Z

When it comes to keeping your pool clean, there are a lot of equally crucial components that you need to keep top of mind. This is why we’ve created the Purewater A to Z Pool Care Guide that you can use to help you keep your pool in pristine condition.


Total alkalinity refers to the total amount of alkaline substances (dissolved particles that have a pH higher than 7.0) in the water. The total alkalinity of your pool should be between 80-120ppm to stabilize pH, prevent corrosion, and optimize sanitizer efficiency.


Much like chlorine, bromine is a chemical element used to sanitize the water in your pool. It is gentle on skin and eyes, and effective at killing contaminants.


The most common chemical used in pool sanitation. It is available in tablet granular and liquid form. You should keep chlorine levels at a minimum of 3 ppm in your pool.

Deck Cleaning

If you have a deck around your pool, you need to remember to clean it regularly. You don’t want bacteria to grow on the surface, or to have someone slip and fall unexpectedly. Most decks can be cleaned nicely by a pressure washer.

Energy Efficiency

You can save a lot of money (and help the environment) by running your filtration system with a variable speed high efficiency pump.


Swimming pools collect a lot of dirt and debris even if not being used. This is why filters are important, because they remove said debris, leaving your pool clear and inviting. There are three main types of pool filters: cartridge, sand and diatomaceous earth.

Green Algae

If you have green algae, you won’t be able to miss it. This murky green substance is a feeding ground for harmful bacteria and needs to be taken care of ASAP. Luckily, it can be treated using pool shock, water circulation, and vacuuming.


This refers to the measure of the calcium and magnesium levels in your pool’s water. You need to strike a good balance, or there could be negative side effects. If the hardness is too low, the water can become corrosive. If the hardness is too high, it can lead to scale formation. Hardness can be increased by adding calcium, and decreased by draining some pool water.


Iron can discolour your pool. This (and other metals) can find their way into your pool through fill or ground water. If your free water test at Purewater warns you of this problem, scale inhibitors and metal removers can help alleviate the situation.

Jump in!

Don’t forget that all of this hard work spent maintaining your pool is so that you can take a nice refreshing dip on a hot summer’s day.


You should use a home test kit daily to check the chemical and mineral balance of your pool. Simple test kits measure the levels of alkalinity, pH, and chlorine present in the water.


The Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) is a tool used to evaluate your pool water’s tendency to form scale. Scale can cause damage to your pool’s finish by causing deterioration and pitting.

Main Drain

Many pools feature a suction port at the lowest part of the pool, so that any dirt and debris can exit there and be pulled into the filter.


This chemical is used to eliminate excess amounts of chlorine or bromine, making the pool more comfortable for swimmers.


A shocking compound that helps remove built-up chloramines and other contaminants in pool water.


Purewater Total Home Leisure is Ottawa’s best choice for pool service, including pool opening, closing, and seasonal maintenance. Our pool maintenance experts can help you with any pool cleaning-related problems or questions. Bring a sample of your pool water into the store and we’ll test it for you FREE, and give maintenance recommendations tailored to your pool and your needs, or give us a call to book our experts to come to your door for pool maintenance and repair service.


When it rains, debris can end up washed up into your pool. Despite the fact that you are not swimming when it rains, the pool often needs extra attention. Debris can unbalance your water, so use a test kit and take the appropriate corrective actions after it rains.


This is a device that is installed through the wall of your pool that is connected to the suction line of the pump. By pulling surface water the skimmer is a key component in keeping your pool clear of floating debris, so check it often and clean out the basket when full.

Tile Cleaning

You should clean the tile border of your pool bi-weekly to prevent the buildup of dirt and algae. There are many cleaners available, which you can apply using a non-abrasive brush. Be sure to use pool-safe cleaners to prevent fading!


If you don’t have an automatic cleaner, you will need to vacuum your pool on a regular basis. Your pool vacuum consists of a telescopic pole and a hose. If you have a concrete pool, you should use a vacuum head weighted with wheels. If you have a vinyl pool, you should use a vacuum head fitted with a brush.


This is a small floating door located inside of the skimmer that automatically adjusts to small changes in your water level. This device ensures a continuous flow of surface water is heading towards the filter.

Year-Round Maintenance

It’s important to remember to keep up the pool maintenance, even in the cold Ottawa winter months. You can help extend the life of your pool by years if you don’t neglect it when you aren’t using it.


This is a revolutionary alternative to using sand in a filter. It provides filtration down to 3 microns, which makes it one of the best filtration options for pool cleaning.

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