5 Pillars & 3 Foundations of Pool Care

For Sparkling Blue, Crystal Clear Pool Water

From the 5 Keys to Pool Care, I developed the 5 Pillars & 3 Foundations of Pool Care. These Pillars & Foundations of swimming pool care, when followed, provides you ease of pool chemicals maintenance with beautiful clear, soft & sanitary water. Selling pool supplies is one thing, expertise is where we shine!

The 5 Pillars:

Sanitize - Control Bacteria

Prevent Algae

Shock - Oxidize Swimmer & Environmental waste

Water Balance - bather comfort & protection of the pool and its equipment

Proper Filtration

The 3 Foundations:

Prevent & remove Biofilms

Optimize the pool

Enzymatic cleaning

When my customers follow the instructions, they have a terrific pool experience!
When my customers follow the instructions, they have a terrific pool experience!

The 5 Pillars of Swimming Pool Care

The goal: sparkling blue, crystal clear, sanitary water

1. Sanitize - Continually Control Bacteria

Maintain a constant & consistent level of Sanitizer in the Pool  - Is the first Pillar of swimming pool care. But what does that mean?  It means to constantly keep a good, solid level of chlorine, bromine, biguanide or other sanitizer in the pool water at all times.  

Chlorine 1.0 - 2.0 ppm,  Bromine 2.5 - 4.5 ppm,  Biguanide 30 - 50 ppm,  PristineBlue® 0.5 - 1.0 ppm 

When maintained at those levels, bacteria & algae are kept under control. The water feels &  smells clean. Higher levels are typically unnecessary unless recommended  by your Pool Professional in certain circumstances such as pool  parties.  Slow-dissolving Chlorine such as BioGuard® Silkguard Complete Tabs & Sticks, can be applied to the pool through the skimmer or automatic chlorinator.  

Bromine must always be dispensed using a  brominator.  Biguanides such as BioGuard® Soft Swim® or non-chlorine Pristine Blue® (not a biguanide) are both liquids that typically added only once every 2 weeks.

2. Prevent Algae

Add algicide weekly or at least every 2 weeks to prevent algae growth is the second Pillar of swimming pool care. A good quality algicide (concentrates sold in quart sizes) backs up the  chlorine or sanitizer in case it is exhausted due to heavy bather load or heavy rain.

Good quality algicides such as  BioGuard® Back Up®  or  Algae Complete® are also good surfactants.  Surfactants are pool chemicals that like to  cling to or hang around surfaces.  They help to make the water  "wetter".  Because they like surfaces, they stay where algae likes to grow.

Not using an algaecide on a regular basis is  asking for trouble somewhere down the line. You could have a beautiful  clear, blue pool one day, then it rains & it has been transformed  into a green monster - and you have a pool party in 3 hours!  Regular shocking & algaecide would have prevented that sorry mess.

3. Shock - Oxidize Swimmer & Environmental Waste

Shock the pool weekly or at a minimum every 2 weeks (biguanides shock every 3 to 4 weeks).  Shocking oxidizes unfilterable wastes & breaks up chloramines that lead to cloudy water, algae, smelly pools & red eyes.

Pool owners who don't regularly shock their pool  (they think they're saving money) always end up with bad cloudy water & algae problems and they wonder why they use so much chlorine.   

Shocking puts the sparkle back in the pool water.  Shocking breaks up the waste that attaches onto the sanitizer & prevents it from doing its job.  Shocking is a good thing to do before a party to prevent icky water from developing while the party is going on  AND after to  eliminate all of the "stuff" that got left behind.  In bromine pools, the shock recharges the bromine to make it last longer.

Use the appropriate type of shock for your pool. BioGuard® Burn Out 3  or  Smart Shock® for chlorine & bromine pools. Soft Swim®  "C" for biguanide (Soft Swim® or Baquacil®) pools. Pools that use ionizers such as Nature2® should use the chlorine shocks mentioned above or  BioGuard® Easy Shock & Swim®.  

Shock the pool at start-up or opening (even if the chlorine or bromine level is good) to oxidize & neutralize contaminants that have hung in over the winter.  After that follow a regular weekly schedule.

4. Maintain Proper Water Balance

Maintain good water balance as a serious part of swimming pool care Without good water balance, the sanitizer and other pool chemicals doesn't work properly or efficiently.  The water can become cloudy (high pH) or aggressive (low pH - water is often times really clear).  You'll also protect your friends & family who use your pool.   Learn more about Good Water Balance with Key 4 - Water Testing.

Maintain the following levels: 

  • pH - 7.2 to 7.8, good or 7.4 to 7.6, better
  • Total Alkalinity:
    Vinyl or Fiberglass pools - 100 ppm to 150 ppm
    Plaster or Concrete pools - 80 ppm to 120 ppm (also salt pools)
  • Calcium Hardness:
    Vinyl or Fiberglass pools - 175 ppm to 225 ppm
    Plaster or Concrete pools - 200 ppm to 275 ppm (also biguanide pools)
  • Borates - 30 ppm to 50 ppm

5. Proper Filtration

Without the filter system running, your swimming pool won't and can't stay clean, sparkling & sanitary, plus swimming pool care takes longer.  Pool chemicals don't circulate. Your filter needs to run a MINIMUM of 8 to 12 hours every day that the pool is open. Those customer who choose to run the filter 24/7 have the best water quality!

For details on Circulation & Filtration, click here.

Now make things even better by supporting the 5 Pillars with the 3 Foundations. The 3 Foundations of swimming pool care using specific pool chemicals are designed to get to the critical core issues of Bacteria, Algae & Waste control.

3 Foundations of Pool Care


1. Prevent & Remove Biofilms

When you remove and control the growth of biofilms in the swimming pool environment, you rid the pool of a host of problems. Biofilms contain 95% to 99% of bacteria found in pools! 

Since biofilms are very resistant to other pool chemicals, swimming pool care can be more difficult.

The ingredient in AquaFinesse Pool Water Care Tablets effectively & continually remove biofilms from all pool surfaces, seen and unseen. Click here for the details.

2. Optimize the Pool with Optimizer Plus

BioGuard Optimizer Plus is probably one the best pool chemicals you're not using for swimming pool care . We have successfully used Optimizer Plus® for over 20 years in combating White Water Mold & Pink Slime along with other.

Optimizer Plus®, when used properly, suppresses algae growth, helps allow the sanitizer to do a better job at killing  bacteria, acts an additional buffer for the pH & Total Alkalinity making water balance simpler. 

Optimizer Plus® is added at the start of  the season & is topped up only as needed.  Optimizer Plus® is great to use in ANY pool, with any sanitizing system. 

3. Enzymatic Cleaning with ActivNzyme

When used as a regular part of your pool care, ActivNzyme consume, break-down or "eat up" swimmer and  environmental contaminants & wastes (especially greases & oils) that otherwise consume a lot of your pool chemicals - chlorine,  bromine, other sanitizers & shock treatments. 

ActivNzyme contains a propriety, broad range, pure batch blend of natural active enzymes that continually break down build-ups of all kinds of waste in pool water. Water feels softer & silkier. Pool surfaces & equipment stay cleaner longer with significantly less work.

ActivNzyme's formula also removes excess phosphates that feed algae. 

Additional benefits: reduction of biofilms, great at combating White Water Mold & Pink Slime. Clearer, cleaner looking & feeling water.