How do I do pool maintenance...

You've got questions, I've got answers. Just ask me!

After almost 50 years in the Pool & Spa Industry, I've seen & experienced a LOT!


I've learned what works & what doesn't. I'm here to help you get the most out of your swimming pool, spa or hot tub.


When it comes to all the basics of pool & spa operation and best practices, tap into my expertise. Whether it's opening or closing the pool, learning how to vacuum or backwash a filter or even regular maintenance: ASK! You'll even find instructions that you can download


Below you'll find information on (this page mainly deals with pool chemicals:


Click here for MORE How to... Such as vacuuming, backwashing filters & more


  • And then there are links to our blog for even more information!

Ron Parrs, your PoolSpaGuru

Ron Parrs, your PoolSpaGuru

How a Pool System Works

Inground or Aboveground, they work the same way

With PoolSpaGuru pool expertise, swimming pool maintenance is easy to understand. Whether you have an inground pool or above ground pool, all pools essentially work the same:

  • There's a pool body with an interior surface of vinyl, plaster, tile, fiberglass or a combination of these materials.
  • Pool Water is drawn into the filter system (blue lines) from the skimmer & main drain (if equipped)
  • Water comes into the filter system thru the 3-way valve (if equipped) & into the pump / motor
  • Water travels into the filter (either Sand, DE or Cartridge) where fine dirt & debris are removed
  • After the filter, the clean or cleaner, filtered water goes thru the heater (if equipped)
  • Filtered & heated (not all pools) water returns to the pool (red lines) thru the return inlets


For more information on the workings of your pool, click on the 5 Keys to Pool Care


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How Pristine Blue Works

The magic of Pristine Blue!

A Few Pristine Blue facts:  
Pristine Blue is the proven, proprietary pool & spa care system from Earth Science Laboratories, a leader in environmental water care & treatment.  


PristineBlue® is EPA registered in all 50 states for Pool AND Spa use. Read the labels and you'll see that chlorine, bromine and biguanides have different registrations for their particular use. Doses are vastly  different and sometimes, even the product itself is very different. 


One of the great things about PristineBlue® is that it's certified for addition to drinking water by NSF  International (National Sanitation Foundation certification 60, that's  extraordinary for a pool chemical).


Pristine Blue's main active ingredient is copper (technically copper sulfate pentahydrate, 19.8%). We know that copper is a  great algaecide. Copper based algaecides have been used for many years  to effectively treat serious and stubborn algae blooms.


Copper's main problem is that in many cases, continued regular use can lead to staining of pool surfaces and / or colored water. Certain high quality copper algaecides are now "chelated" to help prevent staining, however overuse can still cause these staining problems. This is where the technology behind Pristine Blue is not only  different, but superior. Any products claiming to be the "same as" Pristine Blue are not and they can't prove it.


Pristine Blue® uses a proprietary technology that causes the cupric (copper) ion to have 2 rather than only one (as in every other copper pool product) positively charged side to it. With one of the positive charges, Pristine Blue® is able to hold on to the ET3000 additive that prevents the copper from coming out of solution & leads to staining.


 The second positive charge is the real magic of Pristine Blue®.  This second positive charge allows it to be attracted & attached to  NEGATIVELY charged particles (algae, bacteria, other organics) in order to kill them. The copper is "ingested" or eaten by the stuff in the pool, is poisoned and dies (compared to chlorine or bromine which "blow up" the bacteria and algae releasing odor causing enzymes and other waste into the water - one of the reasons why chlorinated water can smell). Dead bacteria & algae are then filtered out. 


Pristine Blue's exclusive, proprietary formula also allows it to "self-disperse" better in the pool water (positive & negative charges pushing back and forth against each other) compared to chlorine & bromine. Even into those "dead spots" where normal circulation may not otherwise distribute the proper amount of sanitizer. 


Regular additions of Pristine Clean (added whenever Pristine Blue is added), plus Pristine Check at the start of the season to take care of calcium scale, replenish the chelants protecting the copper from staining. Pristine Power & Pristine Extra oxidize other pool waste (suntan lotion, body  oils, etc). Pristine Clear aids in pulling together fine "dead"  particles floating in the pool.


Buy all of the PristineBlue products here.


Pool, spa & hot tub water feels & smells better. Water balance is simpler. Very economical to use. Simple testing and additions.

  • Proprietary, proven product since 1990
  • Water feels soft & gentle. Easy on Pool surfaces, equipment, bathing suits, skin, hair & eyes  
  • Safe for all Pool surfaces (please consult your pool  professional on newly plastered or finished concrete pools before adding  PristineBlue®) 
  • Use your swimming pool within 15 minutes after adding any of the PristineBlue® products 
  • Will not drastically effect the water balance  
  • May be used with ANY type of filter system  
  • The active ingredients control algae as well as bacteria  
  • Fantastic compliment to pools & spas utilizing ozonators  
  • Easy to convert; compatible WITH chlorine!
  • The ONLY product line you can use in your Pool AND your Spa
  • Easy  start up &  maintenance (click on the links for details)


Download & print a Pristine Blue Start-up & Maintenance Guide

Pristine Blue Algae & Bacteria Suppressant. Non-chlorine at its easiest & finest!

Pristine Blue Algae & Bacteria Suppressant. Non-chlorine at its easiest & finest!

Vacation Proof Your pool

Come home to a clean & clear swimming pool!

Avoid  coming home from a nice vacation & seeing this mess in your otherwise beautiful  pool. Here's how to prevent your pool from turning green and yucky!


For ALL types of pools.  Using   ANY sanitizer or system.


You can also  Watch the Video.


  1. Chemically clean your filter with Soft Swim Filter Cleaner (SoftSwim or biguanide pools),  Kleen It or Strip Kwik (chlorine or bromine pools).  Also use    AquaFinesse Pool Pucks on a regular basis to prevent biofilm build-up.
  2. Adjust the pool's water balance: pH (7.4--7.6), Total Alkalinity (120--150 ppm vinyl pools, 100--120 plaster or gunite finish), Calcium Hardness (175--225 ppm vinyl pools, 225--275 ppm  plaster or gunite pools). Water balance is critical to maintain  sanitizer efficiency.
  3. Give the pool a good vacuuming & brushing.Clean the Solar Blanket with Stow Away    or Natural Chemistry Cover Cleaner to remove any building biofilm that will harbor & promote algae growth.
  4. Adjust Sanitizer level to normal range (SoftSwim "B" to 30 - 50 ppm or Chlorine to 3.0 - 4.0 ppm, Bromine to about 6 ppm).
  5. Add an initial dosage of Algicide.  Back Up 2 or Algae All 60 (for chlorine or bromine pools) SoftSwim "A" Algicide (SoftSwim or biguanide pools).  EXTRA INFORMATION: If you're not using  AquaFinesse Pool Water Care Tablets, USE THEM! AquaFinesse continually removes the biofilms that grow on ALL pool surfaces leading to Pink Slime &  White Water Mold. AquaFinesse is 100%compatible with ALL pool water care systems.
  6. Double or triple shock your pool. SoftSwim "C" clarifier (for SoftSwim or biguanide pools).  BioGuard Burn Out 3 or 73 (for chlorine, bromine or salt pools).
  7. Optimize the Pool with Optimizer Plus.  This will make the most significant difference in your overall pool care. Not only will Optimizer Plus suppress algae growth, but the sanitizer (any type) will be enhanced, plus the pH & Total  Alkalinity will get a second buffer for their optimal balance.
  8. Put the Filter system on a timer & set the system to run for at least 12 hours each day, during the day. Don't rely on friends & neighbors to run the filter when you're gone.
  9. Go Away & have fun! If you follow these steps, you'll return to a clean, clear, sanitary pool.

Download a FREE brochure to learn about shocking.


Special Note: These instructions take into consideration that the pool will be unattended for up to 14 days & the pool is already well taken care of.

Enjoy your family vacation but prepare your pool while your away & avoid coming home to THIS!

Enjoy your family vacation but prepare your pool while your away & avoid coming home to THIS!

Pool party prep

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The question is: How do I keep my pool great & crystal clear all Pool Party long?

The answer is easy. Prepare!


That's  right a little preparation before the party even starts will keep your  pool looking crystal clear & inviting during the entire party. 


Just follow these easy steps:

The DAY BEFORE the party:

Adjust the pH to 7.4 to 7.6. Also make any adjustments to Total Alkalinity  & Calcium Hardness as needed. In other words, TEST THE WATER!
Time required: 10 - 15 minutes. 

The NIGHT BEFORE the party:

 Shock  the pool well. Depending on your pool's size & how many partiers  you're expecting, consider doing a double or triple dose. Even if the  chlorine level is a little high at party time, it will soon be dissipated and  used up as kids & adults swim, play & have fun. Be sure to let the filter run overnight. Time required: less than 10 minutes. 

The MORNING of the party:

Perform some simple, regular maintenance. Vacuum the pool, clean out the baskets, backwash or clean the filter cartridges. Retest the pool water.  I know the chlorine will be high; that's OK.
Time required: about 30 -  60 minutes. 

At a break DURING the party:

Shock the pool with BioGuard Easy Shock & Swim.  Use at a rate of 1 pound per 5,000 gallons. This "lite" shock will oxidize swimmer waste (read that as suntan lotion, make-up, hair gel, urine (how often didn't people get out to use the bathroom?), etc.  BioGuard Easy Shock & Swim is the "party" shock that PoolSpaGuru.com  recommends because you can use the pool in just 15 minutes after addition!
Time required: less than 5 minutes 

AFTER the party:

Shock  the pool. While you're cleaning up the yard & the grill, just  simply shock the pool. In fact, wait until you're finished, so that YOU  can take one last relaxing dip. Let the filter run overnight again. The  next day, you can test the water & make any adjustments necessary. 


You've done your duty for the day! For  the health & safety of you, your family & guests, be sure to follow all pool rules. Here's a list to keep handy if you need them.