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    Your pool must be protected from germs, bacteria, algae and a variety of other organics. Without reservation, chlorine is simply the best sanitizer for your outdoor pool. There are other sanitizers available but, in one way or another, they all fall short of chlorine.

    Okay, you're convinced. Now, let's get some chlorine in your pool. It is important to understand that chlorine is a consumable item that is constantly being consumed and must constantly be replenished. Usually you must add about 2-3 ppm daily to keep the pool properly sanitized. Here are the various ways you can do that:
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    It is important to be aware of the calcium hardness (CH) level of your water. The CH level is especially important for pools with surfaces below the water line that contain calcium, such as plaster, pebble, gunite, concrete, quartz, tile, or stone. But all pool owners need to control their CH level to some extent.
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    In this article we will help you determine if you have Organic Stains caused by leaves or debris or Inorganic Stains caused by iron or copper. Then we will help you remove the stains and prevent them in the future.
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    This guide covers smaller pools that have the advantage of a simple water change if ever needed. Seasonal pools on TFP are described as following
    • Above ground pool with less than 3000 gallons
    • Pool where the liner can simply be put into place wrinkle free without the weight of the water
    • Pools that are or could be completely drained and stored each winter

    If your pool does not fit the three above guidelines then you will be better off following the guidelines as described in Pool School. Water chemistry for small pools follows the same basic premise as it does for large pools: maintaining a minimum level of chlorine for sanitation and algae prevention, and protecting chlorine from rapid degradation from sunlight buy using a chlorine stabilizer. There are numerous components to pool water chemistry; this document provides only the most basic outline to maintain clear, sanitized water.
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    It's a sad truth that owning a pool sometimes means having a leak either in the pool itself or in the plumbing and filtration system. These leaks can come in three varieties, one that draws air into the plumbing system and two that allow water to leak out of the pool, the first of these being the plumbing and the second being a leak in the pool vessel itself.

    What we'll do here is tell you how to identify which kind of leak you have and how to find it's probable source - you can then post a more specific question on the forum about your leak and get better responses as to what you should do.
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    What it is - One of the most common mechanical pool issues, a suction side leak can be difficult to find. The effect is just like using a straw with a hole in it. A suction side air leak shows itself most commonly by bubbles and splashing and frothing in the pump basket This indicates your pump is not getting the water it needs to function smoothly but, instead, air is getting into the system and starving or semi-starving the pump. The pump basket can have absolutely no water whatsoever (that's when it "loses prime") or it can have a mixture of water and air frothing around, or it can be a stream of tiny bubbles.....often easy to overlook. In any case, it is still an air leak and should be fixed.
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    If you have a new plaster pool or just had your pool resurfaced there is a special start-up procedure that needs to be followed to ensure the plaster cures properly. This is really the responsibility of your builder BUT you might have to carry out some of these maintenance steps yourself so we will briefly go through them so you know what is involved.
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    There are two reasons to lower your total alkalinity (TA) right away, because you want to slow down the rate that the PH rises, or if high TA is contributing to a high calcium saturation index (CSI) which puts you at risk of calcium scaling. You shouldn't lower TA just to reach a target number. Make sure you actually have one of the above issues before lowering your TA.
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    This following step-by-step article will help you transform your pool from Biguanide (Baquacil, SoftSwim hereafter referred to as Baqua) to chlorine. There are a few main advantages of keeping a chlorine pool instead of a Baqua pool.
    First, keeping a Baqua pool is expensive. Just the maintenance products will cost much more per month than using bleach, or even other 'pool store' forms of chlorine.
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    DE stands for Diatomaceous Earth. DE is the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. DE particles are microscopic and have many sharp edges, trapping fine dirt particles that would otherwise be able to get through the sand.

    Small amounts of DE can be added to a sand filter after each backwash to improve the filtering. The first time you use DE, you need to figure out how much DE to add to your filter. After the first time, you can simply mix the full amount of DE with water in a bucket and pour that slowly into the skimmer.
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    Digging out the pool equipment with spring in the air is one of the most rewarding times of the year. Your procedure may vary depending on your equipment but review the points below and use them as a checklist to get your pool in tip-top shape.
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    There are many ways to winterize a pool, varying both by how far North/South you are and by personal preference. This is what I do for my in ground vinyl liner pool in Maryland.
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    With a heavy heart, it's time to put your jacket on and trudge out to the pool and start preparing her for the winter. Keep those great summer days in your mind as you use this checklist to make sure you have done a good job of protecting your valuable equipment for the winter. Spring is only months away!!
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