New house, First time pool owner...


Well-known member
May 8, 2018
Houston, TX
Greetings from Houston, TX! Moved here a year ago and after several months in a Midtown apartment (fun, but not a permanent life) I've relocated to the northern suburbs in a house with my first pool. That said, I'm somewhat familiar with pool maintenance through family members' pools, and I'm a chemist that has worked for a decade in water treatment so I'm not a stranger to water chemistry.

The pool was largely neglected when I moved in. Water was quite clear, but there was no chlorine at all (not sure for how long), algae was starting to grow on the shady side, and the pump pressures were a bit high. Over the next couple of weeks, I shocked a couple of times, added some tablets to the dispenser (which I gather from reading here may not be the best solution), and a few other things at the recommendation of the pool store (again, some of which may not have been entirely necessary, but live and learn). I also dismantled the DE filter, cleaned it, and re-assembled (trial by fire if there ever was one). The worst thing that happened was that the seal on the filter apparently wasn't tightened down enough and the o-ring dislodged right as I was adding DE to the skimmer, so I had to stop the pump and ended up with some DE in the pool. This has mostly been vacuumed back to the filter where it belongs, but the Polaris has also picked up a little of it.

Upcoming projects will be repainting the deck around the pool and filling in the missing expansion joints, re-working the landscaping, and (perhaps most daunting) figuring out how to remove and replace the old and brittle deco-drain that was between the pool deck and house slab without breaking up the deck.


Well-known member
Apr 25, 2017
Greensboro, NC
If you're a chemist who works in water quality, this should be easy for you! :cool: All of the chemical tests we use are just simple titrations.

Read up on the SLAM routine here on TFP. The most important conceptual part is this: you have to kill the algae faster than it reproduces. If you "shock it" by tossing in some powdered pool shock, it might not keep the chlorine level high enough for long enough to kill all the algae/bacteria/viruses in the pool. Since they all reproduce exponentially, you'll have a green pool again in a matter of days.

By keeping the chlorine levels at Shock Level And Maintaining them ("SLAM") until you pass 3 tests, you kill off all the bad stuff living in the water, you get a nice clean pool, and you keep enough residual chlorine in the pool to continually kill anything that drifts in and tries to take hold.