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tech tips


West Coast Pool & Spa is pleased to provide a range of information to help increase your knowledge. We encourage you to check out our blog, and stay tuned as we grow our website. All of our material is prepared based on decades of in-the-field experience. We engage in ongoing training and research to stay on top of all the latest developments in the industry and to continually expand our knowledge base.  We want to share our know-how with you, but please remember, general understanding won’t take the place of a qualified pool professional.

our TIPS


Save energy and money! 

  • North American pool owners spend billions of dollars annually to heat their pools. Much of this energy is wasted and can be saved with proper management.
  • The circulation system is made up of the skimmer, main drain, pump, filter, heater and returns. If you suspect problems with any of the components (i.e. leaks, reduced performance, etc.), have one of our qualified technicians attend to them immediately. Neglected problems often lead to costly repairs.
  • Covering your pool when it's not in use is the single most effective way of reducing heat loss. Other ways include minimal use of water features and a reduction in the disturbance caused by misdirected jets.



  • Algae spores are constantly introduced into pools and spas via wind, water, swimmers, etc.  In the absence of effective sanitizer, spores attach to surfaces and rapidly reproduce, discolouring the water and forming a slippery layer on all surfaces.
  • Algae spores will attach to a surface where there is low sanitizer and water flow. These dead spots can be found behind ladders, at floor and wall transitions, steps, etc.  Brushing helps move sanitized water to dead spots.
  • Algae can bloom rapidly without correct water balance, circulation, and filtration.  Treat all algae problems as soon as possible. The longer they are left, the more difficult it is to rectify the situation.
  • For any algae infestation you should determine why it occurred. If not resolved, algae blooms will become a regular occurrence. Even a mild algae problem requires expensive chemical treatment and daily attention.
  • Once algae spores are established, the spores produce a waxy covering, inhibiting penetration of sanitizer.  The longer an algae bloom grows unchecked the harder it is to eradicate.


Water testing & water balance 

  • To get accurate and consistent results when water testing, you should sample from elbow length underwater. Always rinse the test vial with clean pool water and hold the reagent bottle straight up and down when adding drops.
  • Store your water test kit and reagents at room temperature, away from sunlight. Replace the reagents once a year or if you notice bottle discoloration or sediments. Test strips have an expiry date.
  • The main areas requiring attention for water balance in pools are chlorine levels, alkalinity, pH, calcium hardness, and stabilizer.
  • The goal in keeping water balanced is to provide optimum bather comfort, avoid damage to the pool and equipment, and to ensure the most effective sanitation.



  • Legitimate alternative sanitizers are ozone purification systems, ionizers, and UV disinfection systems. These are not to be used as primary sanitizing systems. The use of chlorine or bromine is still required. However, alternative sanitizers can reduce your need of chlorine or bromine, thus reducing costs.
  • A sanitizer residual is a measurable amount of chlorine or bromine in the water the presence of which proves no contaminant is using up the sanitizer. The best way to ensure a residual is a steady addition of sanitizer – a dispenser with chlorine pucks or bromine pucks is optimum.
  • Bromine is an especially effective sanitizer for spas as it is not pH dependent and is well-suited to hot water. It is added in the same manner as chlorine.
  • Sanitizers serve many purposes in pool and spa water. They actively reduce micro-organisms in the water, kill algae spores, assist in water clarification, and generally maintain a safe environment for bathing.
  • Sanitizers are applied in shock doses (superchlorination) to remove chloramines, oxidize organic contaminants (ex: body oils, cosmetics, perspiration, garden material, etc.) and eliminate algae.
  • A shock dose of sanitizer should be applied once a week in regular use periods – more often with heavy use – and any time a water quality problem is suspected.  Higher doses are used depending on severity of issues experienced.
  • UV Systems have ultra violet lamps that radiate water moving through the UV canister, eradicating microorganisms - algae spores and biofilm that adhere to pool surfaces are not treated.



  • When chlorine comes into contact with algae, bacteria, or other organics, it produces a toxic byproduct called chloramines (aka combined chlorine). Shocking eliminates chloramines.
  • Shock comes in various types, like granular chorine, granular bromine, non-chlorinating oxidizer or a mixed product with a clarifier. The mixed product is a superior shock.
  • Strong chlorine smells and stinging eyes are often mistaken for signs of too much chlorine; however they are usually caused by chloramines (used chlorine). To rectify the problem, the water needs to be shocked.
  • Total chlorine measured in pool or spa water is the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine (aka chloramines).  The desired situation is no chloramines and all free chlorine.  Free chlorine is also measured separately.


And don't forget... 

  • Newly plastered pools and spas undergo a series of chemical reactions during the 90 day curing period. One major effect is that lime leaches out of the concrete, driving up the pH of the water.
  • Ozonators produce a gas found in nature, which is steadily released into the main body of water to kill pathogens.  It does not affect chemical balance or leave any toxic byproducts.
  • Ionizers provide a constant feed of copper or silver (heavy metals) into the water. There is no oxidation, so shock is required. Stain prevent should be used regularly.

To get accurate and consistent results when water testing, you should sample from elbow length underwater. Always rinse the test vial with clean pool water and hold the reagent bottle straight up and down when adding drops.