Q: Hello. We purchased an above ground pool from Costco. I’ve been trying not to seem as if I don’t know what I’m doing on the chemicals. I make sure there is always enough chlorine, and when the pH is high I use liquid acid. I take my water’s numbers with test strips to see if I am high or low on anything. Keeping this short, but I’m really double checking to see if I’m on the right track. Walt M.

A: Hi Walt, and thank you for your question. Walt, the easiest way we have customers understand both pool and spa water care is to use the “1-2-3” system. This system is easy to remember and is described in this way:

1-Sanitize. This represents your chlorine, bromine, or any other primary sanitizer you are using to keep the water healthy and clear.

2-Oxidize. This is also called pool, or spa shock. The act of shocking your pool, or spa removes all unwanted organics that enter the pool/spa. This also keeps the pool clean and clear, so your primary sanitizer does not have to work as hard.

3-Balance. In this phase the pH, and alkalinity get adjusted for the health of the internal pool/spa parts, and the comfort of swimmers.

Couple things Walt. Liquid chlorine is not a good primary sanitizer in a pool. It’s unstable, and leaves the water quickly. Liquid chlorine is only 10-12 percent active ingredient, the rest is made up of salts and junk. I prefer to use it as a quick boost of chlorine.

Liquid acid should be used in inground pools vs. aboveground pools. This form of acid actually does harm to vinyl liners. So glad you decided to email your question. I think we may have added a longer life to your pool.

Have a pool/spa question? Happy to answer it. Simply email rob@blackthornespas.com

Rich Matheson

This is a sample bio for the author, Rich Matheson. Rich enjoys Bang Energy Drink™, good Kung Pao, and long walks in the rain.