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Chlorine Demand

Metal & Stains

Cloudy Water


Colored Water


Problem: Algae
NOTE: A severe infestation of green, floating algae will cloud the water, making it difficult to see other bathers or the bottom of the pool thus creating a potentially hazardous situation.



Microscopic plants that inhabit almost every ecological niche on our planet. See symptoms for common pool strains below.

The best weapon against algae is prevention. Use BioGuard Back Up® to prevent algae. For pools with attached spas, use non-foaming BioGuard Algae All 60™.

Green floating algae begins growing on the walls and floor of the pool, spreads rapidly, especially in the presence of sunlight.

Adjust the pH to 7.4. Depending on pool's surface type, use BioGuard Spot Kill®, Spot Kill WP® or Banish™. Carefully follow use directions, especially dosage levels.

Black or spot algae first appears as small specks on the pool's surface then rapidly grows to larger areas. Strongly clings to walls and floor. Highly resistant, can "pit" plaster surface and cause roughness.

Adjust pH to 7.4. Depending on pool's surface, vigorously brush spots with appropriate brush and treat with BioGuard Spot Kill®, Spot Kill WP® or Banish™ as soon as algae is detected. Re-treatment may be necessary.

Mustard algae, named for its tannish-yellow color. Easily brushed off surfaces but quickly returns. It prefers shady areas with poor circulation. Resists normal chlorine treatments.

Take water sample to Pool Emporium, Inc. Correction will include brushing, the use of Banish™, Erase™, or Mustard Buster®. Follow directions carefully.

Problem: Chlorine Demand
The inability to maintain a chlorine residual in the pool water.



Continuous addition of chlorine fails to raise sanitizer level in pool water. Test kit reading shows low-to-no sanitizer level.

Make sure filter runs for a minimum of 10 hours per day, longer in hot weather and heavy bather loads. Make certain test reagents are fresh and unspoiled. Check for inadequate product levels in skimmer, floater or chlorinator. Make sure chlorinator tubing is free from obstructions.

DPD test tablets turn briefly pink, then fade to white.

Very high chlorine levels are bleaching DPD tablets.
Wait for chlorine to dissipate or use
BioGuard Chem

Algae presence.

Algae growth will cause a drastic increase in chlorine consumption. If algae is present, refer to the Algae portion of this guide and use products such as, Banish™, Spot Kill® and Spot Kill WP®.

Improper chemical balance.

Take a sample of your pool water to Pool Emporium, Inc. for complete analysis. Follow recommendations.

Other problems: undetectable organic contamination, e.g., improperly applied fertilizers, pollens, migrating birds.

Pool Emporium, Inc. has a Chlorine Demand Test Station. This test will tell you exactly how much chlorine is required to overcome the pool's demand.

Problem: Cloudy Water
NOTE: Clear water is essential to the safety and health of the bathers. Cloudy water can impair visibility of the pool's safety equipment and other bathers in the water. This creates a potentially hazardous situation.



Unable to see the bottom of the pool. Water lacks sparkle, appears dull and flat.

Most cloudy water problems are related to poor filtration. Operate filter at least 10 hours per day continuously until water clears. To speed the process, use BioGuard® Polysheen® Blue, Sparkle Up® and PowerFloc™. Follow label directions.

Weak flow from return inlets, poor-to-no surface activity, frequent backwash cycles, inadequate filtration due to dirty filter media (sand, DE, cartridge).

Filter should be cleaned twice each season. Dirt and oil
buildup can be removed with
BioGuard Strip Kwik®. To remove scale accumulations, use Bio Guard Kleen It®.

High pH (over 7.6) and high level of total alkalinity (over 200 ppm).

Ideally, adjust pH to 7.4 to 7.6 with BioGuard Lo 'N Slo® (A range of 7.2 to 7.6 is acceptable.) Bring a water sample to Pool Emporium, Inc. for instructions on how to reduce total alkalinity.

Buildup of organic contamination that causes dull-looking water.

Oxidize contaminants with BioGuard Burn Out® WP or Burn Out® 35. Follow label directions.

Sanitizer (chlorine) level is below 1.0 ppm. (Pool Emporium, Inc. recommends a minimum of 1.5 ppm in cool weather, 2.0 ppm in warm weather.)

Add BioGuard Smart Sticks®, Stingy Sticks®, tablets, pucks or granular chlorine sanitizer.

Difficulty in maintaining 1.0 to 3.0 chlorine residual. (Pool Emporium, Inc. recommends 1.5 to 3.0 in cool weather, 2.0 to 3.0 in warm weather.)

Increase amount of Smart Sticks®, Stingy Sticks®, tablets, pucks or granular chlorine. lncrease flow rate through your chlorinator/circulation time on pump.

Early stages of algae infestation, slick or slimy walls, black spots on walls or floor, "mustard" colored dust in areas of poor circulation.

Refer to Algae portion of troubleshooting guide.

High levels of calcium hardness and total dissolved solids.

Take a sample of pool water to Pool Emporium, Inc. Follow the recommendations on your printout.

Problem: Colored Water



Water is clear, but has a greenish, reddish brown or dark brown tint.

Trace metals are the most likely reason the pool water has discolored. Refer to the Metals and Stains section below. Take a water sample to Pool Emporium, Inc. for analysis and follow dealer's instructions.

Water has greenish tint, but is cloudy.

This is green floating algae. Refer to the Algae portion of this troubleshooting guide.

Problem: Foaming



A prolonged foam build-up which accumulates in the corners of the pool or bubbles which remain on the water's surface for more than a few seconds.

Do not overuse algicides, but apply according to use directions. Carefully measure and accurately calculate your pool's volume. Wash and rinse deck areas carefully so cleaning compounds do not get into the pool. Use only prescribed surface cleaners on your tiles and pool's interior surfaces. BioGuard Burn Out® WP and Burn Out® 35 will destroy organic contaminants, a possible source of foaming. BioGuard Anti Foam® will help destroy foam which has formed, Use BioGuard Algae All 60™ in pools with attached spas or fountains.

Problem: Metals & Stains



Staining appears as discoloration on pool surfaces. These stains may be green, blue, purple, gray, reddish-brown or beige to brown.

All "permanent" stains, i.e., not easily brushed off, are the result of some chemical imbalance or metals that, at one time, were present in the water. Many fresh stains can be removed by the action of BioGuard Pool Magnet Plus®.

Gray, green to bluish purple stains.

Most likely copper, possibly iron. Many fresh stains can be removed by the action of BioGuard Pool Magnet Plus®.

Reddish to yellow-brown stains.

Iron is the most likely cause. Many fresh stains can be removed by the action of BioGuard Pool Magnet Plus®.

Medium to dark brown stains.

Uncommon, but most probably the reason is manganese. BioGuard Pool Magnet Plus® can aid in the removal of fresh stains caused by manganese.

Beige to tan stains on plastered or marcite finishes.

This is a calcium or silicate scale build-up. Although scale is white, dirt is trapped in the crystals as they form. BioGuard Scale Inhibitor™ is used to aid in the removal and prevention of scale deposits.

Problem: Pink Slime



Sometimes called pink or red algae, this is an unsightly but harmless bacteria which is easily brushed away but tends to return. Pink Slime collects in and around ladders, skimmers, lights, steps, any plastic surfaces (such as automatic pool cleaners) and the pool walls at the water line.

Adjust pH to the acceptable range of 7.2 to 7.6 (or ideally to 7.4 to 7.6). and thoroughly brush affected areas. Apply BioGuard Spot Kill®.

Problem: Scale



Rough, sandpaper-like deposits on the pool's surfaces. Scale may also build up inside the circulatory plumbing, especially the heater. This condition leads to reduced circulation, loss of heater efficiency, impaired equipment operation and clogging.

Adjust and maintain pH to the acceptable range of 7.2 to 7.6 (ideal range is 7.4 to 7.6). Take water sample to Pool Emporium, Inc. for possible adjustment of total alkalinity and calcium hardness.

If you reside within an area that has "hard" water, or must draw water from a well, see your Pool Emporium, Inc. about using
BioGuard Scale Inhibitor™ as part of your regular chemical maintenance program.

The information on this page has been provided courtesy of BioLab, Inc. ©1998