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Water Chemistry

Contrary to popular belief, the maintenance of your pool's water chemistry is simple and straightforward. In drafting this advice, Aquavic have assumed that your pool is structurally sound, free of substantial water leaks, has good circulation, and the filter (sand, DE or cartridge) is in good order.

We recommend that pool owners purchase a good quality 4 in 1 test kit and do their own testing. Alternatively, take a sample to an ioniser-friendly pool shop. They were a little hard to find some years ago but their numbers are increasing season by season.

Our aim is to avoid pool water cocktails. Resist the advice of others to use "quick fix" chemicals.


The chemicals we require are Sodium bi-carbonate, Hydrochloric Acid or Sodium Bi-sulphate, and an approved sanitiser. In some soft water areas, it may also be necessary to use a tad of Calcium chloride to maintain correct water balance.

The Process

Having established that the pump is running and has been for at least an hour, rinse your test tube/s in pool water several times and proceed as follows.

Caution: Do not return any samples to the pool – always discard to waste.

Total Alkalinity 80 - 130 ppm.

Follow the test kit manufacturer's directions to establish the TA of your pool water. If the level is too low, add Sodium bi-carbonate* (dissolve in a bucket of pool water prior) until the correct level is achieved. Allow plenty of time for the additive to mix before re-testing. It may take a day or two to reach the correct level. Higher is always better at this stage. Test monthly thereafter.

Oxidiser 2.0 - 5.0

Many of our customers find that an ioniser unsupported by any other chemicals whatsoever keeps their pools in good order year round. However, in the swimming season, we recommend the use of an approved ioniser-compatible sanitiser, and if the pool is subjected to heavy bather loads, it may also be necessary to use an oxidiser to burn out organic material such as sunscreen, cosmetics, body fats and oils etc.

Water pH 6.8 - 7.4:

Never attempt to read pH until the TA is established!

The readings will almost certainly be wildly inaccurate and could result in the addition of chemicals far in excess of requirements. Once again, retrieve your sample of pool water and determine the pH of the sample. If the reading is too low, see TA above and add Sodium bi-carbonate. If it is too high, refer to the maker's instructions for Acid demand, or simply add Hydrochloric Acid. (add the acid to a bucket of pool water). Once again, allow plenty of time for the acid to combine with the pool water and the closer to 7.0 the better. Test weekly. (See also Oxidiser).

Copper 0.3 - 0.9 ppm

The Copper level was established during commissioning of your pool and may change slowly. Should the level begin to drop, increase either the Current setting or the Ioniser Run Time – or both. If it begins to increase, reduce the Current or Run Time settings. On rare occasions, and in very small pools with light bather loads, the Copper level may gradually increase in spite of minimum settings. Should this occur, simply turn off the ioniser for a week or so and turn on again when the level drops. Test weekly.

Total Dissolved Solids: 350 - 1500 ppm

TDS is arguably the most significant - and misunderstood – component of your pool's water chemistry. It is directly related to conductivity of the water and therefore to the performance of your ioniser. It simply the arithmetic sum of everything dissolved in the water - just as sugar is dissolved in tea and coffee, minerals in sea water etc. It is a function of your water supply and varies dramatically with it's source. It may be as low as 20 ppm for major cities, and as high as 5000 ppm – for areas running bore water. If your water has a high TDS, contact us for advice.


In spite of the fact that their pools are crystal clear and algae-free, many first-time ioniser owners feel that they should be doing more to keep their pools in order. Not so!

The reason for their dilemma is that unlike the volatile and short-lived residual of other systems, copper and silver ions become part of the water chemistry and can be found in the water even weeks after the system was turned off.

Now that is what WE call a strong residual!

Contact us for any further information.

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