Pool Care cheat sheet

Pool Care cheat sheet. Explore our ultimate lifestyle quick reference for Pool Care.

This Pool Care Cheat Sheet provides essential tips for maintaining a clean and healthy pool, covering circulation, cleaning, and chemical balance. It includes formulas for calculating pool volume, a seasonal shopping list, a weekly maintenance schedule, safety tips, and useful links for more information. Perfect for new and experienced pool owners alike, it simplifies pool maintenance to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.


Empty Skimmer Baskets

  • Keep the skimmer and pump basket(s) clear.
  • This improves water flow to the filter system.

Adjust The Return Jets

  • Angle down and point them all in the same direction.
  • This pushes debris to the surface for the skimmer(s).
  • It also helps mix in chemicals.

Run The Filter & Pump

  • Run the system for 8-12 hours a day. The longer the better.
    • Warm and Hot Climates: 8-12 Hours a Day
    • Cool and Cold Climates: 4-6 Hours a Day

Monitor Filter Pressure

  • Filter pressure is usually 10-20 PSI.
  • Backwash (or clean) when it is up 10 PSI.


1. Skim The Surface Daily

  • This stops debris from sinking to the bottom and less to vacuum.
  • Skim with the flow of the water in a circular motion.

2. Vacuum Weekly

  • Vacuuming helps improve water circulation and keeps the floor of the pool clean.
  • Invest in an automatic pool cleaner to make this process easy and efficient.

3. Brush Twice a Week

  • Brush the walls, ladders, and hard-to-reach places.
  • Brush toward the floor.


1. Test The Water Weekly

  • Using test strips or a liquid test kit to test the water.
  • Check for pH, Alkalinity, and sanitizer levels.
  • Add chemicals if needed.

2. Balance The Water

  • First, adjust alkalinity with alkalinity increaser (baking soda).
  • Then test the water again to see if still pH needs adjusting.
  • Use pH increaser or decreaser to adjust pH to the ideal range.
    • Alkalinity: 100 - 150 ppm
    • Ideal pH: 7.5

3. Add Sanitizer Weekly

  • Add the proper amount of sanitizer needed to achieve the ideal level.
    • Chlorine: 1 - 3 ppm
    • POOL MAXX: 30 - 50 ppm (for saltwater pools)

4. Shock Every 1-2 Weeks

  • Shock your pool with the proper amount at night. Run the pool for at least 8 hours.
  • We can use chlorine or POOL MAXX to shock the pool.

Shock Your Pool with Chlorine

  1. Dilute with water.
  2. Add shock slowly.
  3. Stir slowly to dissolve.
  4. Pour around pool.
  5. Run filter overnight.
  6. Test water.

Shock Your Pool with POOL MAXX

  1. Pour around pool.
  2. Run filter overnight.
  3. Test water.

Calculating Your Pool Size

Square or Rectangular Pools (Single Depth)

  • Formula: Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 = Volume in Gallons
  • Example: 24' x 12' x 4' x 7.5 = 8,640 gallons

Square or Rectangular Pools (Multiple Depths)

Gradual Depth Change:

  • Formula: Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume in Gallons
  • Average Depth: (Shallow End Depth + Deep End Depth) / 2
  • Example: (3' + 8') / 2 = 5.5', then 32' x 16' x 5.5' x 7.5 = 21,120 gallons


  • Treat as two separate pools.
  • Example: Shallow end: 5' x 15' x 3' x 7.5 = 1,687.5 gallons
  • Deep end: 5' x 15' x 8' x 7.5 = 4,500 gallons
  • Total: 1,687.5 + 1,687.5 + 4,500 = 7,875 gallons

Round Pools

  • Formula: Pi x Radius² x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume in Gallons
  • Example: Diameter 24', Depth 4'
  • Radius = 24' / 2 = 12'
  • Radius² = 12' x 12' = 144'
  • Volume: 3.14 x 144' x 4' x 7.5 = 13,564.8 gallons

Additional Tips for New Pool Owners

Springtime Shopping List

  • Sanitizer: Chlorine tablets, salt, bromine, or biguanide sanitizer.
  • Shock and Algaecides: Season’s supply of oxidizing shock products and algaecides.
  • Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness Increaser: About 1 pound per 1,000 gallons.
  • pH Increaser and Decreaser: Small container of both.
  • CYA (Cyanuric Acid): At least 5 pounds.
  • Test Strips and Filter Media: New test strips and filter media (e.g., diatomaceous earth or sand).

Weekly Maintenance Schedule

  • Test Your Water: Weekly, typically on Sunday.
  • Add Shock and Algaecide: Right after testing.
  • Vacuum Your Pool: Weekly.
  • Brush Down the Pool: After vacuuming.
  • Skim the Surface: As often as needed.
  • Clean Your Baskets: At least twice a week.
  • Check Filter Pressure: Weekly, especially for DE filters.

Safety Tips

  • Secure the Pool Area: Use fences, gates, and covers to prevent accidents.
  • Proper Storage of Chemicals: Store chemicals in a cool, dry place, away from children and pets.
  • Supervise Children: Always supervise children around the pool.

Seasonal Maintenance

  • Spring Opening: Remove cover, clean the pool, balance chemicals.
  • Winterizing: Lower water level, add winterizing chemicals, cover the pool.

Water Level

  • Check Regularly: Maintain proper water level for optimal circulation and equipment function.