1. Shock the pool if chlorine or bromine level is below 1.0 ppm
2. Check your dial setting.
If using a chlorinator or salt generator there is a dial that can be turned up. To help find the correct setting that will maintain the desired chlorine or bromine level (typically 1-3 ppm), adjust only one setting per day testing the water after 24 hours to see the effect. Once you find the correct setting do not alter it. When abnormal conditions arise (pool party or lots of rain) that’s the time to shock the water.
3. Increase the amount of chlorine/bromine being used.
If using a chlorinator or floater, fill it to the top and see if there are any bleed valves that would allow more water inside to wet the chemical. The more chlorine or bromine that is wetted, the greater the output. If hand feeding pucks in the skimmer or liquid, you may need to increase the amount added or the frequency.
4. Make sure your water is properly balanced.
Water balance is critical to proper sanitization. If the pH is off it makes the chlorine ineffective even if there is enough in the water. Also, if the stabilizer or conditioner level is too low, the sun may burn the chlorine or bromine off too quickly.
5. Consider lengthening your pump run time.
Unless you are already running your circulation 24 hours, you may need to consider increasing the run time if you have an inline chemical dispenser. The chemical can only be dispensed when the pump is running. In addition check that your filter is cleaned or backwashed regularly to ensure the proper flow rate when the pump is running.
6. Look for visible signs of algae.
If algae is about to take a hold of your pool, the chlorine or bromine may be consumed quickly in its effort to prevent the algae. Shock the pool or add an algaecide and brush the sides of the pool to prevent this from happening and bring your chlorine/bromine levels back up.
7. Avoid the use of fertilizers near the pool.
Fertilizers contain nitrates that are food for algae. When they are in the water, chlorine is working very hard to keep the algae at bay so it looks like there is no chlorine present at all. Take a water sample directly in front of your pool return if you have an inline chemical dispenser. If you get a chlorine reading there but no where else in the pool, you may have nitrates. Use an algaecide or shock the pool until your desired chlorine/bromine level is maintained.
8. Check the expiration date on your test strips or kit.
Most test strips and testing reagents last only 12 to 18 months. After that date, they may not register readings properly. In addition if you are putting wet hands into the test strip container, you could be contaminating the strips which will shorten their life even further.