Pool Care

Pool Care

Pool Care Tips

Cleaning your pool regularly is the best way to keep it looking good, and the water safe. Dirt contributes to algae, which destabilises water balance and so regular cleaning will also help reduce the amount of chemicals you need to use, saving you money. If neglected, dirt and debris can damage your pool system, and worse still, harmful microbiological organisms can start to breed.

You should check your pool each day to make sure the water is clean and safe. Things to look out for;

  • Is the water clear?
  • Can you see to the bottom of the pool easily?
  • Is there dirt or debris at the bottom or floating on the surface?

Through our D&S FLO app you can find Pool Doctor, a complete guide to construction and operation of Swimming Pools.

Here are some tips on how to keep your pool clean and in great condition.


Remove any visible dirt and debris to keep your pool clean and healthy.

Use a pool net to clean floating leaves or debris from the pool surface and floor. We recommend doing this daily, especially for pools surrounded by trees.

Use a vacuum to clean any dirt that has settled at the bottom of the pool. For domestic pools, we recommend vacuuming once a week, for pools with heavy usage, it should be done daily.


At D&S we offer a wide range of cleaning and vacuuming products. Visit our eShop through the link here to view the range and have the items delivered right to your door.


Once clean of dirt and debris, do a pool test to check the chlorine and pH levels. For commercial or heavy use pools we recommend testing every day before the first swim.

Chlorine is a chemical that disinfects the water and kills microorganisms. Generally, the longer your filtration cycle, the less chlorine you will need.

The pH level indicates how acidic or alkaline the water is. A pH level of 7 means that water is neutral; above 7 means the water is alkaline, while below 7 indicates acidity. Aim for a pH level of between 7 and 7.6. If the water pH is higher than 8, anyone who swims in the pool is at risk of skin rashes, while a pH of lower than 7 can sting swimmers' eyes.

Several factors can affect your pool's pH & chlorine requirements; usage, heavy rain, water temperature, water level, amount of debris, and the pump & filter system. Remember to regularly check the pH level.

Note: If the total alkalinity of your pool is too low, the pH balance can become unstable. Concrete and painted pool surfaces will also deteriorate over time.



Below is a list of the most common chemicals and how they can be used to treat and maintain your pool.

Chlorine is the most widely used chemical to kill microorganisms in pools.
There are two types of chlorine - Dayliff Chlorine 65 for use at normal pH levels (what is the range?) and Dayliff Chlorine 90 is used when the pH level is high (range?).

Pool Stabiliser
Pool stabiliser is used to extend the residual reaction time of chlorine, reducing demand.

Algicure and Magic Touch
To kill algae in pools, use either Algicure or Magi Touch. Algaecure is chemical-based and cannot be used in saline pools. In such cases, use the organic-based Magic Touch.

pH Minus and pH Plus
pH Minus is an acidic solution used to lower pH levels. pH Plus is an alkaline solution used to raise pH levels.

Sparkle It
A range of pool clarifiers to make your water sparkling blue in colour.

Further Tips & Information

Swimming pool filtration
The water in your pool is pumped through a filter to remove debris and particles. The amount of time you need to run the filter will depend on the size of your swimming pool and the horsepower of your pool pump. If you are unsure, check with the product manual (online version available here) or contact a D&S pool maintenance professional.

Filtration alone cannot remove all the debris from the pool. A combination of filtration, cleaning and chlorination is needed to remove all debris and microbes that may be present in the water.

Calcium hardness in swimming pool water
The amount of mineral calcium dissolved in the water affects the water’s Calcium ‘hardness’. Low levels of calcium will deteriorate pool surfaces, while high levels will leave a 'scum' or scale on surfaces and equipment.


What advantages do I get by installing a chlorinator?
There are many advantages of using a chlorinator. These include:

  • The feeling of water: The feeling of water in salt chlorinated pool is soft and less likely to cause skin irritation.
  • Smell: Salt chlorinated pools do not have a heavy smell of chlorine.
  • Cost: Pools with chlorinators have lower maintenance costs. Due to regeneration of salt, there is no need for daily use of chlorine.
  • Eyes/ Skin: For salt chlorinated pools there are no issues with eye and skin irritation. No red eyes!

How does a salt Chlorinator work?
Chlorinators generate chlorine by electrolytic process from salt pre-dissolved in the pool. The chlorinator uses electrolysis to break down the salt (NaCl). The resulting chemical reaction eventually produces hypochlorous acid (HCIO), and sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), which are the sanitizing agents already commonly used in swimming pools. As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free; it simply utilizes a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of chlorine.

How does a Multi-Port Valve MPV work?
Most modern filters are fitted with a multi-port valve (MPV) to simplify filter operation. There are six positions or functions on the MPV. The positions, and hence the functions are: Filtration, Backwash, Rinse, Recirculation, Waste and Closed.

What is the difference between a deck level and free board pool?
As the name suggests, for a deck level pool, the water level reaches the deck. For the free board pool, water level is 150mm below the pool deck. Structurally, deck level pools are characterized by a balance tank and an overflow channel around the pool. The overflow drains into the balance tank through the channel. Freeboard pools, also known as skimmer pools, are characterized by presence of skimmers. Surface contaminated water, normally within the first 100mm from water surface is drawn to the filtration plant through the skimmers.

What is the cheapest way to heat my swimming pool?
Pool heating can be done through electricity, heat pumps and solar. Of the three methods, pool solar heating is the cheapest. However, it must be noted that pool solar heating is entirely dependent on solar radiation. This implies that solar heating will not be effective during the cold season (In East Africa, June to Mid August). A well sized pool solar heating system, in regions enjoying at least 8 hours of sunshine, will raise the swimming pool temperature by about 5-8C. For all year heating, a hybrid system can be considered. Heat pumps are a great way to control the pool’s temperature and are much more efficient (4-6 times) than electric heaters. They are especially effective when used in conjunction with pool covers. Research has shown that pool covers reduce heat loss by up to 80%.

How do I prevent evaporation of water from my pool?
Absolute prevention of evaporation of water from swimming pools is impossible. This is because evaporation occurs at all temperatures. Evaporation though, can be minimized by use of pool covers either in blanket or liquid (invisible) form.

Do you offer training on pool maintenance?
We conduct annual training of pool attendants. Please forward you contacts so that we can advise when the next training will be held.

Do pools require a lot of maintenance?
if built correctly, pools can be simple to maintain. Costs of maintenance of swimming pools include cost of chemicals, power bills for running non-solar pumps, salary for the pool attendant, etc. However, beware of pool builders who offer 'maintenance free pools'. Have you ever heard of a 'maintenance free car'?

What is the cost of a pool?
Like houses, pools vary in price depending on factors such as size, design and amenities. However, the shape of the pool should not affect the price of the pool.

Can you maintain my pool for me?
Davis & Shirtliff Ltd. does not engage in daily swimming pool maintenance. However, we do provide plant room equipment (pump and filter) maintenance contracts. For the daily maintenance, we do have a list of recommended pool maintenance service providers. Please request a list.

Does Davis & Shirtliff build swimming pools?
Davis & Shirtliff Ltd. does not engage in swimming pool construction services and other associated civil works. However, we can recommend trusted suppliers who do build pools. We also sell and install a wide range of specialized pool equipment such as filters, pumps, skimmers and other associated accessories.

If you are unsure about how you should maintain your pool or would like advice on how to maximise efficiency & quality of your pool system, contact D&S and a pool professional can assist. You can also consult our Pool Doctor feature through our D&S FLO APP. Download the app through your preferred app store – Android or Apple

View the D&S Pools, Spa and Sauna Range