Maintaining Your Water Chemistry

Fresh Fill Balance

Replacing your liner is only the beginning. You must balance and protect the life of the liner and swimmers by balancing the water in your pool.  

The fresh fill balance will get your pool on its way to being safe to swim in

and protect your liner by adding the right chemicals and

start you out on the Complete system to qualify you for the

The fresh fill balance will include : 

 Alkalinity adjustment
pH adjustment
Calcium Hardness
12 # Chlorine Shock
12 # of Starter Sticks
Alkaline Filter Cleaner
Acidic Filter Cleaner

 *This package contains enough chemicals to get you started and to maintain the Three Step program for about six weeks.

BioGurad True Blue

Once the fresh fill balance is achieved over the period of a few days, you should test your water again and tweak the alkalinity and pH. Your pool can then be easily cared for with minimal effort using the BioGuard Three Step Program in which you can continue with the Basic or Complete Maintenance . Never miss a moment by staying enrolled in the TruBlue promise which includes the Three step program.

Follow this program and if you get Algae

we’ll give you the products to fix it for FREE!.

Silk Guard Complete

Understanding the Importance of Balancing the Fresh Fill

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity is a measure of the resistance of water to changes in pH. Total Alkalinity, like pH, is affected by environmental factors. Rain, acidic sanitizers, addition of fill water and other product applications can all change the alkalinity over time. Total Alkalinity should be tested once every three to four weeks.

Bioguard Balance pak

High Total Alkalinity

High total alkalinity causes the pH to “stick’ at a certain level, making it difficult to adjust. High total alkalinity often makes the pH stay at a high level, which can lead to scale buildup and cloudy water.

Low Total Alkalinity

Low total alkalinity can cause many problems in a pool environment. Low total alkalinity makes it difficult to maintain an ideal pH. The pH will change rapidly in response to outside influences. Low total alkalinity can lead to highly corrosive water that will damage the pool surface and equipment. Very low total alkalinity can lead to liner wrinkling or etched plaster and burning eyes in swimmers, as well as a green tint to the water.


Bioguard lo n' slo

pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of the water. In pools, pH should be maintained at 7.4 to 7.6 ppm for optimal sanitizer activity, protection of pool surfaces, and bather comfort.

pH plays a major role in pool and spa water balance. Everything that is introduced to the water including swimmers, chemicals, rain, etc. can have an impact on pH, while pH influences the other water balance parameters. In many commercial pool situations, besides chlorine, pH is the only other reading health department officials test. pH and chlorine are the two aspects of water chemistry that have direct bearing on the well-being and safety of the swimmers in the water.

Impacts on pH

Various environmental factors can affect pH, such as airborne contaminants, rain, fill water, pollutants, and swimmers. Other products that are added to the pool for sanitation, oxidation, and balancing can also effect pH. The pH is lowered by the use of products such as trichloro, acid rain, and other environmental contaminants. The pH is raised by use of some shock products as well as swimmers. The ALEX water analysis recommendations take into account the effect that any product it recommends will have on the pH. This is why, in some cases, ALEX may recommend Lo ‘N Slo when the pH is already low. Some other product has been recommended that will raise the pH too high, and this is taken into account in the final pH adjustment

Since the pH changes frequently due to these outside influences, it should be tested at least twice weekly. Make any necessary adjustments to raise or lower it to the proper range.

To raise pH, use Balance Pak 200.

To lower pH, use Lo ‘N Slo.

CYA Stabilizer

BioGuard Stabilizer 100

Balancing to a 40 ppm CYA level for outdoor pools is also important.


Prevents chlorine loss due to sunlight
Reduces chlorine consumption and maintenance costs
Improves efficiency of chlorine generators
What it does: Stabilizer 100 is used to prevent free chlorine residual loss in swimming pool water due to sunlight. Protecting your free chlorine from sunlight reduces chlorine consumption and maintenance costs. This stabilizer must be replenished periodically

Total Hardness

Total Hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved calcium in the water. This naturally occurring mineral helps prevent vinyl liner wrinkling and equipment corrosion. Maintaining appropriate levels of calcium hardness is a key balance factor in basic recreational water care. Control of calcium hardness is directly related to control of total alkalinity and pH which are the other two key balance factors. Managing calcium hardness is important because of the problems that can occur if it is not properly controlled.

Easy BioGuard Weekly Three Step System

BioGuard balance Pak

Step 1 Oxidize

With the pump running, shock the pool with Smart Shock to establish a free chlorine residual of 1 – 4 ppm


Kills bacteria, kills algae and clarifies
Maintains brilliantly clear water
Treat and swim in 15 minutes
Preferred shock for the BioGuard Care System
No need to mix or pre-dissolve
For use with all pool surface types
Blue algae-killing crystals

What it does:

Smart Shock is the preferred shock product for the BioGuard Care System. Weekly use of Smart Shock keeps the water crystal blue and sparkling. It oxidizes organic contaminants that cause cloudy water, musty odors and eye irritation. It also kills bacteria and algae, and clarifies the water using a filter enhancer. Smart Shock buffers the pH to provide brilliantly clear water with no cloudy residue and without increasing the pH. You can swim within minutes after shocking.

Step 2 Sanitize

Fill your automatic feeder or skimmer with SilkGuard (Complete) Sticks.


Makes water soft and smooth.
Kills bacteria and controls algae.
Reduces scale formation.
Protects equipment for longer life.
SunShield protects chlorine from sunlight so you use less.

What It Does:

BioGuard Maintain™ SilkGuard Complete® is a multifunctional chlorinating sanitizer that kills bacteria and controls algae, prevents metal staining and corrosion, reduces scale formation and softens water. Its unique additive actually coats metal surfaces, protecting them against corrosion. Additionally, this additive protects pool surfaces from metal stains and acts like a magnet to bind hard water components, making your pool water soft and smooth and maintain vinyl liner life.

Step 3 Algicide

Add the initial dose of algaecide.

Back Up 2(Basic) or

Algae Complete (Complete)

Circulate 24 hours, then retest the free chlorine residual and the pH. Adjust pH to 7.4 – 7.6 and make sure free available chlorine is 1.0 – 4.0 ppm.

This information is designed for use only with the BioGuard® brand products named in this computerized printout, and is correct to the best of BioLab, Inc.’s knowledge. BioLab is not responsible for any use of this printout with products other than the BioGuard® brand products named in this printout, and use of this printout with other products could result in improper or incorrect treatment of the pool water

Filtration is another important factor in pool water

Chemically Clean the Filter

Strip Kwik


Removes grease and oil from filters
Keeps filter working at optimum performance
Recommended for sand and cartridge filters 

Proper filtration and chemical treatment are equally important in maintaining good swimming pool water. Body oils and suntan lotions, which collect in the pool filter, reduce the filter’s efficiency. Use of this product promotes better filtration, lengthens filter cycles, and reduces maintenance costs.

BioGuard Strip-Kwik® is an alkaline filter cleaner and degreaser that removes oil and grease from any type of filter. It consists of powerful surfactants that operate in a high pH solution. These surfactants dissolve and bind with the organic oils and proteins, allowing them to be rinsed from the media. It is recommended that filter media be cleaned with Strip Kwik at least two times per season, or every six weeks if the pool gets heavy use.

D.E. or cartridge filter:

  • Turn pump off.
  • emove elements or cartridge from filter and rinse off loose debris.
  • Spray Strip Kwik over the elements and wait ten minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose for 5 minutes.
  • Mix 1 qt. Strip Kwik per 3 quarts of water in a clean bucket and soak elements or cartridge for 1 hour. Then rinse thoroughly with a garden hose.
  • Replace in filter element.

Sand Filter:

  • Remove any chlorine product from the skimmer prior to product application. If the pool is equipped with a chemical feeder (chlorinator) this device should be turned off by closing the inlet valve prior to product application.
  • Backwash filter thoroughly, then turn off pump.
  • Determine amount of product to use by referring to the chart on the label of the product and pour the appropriate amount of Strip Kwik through skimmer.
  • Place filter valve in Backwash position.
  • Turn pump on until it primes and Strip Kwik moves into filter.
  • Turn off pump and close valves.
  • Let soak for 1 hour.
  • Place filter valve in Backwash position and backwash until discharge turns from purple to clear.

Maintenance Dose For Sand Filters:

Strip Kwik can be used at every backwash to prevent the buildup of grease and oil. Remove any chlorine product from the skimmer. If the pool is using a chlorinator, turn it off by closing the inlet valve before adding product. While the filter is backwashing, add 8 oz. of Strip Kwik directly to the skimmer. Do not allow it to return to the pool. Continue to backwash until the waste water is clear.

Kleen It


Removes metals, dirt and scale from filter
Keeps filter working at optimum performance
Cleans sand, D.E. and Cartridge filters
Soak or spray application
Fresh citrus scent

What it does:

BioGuard Kleen It® is an acidic based filter cleaner designed to remove metal and scale accumulation from DE, cartridge and sand filters. Because calcium carbonate can be taken out of solution by many different factors, one of the main components that is filtered out of the water is scale, especially in regions with hard source water. Kleen It works by dissolving the scale and metal deposits at a low pH. They are then removed with the rinse cycle. Kleen It utilizes an ingredient that especially targets calcium carbonate precipitation. The ingredient performs as well as hydrochloric acid, but is less corrosive to metal components in the filter and is safer to store. Kleen It should always be used second, after Strip-Kwik. If used first, it can make the greases and oils more difficult to remove with Strip Kwik.

But What if I Sanitize with Salt???

Saltwater pools are popular for their simple and gentle approach to pool care, but they do have some unique maintenance needs compared to traditional chlorine pools. BioGuard® SaltScapes™ Saltwater Pool Care is the professional’s choice to address the challenges of chlorine generator and impact of saline chlorination on water conditions. This salt-specific product line includes everything you’ll need to keep your saltwater sparkling and protect your generator equipment and pool surfaces.

Chlorine Generators, or Electrolytic Chlorine Generators (ECGs) use electricity and dissolved salt to produce chlorine for the pool. The chlorine produced yields hypochlorous acid, like other chlorine sanitizers.

 This sanitizes the pool water and destroys organic contaminants. A chlorine generator produces chlorine only when the pool is being circulated. The unit only replaces the need for the chlorine in the sanitizing which is Step 1 in the BioGuard 3 Step Process. You will still need balancing and regular maintenance products, actually you will need a higher amount of stabilizer and Scale preventer than a traditional chlorine pool. Shocking will also be necessary due to bather load or environmental conditions.

Chlorine generators convert dissolved chloride ions from salt into free available chlorine. The ECG contains two types of electrodes called cathodes and anodes. These electrodes are coated with a thin layer of ruthenium. As an electric current passes through the cell, it generates chlorine gas, which provides free available chlorine to the water.

To generate chlorine from chloride, a large amount of pool grade salt is added to the pool to establish around 3,000 to 5,000 ppm. The required amount varies with the manufacturers.(Typical Seawater contains 31,000 to 38,000.) The generators are installed directly in the pool’s circulation return line and free available chlorine is generated when dissolved salt passes through the unit. The salt is automatically recycled, since most of the free chlorine generated is converted back to chloride when it’s used. The salt will only need to be replaced with water loss from backwashing, splash out or draining.

Maintaining the correct salt level is important. Too much salt can increase the possibility of corrosion and leave a salt residue on skin and make the water taste and feel salty. Too little salt can result in lower chlorine production.

The pH around the cathode plates within the ECG greatly increases the likelihood of scale formation on the surface of the plates. This can occur even if the pool water is balanced properly. Scale buildup reduces the contact with water which in turn reduces the amount of chlorine produced. Scale can also shield the electrodes from the cooling effect of the water. Heat is produced when the electric current travels through the electrode, and if it is not cooled by the pool water, the heat buildup can damage or ruin the ECG.

Scale can be removed with SaltScapes® Cell Cleaner. Prevent buildup with SaltScapes® Scale Defender.

Salt Pool Truth 1

A salt cell generates unstabilized chlorine, which means it diminishes rapidly when exposed to UV rays. Stabilizer 100 shields against sunlight to extend the life of the generated chlorine and minimize cell run time

Salt Pool Truth 2

The process a cell uses to convert saltwater into chlorine contributes to higher pH every time the cell runs. Lo N Slo pH Reducer corrects high pH to protect surfaces and equipment.

Salt Pool Truth 3

The environment within a cell can cause chalky white calcium scale deposits to form on a cell’s wall over time, decreasing the chlorine input. SaltScapes Scale Defender protects against damaging scale for efficient, long lasting cell performance. SaltScapes Cell Cleaner removes build-up scale to restore the cell to its peak performance.

Salt Pool Truth 4

Chlorine is effective at killing bacteria and algae, but creates unpleasant by-products when it reacts with contaminants like sweat, sunscreen or fertilizer. Smart Shock Oxidizer eliminates contaminants for clear, fresh water.

SaltScapes Cell Cleaner


Removes hard water scale for chlorine generator cell
Prolongs life of generator cell
Clean generator cell a minimum of once a year
Special scale inhibitor ingredient

What it does:

One of the critical parts of any chlorine generation system is the generation cell. Water passes over the cell plates where an electrical current is passed through the water. The electrical current reacts with the salt in the water to create the chlorine needed to sanitize. 

This process is called electrolysis. This process can also cause calcium salts to coat the cells. Calcium is an important component of good water balance in all pools. If a coating of calcium is allowed to build up it will greatly affect the performance of your salt water chlorination system and potentially shorten the life of your cell. Even a small amount of calcium coating can have a negative effect.

SaltScapes Scale Defender


Protects against damaging scale
Increases the efficiency of the cell
Increases the longevity of the cell

What it does:

The environment within your chlorine generator cell can cause chalky white calcium scale deposits to form on your cell’s walls over time, decreasing the chlorine output. SaltScapes Scale Defender binds to calcium-based scale crystals to prevent them from sticking together and clumping on surfaces. This results in a cleaner cell that won’t have to work as hard to keep your chlorine level within the ideal range. Scale Defender also keeps the scale from forming on your liner and equipment to extend their life.


Salt water generators have greatly gained in popularity as a replacement for traditional pool sanitation methods.

These systems are a great solution for some homeowners that enjoy more “automated” pool care. However in a swimming pool “salt water” can create a very corrosive environment for metal pool components and equipment.


Any time different metals are present in your salt water pool, a small amount of electrical current is created between them. Over time this will actually cause metal ions to release into the pool water. As this “galvanic corrosion” builds over time, you will experience:

  •  Metal erosion and damage
  • Plaster discoloration
  • Pool surface stains

Damage can eventually be severe and expensive. This can affect all metal parts, including but not limited to heaters, lights, niches, pumps and safety rails.


The electrical current generated effects high grade metals more slowly than weaker metals. Zinc is a weak metal that will erode faster than other metals, essentially “sacrificing” itself to prevent corrosion and staining in other areas of the pool. The Pool Defender Sacrificial Zinc Anode is designed to prevent the damage caused by salt water sanitation systems.

  • The zinc anode will erode instead of your expensive pool components
  • The Pool Defender Sacrificial Anode is tied into the pool bonding wire, thereby protecting the entire pool
  • Simply replace the anode after half of it has eroded, typically in about three years

We here at Factory Direct Liners and Spartan Pool Products want you to enjoy your pool with less time maintaining it. By using these recommended products specifically designed for vinyl lined pools, you will get a longer life out of your investment. If you have a specific question about your pool please feel free to contact one of our specialists. Come by and get a program custom made just for your pool. We offer savings on your chemicals if you purchase a season’s worth early in the year.