Being a new pool owner usually means you have a lot of questions. How do I fix cloudy water, how often should I test my pool, what is shock? No need to feel overwhelmed, our pool pros here at Doheny’s are here to help you out! With our video on pool maintenance Do’s and Don’ts for new pool owners, you’ll be able to start understanding some of the basic concepts that will help you become confident in taking proper care of your pool.

Pool Pro Do’s and Don’ts

Pool Filters

Your pool filter is essentially like the engine to your car, it needs to be running to help your pool maintain proper performance levels. Oftentimes, it’s a large portion of your investment as well, so making sure you utilize it fully is key. Filters help chemicals flow throughout the pool and keep the water moving, and as we all know, stagnant water breeds algae and bacteria. We recommend that you keep your filter running as much as possible, since there really is no substitution for proper filtration.

Do: Keep your filter running as much as possible
Don’t: Turn off your filter when you’re not using the pool

Pool Shock

Pool shock helps to boost your chlorine levels and keep your pool chemistry balanced. In order to properly shock your pool, first dilute your chemical in water by adding the shock to a bucket of water. Never add water to chemicals, always chemicals to water! Next, pour the shock into the pool slowly by the return jet, as the jet will help push and disperse the shock throughout the pool.

Always shock your pool at night. If you shock during the day, the sun will have an opportunity to eat up the chlorine you’re just putting into the water. We always recommend waiting 12 hours between shocking your pool and swimming, so shocking at night allows for the pool to be swim-ready in the morning.

Do: Shock your pool at night and dilute your shock in water beforehand
Don’t: Dump a bunch of shock straight into the pool

Expired Chemicals

If you have a little bit of leftover or expired chemicals, don’t just throw them away in the garbage. At the end of swim season when you’re all done using your pool, you can add your chemicals one-by-one to your pool and let them dilute through the filtration system. Make sure to wait a few hours between pouring each one in! Depending on the amount of chemical and the gallons of water that you have in your pool, you are diluting the chemicals down to very small PPM’s in your pool.

Do: Slowly and safely disperse small amounts of leftover/expired chemicals into your pool after swim season
Don’t: Throw all your old chemicals aimlessly into the garbage

Water Testing

Testing your water at least once each week during swim season is extremely important if you want to keep your pool clean and balanced. The more you use your pool, the more you’re going to want to test as well. Another factor that affects how often you’ll want to test is weather. If you end up experiencing rain, this could lead to spores and other foreign objects falling into your pool and messing up the chemistry, meaning you’ll need to immediately check the levels. These spores can also lead to algae, and algae blooms are NOT fun to deal with! In order to test your pool water, take a test strip out of the bottle, dip it into the water for about 4 to 5 seconds, and then compare the colors to the colors on the back of the bottle to check if each chemical level is in the proper range or not.

Do: Test your pool at least once a week, more if your pool is used often, and always after it rains.
Don’t: Assume your pool chemistry is balanced because it looked fine last week.


Algae blooms are one of the most annoying issues for a pool owner to deal with. One mistake pool owners make when clearing out algae is that they neglect to brush the sides of the pool. Even if the pool walls look clean, oftentimes you can run your finger along the side and feel how slick they are. Make sure to brush off the walls before using your chemicals so all that sneaky algae also gets treated.

Do: Brush the pool walls before using chemicals to destroy algae
Don’t: Ignore potential algae issues just because the algae isn’t green and visible

pH & Alkalinity

Balancing pH can sometimes turn out to be more difficult than expected. However, this often is because of one simple factor: you aren’t checking the alkalinity levels. Alkalinity is a buffer to pH, meaning if your alkalinity isn’t balanced, no matter how much pH plus or minus you add in, your pH will continue to become imbalanced. Whenever you need to adjust pH levels, make sure to first check and balance your alkalinity levels first.

Do: Check and balance alkalinity levels before adjusting pH
Don’t: Solely rely on pH balancing products when pH levels are off

Pool ownership can seem like a lot. However, the pool pros at Doheny’s will always be here to help guide you and make you become a more confident pool owner. If you ever have any questions, check out our Youtube for helpful videos such as this one, or browse through our blog. If you can’t seem to find an answer to your particular question, give our customer care line a call at 1-800-574-7665.