Ionic Pool Care

The following is a general schedule of maintenance for a pool using an ionizer as it's primary sanitizer. Some things are listed as being done daily. This is only the case if you are completely new to maintaining a swimming pool. Once you have built confidence in your abilities, then you may scale them back to once or twice a week. This is by no means a comprehensive schedule. Your pool and location may require more or less attention. This schedule does provide good universal fundamentals which are always useful and make up the core of pool care.
Every spring, when you have opened the pool, run your pool for 24 hours, with the ionizer set on 50. (Some models use a different scale for output. The idea is to set it to about medium output)
Bring roughly a 12 Oz. bottle of your pool water to Best Pools to have the following tested:
Calcium Hardness: Ideal Range is  175 - 225 PPM. This chemical prevents scale deposits from developing on your liner.
Total Alkalinity: Ideal Range is 80 - 100 PPM. Total Alkalinity keeps your PH from bouncing up and down and allows it to maintain a semi-steady range.
Copper Level: Ideal Range is 0.3 PPM. Copper is your primary defense against microbial life-forms (Algae) from forming in your pool. It can maintain it's level pretty well over the winter so checking at start up helps you know how to most efficiently use your ionizer.
Add 1 Lb of Shock (Active Ingredient: Calcium Hypochlorite) per 10000 gallons. As with all granular chemicals, shock must be dissolved in a bucket of water before being added to the pool. Shock granules can bleach vinyl liners and also cause leaks, if not properly dissolved. DO NOT use the pool for 8 to 10 hours after shocking. Swimming during this time can bleach hair and skin. It can also irritate the eyes and the skin. (The evening is the best time to shock after you are done swimming for the day. This way the shock can do it's job while you sleep.)
Test Your Copper Level. Maintaining a good copper level is critical to your pools clarity. This is something you want to be very familiar with. If the level is too high or low adjust your Ionizer output accordingly. Try to keep in mind how far down the Copper Level scale you want to go down or up when adjusting your output. For example, if your Copper is reading 0.6 PPM and your Ionizer is set to 50, then you would want to turn your ionizer to 25 because 0.6 PPM is twice as much as 0.3 which would mean you want half the output.
Test Your PH Level: Ideal Range is 7.0 - 7.2 Maintaining proper PH prevents many problems and allows your other chemicals to function optimally. PH is adjusted with two chemicals, PH Up and PH down, to bring the PH up or down accordingly.
Always dissolve granular chemicals! Mix them in a bucket of water before adding to the pool!