Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my pool green?
Three things keep a swimming pool in working order.
- Proper Chemistry
see also "What should I be testing my water for?"
- Proper Filtration
Your pressure gauge on your filter will tell you all you need to know. Every pool has a "normal operating pressure" usually between 10-20 psi. You should note your pool's pressure. This can be done after a bi-annual cleaning of D.E. (diatomaceous earth), or cartridge filters, when the pressure is at the lowest. This is when your filter is completely taken apart and thoroughly cleaned. If you have a sand filter then it would be after a backwash. Also refer to "When should I backwash?"
- Proper Circulation
A normal swimming pool circulation pump should run at least 6-8-hours per day in the winter months and 10-12 hours per day in the summer months (every pool is slightly different). If you are working with a green pool, up the run times until pool is clear.
Check your filter pressure gauge for low readings (below normal operating pressure). Low pressure would be a sign of one or all of the following.
- Low water level. The water level should be half-way up the skimmer opening to prevent air from being introduced into the system causing a loss of water flow.
- Clean skimmers and pump baskets. This prevents loss of flow and possible clogged lines or clogged impeller at the circulation pump.
- Suction leak. This is when your pump is pulling in enough air to cause a loss of water flow. It can originate at your pump or pump seals, plumbing, or valves prior to the pump. If this seems to be the case, consult a pool professional.
When should I backwash?
This applies to D.E.and Sand filters only, your filter pressure gauge is your tattletale. When your gauge reads 8-10 psi over your normal operating pressure it is time to backwash. The rise in pressure is letting you know your filter is full of debris causing a restriction, therefore a loss of water flow. With Cartridge filters you will need to remove the cartridges and manually clean them with a garden hose.
What should I be testing for?
There are 6 main tests that are all equally important listed below with recommended ranges. If you are fighting an algae issue you will need to increase the chorine level by adding a high dose of powder chlorine (shock) after making sure all other tests are within proper ranges. You may also need an algaecide for some types of algae. Consult a pool professional for help.
- Free Chlorine: 3-5ppm
- Total Chlorine: should be the same reading as Free Chlorine or you will need to add proper amount of shock.
- pH: 7.2-7.8
- Alkalinity: 80-120ppm
- Cyanuric Acid: 30-50ppm (salt systems 80-120ppm) This is also known as Conditioner or Stabalizer
- Calcium Hardness: 200-400ppm
For salt system test for salt to keep the correct ppm (parts per million) per the manufacturer. If all levels of salt are correct and the system is still offline consult a pool professional.
What chemicals should I be using?
You always want to add the chemicals with the highest active ingredient and the least amount of bi-product. Some types of chlorine will have an active ingredient as low as 30% and some as high as 94%. In this case you get what you pay for.
What automatic pool cleaner should I buy?
You will want to consult a pool professional on this one, every swimming pool is different. Some are built to have pressure cleaners, some suction, and some not capable of either, therefore robotic cleaners. Give us a call and we can help.
What about winterizing my pool?
In some cases, you may want to cover your swimming pool due to the amount of debris or maybe for safety reasons. There are different types of swimming pool covers to acomadate your needs. Either way you will not completely shut your pool down and yes there will be a need to add chemicals even when its covered. The circulation pump can be set to run fewer hours per day but you will need to make sure you have an operational freeze guard. This will override your timer and turn your pump on in freezing temperatures to keep from damaging equipment. Consult a pool professional for details.