Can a pump for a water feature or outdoor foundation run continuously or does it need to be shut off at specific times?
The majority of pumps last longer if they are run constantly. It is the stopping and starting that is tough on the motor.
Will tree roots destroy my pool?
It is a good idea to avoid any trees or plants that have wide-reaching, potentially destructive roots. These may damage swimming pools, creating the need for expensive repairs. If you feel that you absolutely must have plants or trees that are potentially dangerous or may create maintenance issues, plant them at least eight feet from the edge of your pool to avoid such problems.
Will the salt in a saltwater pool corrode or damage my pool, or the pool equipment (pump, filter, etc.)?
No, the salinity is not sufficiently high to cause corrosion. The water salinity is similar to that of eye-wash solution (very mild).
Why is my pool cloudy, and how can I clear it up?
Several causes of a cloudy pool could be the pH is not in proper range, high amounts of calcium or the filter needs to be cleaned. Make sure all levels are within proper range and then clean the filter. If you have a sand filter, this doesn’t necessarily mean to replace the sand but clean the filter with a filter cleanser.
Why is it important to be sure that my pool water's chemistry is correct?
You want to be sure to provide a sanitary swimming environment, balance the water to protect the equipment and pool surfaces and provide inviting, sparkling water to swim in.
Why does my pool lose water over the winter?
There are a few reasons why you could lose water in your pool over the winter:
- It is possible that you could have a leak in the liner.
- The winter cover could have a hole in it, and as you pump the water off of the cover you are actually pumping out the pool water.
- The most common is the weight of the snow, ice, and water on top of the cover pushing down on the water in the pool and forcing the water out over the pool sides.
We highly recommend a solid safety cover to help prevent this problem from reoccurring.
When do I need to shock my pool?
Routine shock treatment is necessary to destroy water contaminates that reduce the efficiency of the disinfectant or sanitizer. Contaminates like hair spray, suntan oil, cosmetics and other organic materials react with chlorine and cause eye or skin irritations and an unpleasant chlorine odor. Most often pools are inaccurately accused of having too much chlorine when this problem is present.
What upkeep do gunite pools require?
Weekly, seasonal, and long-term maintenance is recommended to keep your pool functioning properly. With maintenance, your pool can last for decades.
Weekly: Chemical maintenance, addition of water, cleaning out debris from baskets and pumps, scrubbing tile.
Seasonally: Proper winterization for pool closing and opening, as well an occasional acid wash of entire plaster surface is required for heavy staining.
Long term maintenance: We recommend that re-tile, re-plaster, and re-set coping stones should be done every 15-20 years. Some tile needs to be redone more often in particularly harsh microenvironments.
What kind of maintenance does a water feature need?
The two main duties needed to maintain a water feature are cleaning the filters and the debris brackets. If installed correctly, no other upkeep should be necessary. Algae is also a common threat to a water feature. Exposure to sun is the largest factor in determining the growth rate of algae in fountains. If there are no fish or plants present, a small amount of bleach can be used (if necessary) to eliminate algae. There are also several organic products available, such as barley extract, used to control algae.
What kind of maintenance do I need for pavers?
Pavers are generally maintenance free. Cleaning with a high pressure cleaner is a common way to keep pavers clean. Over time, re-sanding might be necessary.
What kind of maintenance do I need for lighting?
Lighting should be checked periodically to ensure proper bulb operation. If bulbs are burned out it can overload other fixtures. Also make sure that no leaves or other materials are touching the bulbs. This can decrease the lifetime of the bulb and create a potential fire hazard.
What is the best way to clean my discolored coping and deck?
Leaves and dirt may stain concrete. Pressure washing can remove these soils and restore original brightness to concrete and coping stones. A light acid washing on the coping stones also works very well, and algae or mildew can be lifted by scrubbing with a paste of bleaching agent. If you do not have any cleaning agent on hand, you can try powdering the area with Baking Soda and then spraying it with vinegar before you scrub it with a brush.
What is the benefit of an automatic cleaner?
Automatic cleaners increase the opportunity that your pool will always be “swim ready.” Automatic cleaners today are sophisticated and reliable. There are many different types for all applications depending on the type of pool and your locality to suit your needs and existing equipment.
Since it is not possible for your pool professional to be in your yard every day to ensure all debris is cleared, this is an excellent option to ensure that algae does not have a good chance of getting hold of your pool’s finish. The most common types of algae are caused botanical debris settling in your pool. Algae is unsightly, unhealthy for both swimmers and the longevity of your pool’s finish (plaster). Automatic cleaners are a very good option in avoiding algae and staining of your pool’s finish.
What does it mean if I smell chlorine odor in my pool or hot tub or it burns my eyes?
A common misconception, even among some pool and hot tub “technicians,” is that the strong odor of chlorine
means there is too much chlorine in the water. This is absolutely incorrect and in fact, the opposite is true. There is not enough chlorine to neutralize the ammonia in the water. More chlorine-based product should be added to solve this issue.
What causes chlorine odor, red eyes and itchy skin?
These unpleasant conditions indicate that the pool water has not been properly treated. A common cause is high levels of chloramines, formed when chlorine combines with body oils, perspiration, urine and other contaminants brought into pools by swimmers.
Contrary to what most people think, a strong chemical smell is not an indication of too much chlorine in the pool. In fact, the pool may actually need additional chlorine treatment to get rid of chloramines and sanitize the water.
Should I brush my pool regularly?
Brushing your pool will keep dirt from occupying the small pores and starting small organic farms. Steel bristled brushes, called algae brushes, are very effective. Done regularly, brushing can also reduce the time spent vacuuming. Brush from the shallow end towards the deep end in overlapping strokes. Circle the pool towards the main drain, and much of the dirt will be swept up into the filter in this manner.
Is it necessary for my pool pump to run every day?
Yes. Your pump should turn over the water through your filter in your pool at least once per day.
Is chlorine safe for swimming pools?
Yes. Chlorine sanitizers are safe when used according to package directions approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chlorine levels within the recommended range for swimming pool water do not pose any known health risks. Chlorine sanitizers have been used safely and successfully as pool and hot tub disinfectants for over a century. The majority of public pools and 9 out of 10 residential pools are sanitized with chlorine.
If there are stains on the pavers, what is the best way to remove these?
Do not use any type of acid that you would use on clay house bricks. Always try scrubbing with a firm brush and dish soap first. If the stain persists, brick paver supply companies carry a cleaning solution that is safe to use on pavers. If all else fails, remember that one advantage gained by using pavers is that you have the option of simply replacing the few stained culprits.
I still have pool chemicals left over from last season. Are they okay to use?
You should check the expiration date on your pool chemicals and discard and replace any that have expired. Never dispose of chemicals in the household trash or down any drains unless directed by a water treatment facility. Never pour chemicals down a drain or toilet if they lead to a septic tank. Always make it part of your spring pool opening plan to buy new chemicals from your local professional pool retailer.
How salty is the water in a saltwater pool?
In fresh-water applications (such as pools, spas, water-features, etc.) salt is added to the water to produce a salinity of approx 3000 ppm (parts-per-million), which is 1/12th as salty as ocean water, or 1/3rd as salty as human tears. Pool-side plants and water-feature vegetation, in almost all cases, are unaffected by the low salinity water.
How often should I drain and or acid-wash my pool?
This can vary greatly depending on usage, proper chemistry maintenance, and hard water. Generally speaking, acid-washing is required every 2-7 years. In some areas where water is very hard, it is recommended every year to drain your pool. Your local pool professional can answer this question best.
How often do I need to test my pool water?
Weekly testing works for most backyard pools, but the best bet is to test your pH and chlorine levels at least twice per week. Chlorine should be fed continuously through a chemical feeding device to maintain a consistent level.
How often do I need to add salt to my saltwater pool?
Salt is added to the water at the time of installation. After that, only top-up salt is required to make up for salt lost through water splash-out, overflow due to rain, filter back-flushing, leaks in the pool etc. Evaporation does not reduce the salt level nor is the salt consumed in the saltwater system process.
How long should I wait to get into the water after the water treatment?
How long to wait after a treatment depends on the chemicals you are adding. Typically, you will want to wait for the water to turn over one full time (all the water to pass through the filter), which typically takes 8 to 12 hours.
How long do I have to wait to use my swimming pool after chemical treatment?
Generally it is safe to use your pool after chemicals have dispersed throughout the pool, usually 15 minutes to one hour. If shocking your pool, wait until the chlorine levels drops to recommended levels.
How do I remove calcium deposits from my tile?
Calcium deposits usually originate from grout or setting mortar. To remove, scrape it off the pool tile. Another method for removing calcium deposits is the pumice stone. Pumice is a light porous glassy lava stone that can be rubbed over a pool stain to remove it. You can get a pumice stone that can attach to your telescopic pole or a pumice stone that has a handle you can swim with.
How do I measure water evaporation from my pool?
You can measure water evaporation in your pool by doing the bucket test. Place a five gallon bucket on the second pool step and fill it to match the water level of the pool (probably have to put concrete block in bucket before you fill it with water to help keep in place). Over the course of 2-3 days the bucket will lose water from evaporation and gain water from rainfall at the same rate as your pool! As long as there is no splash-out or backwashing during that time, if the pool level drops more than the bucket level then you have a leak.
How do I keep debris from floating on top of my pool?
You should first purchase a nice leaf rake. There are also chemical products which are used to keep surface tension high, moving small debris to the sides of the pool. Another possible problem could be skimmer. Make sure it is operating properly so that it creates a draw or “waterfall” into the skimmer basket. Also check that the water level is not so high that it is above the opening of the skimmer. Also be sure to trim some of those trees and bushes near the pool.
How can I clean my stained plaster?
Dirt, rust and other minerals can stain the finish of your plastered pool. If the stain is organic; from leaves for example, a small amount of granular chlorine added at that location and allowed to settle on the stain will usually remove it instantly. Other non-organic stains will not be removed by chlorine.
Do not place chlorine tablets directly into the pool. They will stain and etch the pool plaster. If chlorine doesn’t work, acid usually will. Draining and acid washing will remove a thin layer of plaster (and stains), exposing fresh, new looking plaster beneath. Stains can also be sanded with pumice stones or wet/dry sandpaper.
Does chlorine prevent all recreational water illnesses?
Chlorine in swimming pools kills the germs that may make people sick, but it takes time. Chlorine in properly disinfected pools kills most germs that cause RWIs within minutes. However, it takes longer to kill some germs such as Cryptosporidium that can survive for days in even a properly disinfected pool.
Also, many things can reduce chlorine levels in pool water. Some examples are sunlight, dirt, debris, and material from swimmer’s bodies. Healthy swimming behaviors and good hygiene are needed to protect you and your family from RWIs and will help stop germs from getting in the pool.
Do you have to empty my gunite pool every winter?
No, simply lower the water just below return inlets, which is approximately 20-24″. This allows for winter precipitation to have a place to go.
Do I need to drain my pool each year?
No. Pools can handle cold temperatures better when partially filled with water as a buffer. A drained pool can also crack or pop out of the ground because of pressure from ground water.
Do I need a pool heater in a warm climate?
If you only want to swim during the hot months, then you don’t need a heater. However, if you would like to extend your swimming season, you should consider a heater. A solar heating system can extend your swimming season a couple of months earlier and a couple of months later, but probably can’t heat your pool year round. A gas or other fuel-based heater can provide year round swimming, if desired.