Frequently Asked Questions

1Why is my pool turning green?

There are two factors to clean water. Flow and chemicals. First, check chemicals to ensure that water chemistry is balanced. If the water chemistry is correct, check water flow. The easiest way to determine the water flow, is to check the pressure gauge on your filter. If you know the normal operating pressure, and it is more than 7 to 10 pounds above that, then more than likely your filter needs to be cleaned. Please consult your pool maintenance professional, or contact us for assistance.

If you do not know your normal operating pressure, our recommendation is to, while the pump is running, remove the skimmer basket and drop a small leaf or portion of a leaf (the approximate size of a quarter) into the skimmer. If the leaf is drawn down into the pool plumbing, odds are, your flow is sufficient. If your pool does not clear up within 24 hours, please call us for assistance.

2How do I determine if my pool filter is dirty?

Every system is different, and there are many variables that determine normal operating pressure. To determine the normal operating pressure of your pool, the filter must be clean, the water must be clear, and the pump should be running normally (no unusual noise) and the pressure gauge on the filter will read at a normal operating pressure. Normal operating pressure for your pool can be anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds. When the pressure rises 7-10 pounds above the normal operating pressure that is a sure sign that your filter is in need of cleaning. The higher pressure restricts the flow of water in your pool, and will reduce efficiency, often leading to cloudy water and/or a ‘green’ hue to your pool water.

3What do I do if my pool becomes cloudy after a pool party?

We recommend liquid chlorine, and do not recommend powdered shock. Liquid chlorine has a neutral Ph. and will not affect your pools water chemistry. Mass merchandisers will often sell chlorine that is diluted, resulting in an increased cost to you as the consumer, and for these reasons, we recommend only the use of liquid chlorine that has been purchased from a certified pool retailer. Powdered shock takes longer to dissolve and contains inert ingredients, and a low Ph., which will create a negative water chemistry in your pool. Additionally, liquid chlorine is less expensive, more readily dilutable and immediately effective. For small pools (10 to 15,000 gallons) we recommend one half gallon of liquid chlorine, and for larger pools (above 15,000 gallons,) we recommend one full gallon of liquid chlorine. Further, we recommend that you run the pool pump for a full 24 to 48 hours, after which, you should see a significant improvement in the clarity of the water in your pool.

4What are the Appliance Efficiency Regulations, as dictated by the California Energy Commission (Title 20) regarding my pool?

There are many variables but when replacing a pool pump that is rated at 1 horse power or higher, it must be replaced with either a 2 speed or a variable speed pump. However, if your existing pump can be repaired, ‘Title 20’ does not apply. The ‘break-even’ or the ‘return on your investment’ (ROI) point on the initial investment of a new, energy efficient pool pump, is often 2 years or less. For more information regarding ‘Title 20’ please visit http://www.energy.ca.gov/appliances/

5What is the difference between chlorine and shock? Do I need to use both?

Chlorine is a sanitizer, and is necessary for maintaining a clear and healthy pool. Shock is chlorine, in a high dose, meant to shock your pool and raise the chlorine level quickly. Chlorine tabs (placed in a chlorinator, floater, or skimmer basket) maintain a chlorine residual in the water. You do need to use both tabs and shock. Without tabs, the chlorine shock will dissipate quickly out of the water; without shock, the chlorine level will not get high enough to fully sanitize the water. You should aim to keep the chlorine level at between 1 and 3 ppm. We suggest shocking the pool every week to two weeks; with hot weather or increased use, you may need to shock more often. When tabs run out, replace them.

6I have white powder at the bottom of my pool. What is it?

One possibility is that chemicals added incorrectly are sitting at the bottom of your pool. Did you remember to pre-mix the calcium balance in a pail of water? Did you add the water stabilizer through the skimmer? If not, these chemicals may not have dissolved correctly. If you have a DE filter, however, it is likely that there is a tear in one of the fingers or grids inside the filter tank. DE powder escapes through these tears and is blown back into the pool. Remove the lid of the tank, wash off the fingers or grids, and carefully check for tears. You may need to replace a grid section, a few fingers, or even the whole tank. You may also have a crack or loose screws in the faceplate of the filter.

7Why do I need:
Alkalinity Balance?

Alkalinity helps to stabilize the pH; when the alkalinity is in range, the pH will fluctuate less. Low alkalinity will also cause hazy water. Alkalinity levels decrease with the acid rain; it is important to add Alkalinity Balance periodically throughout the summer to maintain a level between 100 and 150 ppm.

pH Up?

A low pH means that your pool is acidic. Acidic water can corrode metal fittings, filter systems, and especially heaters. The pH goes down with rain, so it is important to add pH Up periodically to maintain a level between 7.2 and 7.8. A pH that is too high or too low can also irritate your eyes. If your pH is too high, you may need to add some pH down.

Calcium Balance?

Calcium Balance softens the water. Here in Connecticut, we tend to have rather hard water, so it is normal to need a good deal of Calcium Balance at the beginning of the season and after additions of fresh water to your pool. A proper level of calcium protects your liner and equipment from the harshness of the chemicals. If you own an inground gunite pool, adding calcium is essential; if the water is too hard, it will take minerals from the wall, thus deteriorating the walls and the paint. Calcium is also important to the clarity of your water.

Water Stabilizer?

Water Stabilizer acts as a sunblock for your pool, helping to hold chlorine in the water. Without a high enough stabilizer (cyanuric acid) level, the chlorine that you add to the water will quickly be sucked out by the sun. Add about 2 lbs. of stabilizer per 5,000 gallons of pool water. To add, pour stabilizer very slowly through your skimmer while the pump is running. Do not backwash the filter for 5 days; if you need to vacuum or backwash, do that first. The stabilizer will dissolve under pressure in your filter. Usually you will need to add another small dose of stabilizer towards the end of July.

Shock?

Shock is liquid or granular chlorine. You should add one gallon (or one pound) of shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water every week to two weeks. During hot weather or frequent use, you may need to shock more frequently. Low chlorine levels often cause green or hazy water, so if your water looks a little cloudy and you haven't shocked in a while, adding shock is the first step. It is always best to shock the pool in the evening, when the sun if off the water. If not, the sun will suck it out as fast as you add it. You should use chlorine tabs in conjunction with shock. The slow dissolve tabs hold a chlorine residual in the water. Tabs alone, however, will not provide sufficient chlorination for a pool.

1Why is my spa not heating?

Probably the most common reason that your spa might stop heating, is the filters. Filters that are clogged, dirty or need replacing, will prevent the heating system from functioning properly. Try completely removing the filter for one hour. If after an hour, the water in the spa has not increased in temperature, the filter is not the problem. If your spa filters have not been cleaned in a month or more, they need definitely need some attention. Even if they look clean, body oils and other small particles could be clogging them. We recommend that you hose off the loose debris, and spray on a good filter cleaner. American Pool and Spa, or your local spa/pool retailer can recommend a good one. Allow the cleaner to work for a good 10 to 15 minutes, then rise it off thoroughly. If cleaning the filters does not work, and if the filters in your spa are more than two years old, it is time to replace them.

If you have determined that the filters are not the source of the heat loss, try pressing the reset button. If your spa does not have a reset button, try turning the power off and waiting for 10 to 15 minutes. If the heat does not return, please contact us for a free complete inspection of your system.

2Should I completely drain my spa if I am not going to be using it for a while?

It is not recommend that you completely drain your spa, and let it sit empty for any length of time. This is because in the winter, lower temperatures could damage (or crack) the surface. In the summer, you run the risk of biofilm buildup. Biofilm is a thin, slimy film of bacteria that adheres to a surface. It is better to leave the tub full, with plenty of chlorine to keep it sanitized, and running on its lowest setting, when the spa is not in use. If you do need to drain your spa, we recommend that with a Shop-Vac, you vacuum as many lines as you can, against the jets and remove the drain caps, leaving them off.

3Why are there no bubbles in my spa?

If there are no bubbles in your spa at all, more than likely, the air lines are blocked. The air line tubing should be cleaned at a minimum, one time per year. If there is there is build-up within the air line tubing, you may have to replace a check valve or the tubing itself. Please call us for a free complete inspection and diagnosis.

If you have bubbles but your water has a musty smell or cloudy appearance, you may be getting air without ozone. Ozone, sometimes referred to as energetic oxygen, is a powerful oxidizer of contaminants in water. It is made available for hot tubs/spas through the use of ozone generators called ozonators. Ozone is formed when three atoms of oxygen are bound together, instead of the normal two. You can purchase a simple, 30-second test kit from your local pool/spa retailer to test for ozone. Spas do not require ozone, but if you do not have it, you will need to add chlorine more often and the water quality will not be easy to maintain. NOTE: If your spa does have an ozonator, the average life-span of the unit is two to three years. If it has been more than two years, and your spa has little to no bubbles, has an odor and/or the water has a cloudy appearance, odds are, your ozonator is in need of replacement. Please contact us for a free inspection and diagnosis.

4How often should I drain and refill my spa?

Old chemicals, which are no longer effective, known as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), will accumulate in your water over time. To rid your spa of these Total Dissolved Solids, we recommend that you completely drain and refill your spa every 4 months.

5Why should I use special chemicals in my spa?

It is very important that you use water care products that are made specifically for spas. Pool chemicals are much stronger, and can damage your spa, and render the water unsafe. When it comes to spa chemicals, you really do get what you pay for. Products sold at big-box stores may be less-expensive, but often contain more fillers and substandard chemicals. Also, these products are likely to be manufactured in foreign countries and produced under lesser quality and ingredient standards than we have here in the United States. Please contact us for spa chemical recommendations.