How often should I clean my filter?
Filters are important because they remove contaminants that can promote the growth of algae. They also remove particles that can make the water cloudy. Filter cleaning is determined by the kind of filter you use. However, it’s good practice to clean your filter when the pressure increases 8-10 psi over the starting pressure of a clean filter.
At Savol Pools we recommend cleaning your filters at the beginning and end of every season.
You don’t want to use a pressure washer to clean your cartridge or DE (Diatomaceous Earth) filter. Use a garden hose and a degreaser to remove the dirt and oils from the filter.
When should I shock my pool?
Adding chlorine to your pool regularly will help keep the water clean and free of contaminants. Under normal circumstances you should aim to maintain a chlorine level between 2-4 ppm. We recommend adding 1 gallon of chlorine / shock to your pool once a week or 10.7 fl oz for every 10,000 gal of pool water to raise the chlorine levels by 1ppm.
AFTER EXTENDED PERIODS OF HOT SUNNY WEATHER:
As these conditions can cause water temperature to rise and use up chlorine faster allowing algae and bacteria to grow.
AFTER A HEAVY BATHER LOAD:
People can carry bacteria, sweat, lotions, cosmetics, and other organic contaminants that can cause chlorine levels to drop significantly.
Also, during extended periods of hot, sunny weather and or after heavy bather loads it is good practice to shock the pool as these circumstances can use up chlorine faster and allowing the growth of bacteria and algae.
How long should I run my pool system each day?
Filtration and circulation are the means that provide clean, clear water. Every pool should cycle through all its water at least once a day. The general practice is 6 -8 hours a day. If you have heavy usage such as a party, run it longer.
How do I know if my pool has a leak?
It’s not unusual for a pool to lose ¼ inch or more of water in 24 hours. If your water level is dropping, you’ll need to establish whether you have a leak, or if is simply due to evaporation or excess splash-out.
To determine if there is a leak, the first step is to perform a bucket test. This must be performed during periods of non-use with the auto-fill equipment turned off.
The procedure is as follows:
- Place a 5-gallon bucket on the second step and fill with water to the exact level of the surrounding pool water. You may place a rock/brick inside the bucket to give the bucket some stability.
- Mark the outside and inside of the bucket with a permanent marker at the water level.
Allow the bucket to remain in place for 24 hours, with the circulation system running. If the level on the bucket and the level on the pool remain the same, there is no leak. If the pool level is below the level in the bucket, you may have a leak. If it rained during the 24 hours, you’ll need to repeat the test.
At Savol Pools we have all the sophisticated testing tools to find your leaks. Contact us should you need our services.
When’s the best time to open?
It depends. While the standard water bag covers are more work they do keep the pool cleaner, so long as they keep the water off and keep it from falling in.
While safety covers on the other hand, should be opened earlier rather than later due to the they let the light through. This is especially true if we’ve had a mild winter. The light, the temperature and the fact that the water is not circulating is a recipe for a green pool opening.
What’s the difference between salt and chlorine?
Essentially nothing, except with salt the chlorine is generated on site rather than being hand fed into a chlorinator or floater.
Diving Services – what can you do?
We can dive to pressure test the main drain line We can replace the main drain cover and / or hydrostatic relief valve.
We can do leak detection and patch a liner and certain repairs on concrete pools as well.
Are you available in the winter if I need it?
We are a year-round company. We have service, office & distribution personnel here.
When should I replace my liner?
If your liner is torn, especially near the corners, it’s probably time to replace the liner. It’s very hard to patch the liner in the corners. As liners age, they lose elasticity and are prone to wrinkles or stretching.
Also, your liner will fade over time due to UV rays and chemicals.
Some homeowners use replacing the liner to upgrade the aesthetics of the pool. We have some customers who have chosen to make the pool shallower when they replaced the liner.
The actual replacing of the liner only takes a few days, so down time is minimal.
If you know that you are interested in replacing the liner in the spring when you close the pool, it’s best to have us measure the pool prior to closing. That way, we’ll be able to replace it first thing when the weather is favorable.
As the water goes out of the pool due to a leak, the water could be washing away the vermiculite and the sand under the liner.
What kind of leak detection equipment do you have?
We have pressure test gear, so we can pressure test the return line, skimmers and main drain line (we can dive it if the pool is still full).
We have a camera system that we can put in to the lines so see where the cracks or obstructions are.
For liner pools we have a LeakTrac that helps us to locate leaks in the liner and the light.
Which pool cover is best for me?
Waterbag-type Pool Cover
standard pool coverThe traditional Waterbag type pool cover has one benefit – it will block the sunlight so you don’t open your pool with a mess below the cover. Unfortunately, there will be a mess above the cover!
You can still purchase a solid safety cover, but they are very heavy, and you still need a pump or a drain on top of the cover.
Safety Pool Covers
pool coverA decade or so ago companies started coming out with the sun-blocking safety covers. They give the advantages of both a safety cover and a sold cover with none of the mess.
With mesh covers, the melting snow and rain pass through so there is no standing water on the top of the cover to pull the cover down in to the pool or attract bugs. You don’t need to scoop all of the leaves in the fall or spring, because they’ll blow off!
Now there is no need to wait to close your pool in the fall and you don’t have to open it up really early so you avoid the algae in the pool from a “standard mesh” safety cover. And now, waterbag covers or a solid safety covers can be a thing of the past – there is an alternative!
Merlin SmartMesh™ Covers
The Merlin SmartMesh™ cover is about 40% lighter than a solid safety cover so it makes your pool closing that much easier!
These covers come in many colors to enhance to your backyard decor – the Merlin SmartMesh™ covers are available in green, blue, tan and grey. It’s made with a patented material (U.S. Patent 6,886,187) that offers 100% shade, filters down to 40 microns (vs. a typical sand filter at 30 microns).
At Savol Pools we are glad to have you call us to discuss which cover is best for YOUR pool!
Why is my pool green?
In April of 2003 we received an email that asked this question. At first we thought it was someone making a joke. Further investigation proved it to be a serious question from a real customer. As much as the wording is a sad commentary on the state of the English language in the information age, sadder still is the fact that so many people have a major investment in the backyard and so few know how to care for it in a reasonable and cost effective manner. This is not a failing on the part of the pool owner but on the part of the pool builder and service contractor. Almost anything you buy; a car, TV, garden tractor, cake mixer comes with an owner’s manual. A pool can cost from twenty to a hundred thousand dollars or more and comes with no more than an hour of verbal instruction and no written manual.
That hole full of water in your backyard needs proper maintenance involving season start up, winterization, chemical balance, proper filtration, heating and more. Even if you hire a service contractor to do the work for you it would be nice to know what’s going on just to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Although our winter climate can be rough on the structure of our pools, our summer is not as demanding on our water quality as what we find the farther south we go. Here in Connecticut there is no reason the pool should ever be green. What follows are some of the things you should know to be a happy and cost effective pool owner.
How often do I need pool water testing for proper balance?
You should check your pool chemicals every day, especially the chlorine. If you miss a few days and the pool loses all the chlorine it may turn green.
The pH and alkalinity should also be checked at least every other day. The alkalinity keeps the pH in the right range which helps the chlorine stay active and be able to kill all the nasty stuff in the water. This is especially true if you use the TriChlor tabs (hockey pucks). They have a pH around 3,so they will constantly bring your pH and alkalinity down.
The Calcium Hardness can be checked every month or so. This level will change if you have a leak and are losing a lot of water or if you use Calcium Hypochlorite.
The stabilizer should be checked once a month or so. More frequently if you have a leak or a lot of splash-out.
You should check for Phosphates fairly frequently as well. Phosphates act as food for algae. so if you’re having recurring algae blooms, you might want to bring some water in for testing. We will be writing a blog post on this subject shortly.
There are a few different ways to test the chemistry. There are dip and read test strips. These are handy, but not terribly precise. But will give you a general range. Taylor and AquaCheck have a few options for these test strips. Don’t use wet hands to take out the test strip and make sure that you cap the bottle tightly, you don’t want any moisture getting in.
There is the small “economy” liquid test kit. This kit just tests for chlorine and pH.
There is a range of other liquid test kits from the ones that we use as swimming pool professionals, to one that’s not quite that elaborate but will work for your pool.
If you leave the liquid reagents in the shed over the winter, throw them out, they’re not good. Also, in most cases the liquid reagents last only a year from the date you open them.
If you have a commercial pool, the local and state health department will advise you about how often you should check the water balance. Also, you are required to use a DPD test kit for water testing.
Come in or call us if you have questions regarding your pool water chemistry or your water testing kit. We also test water at no charge at our location at 91 Prestige Park Circle, East Hartford CT.
I seem to be filling my pool more often usual. What does that mean?
Let’s say your pool has been open for a few weeks and it seems like you are filling the pool with the hose more often than you ever have. This could be evaporation, a plumbing leak or possibly a rip in a liner or a crack in the pool shell.
With an evaporative loss you can have about a ¼” a day if circumstances are right. In a breezy location, this might be slightly higher, but typically not more than ¼”. If you are losing more than this, it is probably a leak.
Once you’ve figured out it is a leak, fill the pool to the normal operational level. Mark that level with some tape on the skimmer faceplate or if you have tile, fill the pool to a spot that makes sense on the tile band. Start to measure how much water you lose in a day, for a few days. Do this with either the pump always on or always off. Then after 2-3 days of measuring you will have a ballpark of how much you lose with the pump either always on or always off. Now for the next 2-3 days do the opposite. So if the previous days you measured the water loss with the pump always off, for the next few days measure it with the pump always on.
If you find you lose more water with the pump on, chances are you have a leaking pump seal, a leaking backwash valve or a broken return fitting underground somewhere. If you find you lose more water with the pump off, chances are you have a broken fitting on the suction side plumbing. You could see this by turning your pump on and you would most likely see air bubbles in the pump while it is running. You may even find that it is difficult to get your pump started or to vac the pool.
There are lots of things that could cause you to lose water so if you get stumped and can’t figure it out, give Savol Pools a call, we have the needed tools to diagnose and fix the leak.