Q: There is freezing weather approaching. What do I need to do to insure there is no damage to my equipment?
A: Your equipment should be equipped with freeze protection which will turn it on in low temperatures. Moving water will not freeze, so as long as the freeze guard is working properly and all your valves are positioned so that water can get through every pipe, you should be fine.
Q: Should I turn on my heater during freezing weather?
A: It is not necessary to do so. Moving water will not freeze, so as long as your equipment is running, you should be in the clear.
Q: There is freezing weather approaching and I have an issue with my equipment. What can I do?!?!
A: Don’t panic. You can get through this. If there is an issue preventing your equipment from working properly during freezing weather, turn it off at the breaker insuring that it will not come on again. Open all of your valves (if you have valve actuators push down on them to turn manually), remove the pump pot lid, and unscrew the drain plugs in the pump (bottom of the pump pot) and heater (if applicable). Open the air relief valve on top of your filter, and then remove the drain plug from the bottom. (A video demonstration is available on our YouTube channel.)
Q: My pump is cavitating (taking in air). What can I check?
A: If your pump is running dry after initial startup, it is taking in air from somewhere on the suction side of the plumbing. Check your pool’s water level and make sure it is sufficient (just below the overflow drain). Check your skimmer weirs (flappers in the throat of your skimmers). Often debris can cause these to stick and inhibit flow. If you have a suction side cleaner make sure it is not sucking air anywhere from the head on down the hose. Sometimes the sectioned hoses will take in air if a seal is not created between the sections or through a leaf canister if it is not sealed. If all of these check out, contact us.
Q: Winter is approaching. How do I winterize my pool?
A: Generally speaking people in North Texas do not winterize their pools. In markets north of us they often drain the equipment and add specialty chemicals to do so. We find it makes more sense to keep your pool operational throughout the year here. It is easier to maintain in the winter, but just as important. Continue to balance your water and perform proper maintenance procedures.
Q: What do I need to know about operating my pool during different seasons?
A: Short Answer: All normal operating procedures are required throughout the year with different emphases during different seasons. Long Answer: You always want to maintain proper water balance and sanitation levels, and you always want to keep your equipment running for a period each day. Autumn will require more attention to emptying skimmer and pump baskets and removing leaves from the pool. Winter will require a much shorter run time and fewer chemicals, as there are no swimmers, less heat, and a much lower chlorine demand. Summer will require the longest run time of the year, and the greatest attention to chemical balance and sanitizer level.
Q: How do I remove these ugly stains I have in my pool?
A: Stains are perhaps the most difficult swimming pool issue. This is because so many things cause them, and you need to target the cause to properly treat the stain. Some popular stain removal products include the Stain Eraser and the Jandy Stain Master (both for localized staining). Pool Season Stain Remover is a good and inexpensive place to start for widespread staining. If this does not work, look into Jack’s Magic stain removal products. There are a few different ones, but they offer a “Stain ID Kit” that contains small amounts of each. This way you can try them on a test surface (step or bench), and determine which will work best. The next step could perhaps be to contact us for an acid wash.
Q: My pool is green!! Help!!
A: More than likely your pool has algae. First things first. Generally speaking super shocking a pool with a chlorine shock will clear it up pretty quickly. A general rule of thumb is 2 lbs per 10,000 gallons for pools with algae. If it is so bad that you cannot see the bottom, make it 3 lbs. If there is algae, then something is going on to cause this. Often there is simply not enough residual sanitizer (chlorine) present. A high level of phosphates can make maintaining a pool difficult, as it serves as food for algae. Maintaining a low phosphate level with Natural Chemistry Phosfree can help to keep your pool algae free. High stabilizer level can also contribute to algae issues. Stabilizer (a.k.a. conditioner, a.k.a. cyanuric acid) is needed to help maintain proper chlorine levels in your pool, but too much of it can inhibit the chlorine from properly doing its job and result in algae. 3” Tri-chlor tabs are stabilized and often cause this issue. Limit your 3” tab usage. Rarely a green pool can be caused by a chemical reaction involving some kind of metal. Natural Chemistry Metal Free can assist in removing this unwanted contaminant.
Q: My cleaner is not working properly. What’s wrong?
A: If your cleaner is a suction side cleaner (Kreepy Krawly, Navigator, ATV, Barracuda, etc), there is most likely a flow issue. Check filter pressure. If it is too high then backwash or break down your filter. If it is too low debris may be caught in your impeller (inside your pump). If the pressure is normal, check to make sure debris is not clogged in the head of the cleaner unit or anywhere in the line. If this all checks out it may just be a matter of adjusting the suction to your cleaner using the valves at your equipment. If not, bring it in to the store. We don’t charge to diagnose problems. If your cleaner is a suction side cleaner (Polaris 360, 380, 280, 3900 Sport, Letro, etc) make sure your filter pressure is normal. Backwash or break down if necessary. If it utilizes a booster pump, make sure it is operating properly. Check the in-line filter screen (usually either in the cleaner line in the pool or in the wall fitting). Debris in the in-line filter screen may indicate improper pool filter operation. Check the backup valve (usually acorn shaped valve in line that reverses the cleaner periodically). Otherwise it could be a malfunction or clog in the cleaner’s head unit. Bring it in. We don’t charge to diagnose problems in the store.
Q: I am losing water. How do I know if I have a leak?
A: Leaks can be tricky and some water loss is normal. It is often due to evaporation, which is greater during periods of low humidity. Wind & normal swimming can also cause water to leave your pool through an overflow drain. Finally, backwashing your filter pumps many gallons out of your pool. Try a bucket test: bring your pool to normal operating level. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with pool water about 3-4 inches from the top and place it in the pool on a step. Turn off the pump and mark the water levels both on the inside (bucket level) and outside (pool level) of your bucket. Resume normal pool pump operation. After 24 hours record the exact amount of water loss to 1/16 of an inch. If there is a substantial variance in the amount of water loss between the two water levels, repeat the exact same process with the equipment off for 24 hours. Record the results again within 1/16 of an inch and contact your pool professional.