Frequently Asked Questions about Pool Maintenance
Why should I employ a pool maintenance service?
Maintaining a pool is essential for preventing problems, such as algae, from getting started. Testing the pool water regularly, preferably daily, is an
integral part of this process. Applying the test results to adjust the water factors as necessary is the next step. This takes about 5-10 minutes per day and can certainly be done by you (the pool owner). However, if you'd like help in making sure this gets done, or if you just want your pool to be in great shape with little or no effort on your part, employing a pool service such as Jules' Pools can make it happen!
Why do you recommend daily water testing?
Many things can influence the sanitizer level and other water factors. A dead animal, bugs, or leaves in your pool or skimmer can increase chlorine demand ad cause your sanitizer to fall below desirable levels. Rain can lower the pH of your pool water. Water features such as fountains, waterfalls, or jets, can cause the pool's pH to rise and lower the alkalinity. These various water factors need to be kept within certain parameters in order for the water to remain clear, comfortable, and safe.
I have an automated chlorinator. Do I still need to test my water every day?
Once or twice a week testing may suffice with automated systems. Using an SWG (salt water chlorine generator) is a particularly good method of chlorinating a pool. It is still important to test daily until you have become familiar with your pool's equipment and refined its adjustments.
Be especially watchful if you use chlorine tablets. These typically contain stabilizer (cyanuric acid, also called CYA or conditioner). CYA is necessary in an outdoor pool to prevent chlorine from being broken down by sunlight. However, chlorine breaks down over time and CYA does not! Excessive stabilizer levels in your pool can prevent the chlorine from doing its job.
I have a Polaris (or other automatic or robotic pool cleaner). Do I still need to brush my pool?
Yes, every pool should be brushed regularly! This is especially important for a new pool with a plaster finish (or a pool with a newly-refinished plaster surface). It takes some time--up to a year--for a new plaster finish to cure completely. If the plaster is not brushed regularly during this time, it can cure to an unpleasantly rough finish!
Even if your pool's finish is not fresh plaster, regular brushing is important. Brushing helps clear out incipient algae and improve water circulation. When adding granulated or powdered chemicals to a pool, brushing is essential to help dissolve and distribute the chemicals.
Should I winterize my pool, keep it open during the off season, or just drain it?
Draining and refilling a pool every year is unnecessary and a waste of water. Currently the city of Uvalde, my primary service location, is subject to stage 5 water restrictions. Pools with a capacity greater than 7500 gallons may not be filled from the city water supply. This is a problem for local pool owners who drained their pools last winter and now are expected to have water trucked in to fill their pools!
Winterizing your pool is another option. This does require some equipment and effort, but it does save most of the water in the pool while allowing the circulation equipment to be shut off. This saves the electricity required to keep the pool open during the winter.
A pool can be kept open year-round. In this climate one can use a pool nearly year-round with a heater. This avoids wasting a pool full of water and prevents the necessity of purchasing a winter cover and other equipment needed for winterizing. However, electricity to run the pool equipment is an expense of this option.
Suppose I keep my pool open during the winter when it's not in use. Is there any reason to bother with testing and balancing the water while no one's using it?
Neglecting your pool can have serious consequences! Aside fro m its becoming an eyesore and possibly a health hazard, water that is seriously out of balance can damage your pool equipment, including the pool surface, plumbing, pump, heater, and other equipment. For example, if the pH of the water is either too low or too high, it can have corrosive effects on the equipment. High levels of calcium can cause a buildup of deposits in the plumbing, equipment, or on the pool's surface. Factors such as these can significantly shorten the life of your equipment and necessitate expensive repairs.
Is twice-daily servicing really necessary for algae treatment?
Cleaning up an algae bloom requires a fair amount of work and a lot of chlorine! Brushing the pool surface as often as possible and keeping the chlorine at shock levels will clear up a pool fairly quickly. Brushing and shocking twice a day is not completely necessary but will speed the process.This can be done by you, the pool owner, but it is critical that you know how to test your water and how to apply the results of the testing. If you're not sure about the water testing process, Jules' Pools can help you clear up pool problems and prevent future ones!