Pool Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I run my pool equipment?

Here at ePoolSupply, we like to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. For most pool equipment, the rule of thumb is an hour at full speed for every 10 degrees it is outside. Here in Phoenix, the Arizona heat can be brutal on your pool. The best thing to do is to run your pool anywhere from 9 to 11 hours a day. If you are using a variable speed pump, 8 hours should be at full speed and the rest of the time can fluctuate to ensure complete circulation of the water in your pool.

How often do I need to clean my skimmer and pool pump baskets?

It is recommended to clean your skimmer and pump baskets at least once a week. If you have an abundance of trees or any debris around your pool, then you may have to increase the number of times you clean each week. After storms or high winds, it is recommended to clean your skimmers and pool pump baskets to ensure the best possible cleaning.

How often does my pool need to be drained?

It is recommended to drain your pool water about every 5 years. Depending on usage and location this may vary but overall, this is the optimal time to change the water out to ensure proper chemical balancing.

How long should I wait to use my pool after a chemical treatment?

It is always recommended to read the label on your chemicals to find the best time frame on when it is safe to enter your pool. Each chemical’s time will vary, but typically, each is about 24 hours. Make sure to consult the chemical’s safety label for more information.

How often does my pool filter need backwashing?

Each filter has its own “rule of thumb” for backwashing. One way to know that it is time to backwash your filter is when you see an increase of pressure of 10 psi on your filter pressure gauge. If you happen to have a Sand filter, it is recommended to backwash once a week in the summertime and at least once a month in the winter season. If you happen to have a DE filter, it is recommended that at least once a month to backwash and replace your DE. It is also recommended to clean your DE filter quarterly.

What is the ideal pool pH level?

The ideal PH level for pools is 7.5. pH measures the acidity of the water in your pool. If the pH is above 7, the water is basic and still fine to swim. However, if the pH is below 7 the water is acidic. The optimum pH for pool water is 7.5 since human eyes and mucous membranes have the same pH. A pH of 7.4 also gives good chlorine disinfection. Make sure to check your pH balance at least once a month to ensure the quality of your water.

Do I need to brush my pool?

Yes! It is very important to take the time once a week to brush your pool. Even with an in-floor cleaning system or a pool vacuum, there are many spots in your pool that do not get clean. It is important to make one full run around your pool with your brush to ensure that the walls and tile lines remain clean. This will help with the overall distribution of the pool chemicals as well as keeping the surface clean.

Do pool chemicals go bad?

Yes! Pool chemicals can go bad! It is very important to follow all the storage rules supplied on each package to ensure the items are stored properly and away from any children or pets.

The first step in storing your chemicals safely is reading and understanding the directions on each chemical in your arsenal. Each one has its own chemical compound and expected shelf life which could be affected by many different factors. Moisture and humidity are some of the detrimental forces at play along with direct sunlight. Be sure to store the items with the lids and caps secured tightly in a well ventilated, cool, and dry area to prevent dangerous fumes and rapid deterioration. Pay close attention to expiration dates and replace chemicals as needed. DO NOT USE EXPIRED CHEMICALS!

How often should you super-chlorinate your pool?

From time to time it is important to shock (super-chlorinate) your pool. This can help with fighting algae and keeping your minerals in the water at their proper labels. A good rule of thumb is to super chlorinate bi-weekly in the summertime and about every month or so during the winter months. This will keep your pool at the optimal swimming level and keep your water looking fresh and clean! 

How often do you need to test your pool water?

It is always a good idea to test your water at least once a week. This will give you an accurate reading of the chemicals in your pool and will give you a chance to stay on top of keeping it clean! By understanding the difference between your minerals in your water, you can accurately add or remove chemicals as needed to ensure the pool is safe to swim. Check out this blog for more information!

How do I conserve energy with my swimming pool?

The best way to conserve energy with your pool is to follow a couple of key rules. First, make sure you're running your pool for the proper amount of time. The rule of thumb is to run your pool pump for 1-hour for every 10 degrees it is outside. This will allow your pool the optimal amount of circulation to help reduce chemical costs. Keeping your pool chemistry in its optimal range will help reduce the overall energy to keep your pool clean. It is also very important to clean/backwash your filter at least once a month. This will help keep the circulation in your water and keep the pressure down to ensure your equipment is running at an optimal range. 

How do I winterize my pool?

During winter, your pool is pretty much obsolete which means that the water is not being circulated. When water is uncirculated this means microorganisms can grow because your sanitizers like chlorine/salt production slowly degrade and disappear. If you know that you will not be able to access your pool during these times, it is always recommended to add extra algaecide to ensure the chemistry of the water stays in the optimal range. If your pool is covered during the winter seasons be sure to remove any standing water from the pool cover. If snow is standing, please do not try and remove it as you can damage your cover. We always suggest periodically visually inspecting the water in the pool. This will let you know what you will need to add to the pool to keep chemicals at their optimal levels. It is also recommended to try and circulate the water as much as possible. We do not suggest running your pool pump in freezing temperatures but you may use something like a submersible pump. This way your water can move and distribute chemicals evenly.

What is calcium hardness and what is the ideal range?

Calcium hardness is defined as the measure of how hard or soft your pool water is. It also measures the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in your swimming pool. Just like pH and total alkalinity, it’s important to keep the calcium hardness balanced to prevent your pool water from becoming corrosive or scaling. The ideal calcium hardness range for pools is 150-400ppm.

How often should I use an algaecide on my pool?

How often to use an algaecide in your pool depends on two factors. One, are you currently fighting algae? Two, are you trying to prevent algae from forming? Once you have the answer to one of those questions you know where to start. If you are currently fighting algae in your pool, you will need to determine which form of algae you have. Typically all algae are determined by the color in your pool. You will need to contact your pool professional to get the best recommendation on which algaecide to purchase. Once you have the algaecide, you simply need to follow all instructions provided on your algaecide label to ensure you treat the algae properly. If you are currently trying to prevent algae from growing in your pool you simply need to add a small amount of any algaecide into your pool. This will help with preventative measures and stop the algae from forming. Please note, that all water chemistry needs to be checked weekly to ensure your water is balanced correctly. This will be the best preventative measure for fighting algae. 

Does my saltwater pool require chlorine?

In short, yes, a saltwater pool will require chlorine. It will require much less than your standard chlorine pool but will still require chlorine to balance properly. Please see our Saltwater vs. Chlorine Pool blog for more information!

What type of pool filter should I use?

All filter types (DE/Sand/Cartridge) are great for water filtration. To decide which is best for your pool you will want to look at two factors: ease of maintenance and filtration capabilities. The easiest to maintain will be a cartridge filter. These will provide the middle filtration level and can provide filtration down to 5 microns. The best filtration comes from a DE Filter (diatomaceous earth) with a filtration system of 1-6 microns, but can be a little more difficult to maintain. To reference more filter specs make sure to check out our blog "Fact Friday: What are the Parts of a Swimming Pool?"

How to care for pool lighting

The first step to pool lighting care is to only use the light when needed. Most of these new pool lights have switched to LED over the typical halogen style light in the past. This will help with the longevity of the light, but you will still need some minor care and maintenance along the way. Check out our blog, "How to Change a Pool Light Bulb" for replacing your current light in your pool. 

Why is my pool water cloudy?

There are typically seven reasons why your pool turns cloudy. They are as follows: 

You have unbalanced free chlorine (FC) levels

High ammonia levels

Young Algae Issues

Improper balance pH and TA levels

High/Low calcium hardness (CH) levels

Dirty Filter

Foreign particles and mineral deposits

What is the importance of maintaining your water level?

Maintaining your water level is very important. If your water level is too low, the skimmer takes in too much air. This causes problems with your pool system and will eventually cause the pump motor to burn out- a high price to pay for a simple mistake. If your water level is too high and your pool water level completely covers the opening of your skimmer, then floating debris like leaves and insects can’t get in, so your skimmer cannot clean your pool water effectively. Half of the pool skimmer opening should be above the water line to allow water to circulate properly so that debris can be drawn in. Debris left in the pool creates water chemistry issues and an unhealthy swimming environment.

What is pool automation and why do I need it?

Pool Automation in simple terms, means the ability to control your pool equipment from a wireless device. Some pool automation will require an external controller to run your equipment, where others can allow you to control your pool equipment from your phone or tablet. Each automation system is unique and can require a lot of equipment specific to the brand you are purchasing. We always suggest contacting your pool professional for recommendations on what will work best with your pool equipment and needs. If you have specific equipment questions we always suggest contacting the manufacturer directly for technical service.