Timer -- a residential pool pump should run 8-12 hours per day during summer and during any usage or warm weather times. During colder months 5-7 hours is normally sufficient. The time of day the pool runs is important. Typically we run our pools 10AM to 6PM, or longer if it’s a high maintenance pool. Code now requires 2 speed pumps to only run on high for the first 2 hours of run time then revert back down to low speed to save energy, pools with solar can run longer on high for purposes of heating using solar.
Pump -– all pool pumps will have a strainer basket to catch large debris before getting to the pump impeller and filter. The lid is usually clear and a visual inspection is normally sufficient to see if basket needs to be cleaned. If you take the lid off make sure the o-ring seal for the lid is clean and not brittle o-ring should be lubed with a silicone rubber lubricant occasionally. Strainer should be checked once a week more often if your pool is getting a lot of leaves and debris.
Pressure gauge -- the pressure gauge is a good tool to monitor water flow. Low pressure typically means there is no water getting to the pump or an air leak is present before the pump. High pressure is result of blockage in the lines. The main culprit on high pressure is a dirty filter or improper valve placement. A baseline for pressure should be established with a clean filter and open valves, then variations of plus or minus 5psi inspections need to be made.
Cleaning -- a weekly cleaning is typically sufficient to insure a properly working pool sometimes more in the summer and sometimes you can get away with less in the winter.
Cleaning is basically getting the debris out and brushing the entire pool.
Water Testing – there are 5 main aspects to water testing
Chemical levels check weekly. Check at home pool store
Chlorine---3.0 to 5.0 ppm, weekly calcium 250-350 check every 2 months
PH ---7.2 – 7.8 Muriatic acid to lower
Alkalinity--- 80-140 ppm, Acid to lower, sodium bicarbonate to raise
Calcium Hardness levels--- 250-350 ppm levels are ideal, add calcium chloride to raise, mix with water to dilute before adding to pool
Cyanuric Acid also known as Stabilizer---60-90 ppm add UV stabilizer to pool or skimmer
Filter –- there are 3 styles of filters all of which should normally be cleaned once a month, more during times of heavy debris and sometimes less is acceptable during clean periods.
Filter will normally have a sticker indicating one of the following types:
*** D.E. filters normally will need a yearly professional cleaning and inspection
Phosphates, Problems and Removing –- Phosphate have become a real problem for pool owners, phosphates are the food for algae and stripping them out of your pool is the only way to never have algae. They use up chlorine and make salt systems work harder. Removing phosphates is not a part of our standard weekly maintenance but can be an added on to what we do. We add a Phosphate remover to your water, the water will get very cloudy as the remover comes in contact with the phosphates, we'll run the pump for one to two days until the pool clears, and we'll come back to clean the filter. The filter may look like white jelly if the pools water had a high amount of phosphates. We do charge extra for removing phosphates as this is an extra service.
Salt Generators -- Salt Pools as we know them have equipment which produces chlorine from salt which has been dissolved into the pools water. Each brand of system requires a curtain salinity level typically 2800-3800 ppm. Salt levels need to be maintained in this range and when adding salt always turn the system off for 24 hours to let the salt totally dissolve before turning back on. The “Cell” which creates the chlorine must be inspected every 3 months and cleaned if needed using diluted muriatic acid and water. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for your system. Not using your system correctly will cause premature failure of cell or main circuit board. Always read and refer to owners manual and if you do not have one, going to your manufacturers web site, you can down load and print one for your records. Cells have a predetermined life expectancy, taking good care of one can extend the value to having a salt pool.