1.Keep correct water level in pool:
Generally, the correct water level for a pool level is the middle of the tile. Insufficient water level will cause the pump to suck air impeding the circulation and possibly lose prime thus shortening the life span of the motor and totally shut down the circulation/filtration of water in the pool.
2. Sufficient levels of chlorine & properly balance chemicals:
It’s extremely important (in my opinion) to keep it simple. I don’t recommend adding any extra additives to your water other than clarifiers, sodium bromide, phosphate remover, or “Pool Perfect” (if you have a dog that gets in the pool or use sun tan oils). The main levels to check regularly are free chlorine and PH. Total alkalinity, calcium, & stabilizer levels should not fluctuate other than build up over time. It is not necessary to check these levels weekly if they are set at proper levels and you are not losing water due to a leak in the pool or equipment. Generally, the proper levels are as follows: Free Chlorine 1.5 – 3ppm, total alkalinity 120ppm, PH 7.4 – 7.6, stabilizer 40ppm, calcium 175 – 225ppm
*these levels are recommended for gunite pools with regular plaster. Refer to your builder, tech for recommended levels with other surfaces.
3.Skimmer basket , pump basket, & pump impeller clean and free of debris:
Any one of these can impede the flow of water into the pump causing the pump to cavitate or lose prime thus interrupting the normal circulation of water throughout the pool.
4.Backwash D.E. filter once a month:
A filter full of debris can also impede the circulation of water flow throughout the pool and also contain particles of algae or bacteria that algae can feed on.
5.Run pump and filter 2 cycles per day in the summer and 1 cycle per day in the winter:
It is recommended that all the water in the pool and spa pass through the filter at least 2x a day in the hot months of the summer. For example: if your pool has 20,000 gallons and your pump is a 2 h.p. Pentair challenger, this particular pump pushes 100 gallons per minute through the filter. Here is what’s called the “turnover rate” (time it takes all the gallons of the pool/spa to pass 1x through the filter: 20,000 gallons/60 minutes = 333.333; 333.333/100 = 3.33 hours (turnover rate). It would be recommended to run your pump 6.66 hours a day during the summer months and 3.33 hours in the winter. The recommended time for the pump to run in the spring & fall varies depending on the amount of foliage that falls in the pool.
6.Point directional eyeballs of pool returns down towards pool floor:
If you use a floater to put the chlorine tabs in, the water towards the surface has higher levels of chlorine and needs to be circulated in areas below the surface in order to distribute evenly. If you have an automatic chlorine feeder, this will also ensure that the chlorine is distributed evenly throughout the pool. Remember, sunlight dissipates chlorine … the further away from the surface, the more refracted the sunlight minimizing loss of chlorine. If you do not have an automatic cleaner in the pool this will also minimize “dead spots” ( areas of the pool that do not get circulation.
7.Drain entire pool and spa every 5 – 10 years & refill with fresh water:
After a period of time, undissolved solids begin to accumulate in the water. Chlorine tablets contain stabilizer (cyanuric acid) which does not dissolve and will build up over time. Shock (calcium hypochlorite) contains calcium which also does not dissolve and will build up over time. Either one of these two can reach levels that will impede the killing power of the chlorine thus forcing you to keep high chlorine levels to keep algae from growing. In addition, either one of these two solids at high levels will cause your eyes to burn. However, draining the pool is a bit of a risk due to the fact that the sun can cause your liner to shrink and ruin the liner. When you drain it, make sure it is in the winter months and you refill as soon as you are done draining.
8.Add 1lb. fast dissolving shock and a couple squirts of sodium bromide weekly during warm temperatures:
This will essentially re-ignite the stabilized chlorine that’s already in the water. The shock (calcium hypochlorite) turns “used up” chlorine into active, bacteria killing chlorine. It is not stabilized and will dissipate rather rapidly. The sodium bromide is a chlorine booster (makes it more effective) without raising the chlorine levels. “Free chlorine” is what you want and this step will turn your ineffective chlorine into effective chlorine.
9.Pool equipment system free of air leaks:
An air leak in the suction side of the system will impede the circulation of water in the pool. It can also cause the pump to run hot or lose prime thus interrupting circulation and shorten the pump motor’s life span.