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Swimming Pool Tips & Tricks

Please click on one of the following links for more information

Daily swimming pool operations
Weekly maintenance
Basic water chemistry and terms
How to clear a green pool
How much chemicals to add to my pool or filter
Backwashing (cleaning) out your filter

   


Daily Pool Operation

THE POOL FILTER should run at least 8 to 12 hours per day. (12 hours per day is the best). Set your pool timer and remember to run the pool manually if you don’t have a timer. It is better to have the filter system on during the daylight hours, not the nighttime, because the water needs to circulate during the heat of the day.

Always make sure the skimmer baskets are empty and the openings are clear of leaves or other debris.

Chlorine must be added to the pool water daily in one of the following ways:

  1. PLACE two 3" slow dissolving chlorine tablets into each skimmer once per week, or if you have an automatic chlorinator, make sure the unit is full and the dial is set to a level that is giving you a proper chlorine reading. It is a good idea the test the chlorine level after the pool has finished the running cycle.
  2. USE a floating chlorinator with slow dissolving tablets inside it. Keep the floater inside the pool at all times and refill it as needed, usually weekly.
  3. MANUALLY add either granular chlorine or quick dissolving tablets, but this must be added daily. It is difficult to remember to do this every day and your pool clarity will suffer.

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Weekly Maintenance

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Basic water chemistry

CHLORINE: is the primary sanitizer used to kill algae and bacteria in the pool water. The proper chlorine level should fall between 1.0 and 2.0 on your test kit. During hot weather, you should try to maintain a higher level to prevent algae.

pH: is the acid level of the pool water. You must maintain a good pH level otherwise or chlorine will not work effectively. The proper pH level for your pool water should fall between 7.4 and 7.8 and will change with rainwater or alot of bather use.

ALKALINITY: is a pH "stabilizer". Alkalinity helps keep the pH level within the proper levels so that the chlorine can work effectively. Alkalinity helps prevent pH "bounce" from rainwater and bather use. The proper alkalinity level for your pool water should be between 100 and 120.

STABILIZER: forms a protective bond around the chlorine, making it more resistant to being burned off by sunlight. This makes the chlorine last longer and work more effectively. Pool water should be stabilized when you freshly fill a pool or add large amounts of water. The proper level of stabilizer for your pool water is 35 ppm. To increase the stabilizer level, you need to add stabilizer conditioner. If you rarely need to add water to your pool, you may only need to test for stabilizer levels annually.

REMEMBER: Safe and clear swimmable pool water can only be achieved when all four of the above chemicals are maintained. A good alkalinity level helps keep the pH level in check, a good pH level helps keep the the chlorine working effectively, stabilizer keeps the chlorine from being burnt out by the sun, and chlorine kills all the germs and bacteria that creates cloudy water and green algae.
The results are a crystal clear swimming environment that you can enjoy all summer long

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How to clear up a green pool

Unfortunately, there is no magic way to turn a green or black pool clear overnight! It usually takes a lot of time, effort and money to clear up a typical "swampy" green pool. It is certainly best if you never let your pool water get dirty, however most pool owners experience a " green pool problem" from time to time.

Although it is not easy work, here is a proven method of clearing up a green, black or very dirty pool in the shortest time possible. Follow the instructions below for the best results.

  1. Remove most of the large debris from the pool floor with a large leaf net (not a hand skimmer!) This will stir up the water; and may make your pool look much worse temporarily, but the stirred up debris will settle within a few hours. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO VACUUM THE POOL IF YOU CANNOT SEE THE BOTTOM OF IT, OR IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF DEBRIS ON THE BOTTOM. YOU COULD CLOG YOUR SKIMMER, FILTER OR UNDERGROUND PIPES!
  2. Adjust the pH and Alkalinity levels of the water using pH plus powder, alkalinity plus powder and pH minus. These levels must be within the proper ranges or the water will never clear.
  3. Shock the pool. This means super chlorinating the water to kill off any bacteria and algae. If your pool is very dirty, it may need MANY gallons of liquid chlorine (shock) over a period of days before the water clears. For most in-ground pools, start off by adding 3 or 4 gallons, and if you see no results overnight, add 3 or 4 more gallons the next day. Continue this process until you notice the water changing color to either cloudy white, light green or clear. The more you add the quicker it will clear! (Note… shock is available in liquid or powdered form, but we recommend using liquid (it works faster) and is safer if you have a vinyl lined pool). You may also want to add a high quality algaecide to the water at this point. If you have a sand filter do not exceed the recommended amount of shock, because it is possible to over-shock a pool and then you will need flock to coagulate (join together) the small particles in order to clear the water, because they will by-pass the filter. If you have a DE Filter don’t worry there is no such thing as over shocking.
  4. Run your filter 24 hours a day and backwash your filter whenever the pressure reads 10psi higher than your starting pressure on your pressure gauge. Green or cloudy water will quickly clog a filter, therefore you may have to backwash your filter many times a day until the pool clears. THIS IS NORMAL! Remember that you cannot over-backwash a pool filter. The more you run pool, and the more you backwash the filter, the faster the pool will clear up. If you have a DE filter, remember to add new DE to the skimmer closest to your filter after each backwashing. A DE filter is a little more work than a sand filter, but the DE filter will clear a green pool 50% faster and more efficiently than the sand filter.
  5. If you follow these instructions and your pool does not clear up within 4 or 5 days, your filter may not be functioning properly. If this is the case with your pool, have the filter system checked out by a professional. The pool will never clear up if the filter is not working properly!
  6. Once the water does clear up, you will most probably see debris on the pool floor (dead leaves, algae, etc.). If there is only a small amount of debris on the pool floor, you should have the pool professionally POWERVACUUMED. This will save alot of wear and tear to your filter system, as well as assuring that no debris gets clogged in your pool pipes. If there is still large piles of debris, it use best to carefully try to scoop it out and wait for it to settle before attempting to vacuum to pool.

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How much chemicals to add to your pool
The following tables are for average residential in-ground pools up to 20' x 40'.
For above-ground pools, large freeforms, or el shapes please adjust accordingly.

Filter type:

Amount to add:

 

Hayward EC40 filter

4-lbs D.E. powder

Hayward EC-65 filter

6-lbs D.E. powder

Hayward EC-75 filter

7-lbs D.E. powder

Hayward 2400/2420 filter

3-lbs D.E. powder

Hayward 3600/3620 filter

4.5-lbs D.E. powder

Hayward 4800/4820 filter

6-lbs D.E. powder

Hayward 6000/6020 filter

7.5-lbs D.E. powder

Most 36 sq. ft. filters

6-lbs D.E. powder

Most 48 sq. ft. filters

7.5-lbs D.E. powder

PH +/- POWDER
The following tables are for average residential in-ground pools up to 20' x 40'.
For above-ground pools, large freeforms, or el shapes please adjust accordingly.

If reading is:

Amount to add:

 

6.8 or lower

12-lbs PH+ powder

7.0 - 7.2

8-lbs PH+ powder

7.4

4-lbs PH+ powder

7.6 to 7.8

nothing

8.0 or higher

4-lbs PH- powder

ALKALINITY+ POWDER
The following tables are for average residential in-ground pools up to 20' x 40'.
For above-ground pools, large freeforms, or el shapes please adjust accordingly.

If reading is:

Amount to add:

 

0-20

12-lbs Alk+ powder

30-50

8-lbs Alk+ powder

60-90

4-lbs Alk+ powder

100 or higher

nothing

CHLORINE
The following tables are for average residential in-ground pools up to 20' x 40'.
For above-ground pools, large freeforms, or el shapes please adjust accordingly.
This chart is based on 8 ounce chlorine tablets.

If reading is:

Amount to add:

 

0

6 tablets plus 2 gallons shock

.5

4 tablets plus 1 gallon shock

1 or more

2 tablets and no shock

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Backwashing (cleaning out) your filter

The following backwash instructions are general backwashing instructions for the most common types of Hayward pool filters. Please check with your pool filter manufacturer for specific backwashing instructions.

Please click on one of the following links for more information

Sand filters

Extended Cycle D.E. filters (bump handle)

Cartridge filters

D.E. filters (multiport)

 

 

How to backwash a sand filter

1.   Roll out backwash hose and/or open backwash valve. (if you have one)

2.   Turn off pool pump.

3.   Move multiport handle to the "backwash" position.

4.   Turn on the pump and run for two minutes.

5.   Turn off the pool pump and move multiport handle to "rinse" position.

6.   Turn on the pump and run for twenty seconds.

7.   Repeat steps #2- #6 two more times.

8.   Turn off the pool pump

9.   Move multiport handle to the "filter" position.

10.                     Roll up backwash hose and/or close backwash valve. (if you have one)

11.                     Turn the pool pump back on.

Helpful Hints

1.   Note the pressure on your sand filter's pressure gauge after you backwash. This is your starting pressure. When the gauge reading is 10 psi higher than your starting pressure, it is time to backwash.

2.   If your pool water is clear, backwashing a sand filter should probably be required every 3-4 weeks, depending on the size of your filter and pool.

3.       DO NOT MOVE THE HANDLE ON THE MULTIPORT UNLESS THE POOL PUMP IS OFF, OTHERWISE YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR FILTER SYSTEM.

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How to backwash a cartridge filter

1.   Turn off pool pump.

2.   Remove filter cartridge from filter cannister.

3.   Rinse off paper element with a garden hose. Agood nozzle on the hose will work better. Try to clean element thoroughly.

4.   Install clean cartridge element back into filter cannister securely.

5.   Turn on pool pump.

 

Helpful Hints

1.   Note the pressure on your cartridge filter's pressure gauge after you backwash. This is your starting pressure. When the gauge reading is 10 psi higher than your starting pressure, it is time to backwash.

2.   Pools with cartidge filters may require backwashing once a week depending on the size of your filter and pool.

3.   Cartridge filter elements generally last one season. Check with your local pool professional concerning replacement and acid washing the element.

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How to backwash an extended cycle D.E. filter
(bump handle)

1.   Roll out backwash hose and/or open backwash valve. (if you have one)

2.   Turn off pool pump.

3.   Slowly bump handle on top of filter up and down 20 times.

4.   Turn on pool pump and run for two minutes.

5.   Turn off pool pump

6.   Slowly bump handle on top of filter up and down 20 times.

7.   Turn on pool pump and run for two minutes.

8.   Turn off pool pump

9.   Slowly bump handle on top of filter up and down 20 times.

10.                     Turn on pool pump and run for two minutes.

11.                     Turn off pool pump

12.                     Roll up backwash hose and/or close backwash valve. (if you have one)

13.                     Turn the pool pump back on.

14.                     Remove skimmer basket from skimmer closest to the pool filter.

15.                     Slowly add the proper amount of D.E. powder to the skimmer.

16.                     The D.E. powder will travel through the pipes and back into the filter.

 

Helpful hints

1.   Note the pressure on your D.E. filter's pressure gauge after you backwash. This is your starting pressure. When the gauge reading is 10 psi higher than your starting pressure, it is time to backwash.

2.   If your pool water is clear, backwashing a D.E. filter should probably be required every 3-4 weeks, depending on the size of your filter and pool.

3.   DO NOT BUMP OR MOVE THE HANDLE ON THE FILTER UNLESS THE POOL PUMP IS OFF, OTHERWISE YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR FILTER.

4.   D.E. filters require acid washing every 2-3 years. Call your local pool professional if you think your D.E. filter might need one.

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How to backwash a D.E. filter (multiport)

1.   Roll out backwash hose and/or open backwash valve. (if you have one)

2.   Turn off pool pump.

3.   Move multiport handle to the "backwash" position.

4.   Turn on the pump and run for two minutes.

5.   Turn off the pool pump and move multiport handle to "rinse" position.

6.   Turn on the pump and run for twenty seconds.

7.   Repeat steps #2- #6 two more times.

8.   Turn off the pool pump

9.   Move multiport handle to the "filter" position.

10.                     Roll up backwash hose and/or close backwash valve. (if you have one)

11.                     Turn the pool pump back on.

12.                     Remove skimmer basket from skimmer closest to the pool filter.

13.                     Slowly add the proper amount of D.E. powder to the skimmer.

  1. The D.E. powder will travel through the pipes and back into the filter.

 

HELPFUL HINTS

1.   Note the pressure on your D.E. filter's pressure gauge after you backwash. This is your starting pressure. When the gauge reading is 10 psi higher than your starting pressure, it is time to backwash.

2.   If your pool water is clear, backwashing a D.E. filter should probably be required every 3-4 weeks, depending on the size of your filter and pool.

3.   DO NOT MOVE THE HANDLE ON THE MULTIPORT UNLESS THE POOL PUMP IS OFF, OTHERWISE YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR FILTER SYSTEM.

4.   D.E. filters require acid washing every 2-3 years. Call your local pool professional if you think your D.E. filter might need one.

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