Pool and Spa Tips
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR POOL SPARKLING FOR YEARS
Keep water level in center of skimmer opening or halfway up on waterline tile.
Automatic Pool Vacuum
Low water level may result in damage to the pump.
High water level reduces or eliminates skimmer effectiveness.
If water level is above tile and touches the bottom of the deck's ledge:
attach a hose to the hose bib mounted on the piping near your filter pump;
turn on pump;
direct hose to a drainage area;
let pump run until pool water is at its proper level.
The pool vacuum uses water suction to remove dirt and debris from your pool's underwater surface.
When removing vacuum from pool make sure hose sections are laid straight.
A coiled hose will create a memory and will not vacuum efficiently.
If the hose sections become coiled:
lay them out straight in direct sun;
place them in the cool water to set.
Vacuum heads occasionally get clogged with large objects that don't readily pass through such as rocks, toys, plastic bags, landscape cuttings, etc. Learn how to clear these items from your vacuum so it will operate properly.
Water flows from the pool through the skimmer and then into the pump.
The skimmer breaks water surface tension and catches debris as it floats by the skimmer opening.
Debris is caught in the skimmer basket and should be removed and emptied as required.
Excessive debris can clog the basket resulting in ineffective skimming and or damage to the pump.
The flapper (weir) inside the skimmer throat allows debris to flow into the skimmer and keeps it from drifting back out.
Be sure the weir opens and closes freely.
If stuck in the closed position, water from the pool cannot flow freely into the skimmer and pump damage may result.
Water from the bottom of the pool flows through the main drain to the bottom of the skimmer then to the filter pump.
The term "main drain" is not a way to drain the pool.
The main drain is a safety feature.
If the water level drops below the skimmer, the diverter pulls water from the main drain so it does not run dry.
The diverter also adjusts how much water flow comes from the main drain and how much from the skimmer:
the regulator should be open between half-way and full;
make sure there is adequate skimmer current to skim surface debris.
The adjustable wall returns send filtered water back to the pool from the equipment.
Returns should be adjusted to create a clockwise flow of water for proper filtration and chlorination. (In some cases counter-clockwise flow is proper).
The return just upstream from the skimmer should be adjusted to direct a surface current that enables floating debris to be swallowed up by the skimmer current.
The pump and motor pull water from the main drain and the skimmer, then push the water through the filter, the heater, and the chlorinator, then back to the pool wall returns.
If allowed to run dry, the pump and adjacent piping can be damaged.
The pump basket collects leaves, debris, etc. and prevents them from entering the pump and filter:
clean the pump basket weekly, or after a wind storm;
before removing lid to strainer basket, be sure to turn motor to pump OFF;
after pump basket lid is re-secured, turn pump on.
Use a silicone based lube on the O-ring in the lid to assure a better seal and easier removal.
Sometimes debris is forced through the pump basket and can lodge in the pump's impeller, causing the circulation system to be ineffective. If this occurs, it will require disassembly and cleaning.
The time clock turns the pump motor on and off at adjustable pre-determined times.
For best results, time clock should run pump eight to twelve hours during the swimming season, and six to eight hours in winter.
It is best to set time clock to cycle on and off twice in a 24 hour period to better balance circulation, filtration and sanitizer disbursement.
One cycle should be run during the day for optimal efficiency.
If you have a "saltwater pool" your pool's chlorinator takes salt (sodium chloride) that has been measured into your pool and converts it into chlorine.
Refer to your owners manual for cleaning instructions.
This instantly starts to destroy bacteria, viruses, and algae, and then reverts back to dissolved salt.
This cycle continues as more new chlorine is produced from the salt water in the electrolysis cell, sanitizes the pool, and changes into dissolved salt once again.
The dissolved salts are converted to chlorine only when the filter pump is running.
In hard water situations like we have in Arizona, or continuous high pH conditions, it may be necessary to manually clean the electrodes to remove scale build-up.
(One recommendation is a solution of one part muriatic acid to ten parts of water, and soak the chlorinator electrodes for five minutes to remove calcium residue. Repeat as necessary.)
Deck (DEK) Chlorinator
If your pool has a deck chlorinator, chlorine tablets are added in the canister and the valve is adjusted at the equipment to regulate the flow of water to the chlorinator.
The greater the flow, the faster the chlorine tabs are dissolved and the more chlorine flows into the pool.
The valve should not be open so much that water overflows onto the deck. During the summer when extreme temperatures heat up the deck, the water in the chlorinator can "percolate," causing high concentrations of chlorine to build up. This can burn the plaster at the opening into the pool.
It is recommended that the time clock be adjusted so some one filter time is scheduled during the heat of the day to prevent this from happening.
Run the filter pump when you remove the lid to access the DEK Chlorinator. High levels of chlorine gas may form and when the lid is removed you may be in danger of inhaling them.
Your pool filter is designed to mechanically clean your pool water by trapping tiny particles inside.
The cleaner the water, the less sanitizer and chemical adjustments will be required.
The pressure gauge located on top of the filter tells you the condition of your filter and circulating system. In normal operation, check and note the gauge reading. When the gauge rises 8 pounds above this starting pressure, it is time to clean the filter. If the gauge falls below the starting pressure, check the skimmer and pump basket for debris. Sometimes debris is forced through he pump basket and can lodge in the pump's impeller which will require disassembly and cleaning.
Always follow manufacturer's and dealer instructions for operation and maintenance foro ther pool equipment and accessories.
Cartridge filters work on the clarification process.
They utilize the debris they collect as an aid to improve filtration.
As a result, cleaning too often does not allow the filter to work at optimum filtration efficiency, while not cleaning often enough will shorten the life of a cartridge element. So here's a tip:
Cartridge Cleaning Instructions
When should a cartridge element be cleaned?
- when you replace the element with a new one, note the start-up pressure on the tank gauge;
- this reading is the system's total pressure in "pounds per square inch" or psig (gauge);
- mark this point with a drop of fingernail polish or a grease pen;
- then add eight pounds to the reading and place another dot;
- you now have the normal operating pressure for your cartridge in psid (differential);
- allow the filter to operate between these two points and clean whenever the gauge reaches the higher pressure mark.
For swimming pools, clean the cartridge when filter canister pressure reaches 8 PSI above the initial system or new cartridge starting pressure.
What is the procedure to clean my cartridge?
What if the pressure gauge reading does not return to the original "clean" psi reading after the cartridges have been cleaned?
- Remove the cartridge from the filter housing following the manufacturer's instructions.
- Use a garden hose with a straight flow nozzle to wash down the filter element. Work from the top down, holding the nozzle at a 45 degree angle, and wash all the pleats thoroughly.
- Rinse until all dirt and debris is gone.
- To remove suntan lotions, and other oils from the cartridge filter, soak the element for at least one hour in (1) a commercial filter cleaner; or (2) one cup trisodium phosphate (TSP) to five gallons water; or (3) one cup dishwasher detergent to five gallons of water.
- Rinse the cartridge again to remove oils and cleaning solution.
It may be necessary to acid wash the filter elements to remove buildup that is reducing water. (Read "Acid Washing Your Cartridge Filter Element" below before proceeding)
ACID WASHING FILTER ELEMENTS
WARNING: Failure to remove all oils and cleaning solution before acid soaking will result in a permanent restriction of water flow and cause premature cartridge failure.
WARINNG: Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when using acid and chlorine. Do not add water to acid. Do not mix chlorine and acid.
Acid Washing Your Cartridge Filter Element
- If the filter has a coating of algae, calcium carbonate (same as buildup on waterline tile), iron, or other minerals, soak the cartridge in a solution of one part muriatic acid to twenty parts water until all bubbling stops.
- Rinse the cartridge clean and reassemble housing.
Acid washing is perhaps the biggest single factor leading to premature cartridge failure. As a rule of thumb, acid wash only when required, if at all, and never without thoroughly cleaning the element with a cartridge degreaser first.
Here is a simple test to determine if acid washing is required:
NOTE: Most manufacturers do not recommend the use of diatomaceous earth (DE) with cartridge filters. DE particles will become trapped in the body of the cartridge and shorten cartridge life. If desired, a cellulose fiber (synthetic DE) can be used in moderation.
POOL & SPA VALVE INSTRUCTIONS
Normal Swimming Pool & Spa Valve Settings with No Heating
Filter Pump Suction from Pool -
- thoroughly clean the cartridge with a degreasing agent;
- flush the cartridge with a garden hose to remove all traces of soap, etc.;
- apply several drops of acid directly to a small area of the filter media;
- if bubbling occurs, this indicates a build up of calcium or minerals;
- continue with a mild acid soak;
- if no bubbling is observed, your cartridge probably does not require acid washing.
The 3-Way Jandy valve next to the pump basket adjusts the suction from the pool and spa.
Filter Pump Returns to Pool -
- In normal operation, close the spa suction; at the same time this opens the pool suction so that water is pulled only from the pool.
- To ensure that the vacuum operates properly and vacuums the floor and the walls, adjust the vacuum and skimmer Jandy valve.
- To do this, open the vacuum suction line and partially close the skimmer and main drain until the automatic vacuum is working at the desired speed.
- Skimmer/drain should not be closed so much that you can hear the pump start to strain because it is not getting enough water to operate properly.
- Take a look into the deck skimmer and make sure there is enough flow to pull floating leaves and debris into the skimmer basket.
To Heat and Filter the Spa Only
- Now open the pool return valve all the way and open the spa return valve slightly (just enough to create a sheet of water falling over the spillway).
- It is very important to have water going to the spa in normal operation so the spa water is filtered and chlorinated.
- If there is a water feature on this pump, adjust the jandy valve that regulates its flow for acceptable water feature performance.
Turn off the Filter pump motor.
Open the Spa suction valve (this closes the pool suction).
Now you are pulling water only from the spa.
Next, open the spa return valve (this closes the pool return).
Now the valving is set to only pull water from the spa and return it to the spa.
You now can turn of the filter pump motor, and turn on the heater.
Now the spa and heater will run to the preset temperature setting until you reverse the valving to the original position.
You should set the spa temperature thermostat to the desired level.
You are now only filtering and heating the spa.
Reverse these steps to return to normal operation.
Remember, if you don't reverse these valve settings, your pool water will not be chlorinated nor filtered.
To Heat the Pool and Spa
From the normal valve positions, simply turn the heater on and set thermostate to the desired levels.
Nighttime temperatures really pull the heat out of the pool water, so it is adviseable to put on a floating solar blanket.
A Few Notes About Your Spa
Heater Bypass Valve -
Always adjust this valve so half the water is directed back to the pool and spa returns, and half through the heater.
4-Way Spa-side Switch -
Push once turns on the Therapy Pump.
Push Twice it turns on the blower.
Push a third time and it turns off the Therapy Pump.
Push a fourth time and it turns off the blower.
Therapy Air Blower -
When turned on it blows air into the Therapy line to maximize the jet action.
ACRYLIC DECK MAINTENANCE
By following these easy instructions you will enjoy the beauty and pleasure of your new acrylic deck for many years to come.
Please Do Not:
- walk on or get water on your concrete deck for 48 hours;
- place any furniture on it for 7 days;
- allow any landscape materials, dirt, debris, and the tracking of mud on the new deck.
Occasionally hose off acrylic deck with a high-pressure nozzle to prevent dirt and stains from being ground into deck.
Remove stubborn stains by using a stiff brush and a mild detergent, scrub well and hose off.
Other stains can be removed as follows:
- Calcium Deposits - that appear as whitish stains in areas where water puddles, use "Limeaway," (available at any grocery store), scrubbing thoroughly, allowing to sit for 10 minutes, then rinsing completely to remove residue.
- Coffee, Soda, etc. - Use a mild detergent, some water and a stiff brush to get down into the texture.
- Grease and Oil - Use "Gumout," (available at any grocery store)
- Rust Stains - Use "Wink," a rust remover, or navel jelly (available at any grocery or hardware store).
- Algae Stains - Use a mixture of 70 parts water to 30 parts of liquid pool chlorine. Allow mixture to set 10 to 20 minutes then hose off completely. Use with care, as using too much will damage the sealer