(Q): Why does my pool have algae? Algae can form in a perfectly balanced pool.
(A): Pool chemistry is primarily used for bather safety (to sanitize harmful bacteria) and to also prevent scale and corrosion on pool components. Pool water must be tested weekly to insure the water is safe to swim and does not contain viruses or bacteria.
(Q): Why isn’t my pool service technician using chlorine tablets every week?
(A): Sunlight destroys chlorine and stabilizer (cyanuric acid) is added to pools to protect the chlorine in the water from the UV sunlight. Adding chlorine tablets each week, without testing the water first, will cause the pool chemistry to have too much stabilizer and become acidic. Therefore, weekly chemical testing is necessary, and tablets are used on an “as needed” basis. Heavy use of the pool will also use up the residual chlorine and the water will not have adequate sanitizer to be safe to swim in. Algae can be promoted to grow in a pool that has low chlorine, high levels of nitrates, high levels of phosphates or has heavy usage. While algae does not look pleasant, it is not inherently dangerous to a swimmer. We can test for phosphates and nitrates – there are even products that can remove phosphates from your pool (it does cause the water to become cloudy, even milky white, before the phosphates have been filtered out). Nitrates however will require the pool the be drained and refilled with uncontaminated water if they are to be removed.
(Q): What are the white spots on my pool finish?
(A): Typically, the white spots are calcium buildup. Too little calcium in the water can, over time, cause the water to “pull” calcium from the pool finish and deposit on the surface. While all pool finishes will ultimately stain, proper care and chemistry can improve the look of the pool and help the surface last longer.
(Q): In the rainy season, or if a hurricane is eminent, should I drain my pool?
(A): We do not recommend that you drain your pool. Draining all the water out of your pool can potentially cause the pool to “pop” out of the ground – which can be extremely expensive to repair. Water that spills onto your deck from heavy rain should not be a concern to damaging your home. The water will drain outside the pool cage, or if there is an overflow already installed, it will disperse through the overflow. There is no need in rainy season to pump water out of the pool. In the event of an approaching hurricane, it may be suitable to lower the water in the pool (by no more than 18”) and to “shock” the water with extra chlorine. Some customers will place their lanai furniture in the pool – please be advised that in some cases furniture can cause rust and other stains to your pool finish.
(Q): Why does my pool level drop slightly?
(A): In the dry season, water will need to be added to the pool due to evaporation. We do not typically need to add much water in the rainy season since evaporation is compensated by our daily rain showers. If you find you are adding more water every week (typically more than 2” per week) your pool could have a leak. Pools lose on average ¼” of water per day to evaporation. If you suspect a leak, please call our office.
(Q): What about a salt pool vs. a chlorine pool?
(A): Salt Water Chlorine Generators are all the buzz nowadays. These systems are great for any bather, and service professionals (they produce their own chlorine supply). With a salt system, chlorine is produced from electrolysis from the salt (sodium chloride) that is added to the pool water. We can maintain a nice low, consistent level of chlorine and you will notice the water is much softer to swim in. If you have a salt system, it will only produce (or be running) when the pump is running and circulating water. Pool pumps should generally run 8 hours/day in the summer and 6 hours/day in the winter. Salt pools will typically require an additional hour or two per day.
(Q): Why is my pool pump, and its size, so important?
(A): Your pool pump has a very specific, and important job. It needs to run the water through your filter media to remove contaminants that make the water cloudy. Filter elements need to be cleaned monthly and most manufacturers recommend the cartridges get replaced every year. Sometimes we are able to get two or three years before they deteriorate, but not much longer. Your pool pump is also responsible for circulating the water so that your heater can work, and as we discussed above, your salt system is dependent on water circulation.
(Q) Can I have a pool without chlorine?
(A): There is no alternative to using chlorine in pools. There are other systems (UV/Ozone, mineral purifiers, etc.) which work great as secondary sanitizers, however only chlorine can create the necessary sanitizer residual in the pool.
(Q): Why is there water around my pool heater?
(A): Pool heaters are great for SWFL. There are many ways to heat your water, we typically recommend using an electric heat pump – but our recommendation will vary depending on your needs, budget, and how you intend to use your pool. Electric heat pumps will produce on average one gallon of water per hour of condensation. Chances are, if your heater is running, there is going to be water underneath and your equipment pad will be wet, this is perfectly normal.
If you have and other questions that you don’t see answers to here, please give us a call. We have experts in the office, and out in the field that have seen and worked on just about everything. We would be honored to help provide you the cleanest swimming pool possible.