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This section contains many of the most commonly asked questions by our customers.  It is not meant to give detailed instructions of the swimming pool's operation, that information can be found in Pool School. If you have any questions for the pool-guy, feel free to call us at 732 251 0951.

Q: When should I backwash my sand filter?
A: A simple guideline for sand filters is to backwash once a week and always after you've vacuumed the pool.  It's easiest to think of your pool like home a vacuum cleaner. When you don't feel air blowing out the back or you're not getting much suction, you know it's time to change the bag.  In the case of a swimming pool system, it's simply water instead of air. If you notice any of the following, then it's time to backwash:
  • The water returning to the pool isn't strong
  • The skimmers aren't pulling properly
  • Weak suction when vacuuming

Another method may be used by installing a pressure gauge on the hosing before the filter. To use this method you must first note the "normal" operating pressure of your system with a clean filter. When the pressure rises 5 to 7 psi above that reading, it's time to backwash.  In theory this method sounds ideal, however there are other factors that can affect the "normal" operating pressure such as valve positions, return line reducers, etc so this method tends to be confusing.

Q: I keep getting this fine black silt on the bottom of my pool, I've vacuumed it and hours later it's back again!
A: We see this a lot during the season.  This is caused by fine debris suspended in the water and much like dust in the air you don't see it until it settles on your furniture. The same thing can happen in your pool and can be very aggravating. There are 3 causes for this.  In the case of a sand filter, the debris being vacuumed is so fine it simply passes through the filter. The fine silt stays suspended in the water for hours and the pool appears to be "clean" but later, when the silt finally resettles you find that your pool's floor is once again dirty. The second cause may be moving the vacuum head too fast which will simply stir the silt rather than remove it.  The third cause involves automatic pool sweeps.  Automatic cleaners will definitely stir up fine silt.  In the case of independent cleaners such as the Aquabot, the filter bags may not catch such fine debris, or there may be a small hole in them.  We have seen this many times... the pool is easily cleaned for two years and then suddenly the customer just can't get rid of that "black stuff" on the bottom. What has happened is by using the automatic cleaner, very fine debris has built up in the water and it keeps resettling to the bottom. The solution in all these cases is to manually vacuum the debris directly out of the pool by using the waste function on your filter.  To accomplish this, first fill the pool up 2 inches above normal operating level first since you're going to lose water in the process.  Next, if you have a  multiport valve set it to WASTE.  Depending on your system you may or may not have this function but usually there is a provision for taking water directly out of the pool and bypassing the filter, if in question give us a call. Now, vacuum slowly and carefully.  You may find that some silt will still get stirred up and you'll have to repeat the process again but the object is to remove the fine debris from the pool totally.

Q: I have a solid winter cover but every winter I seem to lose water, why is this happening?
A: While it's possible the liner, cement or piping may be leaking, more than likely you're experiencing what's known as "displacement".  Imagine filling a glass with water to the top.  Next, immerse your hand into the glass then take it out.  When you remove your hand the glass will have less water because you've displaced some of the water in the glass by inserting your hand. The same thing happens to your pool when water collects on top of your solid swimming pool cover.  You don't see this happening because it only happens during rain or snowfall but when you pump the water off the top of the cover you notice that the level is lower than where it was when the pool was closed.

Q: My liner is coming out along the top of the pool, why is this happening?
A: This is can happen for a few reasons, the most common is that ground water has lifted the liner slightly and unhooked it from the coping, this occurs especially in areas with a high water table.  Another possibility is the coping receptor has deteriorated and no longer has a sufficient lip to hold the liner properly.  The way to get the liner back into the coping receptor is first, pour very hot water onto the material below the section that is out.  Next, pull up on the liner and push the beading back in.  If a large section of the liner is out it may be necessary to first lower the water. It's best to contact  your pool professional for this task since there are risks involved when lowering the water in a vinyl lined swimming pool.

Q: Does the water need to be lowered for the winter?
A: This depends upon whether or not there are ceramic tiles around the pool border.  If you own a cement pool with tiles the water should be lowered a few inches below them to prevent ice from cracking the grout which will cause the tiles to fall off.  If you have a vinyl lined pool the water should NOT be lowered at all for the winter. The only plausible reason for lowering the water level in a vinyl lined pool would be to prevent the plastic skimmers from breaking if the water freezes inside them.  This is not necessary because there are products which can go inside to compensate for this. Lowering the water can actually damage your pool if you live in an area with high ground water.

Q: Why is my liner wrinkling, especially on the walls?
A: This is caused by low pH. Unfortunately once the damage is done it's irreversible. The only solution is to replace the damaged liner and keep the pH levels between 7.2 and 7.6.



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