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
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.
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.
My liner is coming out along the top of the pool, why is this
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.
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.
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.