Pool & Spa information

The definition of pool includes spas and hot tubs. The swimming pool barrier guidelines therefore apply to these structures as well as to conventional swimming pools.

  • An in-the-ground, older spa spent the winter unused because of light bulb, tiling and caulking repairs. In May, the heater was eagerly flipped on. The gas jets ignited promisingly, but wouldn’t stay lit.
  • The problem? Spiders. They love the smell of natural gas. Drawn to inactive, back yard swimming pool and spa heaters, the insects nest in the jets, clogging them. A common problem, solved by a new burner tray.
  • But the problem could have avoided it altogether simply by turning on the heater for five minutes twice a month, while running the filter pump.
  • Much of pool and spa maintenance is like that, say maintenance experts.

Maintenance is Key

  • Simple routines based on the calendar, weather in your part of the country, bathing load and accepted pool/spa practices in your region ensure years of sparkling trouble-free water.
  • Preventative maintenance of the system is the key to operating a pool or spa.
  • In summer, with hot weather and pool parties, homeowners need to up their maintenance routines to account for.
  • Higher Bathing Loads, a back yard pool is not designed as a public pool. Cloudy water results when homeowners throw pool parties, yet follow maintenance routines designed for fewer bathers.
  • Hot, sweaty lotion-wearing swimmers and those in jeans and cotton T-shirts use up chlorine fast. Chlorine breaks down organic material, including fabrics.
  • When it comes to algae, forget conditioner, also called a stabilizer, and you waste chlorine. Conditioners retard the break-down of chlorine, which is extremely unstable and dissipates rapidly. The end result in your pool is yellow and green algae, or stubborn black algae from even longer neglect.
  • Water testing reveals the state of your water so you can restore it to neutral with chlorine, bromine, acid or stabilizers. It is recommended to use test strips instead of the common, two-liquid kit. You can also bring water samples to a pool supply store for a more extensive check of metals, total dissolved solids (TDS), chlorine, alkalinity, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid.

More Summertime Tips

  • Allowing only polyester suits in the water.
  • Informing your pool service beforehand about parties, so adjustments can be made.
  • Running your filter longer and adding chlorine after parties. Filters may need to be washed afterward.
  • Operating filters at least two hours daily.
  • Removing organic debris regularly.
  • Testing water at least three times weekly. Spas require more testing because of hot temperatures and less water.

Maintenance for All Seasons

Your work doesn’t end when temperatures start to dip after Labor Day. Pool maintenance is a year-round proposition. Below you’ll find a checklist of things to do each season to keep your pool healthy.

In The Fall:

  • Keep your pool and deck clear of falling leaves that can stain and clog drains. However, you can cut back on filtration time and chemicals.

In The Winter:

  • Maintenance depends on climate and ground conditions.
  • If you live in a cold-weather area, drain your pool to prevent damage from freezing water.
  • In more moderate climates, where the temperature drops only occasionally below freezing, you can get by without draining.
  • Add antifreeze and run the filter to keep the water moving.
  • It’s best to check the maintenance practices in your area. Draining a pool or spa where there’s soft terrain can push the pool or spa 2 feet above ground.

In The Spring:

  • You’ll want to ensure that your pool is ready for summer.
  • Check the water levels and pH. Add water and conditioners, if necessary.
  • Filters should be washed out, if necessary replace them.
  • Check the skimmer baskets and hoses on automatic cleaners. Replace all worn hoses.
  • Clean and inspect the pilot light and heater if equipped.
  • Check the rubberized seal between the pool decking and pool. If it’s cracked and separating, remove and replace it.
  • Underwater lights. Replace burned-out bulbs and be sure the housing is properly sealed.
  • Check all bolts and hardware on diving boards, slides, handrails and pool ladders for corrosion and tighten or replace them as needed.
  • Press to test all GFCI devises to be sure they trip. If they fail to trip call a qualified Electrical Contractor to replace as needed. This is a very important safety item.