Swimming Pool & Spa FAQ
All of our years of taking care for the backyard (and the occasional front yard) swimming pool and spas of Salt Lake City and all the surrounding Utah areas have taught us a thing or two. Check out below for a list of some frequently asked questions
Q. What do I do if my pool is not heating?
A. The first thing to check is that the pump is running and is fully primed (meaning water is moving through it).
If water is not flowing through the system, the heater won’t turn on. If your heater has a pilot light, make sure it is lit by taking
off the front panel of the heater, getting down on the floor, and looking in the center of the heater where you should see a small,
blue flame. If it’s not lit, follow the instructions on the inside of the door to light the pilot light.
The third thing to check is the contents of the traps and baskets. If the traps and baskets are full they can clog the system and prevent enough water from flowing through the system.
If none of the above works, you’ll want to make sure filter pressure isn’t reading too high. Filter pressure should not go up more than 10 lbs- from when the clean filters were installed. If the gage reads 10 lbs above it’s “clean pressure” then you need to backwash or clean the filter(s). If none of the above work, call a swimming pool professional- like us- as there could be any number of other issues preventing your pool heater from working.
Q. How do I know when I need to clean my filter?
A. When a brand new filter, filter elements, or sand is installed on a pool and the system is first started up,
you should take note of the pressure gage at the top of the filter and make note of that number.
When the filter pressure rises more than 10 lbs. above that number it is time to backwash or clean your filters.
Since the hydraulics of every pool are different, that starting number will be different on every pool.
After you have cleaned or backwashed the filters the pressure gauge should read at it’s original starting position. You may find that your filters need to be cleaned as often as once a week, or sometimes as little as once a year, depending on the type of filter, water, climate, etc. The pressure gauge should determine the amount of time between cleanings, not the calendar. If you have to clean your filters too often (more than once a week), it’s likely time to replace your filter media entirely.
Q. How do I change the light bulb in my pool?
A. Most, if not all, swimming pool lights have a single screw at the top of the light ring under water. Remove this screw, pulling the
light away from the pool wall, which should result in the entire pool light canister floating to the surface.
The light canister will be connected to a permanent cord that is left long enough to allow the light canister to be placed on the pool deck. Once on the deck, flip the canister light lens face down and you will see either a series of screws around the back of the light housing or a clamp around the back of the light housing connecting the housing to the lens. Remove the screws or clamp and then separate the lens from the canister, exposing the bulb.
There are different types of bulbs, so follow the directions on the bulb for proper handling. It’s advised that when replacing the bulb to also replace the light lens gasket, as this will insure a watertight seal, keeping the bulb dry once back under water. Once the bulb and gasket have been replaced, reassemble the light lens to the housing and test the bulb by turning the light switch on and off very quickly. Do not leave light on more than a few seconds while the light is not under water, as the water is what keeps the light from overheating.
Once you’ve determined that the light is working properly, submerge the light, wrap the cord around the light, and put it in the niche, bottom first (there is a “L” shaped bracket on the bottom of the light housing that will connect into the light niche in the wall of the pool). Once this is lined up, push the top of the light housing into the niche and tighten the screw at the top of the light ring.
Q. How often do I need to test my pool chemicals?
A. Most chemical manufacturers recommend testing your pool water weekly. Weekly chemical testing and balancing will ensure that your pH and chlorine conditions stay at a safe level, keeping your pool operating properly and safely.
Q. What is pH balance and why is it important to my pool?
A. pH balance is a measure of how acidic or base the water in your pool is. As the pH drops below the recommended level of 7.4 -7.6, the water becomes too acidic and begins corroding away the pool structure and vital pool equipment; i.e. pump, heater, filter, etc. As the pH balance rises above the recommended level of 7.4- 7.6, the water becomes too base and will begin depositing scale on the surface of the pool, inside the plumbing, and pool equipment. This will shorten the pool’s life span and make swimming for your guests less enjoyable. Finally, chlorine works most effectively to keep your water sanitary when pH levels are properly maintained.
Q. How high should I keep the water level in my pool?
A. The water level should always be kept halfway up the skimmer box. There is at least one skimmer box on every pool, although some pools may have more than that. Skimmers are the openings where the water goes in to a basket and into the pump.