Before you pull your hair out over pool maintenance – hair that might fall into the pool and clog the filter – read these 10 commonly asked pool maintenance questions. If your question isn’t listed here, please visit our pool maintenance guides for more information.

  1. How often does my filter need backwashing?

Backwash your filter when the pressure reading is eight to 10 psi higher than normal, for optimal pool maintenance. Filters should also be thoroughly cleaned (Chemically) once per pool season with filter brite and sand replaced every 3-5 years.

  1. Do I really need to shock my pool every week?

You sure do. Even salt pools have to. The purpose of shocking is to remove the chloramines and “dead” stuff clothing around unseen in the water. When chlorine kills something it binds to it and becomes ineffective but a huge problem. Shocking removes that ickiness. Do you want to be swimming around with that? Yuck!

  1. Do I really need a test kit for a saltwater pool?

Yes. Instead of buying a load of expensive chemicals and blindly troubleshooting, you will be able to take accurate readings and address problems effectively. Our BioGuard Test strips are a great way to test the chlorine,ph and alkalinity for saltwater pools. Don’t forget to visit the store monthly for your full panel. In-store monthly testers have cleaner pools and use less chemicals then those who don’t come in monthly. Wow!

  1. How long should it take to do my weekly maintenance?

Well that question is a little variable. Every backyard is different and every pool size and shape is different and at that every homeowner has a different set of tools. Typically it could take you 5 minutes to test the water and add the chemicals and 30 minutes to brush the pool or vacuum if needed. It could be more if you have a lot of trees and a lot less if you have a robot. That being said the pool could use some in between love too. But that you could do from within the pool.

If you are spending more than that you need to go back to the Pros and get a different routine. Options Options!

  1. How long should I run my filter for?

Like the typical North American workday, eight hours is the sweet spot for running your filter. However, when temperatures go above the mid-20s, you can run it up to 12 hours.

  1. Do I need to add chlorine to a salt water pool?

Not daily chlorine. The beauty of the salt water system is that it converts salt into chlorine, so with the exception of your weekly shocking, you’re good to go.

  1. How long should I wait after shocking the pool to swim in it?

Although kids go back into the wading pool a mere 15 minutes after a Hazmat-suited city employee has put the chemicals in, it’s best to wait eight to 12 hours before swimming when shocking with a heavy duty chlorine likePowerchlor. That being said if you splurge for our Smart Shock a pee break is all they need!

  1. Why should the pH level of my pool be between 7.2 and 7.6?

Like pure soap makers keep insisting, the right pH balance keeps things safe and healthy. Additionally, a good ph reading makes your eyes feel comfortable under water as our eyes are 7.5.  Bonus: your chlorine works better when your ph is good! Your alkalinity should be in the range of 80 to 150 ppm for sanitary swimming conditions.

  1. Help, my pool is cloudy!

There are many causes for cloudy water, from poor filtration to high pH to swimmers leaving behind too much sunscreen. The best thing to do is take a water sample to your local pool pros and have it tested to determine the cause – and solution – to the problem.

  1. Do I really need a winter cover for my pool?

In the cold seasons, a winter cover will not only catch leaves, it also provides an enhanced protection barrier from unwanted branches and other material that can harm the pool liner. The use of a winter cover also decreases the chemicals required for the spring start up. Covers are not required but we highly recommend them.

The aboveground enviro cover is our top pick allowing the water to pass through without the mess. An inground safety cover provides all the above and safety for pets, kids, and wildlife. It’s not a necessity, but still the Mercedes of pool covers.




  1. Karen

    How do I lower the Alkalinity in my iodinzed pool?

  2. hans hansen

    I converted my pool to salt system I will produce chlorine, I need to know how to make it work when my circulation pump comes on the system is a Hydro Force

    • Kara Redden

      Hi Hans, we aren’t familiar with the Hydro Force line of products. I would recommend reaching out to them with your questions.

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