We asked pool care expert Billy Whitmore, owner of Summer Breeze Pool & Spa Services, LLC, in Surprise, Arizona, for some tips on getting swimming pools ready for summer. He offered the following F.A.C.T.S:
Clean filters and cartridges. Suntan lotion, baby oils, and dirt clog filters. If the filter is dirty, the water will not circulate enough and algae will form. Summer Breeze recommends annual cleaning of D.E. and card cartridge filters by taking apart and cleaning the internal filter elements. Dirty filter = dirty water!
Adequate Agua (Water)
Check your water level! Dry, hot days and splashing cause water loss. Nothing will ruin equipment faster than lack of water. Without proper water levels, pumps cannot function and water will not circulate. In Arizona, we lose 10 feet of water through evaporation per year!
Make sure to run the pump enough. Pools need to filter and circulate water much more often in the summer months. Timers should be set to run as follows:
- Summer: 8-12 hours a day
- Winter: 4-8 hours a day
Algae will grow if the pump isn't run often enough. RUN THE PUMP IN THE EVENING, DURING "OFF PEAK" HOURS. (9pm - 9am)
Take toys out of the pool. Toys will find your skimmer, drains, and pool cleaners, causing blockage and restricting water flow. Kids are attracted to toys! Please protect your family by removing toys for the pool after swimming.
Chemicals such as Chlorine, Muriatic Acid, and Stabilizer are critical when it comes to healthy pool water. Adequate chlorine levels need to be kept up on a weekly basis. Chlorine kills bacteria and prevents algae growth. Without chlorine, your pool will turn green before you know it. Muriatic acid (also called hydrochloric acid) helps control the pH and Alkalinity in your pool. If these get out of balance, you risk itchy skin, pool staining, and equipment corrosion. Stabilizer (conditioner) is important because it protects the chlorine in your pool from the sun. Chlorine is very unstable when exposed to heat and UV rays. Stabilizer works like sun tan lotion for chlorine. Chemicals should be added and tested weekly.
By following these F.A.C.T.S., you should have a refreshing, sparkling pool to enjoy all summer. Finally, if you have dogs, Whitmore recommends keeping them out of the pool as much as possible. Dogs zap chlorine from your pool and dog hair clogs drains, skimmers, pumps and filters. One dog swimming in your pool is equal to 10 adults!
If you have additional questions about pool cleaning or maintenance, contact:
Summer Breeze Pool & Spa Services, LLC