Pool Maintenance
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Pool Maintenance

Swimming Pool Maintenance

Swimming pool maintenance is probably one of the most important parts of owning a swimming pool, but is likely one of the least thought about. From attaining optimum chemical ratios in the swimming pool water to maintaining your swimming pool pump and filter, proper swimming pool maintenance is key in extending the life of your swimming pool and its moving parts.

Swimming Pool Water Quality

Maintaining acceptable chemical levels in your swimming pool water is essential to providing an enjoyable swimming experience for everyone. Improper chemical levels can dry out skin and damage hair, as well as shorten the life of your pool liner and pool pump seals. The proper pH level will ensure that skin does not itch, and hair continues to look healthy. Overall chemical balance will help ensure the longest possible life span for your swimming pool liner and pool pump seals.

Routine pool water maintenance is also essential for hygiene purposes. Proper swimming pool maintenance includes keeping pool chemicals in balance, leaving pool water looking sparkling clean. Follow these general chemical guidelines when testing your pool water:


Acceptable Chemical Water Balance Guidelines
Free Chlorine
1.0 ppm
1.0-3.0 ppm
5 ppm
Combined Chlorine
.2 ppm
2.0 ppm
2.0-4.0 ppm
4.0 ppm
Total Alkalinity
80 ppm
140 ppm

          Plaster pools

80-120 ppm

         Vinyl-lined or Fiberglass

100-140 ppm
Stabilizer ( Cyanuric Acid)
10 ppm
30-50 ppm
100 ppm
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
300 ppm
1000-2000 ppm
3000 ppm
Calcium Hardness
150 ppm
200-400 ppm
500-1000 ppm
* ppm- parts per million

If you find that your swimming pool chemicals are out of balance, follow these simple suggestions to help bring your pool water back within acceptable limits:

Chemical Guidelines
To raise chlorine level — add tablets or shock
To lower pH — add acid while walking around pool perimeter
To raise alkalinity — add buffer
To lower alkalinity — Consult your pool specialist
To raise stabilizer level — add stabilizer
To lower stabilizer level — Consult your pool specialist (possibly lower the water)
To raise calcium hardness — add calcium chloride
To lower calcium hardness — Consult your pool specialist
Email us with any technical questions you may have at store@sterlingpools.ca.

Cloudy Pool Water

Out of balance water chemicals is just one cause for cloudy water. If your water is in balance and you are still having trouble, it could be problems with or improper maintenance of yourswimming pool filter(s). Properly maintaining your swimming pool filtration system is a crucial part of the general care and maintenance of a swimming pool. Properly back washing or cleaning and maintaining the filtration medium (diatomaceous earth, sand, or cartridge) can mean excellent swimming pool water clarity. For example, back washing too often can be as detrimental to the status of your pool water as not back washing enough.

Problems with each of the three types swimming pool filters can cause cloudy water. Determining which is the problem with your filter may ultimately require the help of an experienced swimming pool service professional. However, here are some general suggestions for what may be causing the cloudy water for each filter type:

Cloudy Water—Sand Filter

Probable Causes:

    1. Water chemistry out of balance
    2. Particles too small to be filtered - add clarifier
    3. Damaged or missing O-rings in slide valve or multi port
    4. Needs sand change or correct type of sand (#20 silica)
    5. Needs to be back washed
    6. System not running long enough


Cloudy WaterCartridge Filter

Probable Causes:

    1. Dirty filter cartridge
    2. Clogged cartridge due to poor water balance
    3. Filter too small
    4. System not running long enough

Other common problems with the swimming pool filtering systems can include:

Low Circulation and Low Pressure

Probable Causes:
    1. Basket is clogged
    2. Clogged suction line
    3. Air leak in suction line
    4. Clogged or cracked impeller

Low Circulation and High Pressure

Probable Causes:
  1. Dirty filter
  2. Closed return valve
  3. Clogged or obstructed return line

Sand Returning to Swimming Pool

    1. Laterals in filter cracked
    2. Damaged or missing O-rings in slide valve or spider gasket in multi port
    3. Needs sand change or correct sand grade (#20 silica)

Pool Pump Maintenance

Another key component in swimming pool maintenance is, of course, the swimming pool pump. The pump is what circulates the water in your swimming pool, allowing the filtration system to clean debris and other contaminants from the water. This water circulation also ensures that the chemical and oxygen levels remain consistent throughout the swimming pool, making it more difficult for organisms such as algae to gather and thrive. If your swimming pool pump is not working effectively, water will stagnate, making it harder to maintain optimum water clarity and condition. If you notice a problem with your swimming pool pump, it is important to get it taken care of as soon as possible. What may seem like a minor problem today could lead to a more expensive problem down the road, if left unchecked.

Two of the most common problems associated with a swimming pool pump are (1) the pump will not run (2) that it will not maintain prime. Either of these scenarios can mean the need for a pool professional to diagnose and repair the problem. The following suggestions will help you to determine if it is necessary to call in your service technician:

Pump Doesn't’t Run

      1. Tripped breakers
      2. Power switch off
      3. Bad electrical connections on rear of motor
      4. Shaft will not turn due to rusty or frozen bearings
        (Was motor very loud before stopping?)
      5. Impeller locked up by debris

Pump Will Not Prime Up

Probable Causes:
    1. No water in pump pot
    2. Lid O-ring bad or missing
    3. Lid not tight. Do not over tighten.
    4. Skimmer basket or pump basket clogged
    5. Damaged or clogged impeller
    6. Are valves open?
    7. Air leak in suction at pump or plumbing

Swimming Pool Maintenance is Essential

A swimming pool provides hours of fun and relaxation for the whole family. Swimming pool maintenance may not be the most fun, but when done properly and regularly, it can extend the life of your swimming pool.

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