AlgeaGreen or brown algea, green water slippery surfaces, cloudy waterInsufficient free chlorineAdjust pH, Shock, and Algeacide 60
Black AlgeaBlack algea spotsInsufficient free chlorineAdjust pH, Shock, and Algeacide 60
Chlorine OdorStrong odor, burning eyesInsufficient free chlorine existence of chloraminesAdjust pH, then shock
Cloudy WaterHazy, cloudy water, lack of sparklePoor filtrationCheck filter
High pHLower pH
Low total alkalinityRaise alkalinity
High calcium hardnessDilute calcium hardness
Early algea growthShock
Eye and Skin IrritationRed eyes, itching skinImproper pHAdjust pH
Scale FormationScale deposits on walls, pipes, filter High pHHigh pHLower pH
High alkalinityLower alkalinity
High hardnessDilute pool water
Stains on Walls or FloorsBrownIronAdjust pH
Black, BlueCopperUse Stain-X or Abscorb-X
Blue, GreenManganese
Corrosion of MetalsMetal corrosion, rust stains, copper stains, colored waterLow pH, Low hardnessRaise pH
High Chlorine ConsumtionExcessive sanitizer usageHeavy bather load, dirt, high temperatureShockD22
Low chlorine stabilizer levelChlorine Stabilizer
High pHLower pH

Find answers to some frequently asked questions about pool installation and pool maintenance.

  • 1. How and when do I drain water out of my pool?

    You will need to drain some water from your pool when the water level is above the skimmer square.  *NOTE: NEVER drain your fiberglass pool completely without the help of a professional. Improperly draining your pool can cause severe damage to the fiberglass shell and surrounding concrete.

    1. Make sure that your pump is running.
    2. Attach garden hose to spigot located on plumbing pipe.
    3. Make sure that the hose will drain the water away from your house.
    4. Turn valve and water from the pool will run out the hose.
    5. Drain the pool water level to halfway down the skimmer square.
    6. Once you have reached that level, turn off the valve at the hose spigot and remove the hose.
  • 2. How and when do I clean my cartridge filter?

    You will need to clean your filter when the pressure gauge indicates that your filter is holding pressure above 20 psi. Otherwise, it would be a good idea to clean it before and after swimming season.

    In order to clean your filter:

    1. You will need to turn your pool pump on the app.
    2. Then you will need go to the panel and push the mode button to put the pool in service mode.
    3. Next you will undo the black clamp that goes around the middle of the filter and take the cap off the top of the filter.
    4. Carefully remove the cartridges and hose each of them off with good water pressure.
    5. Replace the cartridges in the filter and put the cap back on. (Do not over tighten clamp).
    6. Turn the pool pump on and bleed the air from the top of the filter with the bleed screw.
    7. Once that is complete, go to the panel and put the pool back into Auto mode by pressing the mode button again until it says “Auto”.
  • 3. How do I reset my panel after a power outage?

    If you notice that your pool schedule is not running at the correct time or your pump is randomly not coming on, that is a good indication that your panel needs to be reset. Go to the Pentair panel and hold the reset button down for 10 seconds or wait until you hear the panel click off. The lights should go off on your panel. Once the panel comes back on your schedules should return to normal.

  • 4. How do I check my salt level and what does it need to be?

    You can find your salt level in your Intellicenter app on your phone. Open the app and select Chlorinator. A good salt level is between 3,200ppm and 3,400ppm. If you notice that you are below this level. Then you will need to add salt. If your salt level is above 3,600, you will need to dilute the water by draining a few inches and adding more water from the hose.

  • 5. What should my chlorine output percentage be set to?

    Your chlorine output percentage represents the time that your salt cell is producing chlorine while your pool is running. Therefore, if your pool is set to be running from 8:00am – 8:00 pm and your chlorine output is 50 percent, your salt cell is only producing chlorine for 6 of the 12 hours that the pool is running. When we set up your pool, we recommend that it run for 24 hours. We will program the pool to run at a higher speed during the day and a lower speed at night.

    You will need to adjust the chlorine output percentage based on the chlorine level of your pool, once it is tested. If you notice that your chlorine level is high when you test it, turn the chlorine output percentage down. If the chlorine level is low, turn the chlorine output percentage up. You should be able to find a percentage that is exactly right for your pool. Different pools are set at different percentages for the following reasons: the number of people that swim in the pool, how long your pool gets full sun, how often it rains, etc. These are all factors that affect the chlorine level in your pool.

  • 6. What are the proper chemistry ranges for my fiberglass swimming pool?

    • Chlorine Residual – 0 to 3.0 ppm (1.5 is ideal)
    • PH Level – 2 to 7.6 (7.4 to 7.6 is ideal)
    • Total Alkalinity – 80 to 120 ppm
    • Calcium Hardness – 200 to 400 ppm
    • Cyanuric Acid (chlorine stabilizer) – 30 to 40 ppm
  • 7. How often should I check each chemistry range for proper maintenance?

    1. Total Alkalinity: ALWAYS check total alkalinity first!
      • Test 1 to 2 times a week
      • Proper range: 80 to 120 ppm
      • The total alkalinity is the measure of alkaline materials dissolved in the water. Proper levels of total alkalinity serve as a buffer to prevent fluctuations in the pH.
      • To INCREASE your total alkalinity, add a total alkalinity increaser.
      • To LOWER your total alkalinity, add small amounts of muriatic acid.
      • ALWAYS follow the directions of the chemical container.
      • Total alkalinity kept in the proper range will help stabilize the pH level!
    2. pH Control
      • Test 2 times a week
      • Proper range: 7.2 to 7.6 (ideal 7.4 to 7.6)
      • The pH scale runs from the highly acidic range of 0 to the highly alkaline range of 14.
      • A pH level of 7 is considered neutral
      • Problems with “Out of Range” pH:
        • Low pH:
          • Eye burn and skin irritation
          • Corrosion of pool surface, pool equipment and fittings.
          • Rapid loss of chlorine.
        • High pH:
          • Loss of Chlorine effectiveness
          • Scaling on pool surface
          • Cloudy water
          • Ideal conditions for algae growth
      • It is very important to keep your pH level in the proper range to avoid many problems that can develop on your pool’s surface, equipment, and water.
      • The factors that affect the pH in your swimming pool include the following: swimmers, rainwater, fresh water, chlorine, and the total alkalinity.
      • Adjusting pH level
        • INCREASE pH level by adding sodium carbonate. Follow directions on the container for dosage and application.
        • DECREASE pH level by adding sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid. Follow directions on container for dosage and application.
    3. Chlorine
      • Test 2 times a week
      • Proper range: 1.0 to 3.0 ppm (1.5 is ideal)
      • Chlorine is the most widely used effective and economical sanitizer for swimming pools.
      • Chlorine controls algae, effectively kills bacteria and other disease-causing organisms, and removes waste products through oxidation.
      • You should maintain low, but constant chlorine levels. Refer to “What should my chlorine output be set to?” to see how to maintain the chlorine level on your pool.
    4. Super Chlorination
      • When should I set my pool to “Super Chlorinate”?
        • After heavy use: gatherings, parties, or any time that you have had several people in the pool
        • After a storm with heavy wind or rain.
      • How to set my pool to “super chlorinate”?
        • Open the Intellicenter app and log in.
        • Select “Chlorinate.”
        • Select “Superchlorinate.”
      • How long does the “super chlorinate” last?
        • Once you set your pool to super chlorinate, your salt cell will produce chlorine for 24hrs before going back to its normal schedule.
        • IMPORTANT: Wait at least 12 hours before getting in the pool. Also test the water before getting in to ensure that chlorine level is below 3.0 ppm.
      • Why is it necessary to “Super Chlorinate” my pool?
        • Waste enters the pool through wind, rain, and people. Many of these wastes are not filterable and they combine with chlorine to form “chloramines,” a chlorine nitrogen complex. Chloramines cause eye irritation and reduce the amount of “free chlorine” available to provide sanitation. A buildup of waste also causes the water to become cloudy or have a dull appearance.
        • Super Chlorination (Shocking) burns out wastes and transforms the chloramines back into free available chlorine. Shocking uses oxidation to restore the pool water to a sparkling, sanitary, comfortable condition. Normal chlorine levels are usually unable to accomplish this.
    5. Calcium Hardness
        • Test Monthly
        • Proper range: 200 to 400 ppm
        • Different areas of the country have higher and lower levels of calcium.
        • The higher the calcium concentration in the water, the more prone the pool is to calcium leeching.
        • When the pH is maintained between 7.2 and 7.4, the calcium is balanced in the water.
        • When the pH rises above 7.4 calcium begins to precipitate of of the water and cling to the swimming pool surface.
        • The higher the pH, the more pronounced the calcification can become. The problem occurs more often in areas with higher natural concentrations of calcium in the water. (Also known as hard water).
        • If a pool is exposed to high pH levels, then an inconsistent discoloration below the waterline can occur. This whitening is due to calcium leeching from the pool water and clinging to the walls, steps, and floor of the pool. It can be seen as a streak or solid area and is especially noticeable when the water level is lowered and the calcium dries.
        • This problem can be treated in the early stage, say 1 to 3 months, with chemical solution.
        • If the swimming pool is maintained with a very high pH over a period of time, longer than 3 months, then the problem can turn severe. In advanced cases, the calcium chloride is so bad that the pool, even when hydrated (full of water) still shows whitening.
        • It will take up to 6 months to treat this condition and allow the chemical solution to fully dissolve in the pool.
        • If the calcium hardness level is bad for a long time, the solution will not fully remove all the calcium.
        • It is important to maintain proper calcium and pH levels on your pool as failure to do so can cause significant damage to your pool and void the warranty on the shell.
    6. Pool Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid)
      • Test Monthly
      • Proper range: 30 to 60 ppm
      • Sunlight is a major factor in the consumption of chlorine.
      • When cyanuric acid is added into the pool, it makes the chlorine more resistant to the U.V. rays of the sun.
      • Chlorine stabilizer helps keep our chlorine levels more constant while reducing your chlorine costs
    7. We recommend Jacks Magic products for all preventative and stain solution products.
  • 8. How to set up or change schedules for the swimming pool and pool features?

    1. Log in to your Pentair Intellicenter app.
    2. Tap on the 3 lines in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
    3. Select settings.
    4. Select schedule.
    5. There should be at least 2 schedules already set up on the app. Those schedules should be labeled Pool and Pool High. We recommend that you leave those schedules set up the way we created them when your pool was installed for efficiency.
    6. There may be a schedule labeled Pool Light that is already set up. You are welcome to change that schedule to come on and turn off at different times if you would like. Simply select Pool Light and edit the days and times. Then select save and the schedule will update on your app.
    7. If you would like to add a new schedule for your lights or water feature, do the following:
      1. Select “Add Feature.”
      2. Select a circuit such as Pool Light, Deck Jets, Waterfall, etc.
      3. Select repeat.
      4. Select a start and end time.
      5. Select days you want the feature to run.
      6. Next, save your schedule.
  • 9. How do I calculate how many gallons of water my swimming pool holds?

    • Formula: Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume (in gallons)
    • There are 7.5 gallons of water in each cubic foot.
  • 10. How to check the sump pit and what do I do if it is full of water?

    • Located near the deep end of your pool is a square lid/cover. If you lift this lid, you should be able to see down this hole several feet. If you notice that this hole is filled with water, especially if it is close to the level of the water in your pool, use a sump pump to pump the water out of the hole and away from the pool and the house.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: If the water level in the sump pit is higher than the water level of the pool, there is a possibility that your pool could lift out of the ground. Avoid this by keeping an eye on the water level in your sump pit, especially after a heavy rain storm.
  • 11. Why is some of the concrete around my pool cracking?

    • We are very intentional with placing tension relief joints in the concrete so that we can control where the concrete cracks (and it will 100% crack somewhere, by nature, so we try to force it to crack where we want – in the tension relief joints). Unfortunately, there are times where concrete does not follow the tension relief joints.
    • We place our concrete on compacted gravel to help prevent any settling.
    • We use a 4000 psi concrete mix (commercial grade mix versus the 3000 psi concrete mix that residential builders use) – much stronger.
    • We strategically place tension relief (either control joints or saw cuts) so that concrete cracks where we want it to. Unfortunately, it does not always crack where we want it to.
    • We do everything that we can on the front end to try to prevent it from cracking where it is not supposed to.
    • We are also aware that the stamped coping is going to follow the tension relief joint and crack down the face – it is doing what it is designed to do.
  • 12. How do I take care of my Automatic Safety Cover?

    1. Always keep your cover pump on the cover when it is closed. If water sits on the cover, it can cause the material to stretch and come out of the track.
    2. Keep your water at the proper level. Your water level should be kept at the mid-skimmer level. This allows the cover to rest on the water and be supported so that it does not pull on the track.
    3. Make sure both sides of the cover open and close at the same time. If the cover is not adjusted correctly, it will cause the ropes to break, stopping the cover from being able to open and close.
    4. Have your auto cover inspected and adjusted annually.
    5. Keep your water chemistry balanced. Improperly balanced water will weaken the fabric of your cover.
    6. Never open the cover with water on it. This can tear the fabric and cause damage to the cover system.
    7. Never continue to open or close the cover if it hesitates or stops
    8. Never walk or step on the cover lid. It is not made for foot traffic and can be damaged easily.
  • 13. My robotic cleaner is not working. What do I do?

    1. Try plugging the prowler controller into another outlet.
    2. Check to see if there is a blue light on the prowler when you turn it on from the controller.
    3. Notice how long it will run before stopping.
    4. If the prowler is still not working after checking these things, call the office to see if your prowler is covered under warranty.
  • 14. The lights in my pool are not working. What do I do?

    1. Go to your Pentair panel outside.
    2. Turn your lights on and off 31 times. Wait until you hear a click each time. This will hard reset your lights.
    3. If your lights are still not working, call the office to see if your lights are still covered under warranty.
  • 15. My heater is not working. What do I do?

    1. Make sure that you have a clean filter. Consider when you had your filters last cleaned. A dirty filter can prevent your heater from firing up.
    2. Check the skimmer basket on your pool and the pump basket on your equipment pad. Make sure that both are clean. This will allow better waterflow through the heater.
    3. If the heater still does not work after cleaning these things, contact the office to see if your heater is still under warranty.
    4. Remember that it takes time for the temperature of the water in your pool to heat up. Some variables would be the size of your pool, the temperature outside, how many degrees you want to raise the water temperature to. These variables will affect how long it takes to heat the water in your pool. We would recommend starting your heater a day or 2 in advance if you are planning to have it at a certain temperature for a weekend party or gathering.
  • 16. How do I prepare my pool for winter?

    If we installed your pool, the pool includes what we call “freeze protection.” Your pool panel is designed to automatically turn your pool pump on and any water features when the temperature goes below 32 degrees. However, we still have some recommendations for preparing your pool for the winter months:

    • Winterize water features
      • We recommend that you winterize any water features that are above the ground. This would include deck jets, water feature wall, and slide. This would not include bubblers as they are located below the water’s surface.
    • Keep valves open
      • If you have a spa, turn the valve to be slightly open during the winter. This way the pump will circulate water in the pool and the spa at the same time.
    • Keep the pumps running
      • We will typically set up your pool pump to run 24 hours at installation. During the winter, watch your pool to ensure the pump is running. Occasionally, a power outage may turn the pump off and not turn it back on again. Simply go to your panel and hold the reset button down for 10 seconds or until you hear a clicking noise. This will reset your panel and your schedules will return to normal.
    • Keep your pool clean
      • After the leaves fall and are cleaned up, pool maintenance is much easier. It is still a good idea to make sure that your pool is vacuumed on a regular basis. Your pool will be less apt to stains on the surface of the pool floor and steps with proper maintenance.
    • Keep the water balanced
      • Once water temperatures are in the 50s and 40s, you will need minimal chlorine. At this point, and possibly before, your salt cell will stop producing chlorine.
      • We recommend that you keep a chlorine floater in your pool with a couple chlorine tablets in it during the winter. This should provide sufficient chlorine for your pool.
      • Aside from your chlorine level, be sure to keep your pH, alkalinity, calcium, and cyanuric acid levels in a good range.
      • Chemistry levels out of the proper range can cause damage and scaling to the pool’s surface and pool equipment.
  • 17. I think my pool is leaking. What do I do?

    If you think your pool is leaking, we recommend doing what is called the bucket test. In this test, you fill a bucket full of water and set it on one of the steps in your pool. Make sure that the water level in the bucket is at the same level as the water in the pool. Leave the bucket in the water for a few days. If you notice that the water level in the bucket stays the same as the level of water in the pool, the loss of water is due to evaporation. If you notice that the level of water in the pool is lower than the level of water in the bucket, there is a possibility that you have a leak. The next step would be to contact a leak detection company.

If you have any additional questions please contact us.

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