Due to the extreme heat and windy conditions within the Las Vegas Valley it’s recommended to have your chemicals balanced and pool cleaned weekly throughout the year. If a pool is left for longer periods, baskets can fill up with debris quickly and pool water can become unbalanced.
The four main tests to perform with a test kit are pH, Chlorine (or other sanitizer residual), Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness. Cyanuric Acid levels, Mineral Content, Total Dissolved Solids and Acid or Base Demand tests may also be performed as needed.
PH: 7.2 – 7.8 • Chlorine: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm • Total Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm • Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm (though some say 200 – 400). • Cyanuric Acid: 30 – 80 ppm • Total Dissolved Solids: Less than 2000 ppm
Your pump and filter system has usually been matched to the size of your pool so that the total water volume is re-circulated roughly twice a day. In addition, different weather factors, especially temperature, must be taken into consideration. A good rule of thumb here in Las Vegas and Henderson is to run your filter pump 1 hour for every 10 degrees of daytime heat. In most cases this means running the pump for about 5-7 hours during the winter and about 8-10 hours during the summer.
This could be a number of things. What sort of noise is it? If it is a gurgling kind of sound then the pump may not be fully primed. Common causes are low water in the pool or a suction leak. If the sound is a loud whining, screeching, or grinding then mostly likely the motor is the issue and may need to be replaced.
The only time your pool should need a chemical wash is if the pool is or was green. If there are traces of algae in the pool, then a chemical wash is the best choice, since the chlorine will kill and destroy the algae. You can’t simply conduct an acid wash on a green pool since the algae will not be affected. You must first do a chemical wash to kill and remove the algae and then the acid wash to remove the stains.
If the pool has stains or dark and light spots on the plaster, then yes it needs an acid wash. Staining on the pools plaster occurs when the water is out of balance (high pH, calcium & TDS levels). If your pool water hasn’t been drained every 2 – 3 years as recommended then an acid wash is a good idea. Acid washing is basically taking a very thin layer of plaster off to remove staining and make the pool look new again. An Acid Wash can also be performed on Pebble-Tec and other brands of pebble pool surfaces to remove stains, deposits, etc. and will have the same revitalizing effect as when done to plaster pools.
Correctly sized cartridge filters can operate for 6 months between cleanings. The cartridge is removed from the tank and hosed thoroughly, top to bottom, with a high pressure hose to remove dirt when the pressure gauge rises 8-10 lbs above its clean reading. Each time the filter is cleaned, some of its filtering ability is reduced. The cartridge should be replaced every 2-4 yrs, depending on the work it was asked to do. If the filter was a bit undersized, and had some algae each year, and lots of tree debris, etc. then it may last only 1-2 years.