When ready to vacuum, place the entire cleaner in the pool. Hold one end of the hose in front of the return. The water pressure from the return will force out any air that might be in the vacuum hose and the hose will fill with water correctly. Prevents air from getting into your filtration which will not allow the vacuum to work.
When the hose is filled, turn the pump off. For an automatic cleaner, you will remove the skimmer basket and place the hose and attachment down the skimmer hole. If you are using a manual vacuum, you will leave the skimmer basket and place a vac plate on top and attach your hose. Turn the pump on and the cleaner should have suction from the bottom, or if it’s an automatic cleaner, it will then start moving.
Once your pool is clean, backwashing is the last step. This will help eliminate any debris that may have gotten past your baskets and into your sand. Always rinse and place back on filter when finished.
Automatic cleaners should not be left in the pool for more than a couple hours. Most automatic vacuums should clean within this time.
Automatic cleaners may not work properly in extremely cold water. This does not mean it’s broken.
If you have large debris in your pool such as leaves, a manual vacuum is best to use. The debris must go through 2 baskets in order to get into your sand. An automatic cleaner has only the pump strainer basket to go through.
While vacuuming on waste, you must use a manual vacuum.
Enjoy is 80% less chlorine that comes in a convenient monthly package. This is one of the main reason you see more people using the Enjoy opening kit.
- Make sure the water level is to the third screw on your skimmer, and that your pump is running.
- Balance your water. Your PH, Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness all need to be in range before you add your enjoy kit.
- With pump running, dissolve Enjoy tablets ONE AT A TIME in the skimmer. Wait for each tablet to dissolve before adding the next.
- After the last tablet has dissolved, keep the filter running 24 hours.
- After filter time, add 1-2 bags once a week (depends on pool size)
Being a first time spa owner can be a little overwhelming at first if you don’t know anything about maintaining your hot tub. Excellent upkeep is going to be a big part of your hot tubs longevity, and since they aren’t a cheap investment, we can guarantee you want to maintain it right!
Cleaning The Spa
Use a mild non abrasive cleaner when cleaning your tub. You will want to use some type of soft wash rag, or a nylon scrubber. The fiberglass shell of a tub can be scratched if you use the wrong tools. Be gentle when wiping down the tub. There are several products on the market that are great to use after you clean your tub. They will give you hot tub a shine to it, while also helping it dry better. You can also remove the pillows from most tubs to be able to clean them separately
Cleaning The Filters
You should rinse down the filters whenever possible. We recommend washing them down at least twice a year, and replacing the filters once a year. You can simply wash these down with a water hose to remove the debris that is caught in the filters. There are also several filter cleaning solutions on the market that you can soak the filters in to get some extra life out of them.
Balancing Your Water
One of the main tasks you will be doing as a spa owner, is maintaining your chemical balance. Water has to be adjusted to make sure its clean, and to make sure the water is safe to soak in. Check out What Are Chemical Balancers? to get a better understanding of what the balancers are and what they do.
Floc is used as basically a last resort to cleaning a pool. The floc makes all the debris and bacteria weigh more, so that they sink to the bottom and can be vacuumed up. It is recommended that you only floc with sand filter systems.
- Balance your PH & Alkalinity levels
- Raise the water level
- Pour FLOC product directly across the surface of the pool
- Change your filter setting to recirculate/bypass to pool
- Let the pool circulate for one hour
- After one hour, turn the pool pump off
- Let the pool sit undisturbed for 24 hours. (No Swimming or Automatic Cleaners)
- After 24 hours, change your filter setting to bypass to waste
- Turn pump on and begin vacuuming to waste
- Slowly vacuum to waste until your water level reaches the bottom of the skimmer, and then turn your pump back off
- Refill your water level
- Repeat steps 7 through 11 until the pool waters reaches clarity
On top of most modern sand tank filters, you will have what’s called a multiport valve. This is how you control your pool and what it’s doing. It’s very important that you turn your pump off before changing sand filter positions.
Filter – This is the pool’s main setting. The filter will stay on this position unless you are performing another task.
Backwash – This is the setting to clean the filter. It redirects the flow of water that runs through the filter and pushes out unwanted dirt and debris. Water will shoot out pretty hard out of the backwash port.
Rinse – Rinsing the filter will help prevent any excess dirt that might return into the pool after backwashing. If this step is missed then you will probably see a nice white cloud coming out of your return.
Waste – This is a great way to rid your pool of larger debris such as leaves, algae, etc. This position will prevent any debris going through your filtration system while vacuuming. The water will lower very quickly while on this setting. It helps to have the garden hose in the pool filling while you are vacuuming.
Recirculate/Bypass Pool – This is how you just recirculate the water and is not used very often. The purpose of this position is to bypass the sand of the filter. It is used mostly for pinpoint problems in the filtration system.
Closed – This setting will close off all the ports to the valve. Only used when filter/pump does not need to be running.
Winterize – This will leave ports partially open to equalize pressure. Only needing during winter.
PH – The measurement of how basic or acidic you water is. PH has adjusters that can lower or raise your level. The PH also helps whatever santizer you are using, work even better. When the pool is to acidic, your eyes and nose may burn, swimwear can fade, and skin may become itchy or dry. When the pool is too basic, the water may start to become cloudy/murky and also may start to burn your eyes.
PH too high = PH Decreaser or Muratic Acid
PH too low = PH Increaser
Alkalinity – When the Alkalinity is within the right range, it will help prevent rapid PH changes. Alkalinity has adjusters that can lower or raise your level. If the alkalinity is too low, the pool walls and floor can stain, the water can turn green or cloudy, and eyes may burn. If the alkalinity is too high, the PH is difficult to adjust, the water may become cloudy, and the sanitizer loses its efficiency as a disinfectant.
Alkalinity too high = PH Decreaser or Muratic Acid
Alkalinity too low = Total Alkalinity Increaser
Calcium Hardness – The mineral content of the water. If the calcium hardness is to low, the water can become corrosive. Which means metals corrode including pool equipment, pipe fittings, and pump connections. As a result, the pool bottom and walls will develop a stain of calcium deposits. If the level is too high, the result will be scale formation on all pool surfaces. The filter and pipes may become clogged, may reduce flow of the water, and the filtration efficiency.
Calcium can always be raised with Hardness Increaser, but the only way to lower the level is to drain partially and refill with fresh water.
One of the most common trends over the past couple years has been saltwater pools. Many questions have been asked because there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding salt generators. I hope this information helps clear up the facts and the myths!
What actually is a saltwater pool?
A saltwater pool is a pool that has a certain purification system (chlorine generator) that provides a continuous production of chlorine. No it is not a “chlorine free pool” as many people believe this. These generators will reduce the need to add chlorine to your pool. Instead you will add salt which then will be converted into chlorine.
How do these systems work?
The salt is added to the pool, will then pass through the cell and turns into hypochloric acid also known as the killing form of chlorine. Meaning saltwater pools still use chlorine sanitization. Saltwater pools must also be tested in order to maintain proper water balance.
Saltwater Pool Pros
-The #1 reason people choose to go with this system is convenience. Less chlorine maintenance is required. Meaning there is no need to purchase, store, or add chlorine chemicals. (There are some situations that may require an extra addition of chlorine such as generator not producing enough chlorine, very high water temperature, heavy swimming, rain, etc.)
-Less Burning Of Eyes, Miniminal Chlorine Smell
-The biggest advantage with using a saltwater generator is the feel of water on the skin. It provides a smoother/softer feel. A good choice for someone who has skin sensitivities.
-Better water clarity is maintained because the generator is continuously
running and providing a chlorine level.
Saltwater Pool Cons
-The #1 reason people will shy away from a saltwater generator is the cost ofthe system. They are often sold as a cost saving system which is not entirely true. The systems usually will range from $1,300 $2,000. True you no longer have to purchase chlorine and salt is less expensive but in comparison you could purchase 4-7 years worth of chlorine for that price. -The systems area machine and with any machine parts will have to be replaced. The most common part replaced is the cell. Typically the cell will last 35 years (with proper maintenance). A cell price can start around $500 depending on brand.
-Salt can be corrosive to many parts of your pool. Example: decking, any metal such as pool ladders, poolside furniture, pool coping etc.) To help slow the corrosion process we recommend rinsing off your decks, metals, etc. with fresh water after pool use. (A cell protection or cell cleaner should be used seasonally)
-Salt is not environmentally friendly to most plants. Most owners have to
reroute or restrict the backwashing/ draining of water.
A “saltwater pool” is a still a chlorine pool. Many times owners believe this system will provide complete care of the water. I’m sorry to say they don’t. Water testing and cell maintenance is still very much required. The
generators produce only the chlorine. We recommend testing the water weekly in order to maintain these proper ranges:
Salt – 2500 to 4000 ppm (Much less than the ocean which is 35,000ppm –
Check proper level with manufacturer)
Chlorine – 2.0 to 4.0
PH 7.2 to 7.6 (important to know that as the chlorine is generated the PH tends to rise – Chlorine is more effective with ph around 7.2)
Alkalinity – 80 to 120
Hardness – 200 to 400
Cyanuric Acid – 70 to 90 (also known as stabilizer, is added to the water to help stop the UV rays from breaking down the chlorine that is being generated)
* A/G pools should not use a true salt generator. Again very corrosive and in
most cases will void any warranty you have on the pool or filtration system.
Adult Supervision At All Times
Children should always be supervised when around a spa at ALL TIMES. Hot tubs can be very dangerous to a child who is not aware. Kids need to be in view of an adult while in the hot tub at all times. Even leaving a child alone for just a minute while you do something is very dangerous. It only takes a small amount for something bad to happen.
Water Balance Safety
Having your water balanced right affects everyone’s health that uses the tub. A spa that is not balanced right is especially dangerous for children, who more commonly get swimmers ear or eye infections. Check out our article on balancing your water correctly for more information on hot tub water balancing.
Teach Your Kids Hot Tub Safety
One of the best things your can do for your kids safety is discuss hot tub safety with them. Spend time with them and explain the different features of the spa and what they do. Show them the dangerous aspects of the tub. This would also be a great time to teach them all about water safety, not just hot tub safety. You should make it a strong point for them not to use them tub without an adult under any circumstances.
Lower The Heat
Safety regulations suggest that no one should get into water hotter than 104 degrees. They suggesting turning down the water to at least 98 degrees when children are using the hot tub. If adults only, the optimal recommended temperature is 102 degrees.
Other Hot Tub Safety Tips
- Always used a cover lock on your hot tub when not in use. This will keep children and unwanted visitors from getting into your hot tub. If your spa did not come with a cover lock, you can buy an universal one that fits most tubs.
- Know exactly where the emergency shut off is located on your hot tub.
- Have a spa professional come look at your top and make sure everything is still in great condition, and nothing that could be hazardous to you.
Cyanuric Acid is used as a “stabilizer” for chlorine so that it is more enduring when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. It’s like a sunscreen for your chlorine. Sunlight can destroy sanitizer in a very short period of time. Extreme sun can nearly wipe out all sanitizer within 2 hours.
Why Is It Important To Monitor Cyanuric Acid Levels?
An ideal level of cyanuric acid (3050ppm) should be maintained to prevent rapid chlorine loss. When cyanuric acid levels are too high (also known as “chlorine lock”) it will reduce the efficiency of the chlorine. Cyanuric acid can build and build over time. Once it reaches a certain level, it will lock up the chlorine completely and leave your pool water without sanitizing power. Cyanuric acid does not dissipate out of pool water like chlorine will. The only way to bring this level down is to dilute with fresh water.
Getting started searching for that perfect inground pool can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming. There are three main type of inground pools that you can get installed: Vinyl, Fiberglass & Gunite.
Vinyl pools will be the most common residential pool that you will see.
Lowest Initial Cost
Vinyl is Non-Abrasive
Home Resell Value
Liner Changes (typically run between $2500-$5000)
Higher Lifetime Cost
Fiberglass pools are pre-made in a factory. The shell is set into a hole.
Little Lifetime Cost
Built In Environments (Seats, Steps, Tanning Ledges)
Quicker & Easier Install
No Deeper Than 8′, No Wider Than 16′
Higher Intial Cost
Not Very Customizable, Certain Shapes & Sizes
Concrete pools are the most common style of pool. They are what you see at most public pools, hotels, and other pools used by a lot of people.
Fully Customizable, No limit to shape or size
Can Withstand More Abuse, No Liner To Tear
Highest Initial Cost
Highest Lifetime Cost
More Chemical Usage
Longest Install Time