Chicago Pool Care

Cleaning the Pool

The surface skimmer is a device used to collect and automatically remove debris from the water’s surface. Some skimmers are made to hang off the top-rail into the water, while others are made to fit into the pool wall. When purchasing the in-wall skimmer, be sure to get the right “make”, most pool manufacturers have a pre-stamped knock out plate that fits into a specific skimmer bolt pattern.

Be sure to have a FOUR SEASONS OF FUN salesperson assist you in your selection. Remember to periodically empty the strainer basket in the unit, so the efficiency of your skimmer and filter will not be decreased. FOUR SEASONS OF FUN also carries a large selection of hand skimmers, which are for many different uses; pick the right one for your needs. When installing a deck and fenced pool, you may wish to locate the skimmer next to the deck and not under it, this makes servicing you filter much easier because of accessibility.

 

Vacuuming your Pool

Surface skimmers reduce most of the maintenance, but do not eliminate the need for vacuuming your pool periodically. Some debris and foreign particles settle to the pool floor, which must be vacuumed in order to keep the pool clean. The amount of vacuuming you do depends on the amount of traffic the pool receives, the wind factor, the proximity to trees and high dust areas along with many more factors. Generally, once a week is enough to keep the pool nice and clean.

 

To manually vacuum the pool you will need a vacuum head, vacuum hose, and a telescopic pole. There is a wide assortment of vacuum equipment from which to choose. A FOUR SEASONS OF FUN representative will be happy to help you in selecting the appropriate equipment.

 

The steps used in manual vacuuming follow:

1.            Attach the head on to the telescopic pole.

2.            Push the vacuum hose over the vacuum head fitting.

3.            Submerge the vacuum head to the pool floor.

4.            Hold the other end of the vacuum hose up to the return fitting so the vacuum hose can be filled completely with water, this eliminates air and insures that you will pick up a suction.

5.            When the vacuum hose is filled completely, push the hose onto the vacuum fitting in the skimmer. Certain model types have their own special fittings for accepting the vacuum hose, read the instructions that were supplied with the skimmer.

6.            Without taking the vacuum head out of the pool, feel under the head to be sure there is a suction; this will draw the dirt, silt and other debris off the pool floor and deposit it in the filter.

7.            Be sure the filter is running while you are vacuuming, because this is what provides the suction.

 

Automatic Pool Cleaners

There is now a variety of automatic pool cleaners that vacuum the pool floor while the filter is running. There are two distinct styles of cleaners:

1.            Suction Side Cleaner These cleaners work as if you were vacuuming as an extension of the pool filters suction, this style will pick up smaller debris and particles from the floor of the pool, this style will typically keep you pool cleaner and significantly reduce the need for you to do manual vacuuming.

 

Following is a list of Suction Side Cleaners available at Four Seasons of Fun Stores to fit all budgets: Hayward Aqua Bug, Kreepy Krauly Vac Man, The Searcher, Barracuda Beta

 

2.            Return Side Cleaners. This type of cleaner uses the return pressure to control the vacuuming device, the high pressure is forced into the cleaner which result in both movement and limited suction pressure. This type of cleaner is sometimes preferred, if there will be large amounts of bigger size debris (such as leafs) or the filter suction is limited. Smaller particles are agitated off the floor of the pool eventually the pool filter will remove them from suspension.

 

Four Seasons of Fun carries the Barracuda Zippy, one of the best pressure side cleaners.

 

There are a variety of manufacturers now making automatic pool cleaners. The prices and quality of units vary greatly. Newer designs and technology eliminated these problems and have few moving parts. Consult with you F.I.M. sales person to best determine which unit would best suit your needs.

Warming Pool Water

There are three methods of generating warmer water or maintaining the water temperature. Solar Covers, Solar Panels or Gas Heaters, each allow a certain degree of additional comfort. The advantages of each are described below:

 

Solar Blankets

Since the advent of the Solar Blanket, many pool owners are swimming earlier and later than the typical Midwestern swimming pool owner who doesn’t use one. Solar blankets not only let you use your pool earlier and later, but also let you enjoy the pool even on those days in the summer that are cooler than normal, by keeping the heat in the water. It is an established fact that solar blankets increase the pool usage by 25-35% here in Midwest. Just imagine that! Every 3 seasons you would be getting an additional entire season’s use, out of your investment. A solar blanket makes sense, and saves cents. Actually, a solar blanket saves many dollars over the life of your pool, for a small investment you get a big return.

Using a blanket will allow you to:

1.            Swim earlier (from early May on),

2.            Swim later (past Labor Day),

3.            Get “free heat” every time the sun shines,

4.            Lose less water through evaporation,

5.            Use less chlorine and other chemicals through dissipation,

6.            Vacuum less, skim less (no dirt or debris blowing in the pool)

7.            Enjoy your pool more and be more comfortable.

 

FOUR SEASONS OF FUN purchases solar blankets direct from the factories--no middlemen or distributors to pay for. There are now two types of solar blankets, the standard style and the Space Age design. The Space Age cover has a sheet of aluminum mixed into the bubble, this aluminize blanket increases the reflection capacity of the cover. As result the new space age cover generates 14.6% more heat than a standard solar cover. Ask a staff member to show you a sample and to explain solar blankets to you.

 

IMPORTANT: Do not use a floating chlorine applicator or cartridge if a solar blanket is being used. This prevents even distribution of chlorine and will damage the thermal solar blanket. Use H2O Specialties Quick Tabs, liquid chlorine, granular chlorine or an automatic chlorinator. Automatic feeder systems are very popular, effective and inexpensive.

 

When removing a solar cover from the pool never place the solar blanket in direct sunlight, the cover will continue to heat and will eventually destroy the cover. The first sign of a cover that is overheating, from storing the cover in direct sunlight, is the bubbles begin to collapse. To prevent the damage to your cover, store in a shaded area or under a dark color material.

 

A convenient way to handle and store a solar cover is a SOLAR REEL. A solar reel mounts onto the pool or deck. The solar reel typical is mounted on above ground pools near the middle of the pool. A center pole is made of aluminum pipe, is connected to end spokes with handle, when the handle is turned the cover is pulled in from both directions around the center pole. Either the center pole can be lifted off the pool or pivots on the bracket away from the pole. An optional mounting pole can be used to hold the cover away from the pool. When the solar blanket is on the solar reel it is covered with a dark material to prevent the cover from reflecting sunlight. Solar reels come in a variety of qualities and prices. See a FOUR SEASONS of FUN representative about the differences and low sale pricing on solar reels.

 

Solar Panels

Panels are different than a solar blanket, while a solar blanket helps your pool retain heat generated by sunlight during the day, the solar panel adds heat. Unlike a solar blanket, the solar panel does not lie on top of the water, so it does not need to be taken off when you swim or put back on afterwards. Just place the solar collector in an area that gets full sun for most of the day. Your system can be placed on the ground or mounted on your roof or a rack. Special valves are required if mounting the panels on the roof. Sizes of the panels vary by manufacturers. The standard size is 4 feet x 20 feet, smaller units now available require you to purchase more section to accomplish the same task. Most round pools up to 24 ft. and smaller ovals use a single 4’x20’ panel. Larger round pools or ovals typically use 2 sections.

The solar panel generates about 80,000 Btu of FREE heat. This will increase a typical pool about 10 degrees or higher than a pool without the solar collector. There is no gas or electric lines, installation takes about 30 minutes and extends the swimming season. Swim earlier and later!

 

For best result use with a pool solar cover.

The water is pumped through the solar collector using existing pool pump. The water in the Solar Collectors is heated in the blank mats and returned to the pool. The unit must be shut off at night or it will cool the pool off. Adding additional solar panels will increase the amount of heat generated.

 

Natural Gas Heater

Graduate to a higher degree of comfort, The Hayward H-series heater incorporates the most advanced heating technology to provide luxuriating comfort, energy-efficient operation and long-lasting dependability. When using a gas heater you can turn up the heat with confidence. Pool heaters feature high-performance flow control system that continually monitors and regulates water flow, maintaining internal temperature at a constant level. Specially designed to deliver maximum efficiency it assures that fuel use is more efficient and comfortable pool temperatures are automatically maintained.

Extend the warmth of your hospitality with the addition of a high performance heater and transform the element of water into an element of pure enjoyment. No other method of heating will generate as much BTU, give a constant temperature or has as quick of a recovery than a gas heater.

 

Pool heaters are sized to the amount of water that you have in your pool. Heaters are available in sizes of: 100,000 Btu, 150,000 Btu, 200,000 Btu, 250,000 Btu, 300,000 Btu, 350,000 Btu and 400,000 Btu. It is typically recommend that you size up the heater to ensure that you have enough capacity to get the amount of heat you want when you

Frequently Asked Questions and answers regarding pool water care.

ABOUT CHLORINE

 

Q. Is chlorine necessary for swimming pool water?

A. Yes! Chlorine kills bacteria and any other organic contaminants which continually enter your pool. Without chlorine, your water would be algae infested and not fit for swimming.

 

Q. What type of chlorine should I use?

A. We recommend any sanitizer that is manufactured to H2O Specialties standards. Sure there are other types, but we cannot attest to their strengths or shelf life. When you purchase H2O Specialties products, you are assured of unsurpassed quality with the least amount inert ingredients. Our buying power gives you the absolute best for the least amount of money. Speak to your FOUR SEASONS OF FUN professional regarding what chlorine program he or she would recommend for your particular needs.

 

Q. How often should you add pool chlorine?

A. Depending on the method you select, it could be daily, weekly, or at other times based on the product and its application.

 

Q. What amount of chlorine do you put in a pool to adequately maintain the desired level?

A. Simple! You should always have a least 1.0-1.5 parts per million (PPM) of Free Available Chlorine (FAC) at all times.

 

Q. What is Free Available Chlorine (FAC)?

A. Free Chlorine is the amount of chlorine that is available to kill germ, bacteria or algae. After chlorine reacts to kill a germ it is in the “used” or combined form. The used chlorines are called chloramines. It is vitally important to keep the Free Chlorine level at required levels. The easiest way to test for free chlorines is to use test strips.

 

Q. How do I know how much chlorine is in the water?

A. Use a reliable test kit to determine the concentration of chlorine. Change the test chemicals annually. The easiest way to test for free available chlorine is to use test strips. Make sure that you check the expiration dates on your test chemicals or strips. Unsure? FOUR SEASONS OF FUN will also test your water sample at no charge and give you expert analysis, however, be sure it is a fresh sample.

 

Q. How do you get rid of “used” chlorine in my pool water?

A. There are two ways to change used chlorine back to Free Available Chlorine. Both involve shocking your pool. The first method of Shocking is by using Blast, which splits apart the combined chlorines and oxidizes the germ, bacteria or algae to the atmosphere. This will not raise the chlorine levels in the pool and will allow you to go swimming immediately after adding the chemical. The second method is to use Super Result Shock, which will do the same as Blast but also raises the chlorine level. This is the recommend product if the chlorine level is low or there is a cloudiness to green tint to the water.

 

Q. Why are many pool owners refusing to use HTH and other granular chlorines (calcium hypochlorites)?

A. These types are not stabilized and, therefore, do not offer continuous protection against bacteria. The sun dissipates it too rapidly. It also contains fillers or inert ingredients which do not dissolve. This means you are vacuuming more and swimming less. It is also a potentially dangerous chemical to store. Plus it’s very heavy!

 

Q. What is meant by “shocking” your pool?

A. “Shocking” is simply super-chlorination of the water. Periodically pools should be shocked to raise the free available chlorine residual to a level considerably higher than the normal day-to-day levels. Shocking is best done by using a granular chemical called Super Result Shock. Liquid Shock is also effective.

 

Q. How often should you shock your pool?

A. Under normal weather conditions and average bathing loads about every 10-14 days. Always shock your pool after heavy rains, and after your pool has had a lot of activity. If the weather is super hot and extremely humid, you should shock more often. If you are using AquaCheck Test strips when the color drops to low levels a shock will bring the levels back up to normal levels.

 

Q. Why are some people talking about non-chlorine substitutes?

A. Chlorine is a chemical, it has been tested extensively for it long effects on people. For most people chlorine is perfectly safe. Most water utilities add chlorine to house water to ensure it is safe for you. Some companies marketing other products have made an issue of negatives of Chlorine. They have emphasized issues to create a market for their products. The cost of these other products can be considerable more expensive than normally accepted and recommended procedures. FIM has an entire line of Biquanide non-chlorine sanitizers.

 

Q. Are there any alternatives to pool chlorine, which are not other chemicals?

A. Nature2 the Purifier non-electrically directs water through a cartridge, which contains a coated ceramic mineral bed. The mineral kills bacteria and algae, on contact. Next, Nature2 releases trace amounts of silver and copper into the pool, which helps prevent growth of new bacteria and algae. However this product will not eliminated the need for usage of other chemicals including chlorine, shock or pH adjuster. You will need to use small amounts of residual oxidizer (shock) and maintain a low level of chlorine (0.4ppm minimum) after the water is stabilized.

 

Q. What is meant by the term pH?

A. pH is the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the water. The pH scale is 0.0-14.0. Below 7.0 is acidic and your water becomes increasingly more acidic as you get lower in number. Above 7.0 is basic on alkaline and your water becomes increasingly more basic as you go higher in number. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral (distilled water).

 

Q. What is considered a normal pH and why is pH important?

A. Pool water pH should be kept between 7.2-7.6 for best results. This is an advantage for many reasons. First, your chlorine will last longer and work much more efficiently. Secondly, at this level the water is non-irritating and very soothing. Thirdly, your water is not corrosive or scale forming.

 

Q. What makes the pool water pH change?

A.

1.            Rainwater

2.            The addition of certain chemicals,

3.            Impurities, which come within the chlorine,

4.            Extra water added from your tap, and

5.            Dust and organic matter carried in by wind and bathers.

 

Q. How do you measure pH in pool water?

A. Use the same test kit cell with the pool water to be checked. Purchase new test chemicals annually and keep them out of the sun and extreme cold.

 

Q. How do you adjust the pH up or down?

A. To raise the pH, use H2O Specialties Increaser in doses recommended on the label. To lower the pH, use H2O Specialties Decreaser according to the instructions on the label. pH is an extremely important factor in swimming pool chemistry. Improper pH is responsible for majority of pool water problems. We cannot stress enough the importance of checking your pool’s pH at regular intervals.

 

Q. What is “total alkalinity”?

A. Total alkalinity is the total concentration in parts per million (PPM) of several alkaline materials in the water. Total alkalinity controls pH to a certain degree. The proper total alkalinity is generally known to be between 80-120 PPM. The right alkalinity will greatly reduce what is called “pH drift” or “pH bounce”. When the alkalinity is in balance it forces the PH into a smaller pH spectrum. The Aqua Check Test strip test for alkalinity. When your pool alkalinity is out of balance you adjust it first, ignore the pH reading.

 

Q. How do you raise or lower total alkalinity?

A. Raising total alkalinity is accomplished by using a product called Alkalinity Increaser. Lowering Alkalinity is done by using Muratic Acid. This is a very dangerous chemical and should be used with extreme caution. Raising alkalinity can be done all at once, but lowering total alkalinity should be done little by little, over a longer period of time. If you pool pH changes a lot, your alkalinity is usually off.

 

Q. What is Chlorine Conditioner?

A. Conditioner refers to the final part of pool water balance. This is a chemical that prevents the ultra- violet rays (UV) of sunlight from prematurely breaking down your sanitizer level so that it can do its job sanitizing the pool water. Chlorine Conditioner will reduce sanitizer consumption by up to 50% and need only be added once for the entire life of the pool water. Apply Chlorine Conditioner according to label directions and do not backwash for at least 24 hours

 

Q. Why is my pool water cloudy?

A. Cloudy water is from a variety of causes. First check to make sure that you filter is working properly. Then check you water with a test kit. Adjust the pH, if necessary, to 7.2-7.8 and shock your pool water. You must maintain a free Chlorine level of 1.0 to 1.5 PPM. If the chlorine level tests low, shock the pool using Super Result Shock. Use 1 pound per 8000 gallons. Put in a dosage of Poly 30 algaecide (23 ounces for 10,000 gallons). If you filter is a sand filter, put in a dosage of Clear Blue Classifier. Run your filter at least 10 hours per day and backwash as necessary.

 

Q. My pool is GREEN what should I do?

A. Green pools are a result of a very high concentration of algae in your pool. Before pool water tints green the water will be cloudy. This is sign that Algae and bacteria are building up in the pool water. The first step is to shock the pool using Super Result Shock. This will raise the free available chlorine level. You want to maintain a very high free chlorine count for at least 3 days. To maintain this level it will require you to continue to add at least 1 LB of shock per 8000 gallons. If you are unable to maintain a minimum 1.5 PPM of free chlorine on your test kit then you should add more Super Result Shock until it does reach that level. After 24 hours the Free chlorine in the pool will have been used up and is now in the “used” stage. This would be a good time to Blast your pool to free up combined chlorine to available chlorine. Around the third day you should use another full dosage of Super Result Shock. As the conditions improve the pool will go from green to cloudy back to haze and finally clear. Use a full dosage of Poly 30 algaecide about one quart for 10,000 gallons (23 to 36 ounces). Extra algaecide will not shorten the time period. Normally it takes about 3 day for a pool to turn green and about 3 days to recover the pool after it has turned. If using a sand filter, a dosage of Clear Blue Classifier will assist the filter in getting rid of smaller particles suspended in the water. Back wash your filter as necessary when pressure rises on the pressure gauge.

 

Q. Can I keep my cost down by not treating my water regularly?

A. It will cost you substantially more to treat your pool water inconsistently than it does on a regular basis. The most efficient method is a daily treatment. This will prevent excess and eliminates the possibility that the pool is without chlorine for long period of time. When a pool is not treated for a longer period and the water goes cloudy or even green it is much more expensive to treat and cure this than just taking care of the pool daily. If you believe you are unable to treat and the check the pool regularly, there are methods that allow you to use a chlorinator, which will put the chemicals in weekly. Ask your FOUR SEASONS OF FUN personnel for more information.

 

Q. My pool water is colored reddish, brownish, or greenish. What can I do?

A. Reddish or brownish colored water is usually caused by oxidized iron or manganese. Treat the pool water with Conchelate (mineral Control) to coat the minerals and prevent the oxidation process. Greenish or bluish colored water is usually caused by oxidized copper. Also treat the condition with Conchelate. Be sure not to con fuse green, slimy water that indicates and algae infection with the greenish cast associated with copper.

 

Q. I have a color stain on my liner?

A. Stains can develop when colored water is left unattended or when metals such as coins are accidentally left in the pool. Scale is a crusty build up on the pool floors and walls caused by excessive calcium levels and high pH. Usually both conditions must occur for scale to form. Both stains are scale can be controlled by lowering the pH, if necessary, and by using Stain & Scale Remover according to label directions

 

Q. Why can’t I maintain my pool’s chlorine level, it’s either too High or too Low?

A. Inability to hold a chlorine reading usually indicates lack of Conditioner / Stabilizer in the water. Have your water tested for Conditioner and add if necessary. Also be sure to check your floater or chlorinator to insure a supply of chlorine. Low readings could signal an excessive chlorine demand that is not being met. In this case, a Shock treatment would be appropriate. Finally your testing chemicals reagents may be old and need to be replenished. Bring a sample of Water to your nearest F.I.M. store for an accurate water test. A high chlorine reading that won’t dissipate gradually may indicate too much chlorine is being added to the water. Check your floater or chlorinator and make the necessary adjustment. On occasion chloramines, chlorine reacted with swimmer waste, can develop and cause the chlorine reading to remain high. In this case, a shock treatment with Blast corrects the condition by breaking up the chloramines

Safety First!

Aboveground swimming pools are designed for swimming and wading only. They are not designed for diving or jumping. Only use an aboveground pool ladder or staircase to enter or exit your pool. Aboveground swimming pools are intended to provide many hours of enjoyment. Sensible use of the product is the key to safety. The pool owners must supervise the pool’s safe use, operation and maintenance.

First-time users run a higher risk of injury, before they enter the pool, so inform the users of the safety rules. Make sure that the users are aware that they are not to dive or jump into an aboveground pool--it is not designed for these activities!

Chemicals are needed for clean, sanitized water are potentially harmful when improperly stored or used. If mixed with other chemicals or elements, explosions and fire can occur. Read the label and follow manufacturers’ instructions! Always store chemicals where they cannot be reached by children.

Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, electrical shock or electrocution can occur in a pool if live electrical current flowing through appliances and come into contact with the water. Make sure all electrical appliances and devices are protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI!

Recognize that constant adult supervision is the primary element in an approach to drowning prevention. Children are naturally attracted to swimming pools and associated pool toys. Never leave a child alone out of supervisory eye contact in or near the pool-- not even for a second. There is absolutely no substitute for constant adult supervision. Teach your children to Swim! Three to five years of age is the best time for swimming lessons. Plan ahead for potential emergency situations by owning and being familiar with basic lifesaving equipment and procedures, have at poolside a device such as a solid pole, Safety “Shepherd’s” hook, a rope or life ring which can provide immediate assistance to a person in trouble. You should plan ahead to prevent accidents and injuries, and make entertaining truly enjoyable.

For your family’s safety an electronic pool alarm is an inexpensive way to give some extra protection against the unforeseen. Make sure that you have properly installed your pool alarm with working batteries.

Use of alcohol or drugs do not mix with pool activities. Alcohol and drugs can instill false courage or “bravado,” leading people to try things they normally would not, such as horseplay or diving in aboveground swimming pools. You have the bottom line responsibility in poolside entertaining. Use good judgment to help protect yourself, your family and guests.

Remember to remove the ladder or secure it in the “up” position when the pool is not being used. Keep the pool clean and clear of debris. Keep the pool filled to its proper level. Before using chemicals, read the labels and directions carefully. Follow label use instructions. Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children. Always add the chemicals directly to the pool water. Never add water to chemicals.

A variety of electronic pool alarms are now available for swimming pools. A pool alarm gives off loud alarm tone to warn surrounding people that the water plane has been broken. The pool alarm measures a break in the water plan to indicate that something has fallen into the pool. Upgraded versions of pool alarms have a radio monitor inside the house, so the alarm rings both at the pool and somewhere in the house. The cost of pool alarms has dropped considerably over the past few years and every pool should have one installed to ensure some added protection.

If you want more information about pool safety contact the American Red Cross, your local YMCA or contact the National Spa and Pool Institute (2111 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314). Swimming lessons are available from a variety of sources in your area including: American Red Cross, YMCA, local school programs and summer camps.

We at FOUR SEASONS OF FUN include this section in our Maintenance Manual not to scare new pool owners, but rather to make them think of Safety First! A few minutes to inform pool users of safety rules will go a long way in preventing any accident.

Safety Fences & Gate Enclosures

Safety codes require in most communities that a swimming pool be placed in a fenced yard or that the pool be enclosed via a fence. Poolside safety fencing is available in both Aluminum and Resin material. Safety fencing can be bought for the entire pool or by number of sections needed. Vinyl Safety Fence now comes in both 24” and 36” height.

When a pool dug below grade to level with a slope, then it is recommended that the 36” height fence be used to ensure safe height above water level.

Ladder enclosures - safety fencing for around ladders

A ladder enclosure will automatically close when you exit the pool leaving the ladder blocked from the entrance. The new full size bridge ladder has a ladder enclosure built into the design of the ladder. The pricing of Safety fencing and ladders enclosure have significantly dropped over the past few years making these safety devices much more affordable.

Water Balance

Your pool is designed to hold the same water for many years as you properly filter and chemically treat it over and over again. During this period of time the water can drift out of balance and cause corrosion, scaling and even stains to appear. You can easily prevent these problems by paying attention to the basics of water balance. A good quality test kit will measure the key components of water balance-- pH, Total Alkalinity, and Acid or Alkali Demand. Use your kit often until you become familiar with your pool and supplement your test by having Four Seasons of Fun perform a detailed test on occasion to verify your readings and spot trends that could lead to potential problems.

pH

pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of pool water on a scale of “0-14”. Extreme acid is “0” and extreme alkali is “14”. The proper pH range is 7.2 to 7.8. pH readings greater than 7.8 will lead to cloudy water and scaling on all pool surfaces, inefficient sanitizing, and swimming discomfort. pH readings less than 7.2 will lead to corrosion of metal parts such as heaters and ladders, wrinkled vinyl liners, etched plaster, and swimmer discomfort. You can easily maintain proper pH by using a pH Decreaser or pH Increaser when needed according to label directions.

Total Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity is a measure of the level of certain minerals that help control the pH of your pool water. The proper range of Total Alkalinity is between 80- 150 PPM (parts per million). Low Total Alkalinity allows the pH to fluctuate or “ bounce” in either direction and can make it difficult for you to keep the pH stable. Raise Total Alkalinity by using Total Alkalinity Increaser according to label directions. High Total Alkalinity locks in the pH, but usually at pH at pH levels above 7.8. This condition needs to be corrected with pH Decrease or muriatic acid.

Hardness

Hardness is a measure of the level of calcium and magnesium minerals present in your pool water. These minerals exist naturally in all water but the levels vary greatly from one part of the country to another. “Soft water” typically contains 50 PPM Hardness or less while “hard water may contain 300 PPM Hardness or more. The proper range for plaster pools is 175-3 00 PPM Hardness or more. The proper range for vinyl, painted or fiberglass pools the proper range is 125-250 PPM Hardness. Pool water low in Hardness causes etching or plaster and corrosion of pool surfaces. Raise Hardness by adding Calcium Hardness Increaser according to label directions. Pool water high in Hardness causes cloudiness and scaling to occur. Control these symptoms by using Scale or Stain Remover according to label directions or drain a portion of the water and refill with water low in Hardness to dilute the mineral level.

Mineral Control

Mineral Control is an important concern for pool owners who use well water or for pools that contain copper plumbing such as heaters. Both conditions can yield trace levels of iron, copper or even manganese that can cause water discoloration and staining. Such discoloration can appear green, blue, brown or even black in color. This is caused by the reaction between your sanitizer and the particular trace minerals in your pool water. You can prevent the problem by having your pool water tested for these minerals when your pool is being filled or at any time during the season. If staining minerals are present apply Conchelate (mineral Control) as soon as possible according to label directions. Re-apply the treatment if necessary.

Conditioner

Conditioner refers to the final part of pool water balance. This is a chemical that prevents the ultra-violet rays (UV) of sunlight from prematurely breaking down your sanitizer level so that it can do its job sanitizing the pool water. Chlorine Conditioner will reduce sanitizer consumption by up to 50% and need only be added once for the entire life of the pool water. Apply Chlorine Conditioner according to label directions and do not backwash for at least 24 hours.

Sanitizers

Now that your pool water is balanced and stabilized, it’s time to sanitize it with chlorine. There are many types of chlorine and your FOUR SEASONS OF FUN representative can explain the benefits of each type. Granular chlorine is another daily dosage method. Stabilized chlorinating granules are rapidly and completely soluble in all water temperatures and provide the same 24-hour protection that you get from Tablets or sticks. The most economical methods and our preferred method is Quick Tabs, which does not require a chlorinator to be in the pool and eliminates chemical waste. Quick Tabs make it easy to apply right dosage with 1 tablet for 5000 gallons. It is difficult to accurately measure granular to apply correctly daily. Quick Tabs are pH buffered and will not affect the pH of your water. Convenient methods are stabilized slow release Small Tablets, Sticks or Large Tablets. The slow release format is applied weekly and is not affected by sunlight like HTH or liquid chlorine. You can dispense Small Tabs, Sticks, or Large Tabs by placing them in a chlorinator, or a floating feeder. The EPA has determined that you must maintain a level of 1.0-1.5 PPM of available chlorine at all times to continuously kill bacteria, algae and other micro-organisms that try to inhabit your pool. The amount of chlorine need that a pool consumes varies based on: temperature, bathing load, rainfall and pH. The warmer the pool water, the greater the use of chlorine. Rain washes airborne contaminants such as pollen and algae spores into the pool and tends to lower the pH of water by contributing “acid rain”, a chemical reaction between rain and air pollution. Finally low pH will cause chlorine to be “overactive” and dissipate too quickly.

Mineral Control

Mineral Control is an important concern for pool owners who use well water or for pools that contain copper plumbing such as heaters. Both conditions can yield trace levels of iron, copper or even manganese that can cause water discoloration and staining. Such discoloration can appear green, blue, brown or even black in color. This is caused by the reaction between your sanitizer and the particular trace minerals in your pool water. You can prevent the problem by having your pool water tested for these minerals when your pool is being filled or at any time during the season. If staining minerals are present apply Conchelate (mineral Control) as soon as possible according to label directions. Re-apply the treatment if necessary.

Conditioner

Conditioner refers to the final part of pool water balance. This is a chemical that prevents the ultra-violet rays (UV) of sunlight from prematurely breaking down your sanitizer level so that it can do its job sanitizing the pool water. Chlorine Conditioner will reduce sanitizer consumption by up to 50% and need only be added once for the entire life of the pool water. Apply Chlorine Conditioner according to label directions and do not backwash for at least 24 hours.

Sanitizers

Now that your pool water is balanced and stabilized, it’s time to sanitize it with chlorine. There are many types of chlorine and your FOUR SEASONS OF FUN representative can explain the benefits of each type. Granular chlorine is another daily dosage method. Stabilized chlorinating granules are rapidly and completely soluble in all water temperatures and provide the same 24-hour protection that you get from Tablets or sticks. The most economical methods and our preferred method is Quick Tabs, which does not require a chlorinator to be in the pool and eliminates chemical waste. Quick Tabs make it easy to apply right dosage with 1 tablet for 5000 gallons. It is difficult to accurately measure granular to apply correctly daily. Quick Tabs are pH buffered and will not affect the pH of your water. Convenient methods are stabilized slow release Small Tablets, Sticks or Large Tablets. The slow release format is applied weekly and is not affected by sunlight like HTH or liquid chlorine. You can dispense Small Tabs, Sticks, or Large Tabs by placing them in a chlorinator, or a floating feeder. The EPA has determined that you must maintain a level of 1.0-1.5 PPM of available chlorine at all times to continuously kill bacteria, algae and other micro-organisms that try to inhabit your pool. The amount of chlorine need that a pool consumes varies based on: temperature, bathing load, rainfall and pH. The warmer the pool water, the greater the use of chlorine. Rain washes airborne contaminants such as pollen and algae spores into the pool and tends to lower the pH of water by contributing “acid rain”, a chemical reaction between rain and air pollution. Finally low pH will cause chlorine to be “overactive” and dissipate too quickly.

Shock Treatment

Various contaminants such as swimmer waste, lotions and oils can resist normal chlorination and start to build up in the pool water. This build up usually occurs during hot weather and periods of heavy bathing when your filter is already working overtime. A weekly Shock treatment, when applied according to label directions, will oxidize or burn-up these contaminants. A shock quickly raises the chlorine level to overcome the contaminants for a period of 12-24 hours. It is best to apply Shock in early evening so that it can work overnight and be burned down to normal levels the next day. Be sure to continue to run your filter during this period of time.

Algaecides

Algaecides are excellent treatments to prevent or kill algae growth when used with chlorine. As a preventative, algaecides act as an insurance policy in your pool, killing algae spores as they enter the water. Algae spores are constantly entering your pool from rain, wind and dust storms and they multiply rapidly in sunlight and warm water. Routine chlorination cannot, at times, cope with the rapid growth of an algae “bloom”, the visible outburst of algae. These algae can appear green, brown, black, mustard or even pink in color. By the time algae has bloomed there are millions of algae cells in every gallon of water! Poly 30 is our recommend best choice for prevention or killing algae.

 

 

Sand Filters

What could be more inviting than a pool of crystal clear water? At Four Seasons of Funour staff is trained to help you seek out the best filter to fit your needs. The key is to having an oversized filter package. Ultra sand filter and pump provides a good balance of clean water in an energy efficient way. Sand filters are the oldest and most popular method of filtration. Sand filters--particularly high-rate sand filters, were introduced more than 25 years ago. These filters come in many sizes and shapes, but they share one thing in common. When in the filtration mode, water always flows from top to bottom. Aside from this fact, sand filters also share another aspect: They all have some sort of lateral or under drain designed with slots or holes to hold back sand while allowing the clean, filtered water to pass through. Outward appearance of filters and internal assemblies may vary, but basically all sand filters operate in the same way.

 

Initial start-up

Sand is added to the filter through a top valve or domed opening in the tank. Vertical standpipes must be covered by a protective cap. A coffee can will also wok nicely to prevent sand from getting into the internal piping. The sand should be poured gently into the filter, being sure not to damage the laterals or under drain. A good practice is to add enough water to cover the laterals or under drain, because this will cushion the falling sand. Once the proper amount of sand has been added to the filter, it functions as the permanent dirt-removing medium. Water from the pool, containing suspended dirt particles, is pumped through the piping system and is directed automatically by a filter control valve to the top of the filter tank. As the water is pumped down through the filter sand, dirt particles are trapped by the sand bed and filtered out. The cleansed pool water is returned from the bottom of the filter tank. After a period of time, the accumulated dirt in the filter causes a resistance to flow, and the flow diminishes. This simply means that it is time to clean (backwash) the filter.

 

Be certain to read all the directions on filter assembly, operation and maintenance. They are written for you. They will save you time and money in the long run.

 

Here are some pointers on your sand filter.

1.             H2O Silica sand is what we recommend. It is the right size and type of particle to ensure proper filtration. Filter sand is course, shaped edge sand. This increases the ability of the sand to catch debris.

2.             Use the right amount of filter sand. (See instructions.) Be sure when adding sand to the tank, DO NOT pour the sand directly on the filter element located on the bottom of the tank. This could cause a crack in the plastic and result in sand being washed back into your pool. Slowly pour sand over the bottom element until it completely covered. Then you can pour sand in more rapidly.

3.             After all hoses are properly attached, prime the pump (i.e. Put water in the hair and lint trap, providing your unit comes with one, to eliminate air).

4.             Backwash the filter for 2-3 minutes after adding new sand. Backwash is done by changing the position on the filter value which reverses the flow of water allowing the water to come out the waste port on the filter.

5.             Run filter at least 8-12 hours daily or longer if necessary.

6.             Backwash the filter periodically through the season according to the owner’s manual. If your filter comes with a pressure gauge, as the filter becomes dirty the pressure will rise inside the tank. When the pressure is about 5 to 10 lb. above starting pressure it is a good sign that the filter should be in the Backwashed mode. The return water flow will decrease also when the filter is dirty. Backwashing the filter is a method of reversing the filter flow and stir up debris in the sand bed. While Backwashing the water will come out of the waste port. It is recommended that you hook up a hose to the backwash port of your filter to prevent dirty water spraying around your pool area.

7.             Drain the tank and discard the filter sand in the fall. Be sure to put the tank motor in the basement or garage during the winter.

8.             Put new filter sand in every season. It is inexpensive and will ensure proper filtration. Continuing to use the same sand from season to season will result in the filter sand becoming smoother (similar to play sand) and decrease the efficiency of the filter media.

 

Diatomaceous Earth Filters (DE)

 

This style of filter uses a white powder called diatomite as a filter media. You must be certain to add the required amount, via the skimmer, with the filter running. The DE powder is lost when you backwash or clean the filter, so be sure to add new media when this is done. DE filters remove much smaller particles of dirt from you pool each time the water is cycled through the filter. As result it will keep you water sharper (cleaner) but may need to be regenerated or backwashed more frequently than other styles of filters. Particles of dirt that elude conventional filters can’t hide from Perflex. Its deep cleaning power removes microscopic dust and pollen as small as one micron (one hundred times smaller than a grain of salt) leaving nothing but clean, pure, sparkling water for you and your family. Diatomaceous Earth Filters removes much smaller particles compared to Sand or Cartridge filters.

 

Be sure to:

1.             Always use a high-grade DE powder.

2.             Never operate your filter without the proper amount of DE. Too much DE powder could create shorter cycles and higher filter pressure.

3.             Use the proper amount. Note: a level 1-lb coffee can is only 10 ounces of DE. We have available in the stores an optional plastic scoop which make measuring DE powder easier

4.             Mix the DE powder with water before pouring into the skimmer.

5.             Follow bumping and regenerative instructions as outlined in the owner’s manual to increase cycle time.

6.             Remember: Algae in a pool quickly clogs a DE filter. To prevent algae in your 7. pool keep your free chlorine level at proper levels and use Super Results Shock Treatment regularly. It is normal for a DE filter’s gauge to increase rapidly if algae is present in your pool water. The filter is rapidly removing those algae particles from the water. When the pressure increases, the water flow decreases.

7.             Put filter system (fully backwashed and drained) inside basement or garage for winter season. Do not leave outside.

8.             Follow Manufacturer’s instructions when servicing your unit.

 

Cartridge Element Filtration.

The crystal clear blue water in your swimming pool dances brightly in the morning sun. The Hayward ASL (All Season Long) premium full flow element filter system will ensure warm memories and fun filled days around your aboveground pool. The Hayward ASL filter system not only keeps your pool water at its crystal clear best, it also reduces pool maintenance. ASL features a star shaped cartridge element made of high quality reinforced polyester filtration material. Its deep-pleated “V” design provides a full 360 degrees cleaning area, and easily traps dirt and debris during the filtration process - simply and thoroughly. Hayward’s ASL Cartridge element is also extra large so filter cleaning cycles are extended-up to an entire season without any maintenance of the filter.

 

Make sure to read the owner guide provided with the filter for proper instructions. The following are highlights as a reference:

1.             Make sure that your cartridge element is clean-pressure wash cartridge inside and out. Allow to dry and brush pleated surface areas. To remove algae, suntan oil and body oils, soak for one hour in a solution of Filter Flush (available at any FIM Store).

2.             Put element evenly on the collector hub in the bottom of the filter body. Place Easy-Lok lid evenly on filter body and turn clockwise until the notch on the locking ring engages securely to safety latch directly over the drain.

3.             Ensure that all lines are connected using hose clamps on secure hoses to the filter. Installation of optional valves makes it easier to work on the filter without getting wet. Prime the motor by putting water inside the hair lint pot basket. Make sure that the pool water level is high enough to fill the skimmer basket on thru wall skimmer mounted on the pool wall.

4.             When filter pressure rises inside the tank as indicated on the pressure gauge it means that the cartridge is getting dirty. In the event that you have algae inside your pool or an unusual amount of debris this may result in you needing to clean the element during the season. Refer to the owner manual for additional instructions.

5.             The filter should be drained and removed from its operating location and stored indoors. Clean the element at the end of the pool season using your garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle. When the cartridge gets to dirty and will not come clean, replacement cartridge elements are available from a FIM Store.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying Years of Backyard FUN with your new Swimming Pool. With Four Seasons of Fun help, and the proper equipment and know-how, your pool can always be sparkling clean and a pleasure to use.  If you have purchased a filter and equipment package you can be assured that it is one that can handle the entire job. What is the entire job? It is:

1.    Chemically treating the pool water to keep it free of bacteria and algae.

2.    Testing the water at least twice weekly with a reliable test kit.

3.    Running your filter 8-12 hours enough time to handle the per gallon capacity of

the pool.

4.    Brush walls weekly with wall brush, if the pool shows signs of wall dirt. 

5.    Bottom vacuuming weekly or more often if needed.

 

Sounds simple? It is! Four Seasons of Fun will continue to feature the equipment you will need and how to use it.

We’re always happy to answer your questions!

 

Congratulations on becoming a new pool owner. You will be enjoying years of backyard fun with your new swimming pool; enjoy fantastic experiences with the entire family during those hot summers days. Before you take the plunge please acquaint yourself with some of the facts contained in this booklet. It is especially written for you, the new pool owner. If you have any additional questions not discussed in this booklet, feel free to call or come into the nearest Four Seasons of Fun store. Our professional and knowledgeable staff will gladly assist you. After all, when it comes to pools, we are the experts. We mean it when we say, “We’re always happy to answer your questions.

 

You will learn, as a pool owner that these procedures become a routine. That over time you will do most of the items mentioned in this booklet without thinking about it. You will find that checking your pool regularly is the best method to prevent complex problems. Small adjustments daily will avoid large corrections that could take days to adjust and result in missing that special event or party that you planned. Remember that you can always bring a sample of pool water to your nearest FIM Store and we’ll be happy to test your water and give assistance. When bringing water in for testing make sure you put the water in a clean container shortly before you bring the water to us. As a Four Seasons of Fun customer, we will not charge you for this service when you purchase your chemicals or supplies.

 

For Your Protection:

1.       Do not drain pool completely...your liner might shrink to a point where it will no longer fit the pool framework.

2.       Do not drag a pool cover over any rough surfaces or protrusions... the cover might tear.

3.       Do not pull cover tightly over pool, this will cause damage to cover grommets and cover material in the form of stress   tears and could cause pool wall to be pulled inward.

4.       Do not leave any objects or ladder in pool...this may damage cover or pool liner.

5.       Do not over drain pool. The water level should not be lower than 12 ” from top rail of pool.

6.       Do not store cover in excessive heat, sunlight, near sharp objects, or without first cleaning and completely drying... mildew or fusion damage to cover may result.

 

Handling of Pool Chemicals

7.       Read all labels carefully before using. Handle all chemicals with care. Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children. Don’t mix two or more chemicals together.

8.       Always add the chemicals to the water and never add water to the chemicals.

9.       Store chemicals in a cool dry area. Do not reuse any empty chemical containers. If you are using granular chemicals, use a clean dry scoop and be sure to spread the chemicals over a wide area of the water’s surface so there is a minimum of splashing. Also sprinkle chemicals close to the water surface so the wind doesn’t blow them back on your face. Be sure to always wash your hands with soap and water after handling any chemicals.

 

10.   Never throw Chlorine tablets directly into the pool, as the liner will be bleached. Large Slow dissolving Tablets, Mini Slow dissolving Tablets, Slow Sticks should be placed in an automatic chlorinator or in a floating feeder for best results. It is not advisable to put stabilized slow dissolving tablets in your skimmer basket. However, you must put Quick Tabs in your skimmer basket. Never put Quick Tabs in a floater.