Tag Archives: maintenance

How to Care for a Spa

outdoor-spaSpas are a great way to relax and stretch your muscles. If you have a swimming pool, you are used to taking care of it in a certain way. Some of the same principles apply to taking care of a spa, but there are important differences because the water temperature is higher. Because the spa is smaller than a swimming pool, you will have to approach cleaning and treating the water differently.

It’s important to have a quality hot tub cover. It should fit securely to prevent water leaks. The cover will save you money by locking in the heat. The cover will prevent debris and dirt from getting into the water. Covers need to be replaced occasionally because older covers deteriorate and develop rips, tears and gaps. Many people opt to purchase spa covers with locks so that children cannot get into the hot tub on their own.

Chemical balance is the key to keeping the water safe. Unbalanced water can cause a variety of problems. If you add too much chlorine, bathers are likely to develop a rash. If there is not enough chlorine and the pH is out of balance, the water becomes unsanitary. The water will be cloudy without ample sanitation. It will also become foamy if it is untreated. Like swimming pools, your equipment will wear out quickly if the water is unbalanced.

You should check the water a few times a week. Check it more often if you are having problems balancing the chemicals. If you use chlorine or bromine, the amount should be 1-5 ppm. Test the pH which should register at 7.2-7.8. Test the calcium hardness and make sure it is in the range of 125-400 ppm. The ideal total alkalinity range is 120-180 ppm. Always use good quality chemicals to adjust the water and add chemicals one at a time.

You need to change the water in a spa every few months. If it’s used daily or you have a large number of bathers regularly, you’ll need to change it more often. If the water quality deteriorates, you can change the water more often.

How to Backwash Properly

Backwashing your swimming pool filter is a very important part of pool maintenance. One reason why you need to backwash your filter is to remove all the bug parts, dirt and small particles that slipped through your pool skimmer. When you backwash too, it replaces the filter media, which is dirty, with clean media. The other reason to backwash is to keep your filter working properly. When the diatomaceous earth and sand in the filter becomes clogged, then it can cause clogging. When your filter becomes clogged then not only will the circulation be affected, but the filter pressure will as well. Without proper circulation though, the chemicals which are used won’t be spread throughout the water then.

How often to backwash

jump splashing poolHow often you need to backwash your pool is usually once a week as part of your regular pool maintenance. You also want to keep your water clean and clear, and the best time to backwash it then is after you have vacuumed so they go together. Since vacuuming will stir up everything on the bottom, when you backwash; after vacuuming, then the filter will suck up what’s left over too. This also will keep the new media from getting dirty right away. However, another factor to consider in how often to backwash is location. If your pool is under a tree where leaves and birds can spread debris, then you make have to backwash more frequently.

The backwash process

To determine when your pool filter needs backwashed, you need to check the pressure gauge on the filter housing. The filter pressure will have a starting pressure after adding new media. Most pressures will read between 10 and 14. You will need to backwash if your pressure is 10 psi higher than the what the starting pressure originally read.

The backwash process:

  • When you need to backwash your swimming pool filter, you will first go to the filter’s power supply and disconnect it. The you will need to find the release valve and turn it to the backwash setting. You’ll have water rush out as well as clumps of whatever filter media you use.
  • Next, you turn the pump back on with the release valve open. When the water is running clear, then turn off the pump.
  • The next step is to go to the release valve and turn it to rinse setting. For about 30 seconds turn the power back on the pump and let it run. Then repeat the backwashing and rinsing process to make sure all the debris is cleared from the filter and pump.
  • After you finish, check the pressure gauge to make sure the pressure is back to the point it started. Importantly, this is a general instruction. Nothing beats reading the actual directions from the manufacturer though.

If you want to keep your pool clean and clear, backwashing is a vital and important step.

Why it’s Important to Keep Your Pool Balanced

ph balanced waterIf you own a pool, you’ve probably read about the importance of keeping the swimming pool chemicals in your pool balanced. Why is this so critical? There are a number of reasons. The proper attention to your pool will make it more healthy and enjoyable due to a number of factors.

An unbalanced pool has a number of disadvantages. First, the pool water won’t be clear and sparkling. This makes the pool much less inviting to swimmers. Routine pool maintenance will keep your pool attractive and will cost you less money in the long run. It is easier to regularly treat your pool with the appropriate swimming pool chemicals than to neglect it and try to repair it. Fixing cloudy or algae-ridden water can be challenging. You will need to use more swimming pool chemicals than usual to get the water back into good shape.

Keeping your pool balanced is more cost effective than trying to play catch up when the water gets out of balance. You will need to buy large quantities of swimming pool chemicals to kill algae and bacteria. You’ll need to buy lots of products you would not need if you kept your pool balanced on a regular basis. Although there are some costs involved in maintaining a pool, they are nothing compared to the costs involved in trying to repair problems.

Keeping your pool balanced is important in terms of protecting your pool equipment. Water that isn’t treated with the appropriate swimming pool chemicals can damage your equipment. Unbalanced water can damage your filtering equipment and corrode the pipes in your pool. It can also compromise the lining of the pool. You may need to purchase new equipment if you don’t take good care of your pool.

Have you ever been in a pool that made your eyes red and your skin itchy? This happens when the swimming pool chemicals aren’t properly balanced. Swimmers will be much more comfortable in your pool if you keep the chemicals were they need to be; the water won’t sting or their skin will be less itchy. Properly balanced swimming pool water will also deter the growth of algae, which can make your pool surface slippery.