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3 Questions Pool Pros Answer Most Often

How Often Do I Clean My Pool?

There are three fundamentals of pool care: circulation, cleaning, and chemistry. Coincidentally, these are the three things pool owners want to know about most. That's because if one of these three areas is overlooked, problems can arise.

Below are the top three questions pool owners ask pool pros most often, along with the answers:

1. How often should I clean my pool?

If you use your pool often or if there are several trees shedding in your pool, clean skimmers and pump baskets  daily to avoid poor circulation issues, which could result from the accumulation of leaves, hair and other debris. Vacuuming your pool weekly will help remove organic material that could compromise your pool's chemical balance. A weekly cleaning regimen is also best for the tiles of the pool to remove dirt and grime build-up. Depending on the media type of your pool's filter, it will be necessary to backwash/clean your filter during your swim season. Although the timing for this cleaning may be different for every filtration system and is dependent upon several factors, it can generally be indicated by, and performed based on the pressure rise on the filter tank pressure gauge.

To help prevent algae, it is important to keep your pool clean, chemically balanced, and maintain proper filtration for an adequate number of hours each day. 

The easiest way to stay on top of pool cleaning is to either hire a pool maintenance pro or invest in one of our efficient automatic pool cleaners.

2. How long should you run your pool pump each day?

Your pool's pump plays a major role in pool maintenance. Circulation plays a key role in all parts of the process but is often overlooked. Circulation of the pool water allows you to filter your water and helps to spread the chemicals you add to the water, like stirring a cup of coffee after adding cream and sugar. It also keeps the pool evenly heated. To figure out how many hours a day you need to run your pump, you need to know the gallons per minute (GPM) of water that your pump circulates.

You can find this out by either looking in the pump manufacturer's installation and operating manual (IOM) or by calling the manufacturer. Multiply that number by 60 (minutes per hour), then divide that into the total gallons in your pool.

Confused? Maybe this example will help:

40 (GPM) X 60 (minutes per hour) = 2400 gallons per hour 15,000 (gallons) / 2400 (gallons per hour) = 6.25 hours

A general good rule to follow is 1 hour of filtration time for every 10 degrees of air temperature above 60 as the minimum daily run time. Hours are generally added for increased bather load, usage, animals, or extreme heat.

How do you balance your pool?

When we talk about a pool being ‘balanced’ when discussing pool chemistry, we mean that as water dissolves, it holds minerals until it becomes too saturated to hold anymore. Balance is the level at which water is neither over or under saturated.

At this point, you’re probably wishing you would have paid more attention in chemistry class. Well, you don’t necessarily need a degree in science to keep your pool balanced. You just need to know what needs to be tested and the proper levels for balance.

The four main tests to perform with a test kit are pH, Chlorine, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness.

Cyanuric Acid levels should also be tested on outdoor pools that use chlorine.

Here’s a general guide for the results you’ll want to see when you test each of these:

Chlorine: 1.0 - 3.0ppm

pH: 7.4 - 7.6

Alkalinity: 80 - 100ppm

Calcium Hardness: 200 - 400ppm

We hope this information points you in the right direction. As always, we recommend you ask your pool professional to clear up any confusion or to answer additional questions.

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Includes all the latest information, tips, and expert advice from Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. on owning the healthiest, safest, most enjoyable pool possible.


Zodiac is a leading global manufacturer of differentiated pool and spa products. With our rich heritage of innovation excellence, we develop some of the world's leading products that afford our customers a better life.


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