Total Pool Services, offering complete pool maintenance services in Kelowna and the Okanagan

Frequently Asked Questions About Pools And Hot Tubs

How often should I have my pool water be tested?

  • You should have your pool water professionally tested every 3-4 weeks.
  • I always recommend that new pool owners test their water daily to become familiar with how their water chemistry fluctuates based upon weather conditions and pool usage. Once you are comfortable with the behaviours of your pool, testing it 1-2 times per time should be adequate.

What are the recommended chemical levels to be maintained in my pool?

  • pH: 7.4 - 7.6
  • Free Available Chlorine: 1.0 - 3.0 ppm
  • Total Alkalinity: 80 - 120 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 200 - 300 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid (outdoor pools): 30 - 60 ppm
  • T.D.S. (Total Dissolved Solids):
    • Fresh Water: 450 – 1,000 ppm
    • Salt Water: 2,500 – 3,000 ppm (refer to your salt system’s manual)

How do I know when my pool filter needs to be cleaned?

  • First you need to know what the start-up pressure is of your filter when it is clean. As the filter becomes dirty, the pressure will increase. For example, normal start-up pressure of a filter may be 12PSI, once you have an 8-12PSI increase from that start-up pressure (20-22 PSI) the filter should be backwashed or cleaned.
  • If you have a sand filter you will simply backwash it as recommend in your owner’s manual. If you are experiencing short filter runs on your sand filter, ie, having to backwash every 3-4 days, or if your water looks murky, your sand may need to be changed. Sand should normally be changed every 3-5 years depending on pool usage and environmental factors.
  • If you have a cartridge style filter, you will need to remove the cartridge(s) from the filter tank and wash them off. It is recommended to have your cartridge filter(s) chemically cleaned once a year.

Is a salt-water system really chemically free?

  • No. Contrary to what you may have heard, all swimming pools must be sanitized with either chlorine or bromine to prevent bacterial growth and waterborne illnesses. A salt-water system is generating chlorine to kill bacterial and keep your swimming pool water safe. The salt that you add to the water is comprised of sodium chloride. When it dissolves in the water the chlorine ions get converted by electrolysis to chlorine that kills bacteria and keeps your pool water safe. So when you swim in a salt-water pool, you are still swimming in a chlorinated pool.

When should my pool be opened?Pool opening  - Swimming pool covers

  • The earlier the better! Depending on your exact location and the current weather conditions, you may be able to open as early as the beginning of April. You don’t need to turn the heater on immediately, but the sooner you begin to circulate and filter the water, the easier it will be to balance the pool water chemistry and ensure it is ready for swimming when the weather warms up.

When should my pool be closed?

  • As late as possible! The longer you can keep the water circulating and filtering, the cleaner it will be when you open it in the spring.  Some pools are designed and built to allow them to remain circulating throughout the winter.  Call for details.

Can I open/winterize my own pool?

  • Yes, some pool owners choose to do their own openings/winterizings, however, many prefer the security that comes with having it done by a professional who warranties their work. Click here to submit a service request.


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