How to: Change the sand in your sand filter.

  1. Determine the amount of sand you will need by checking the label on the filter or call us with the name of the manufacturer and the model number.
  2. Now that you have the correct amount of sand; remove all the hoses and place them back into the pool so you do not lose any pool water.
  3. Remove the drain plug from the bottom of the filter and let the water drain out.
  4. Remove the clamp from around the multiport valve on your filter.
  5. Using a wet-dry vac (without the shop vac filter) suck all the sand out of the filter. The sand can be disposed of in flower beds around the yard.
  6. Using Duct Tape cover the opening of the standpipe coming up in the middle of the filter.
  7. Put the drain cap back on the bottom of the filter. Fill the tank half full of water.
  8. Once the tank is half full of water; add the correct amount of sand to your filter.
  9. When all the sand is in the filter tank; remove the Duct Tape and connect the multi-port valves and hoses.

Variety of Chemical Products Help in War against Algae

Given the precise conditions, even the most carefully maintained pool can develop an occasional outbreak of algae. And service professionals know that there is no such thing as a magic pill in this fight. It takes conscientious work and a regimen that includes proper pool-water balancing, correct sanitizer levels and regular doses of shock and algaecide. Even then, when weather and environmental conditions are right, things are known to go wrong. The professional arsenal for confronting algae now includes six major types of specialty chemicals designed to kill or prevent an algae bloom. They include:

  • Metallic Algicides, which normally contain either copper or silver and kill by blocking the algae’s metabolism. That means they interfere with the plant’s ability to feed and breathe. Algae are simply a green plant that requires food and light to thrive. The light usually comes from the sun, which explains why algae grows better in warm, sunny climates. The food source is typically phosphates in the water that have escaped the kill normally provided by chlorine or bromine.
  • Quats are short for quaternary ammonium compounds. They usually contain some form of ammonia and have a positive electrical charge. Because algae has a negative charge, they are attracted to the quats. The quat interferes with the plant’s cell membrane, causing the algae to suffocate.
  • Polymers are huge molecules containing several repeating parts. Because they are also positively charged, they work in much the same way that quats do and suffocate the algae after attaching themselves onto the plant’s cell membrane.
    Herbicides are organic compounds that work by being absorbed through the roots of the algae plant, then interfering with the plants’ ability to produce food through photosynthesis.
  • Chlorine Enhancers work in concert with the chorine already present in the water, combining to create material that the algae thinks is a food source. Once the algae ingests the combined form, it is killed by it. The chlorine enhancer, then, is not really doing the killing. It is the chlorine itself. But the enhancer and chlorine are working together to make the chlorine’s job more effective.
  • Phosphate Removers commonly use a chloride-based metallic salt, which combines with the dissolved phosphates in the water to form a solid material that can be filtered out through normal circulation processes. While phosphate removers are not algicides, they help rid the water of a valuable food source that allows algae to grow. Phosphates occur naturally from rivers, lakes, oceans or mined rock and are used in detergents, soaps; shampoos and even soda pop. They are also common in fertilizers, organic debris such as leaves and bark. And they are even used in some pool chemicals. While minimizing the amount of phosphates entering the pool is helpful and they can be removed with a flocculent, sometimes bigger guns are needed in the process

Pool Opening Instructions For All Types Of Pools

  1. If you use a solid pool cover, first drain off any standing water so that it doesn’t spill back into the pool.  Carefully remove the cover, sweep it and lay it out to dry.  Hose the cover down and clean with TSP or a cover cleaner.  Once it is thoroughly dry fold and store the cover in a clean, dry place out of sunlight.  Inspect the entire pool carefully for damage that may have taken place during the off-season.  Especially leaks or tears in the vinyl liner, or breaks and cracks in the plaster or tiles.  If needed, clean the waterline with a surface cleaner that is appropriate to your pool surface type.  If there are stains consult Classic Pool and Spa for possible remedies.  After inspection and any surface cleaning that needs to be done, add water untill the level reaches about halfway up the skimmer opening.  Remove any debris with a leaf net or leaf type vacuum.
  2. Assemble equipment; attach hoses; reinstall plugs in pumps, filters and heaters.  Replace lid on hair and lint pot.  Close bleeder valve on heater.  Return eyeball fittings, skimmer and skimmer baskets to appropriate place.
  3. Remove any plugs from returns and skimmers.  Fill equipment with water, open valves and start system (not the heater).  Note:  If pool has not been covered and has debris in the bottom use a leaf type vacuum to remove debris.  DO NOT attempt to vacuum debris through filtration system!
  4. Check for leaks in the equipment.  O’rings, gaskets and pump seals may need to be replaced or lubed.
  5. If filter was not cleaned at the end of last season clean using a filter cleaner in order to remove hardened deposits, which can hamper filter performance.  Follow directions for sand or cartridge filters on the bottle.  Brush the pool walls and floor.  If pool water is clear, follow step 6, if not go to step 7.
  6. Vacuum the pool.  Run circulation system for 6-8 hours, and then bring a water sample to Classic Pool and Spa for a FREE computerized water analysis.  Hint:  Make a list of the chemicals you have, including approximate amounts of each.  This will save you a trip!  Follow instructions on the printout.
  7. Before treating for algae be sure there is no metal content in the water, because the treatment may cause metals to stain the pool.  You can do this by bringing a pint of water into our store for a FREE analysis.
  8. Shock the pool with Super Chlorinator (1lb. Per 10,000 gallons) and add an algaecide treatment (see label for manufacturers instructions).  Add during the evening hours for best results.  Pump and filter should be running, filter should be on by -pass mode.
  9. Immediately after adding chemicals brush pool walls and floor.  Brush, brush, brush.
  10. A settling (flocculating) agent can then be used to help remove the dead algae.  Add settling agent, circulate pump for 4 hours, shut pump off over night.
  11. Be sure to add additional water to the pool so the pump does not run dry.
  12. With filter on the waste position vacuum dead algae out onto the ground.
  13. Clean filter, brushes, all equipment, accessories, swim suits, etc., to prevent algae from reoccurring.
  14. Make sure to add regular chlorine immediately and keep level at 1.0 – 3.0 ppm to keep algae from returning.  A monthly/weekly algaecide treatment is advisable throughout the season.
  15. Once you have balanced your water and have established the correct sanitizer level, you are ready to swim!

Instructions For Removing Visible Algae At Start Up

A three-day procedure may be necessary for removing algae from the swimming pool.

  1. Before treating, be sure there is no metal content in the water, because the treatment may cause metals to stain the pool.  You can do this by bringing a pint of water into our store for a free analysis.
  2. Shock the pool with Super Chlorinator (1lb. Per 10,000 gallons) and an algaecide treatment (see label for manufacturers instructions).  Add during the evening hours for best results.  Pump and filter should be running, filter should be on by-pass mode.
  3. Immediately after adding chemicals brush pool walls and floor.  Brush, brush, brush.
  4. A settling (flocculant) agent can then be used to help remove the dead algae.  Algae must be dead, no more green before adding the settling agent.  Add settling agent, circulate pump for 4 hours, shut pump off over night.
  5. Be sure to add additional water to the pool so the pump does not run dry.
  6. With the filter in the waste position vacuum the dead algae out of the pool and onto the ground.
  7. Clean filter, brushes, all equipment, accessories, swim suits, etc., to prevent algae from reoccurring.
  8. Make sure to add regular chlorine immediately and keep level at 1.0 – 3.0 ppm to keep algae from returning.  A monthly/weekly algaecide treatment is advisable throughout the season.

If you have any questions please call Aloha at 503-642-4795 or Gladstone at 503-656-0021.

Vacuuming Your Pool

Q. How often do I need to vacuum my pool?
A. Vacuuming should be done as often as you think. Normally, once a week is sufficient. Generally speaking, the more a pool is used the LESS vacuuming it needs. It’s pretty simple. Some pool owners enjoy vacuuming on a nice sunny summer morning. Many of our customers use a good automatic pool vacuum to do this work for them. Even so, a good manual vacuuming once a month is good.

Q. How do I vacuum an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool?
A. Follow these steps:

  1. If your pool is equipped, be sure that the valve on the suction line coming into the pump is selected for the port (either skimmer or lower suction fitting) you will be using to vacuum.
  2. Attach the vacuum hose to the vacuum head (the piece with the brushes or wheels on it). The better quality vacuum hoses come with a swivel end to prevent tangling of the hose.  Be sure that this is the end that is attached to the vacuum head; if not the system will draw air & not work properly.
  3. Make sure the hose is secure and the vacuum head is firmly attached to the pole.
  4. Place the vacuum head, hose & pole into the deep end of the pool (make sure one end of the pole is sticking out of the water!)
  5. Take the UN-attached end of the vacuum hose & hold it in front of one of the water return fittings.  This will fill the hose with water & prevent binding of the pump with air.  You know you’ve got enough water in the hose when the vacuum head bubbles up to the top.
  6. Put your hand over the end of the hose to keep the water IN.
  7. Place the skimmer basket adapter on top of the skimmer basket.  Always use a basket to prevent the ossible suction of a large object from getting stuck in the skimmer or in the underground line.
  8. If vacuuming through a lower suction without a basket, use a leaf trap.
  9. After you have placed the hose on the adapter fitting you will probably notice a sudden drop in filter activity.  This is normal.  The filter system is just re-adjusting itself to the change in suction.  Let it operate for about 30 to 90 seconds.  It should automatically bleed any air out of its system and return to normal operation.  You’ll hear the sound becoming “normal” again.
  10. Vacuum away!

Troubleshooting:

No Suction – The hose has come off of the basket, the filter has lost its prime (not sucking water) or the hose has a leak (make sure you’ve got the proper end of the hose on the vac head).  If you have more than one suction line, be sure you’re drawing from the proper one.

Dirty Water Returning To The Pool – If you have a sand filter, DO NOT BACKWASH THE FILTER BEFORE VACUUMING.  Backwashing stirs up the sand & prevents good trapping of dirt for several HOURS.  In cartridge or DE filters, this rarely happens.

 I Vacuum For A Few Minutes Then It Doesn’t Work Anymore – How dirty is the pool?  If it’s REALLY dirty, you may be better off vacuuming to direct waste (for sand filters) or otherwise vacuuming directly out of the pool by by-passing the filter.