Becoming a pool owner can be filled with excitement and anticipation – from picking out the pool shape and liner to choosing fun pool toys and accessories upon the project’s completion, you will certainly be eager to jump into your new outdoor centerpiece as soon as possible. However, as any seasoned pool owner will tell you, owning a pool isn’t just margaritas by the poolside and sunbathing in a floating lounge chair. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with owning a pool that many new owners aren’t aware of, including basic tips and tricks to make sure your pool is the best it can be. Knowing this, we here at LOOP-LOC prepared 7 of the most commonly asked questions from new pool owners to ensure that your pool water is not only sparkling blue but clean and healthy enough for your family to swim in for hours.

  1. How do I calculate my pool’s volume? Before you start shopping for chemicals, pumps, and filters, it’s important to know the volume and size of your pool so you can make accurate purchasing decisions. Your pool’s volume can be calculated for rectangular pools using the equation [Pool Length x Pool Width x Pool Depth x 7.5 = Pool volume in gallons]. If you have a kidney-shaped pool, use averages for the length, width, and depth. A circle pool’s volume is calculated using [3.14 x Pool Radius x Pool Radius x Pool Depth x 7.5 = Pool volume in gallons].

  2. How do I know what pump to buy? In order to decide on a pump, you need to calculate the amount of flow your pool would need to stay clean and clear. Generally, the rule is that the whole volume of the pool passes through the pump 3 times in a 24 hour period. Knowing your pool’s volume from the above question is key here; a 15,000-gallon pool will need a pump that moves 45,000 gallons in 24 hours or around 31 gallons per minute. If you don’t plan on running your pool for 24 hours every day, adjust the calculations based on the amount of time you plan on keeping your pool running.

  3. How often should I backwash my pool filter? Every pool can be slightly different, but the standard assessment for when it’s time to backwash your filter is when your pool’s pressure gauge reads 10 PSI above “normal”. You should be familiar with your pool’s “normal” PSI, as it is an essential number for pool maintenance; this number is usually recorded or marked as soon as your new pool is all set up. It’s important to note that over-backwashing your pool is not keeping it clean, only wasting money and potentially reducing the life of your filter media.

  4. Why is my pool water cloudy? There are quite a few reasons behind why pool water becomes cloudy. The first is poor filtration, which is normally solved by backwashing the filter and cleaning the skimmer and pump strainer basket. The next reason could be an improperly balanced pool, which will require a water test for all the major chemical levels to asses what’s too high or too low. If the issue is the pH, sanitizer level or organic waste, adding chemicals to target these issues is your best solution. If it’s calcium hardness or high total dissolved solids, then you have to drain a part of your pool, usually ⅓ to ½, and refill it with clean water to rebalance the chemicals.

  5. Why is my pool turning green? When your water turns green your pool can either be experiencing green algae growth or low total alkalinity. The latter is usually causing for the former, so taking measures to adjust the pH should be your first action. After, make sure to shock your pool and add a high-quality algaecide. These steps are most effective in the early discovery of algae, so the minute you see it beginning to grow, begin taking steps to tackle it.

  6. Should I drain my pool for the winter? No! While draining your pool seems like a normal train of thought, it’s not recommended to drain your pool all the way. Carefully read your safety cover care and maintenance instructions to determine the proper water levels for your pool during the winter months.

  7. When should I shock my pool? While many people think it’s good to throw shock in your pool in the morning, this can backfire because as the summer day gets sunnier and hotter, the sun burns off more and more of your chlorine. Shock is unstable, concentrated chlorine, and burns off at 1 ppm every hour it’s under the beating sun. This could mean a big waste of time and money for you. The clear solution to this issue is to add shock to your pool in the evening so it can sanitize overnight instead. Another tip: remember to dissolve your shock in a bucket of water before adding it to the pool to avoid bleaching or damaging your beautiful liner!

It may seem like there’s a lot of steps to take care of before you can enjoy your pool with ease, but the pay-off is most definitely worth the effort. You’ll be able to enjoy your new pool for many years to come as long as it’s given the proper care and attention it needs to stay in tip-top shape. Happy lounging!