1. WHY DO I NEED TO SHOCK MY POOL EVERY WEEK?
Shocking your swimming pool is a very important element in
maintaining your pool water's clarity and balance. Using chlorine
tablets alone will not kill off all bacteria and algae that
grow in the pool water. Also, the chlorine tablets have a
very low PH level, and their overuse will lead to a low PH,
which is very dangerous to the pool, and it's users. By shocking
the pool each week, you will be quickly raising the chlorine
level, which will rid the pool of contaminants, without lowering
the PH of the pool water.
2. WHY IS THE PH OF MY WATER SO IMPORTANT?
PH is the measure of acidity in the pool water. PH only ranges
between 0 - 14, so even a slight change in the PH of your
water can greatly effect various elements in your pool. A
pool's PH should be maintained between 7.2 and 7.6. A low
PH means that the water is acidic and will dry out your liner,
eat away at any stainless steel and copper parts of your pool,
as well as cause irritation to swimmer's eyes and skin. PH
can be easily tested for and is inexpensive to adjust.
3. WHY DO I NEED TO BACKWASH?
Backwashing your filter removes debris that gets caught up
in your sand or DE so that your filter can continue to work
effectively in cleaning your pool. Backwashing should be done
whenever the filter pressure increases approximately 10 psi
over normal pressure, and the water pressure returning to
the pool decreases. Follow your filter systems instructions
or contact Empire Pools for directions on backwashing for
the system that you have.
4. I HAVE A SAND FILTER. WHY IS MY POOL ALWAYS CLOUDY?
Sand filters have a difficult time filtering out very small
debris because often times the microscopic particles of dead
algae and waste are smaller then the grains of sand themselves.
A sand filter can also "channel," causing pockets
in the filter where water passes through easily, without going
through sand. To prevent this, you need to chemically clean
your sand at the end of each season with a designated filter
cleaner, backwash frequently throughout the season, and use
clarifiers to help the water remain crystal clear.
5. HOW MANY TABLETS SHOULD I BE USING FOR MY POOL?
We recommend that 1-2 tablets be used for every 10,000 gallons
of pool water. During cooler water temperatures and when the
pool receives less use, one tablet per 10,000 is sufficient.
During the hottest summer months when pool use is high, 2
tablets can be used for every 10,000, but no more then that
should be used. Keep in mind that tablets do have a low PH,
so overuse of them can disrupt balancing chemical levels.
If there is a large amount of algae in the pool, extra shock
can always be added without effecting the PH level.
6. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SHOCK MY POOL?
You should always shock your pool in the evening, after the
sun has gone down. Shock is an unstabalized chlorine that
can burn off easily from sunlight, even on overcast days.
By shocking at night, you are giving the chlorine a chance
to bond with the chlorine stabalizer so that by the time the
sun comes out the next day, your chlorine level won't dissipate
as quickly. Also, this gives the pool enough time to react
with the high level of chlorine, so that you can usually swim
the next day after a pool has been shocked.
7. HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT TO SWIM AFTER ADDING CHEMICALS?
Most balancing chemicals, such as PH, Alkalinity, and Calcium
Hardness, will become incorporated into the water within an
hour of adding them, at which time swimming is safe. Shock
takes longer to adjust with the pool water, so waiting overnight
after shocking before you swim is recommended.
8. WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE MY WATER TESTED PROFESSIONALLY
EVERY 2-4 WEEKS?
Testing at home with your strips or drop test kits give you
only a limited reading of your balancing chemical levels of
your pool water. The average home test kit only reads PH,
Chlorine, and sometimes Alkalinity. There are various other
levels that are important to your pool that need to be tested
on a regular basis to ensure water balance and safety for
the swimmers. Also, the professional testing done in store
is far more accurate than home tests, leaving you with added
security that your pool water is safe and balanced.
9. I'LL BE GOING ON VACATION FOR A WEEK. WHAT SHOULD
I DO TO KEEP MY POOL HEALTHY WHILE I AM GONE?
While you are away, it is important that your water circulates
and is sanitized. A pump timer and automatic chlorinator are
the most fool proof ways of ensuring that this is done, because
they will automatically turn your pool on and off each day,
and distribute chlorine into your water. If a timer and automatic
chlorinator are not an option for you, having a neighbor stop
by once every day or two to run the pump and check on chemicals
will help to keep your water healthy while you are away.
10. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HTH AND OTHER CHLORINES?
HTH is a calcium based product, which means that although
it can be very effective in killing off contaminants in your
water, it can also lead to some problems long-term. The high
level of chlorine in HTH can more rapidly bleach out liners
and bathing suits then other chlorine products. Also, with
long-term, high usage of HTH, the pool can develop calcium
buildup, which would lead to calcium scaling inside of the
filter and in the lines of the pool. This scaling ultimately
causes damage to your filtration system, and can be avoided
by using HTH in limited amounts, or by using other types of
11. WHY AM I GETTING DE BACK INTO MY POOL?
Getting DE back into a pool is an indication of some type
of problem within the filter itself. Although it could simply
be a matter of using too much DE after backwashes, more often
it means that a part inside the filter needs to be replaced.
If you have a grid system DE filter, (most inground pools
have this type) it could mean that the spider gasket in the
multiport needs to be replaced, that the grids inside the
filter are torn, or that the manifold, which holds the grids
together, has cracked. Filters with "fingers" (most
aboveground systems and some older inground systems) the fingers
could be torn, the diaphragm gasket may need to be replaced,
or the tube sheets may have cracks in them. Check your filter
carefully to make sure that all parts are in good condition,
and replace necessary parts. Empire also offers a "Clean,
Soak, and Inspect" service on filters. This includes
cleaning the filter elements of large debris, soaking them
for 24 hours in a chemical solution, and inspecting all parts
12. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLOROX AND LIQUID
Liquid shock is 12.5% sodium hypochlorite. Clorox bleach is
3% sodium hypochlorite. Although they are made of the same
chemical, the percentage of chlorine in shock is much greater
than Clorox bleach. To treat a 20,000-gallon pool, you would
need to use two bottles of liquid shock. To achieve the same
amount of chlorination with bleach, you would need to use
eight bottles. Additionally, Clorox bleach contains added
detergents, which could interfere with the chemical balance
of your pool.
13. CAN I USE BAKING SODA TO RAISE THE ALKALINITY
OF MY POOL?
Baking soda is similar to the chemical, that is used to raise
the Alkalinity of the water, and will give you the same rise
that alkalinity powder will. However, baking soda is a much
larger granule, and will cloud up the water if used in great
amounts. If you need to raise the alkalinity of your pool
slightly, with one or two pounds of alkalinity powder, it
is usually safe to use baking soda. However, if your water
balance requires a significant increase, it is recommended
that actual Alkalinity Increaser be used, as it is a finer
granule and will rarely cloud the water, even if used in considerable
14. CAN I APPLY MY CHEMCIALS THROUGH THE SKIMMER?
Most swimming pool chemicals are not recommended to be applied
directly through the skimmer. Shocks are a very strong concentration
of chlorine, and if applied directly through the filter, can
cause damage to the pump and filter as they pass through in
such great concentration. In addition, granules that are not
dissolved by the time they return to the pool can sit on the
pool floor and bleach the liner. Another chemical that should
never be applied through the skimmer is Calcium Hardness as
it heats up when mixed with water and could cause damage to
your filtration system and liner. Always follow the directions
given to you by your sales associate when applying chemicals
to your pool, to be sure that no damage is made to your valuable