Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should I change my water?

    The more you use the hot tub, the more often you’ll change the water. Commercial hot tubs are often changed weekly or twice weekly. Water in residential hot tubs is typically changed 3 times a year. The more frequent users may change the water monthly. The less frequent users may change the water just once per year.  You should time your water changes to avoid cold weather conditions.

  • How often should I be cleaning my filter cartridges?

    Frequency of cleaning depends on the amount of use the spa gets, but typically a spa filter should be cleaned every 6-8 weeks (chemically). In between cleanings you can take your filters out and rinse them with water to help maintain clean filters. Try to arrange your cleaning schedule during warmer

  • How often should I be chemically cleaning my filter cartridges?

    You should chemically clean your filters once every 6-8 weeks.

  • What are the appropriate ranges for my chlorine and bromine levels?

    Chlorine 2.0 ppm to 6.0 ppm
    Bromine 4.0 ppm to 10.0 ppm

  • How often should I check my pH, chlorine/bromine levels?

    This depends on the type of use and the volatility of the chemical balance. When the hot tub is first filled with fresh water it may need to be adjusted more often then when it is a month old and the water balance is more stable. Commercial hot tubs need daily or more frequent testing. Typically, residential hot tubs are tested daily when first filled but weekly after balancing is achieved.

  • Why do I have a white colored chalky substance coating the inside of my shell?

    Having a high pH level can cause calcium carbonate scale to form. This material can be cleaned off using an acid solution.  If you have this buildup you should also be checking and adjusting the total alkalinity and pH levels.  A visit to one of our stores would be appropriate to get specific instructions and consultation.


  • What is the flaky yellowish-white substance that came out of my jets after I drained and refilled?

    Bacteria can grow on the inside of the pipes and that is mostly likely what is coming out.  You can run your jets on HIGH for three 10-minute cycles to dislodge most of the build-up before draining and refilling. There may still be some material that breaks free but it should be minimal. There is also a chemical available called Spa Flush that will help clean the jets out. (This product is available at all of our store locations).

  • How do I clean my hot tub filter?

    First, determine how your filter comes apart. On older hot tubs, the filter may be in a separate container and valves may need to be turned off.  On newer hot tubs, the filter is accessed typically from the inside. Turn off the power when removing filters as some debris may be sucked into the pump when the filter is removed.  A chemical filter cleaner should be used on the filter by following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Having a second filter for rotating will extend the filter life significantly.



  • What is backwashing?

    Running water backwards through the filter to wash out the dirt.

  • When should I backwash and for how long?

    A minimum of once a week is recommended. Technically if the filter pressure increases 8-10 psi above the clean pressure it should be backwashed. This typically happens after vacuuming or during periods of cleaning the pool.  If the pressure doesn’t increase in a week and you are not having clarity problems wait to backwash unitl your pressure rises.

  • What is "Shocking the Pool?"

    Temporarily raising the level of oxidizer in the water to kill bacteria that has built up a resistance to a normal level

  • How often should I be shocking the pool?

    Typically the recommendation is once a week. Less frequently used pools allow for less frequent shocks.

  • How can I tell if a stain is algae or a metal based stain?

    Place a chlorine tablet in a nylon sock and place it on the stain for a few seconds, if it changes in appearance the stain is algae.  Place some dry acid in a nylon sock and place it on the stain for a few seconds, if it changes in appearance the stain is metal based.

  • Priming pump - normally

    1. Turn pump off
    3. Open pump hair & lint strainer basket and fill with water, then replace the lid on the pump hair & lint strainer
    4. At the SAME time you turn on the pump, open the SKIMMER VALVE completely. DO NOT OPEN THE MAIN DRAIN VALVE.
    5. If you have a clear lid on the pump, you should start seeing water come into the front of the pump. If this doesn’t happen within 2 minutes continue. If the pump primes stop here.
    6. If the pump doesn’t prime in two minutes, TURN OFF THE PUMP AT THE SAME TIME YOU CLOSE THE SKIMMER VALVE.
    7. Return to step #3 and repeat until it primes. If it doesn’t prime within 3-4 tries, try the Force Priming Method


  • Priming Pump by Force

    1. Close MAIN DRAIN VALVE, leave SKIMMER VALVE open.
    2. Take a garden hose with a rag wrapped around it and put it in the back port of the skimmer.  Wait until the pump is moving water and there is some suction on the garden hose.  Hold rag tightly, as the pump may suck the rag through the line when a prime is established.
    3. Open MAIN DRAIN VALVE slowly.
    4. This can also be done with a submersible pump and vacuum hose put into the pool skimmer suction line connection.


  • How do I backwash a sand filter?

    1. Turn off the pump, heater (if heater has been on let it cool for 20 minutes before turning off the pump), and monitor systems.
    3. Clean pump of hair and lint.
    4. Turn filter valve to backwash.
    6. Start pump – backwash until water coming out of backwash hose is clear (two to five minutes).
    7. Turn off pump.
    8. Put filter valve in rinse position.
    9. Start pump and run for 30 seconds.
    10. Turn off pump.
    11. Put filter valve in filter position.
    12. Start pump and turn heater back on.


  • How do I use sand filter cleaners?

    Two of the most common filter cleaners used for sand filters would be the GLB Filter Rinse and the GLB Filter Cleanse.


  • Filter Rinse


    1. Close the MAIN DRAIN if possible to allow maximum intake from skimmer(s).
    2. Start filter backwash as recommended by manufacturer.
    3. While the filter is backwashing SLOWLY pour 8 ounces of Filter Rinse into skimmer so that it goes directly through the filter.
    4. Continue backwash procedure according to manufacturer’s instructions.

    Use Filter Rinse once every three weeks to help maintain crystal clear water.


  • Filter Cleanse


    1. Backwash filters, then shut off the pump and remove hair and lint pot cover.
    2. Drain filter.
    3. Turn on the pump, make certain that the handle is in backwash position and slowly pour Filter Cleanse solution into the hair and lint pot with pump running.
    4. Do not let pump run dry.
    5. Continue to add Filter Cleanse until sand or elements are covered.
    6. Shut off pump at once, leave in backwash position and allow it to stand overnight (12 hours).
    7. Backwash until the water coming from the backwash line is clear.
    8. Do not allow solution to get into the pool.
    9. Start pump and fill the filter with clear water.

    Use Filter Cleanse every 3-4 months for optimal filter use.


  • How do I vacuum my pool?


    1. If the filter is dirty – clean it before starting. (See BACKWASHING)
    2. Set up vacuum equipment and place vacuum head, with hose end and pole attached, in the pool.
    3. Hold end of vacuum hose over pool return fitting until all air is evacuated from vacuum hose or fill the vacuum hose otherwise.
    4. Place your hand over the vacuum hose while in the pool and move to the skimmer while holding your hand on the end of the hose.
    5. Now remove the skimmer lid and basket. Insert vacuum hose into the hole of the skimmer which has pump suction.
    6. Turn off MAIN DRAIN valve at the pump. Plug OFF skimmer(s) not being used for vacuuming. Now you are vacuuming.
    7. If suction decreases while vacuuming, clean pump basket or clean filter during vacuum procedure.
    8. When you’re finished vacuuming let the system run with the vacuum hose hooked up for 2 minutes to clear dirt from the hose.
    9. Turn on MAIN DRAIN valve when you’re finished vacuuming.
    10. Remove plug from skimmer and put away vacuum equipment.


  • How do I clean my pump basket?


    1. Turn off the pump, heater (if heater has been on let it cool for 20 minutes before turning off pump), and monitor systems.
    2. Close MAIN DRAIN valve, SKIMMER valve, and RETURN LINE valve.
    3. Turn filter removal knob and remove the dirty basket.
    4. Clean basket.
    5. Re-assemble pump.
    6. Open MAIN DRAIN valve, SKIMMER valve, and RETURN LINE valve.
    7. Start pump, heater, and monitor systems.


  • How do I drain my swimming pool?

    To drain SOME water from the pool. (Up to 12”)

    1. Turn off pump, heater (let heater cool for 20 minutes if its’ been on), and monitoring systems.
    2. Rotate multiport valve to waste.
    3. Close SKIMMER valve.
    4. Turn pump on only and run until pool is drained down to the proper level (Maximum 12”).
    5. Turn off pump.
    6. Refill pool.
    7. Open SKIMMER valve.
    8. Put multiport valve back to filter.
    9. Turn back on pump, heater, and monitoring systems.


  • To Drain Pool Completely

    Be sure to be present whenever draining your pool to avoid floating the pool out of the ground.
    If you have ground water present under the pool, it must be removed before draining.
    If you have a fiberglass pool, you should walk around on the shallow end of the pool and the transition slope during the draining to make sure that the pool does not feel like you are “standing on a waterbed.”
    If you have any doubt about draining the pool don’t proceed until you seek professional assistance.
    Generally, draining the pool between December and June is more risky than doing it between July and November.

    1. Turn the pump, heater (let heater cool for 20 minutes if its’ been on before turning pump off), and monitor systems off.
    2. Use sump pump to drain the pool. (Sump pumps can be rented from Pool World).
    3. Attach waste hose to sump pump. Put the end of the waste hose 100ft away from the pool. (Run the water as far from the pool as possible during draining to minimize the potential to float the pool out of the ground from water running back under the pool).
    4. Put the sump pump in the deep end of the pool and plug in.
    5. When the pool is drained unplug the sump pump and remove it from the pool.

    Leave pump, heater, and monitoring systems off until the pool is full.


  • How often should I brush or vacuum my pool?

    You should brush the walls weekly and vacuuming is only needed when the pool is dirty.

  • How long should I circulate my pool for during the day and evening?

    This is a very difficult question to answer. The correct answer is however long it takes to keep the pool water clear and clean. This is typically 16-24 hours per day.

  • How does algae begin to grow and how can I prevent it?

    You prevent algae by keeping sanitizer in the water and shocking regularly. The use of algaecide in the pool will also help.


  • When should I change the sand in my filter?

    Most of the time there is no requirement for any regular changing of the sand. On chlorine pools changing the sand every 10 years is adequate. On Soft Swim treated pools you should change the sand every 3 years.

  • Why cant I hold a chlorine level and my pool is crystal clear?

    Typically there is some type of demand on the sanitizer that is hidden; this could be bacteria in the light niche, in the plumbing lines, in the filter media or under the ladder treads.

  • How do I patch a pool liner?

    Tips on patching a pool liner:
    There are various patch kit sizes depending on the size of your tear. They come with a clear material to use as a patch, or you can also buy vinyl patching material by the square foot.

    Wet Patches:
    When applying the patch underwater you want to apply the glue and fold the patch over.  Go the area where the tear is located and unfold the patch as you apply it to the liner. It is important to cut the patch with rounded corners so the repair does not peel up on the sides.


  • What is pink slime?


    A type of bacteria.


  • Why can’t I hold a shock level?

    Bacteria is present in the pool and it is consuming all of your shock.

  • How often should I chemically clean my filter?

    You should chemically clean your filter twice a season when using Soft Swim. You should clean it once mid-season and once prior to closing your swimming pool.

  • Why is my pool cloudy?

    Typically because there is bacteria in the water.