Congratulations on becoming a new Swimming Pool Owner! This guide will serve to assist you in familiarizing yourself with various aspects of how your pool works and what you should do to care for it properly. Each swimming pool is unique and depends on the scope of work and equipment that was contracted for your custom design, so while most of the information in the guide will help you, there may be cases in which further research is required. Once you understand how your pool operates, you can sit back in your favorite pool lounger and enjoy peace of mind as your soak up the tranquil vibes of a South Florida afternoon.
Your swimming pool is comprised of a few simple parts to ensure the water is cycled, filtered, sanitized and returned to the pool. With a variable speed motor you are in control of the flow rate of your water which will determine the run time necessary for full filtration and sanitization each day.
For example your 1.8HP Jandy motor is capable of 3450 RPM, which at 30 Dynamic Feet of Water is capable of up to 120 Gallons Per Minute. In short, factors such as distance of pool from equipment and gallons of water factor into play. On average, you can expect around 65 GPM out of your pump running at a normal speed. Knowing your pool size from your engineered plans will give you the answer as to how long to run your pump. Simply multiply the GPM by 60 to find the Gallons Per Hour and then divide your total Pool Volume by that number.
You Pool Pump is sealed with a rubber O ring inside the lid which must be kept lubricated and in good condition. These may need to be periodically changed over time as they age and wear. The Pump Basket traps debris and hair from entering into the pump impeller which can clog or damage it. It's good practice to turn off your pool pump prior to servicing your equipment, and to clean the debris from the basket when necessary.
The Pump is typically controlled with either the JANDY IQ01 or JANDY IQ904 Automation. This automation can be set up using the iAqualink App in combination with Zodiac.com. You will need to know your Wifi Username and Password to access this service, and your Internet connection must be in close enough proximity to communicate with the Jandy Receiver. If you have connectivity issues, you may require purchasing and installing an outdoor wifi extender. This is a common known issue for block houses or homes with a large distance between the router and the pool equipment.
The two types of valves are standard Jandy valves that say OFF on a Triangle across from a handle and the Electronic Valve Actuators; depending on what options you purchased in your pool construction proposal. The rudimentary function is the same for both in that wherever the OFF word is pointing shuts off that corresponding pipe.
The Pool has several intakes from the Main Drain, to Skimmer, to Cleaner (Side Suction Port) and additionally if you chose a Spa the main drain for the spa. You'll need to ensure you are adding sufficient water to your pool and spa so that the skimmer never runs dry. The pool pump is designed to run completely primed with water.
Automated Valves have a silver toggle switch underneath that is set to direct the communication with your controller, please be careful not to toggle this switch as it will tell the actuator to perform the opposite direction. The inside of the actuator has 2 small gears that are calibrated to allow a certain range of motion, this is how we set an iq904 to smart control to spa mode or other water features.
Likewise, a manual pool return will need to be adjusted to control more or less water flow to spa, pool, jets, features, fountains, bubblers and deck jets alike. When you divert water flow from one return, all other returns are strengthened. For instance, if you wanted 100% power to a waterfall feature, you would simply OFF the returns to everything except that feature and return them to normal once finished.
With the installation of a Blower, you can add 1.5HP of air power to a spa or swim jet system. If you desire more power to a feature or spa in the future, installation of a booster pump can be purchased.
Your pool filter is typically a standard Jandy CS200, but we also install larger filters for larger pools like the CL250. Your filter has a pressure gauge located on top that tells you how dirty the filter is and this alerts you when it is time to take the cartridge out and spray it clean with a hose and jet nozzle.
Neglecting to clean your filter cartridge will shorten the life of the filter and lead to more frequent purchases of new ones. The other common problem is a lack of pressure to the pool returns and pool features when your filter is dirty.
If you need to purchase a new filter, the replacement cartridge is here:
Cleaning your Cartridge filter is quite simple. Turn off your pool equipment, unscrew the top half of the filter and remove the paper cartridge, clean, and replace.
Your Pool Heater and Chillers, if you've opted into this, have a simple display from which you can turn on and off; or if you have automation you will do so from your iAqualink app. A common misconception is that the data isn't matching when you have automation, this is simply because it is set to bypass mode and is hard wired to your iq904 directly which communicates to the motherboard.
Don't be alarmed, your heater is just condensating.
It's totally normal when running your heater for the copper pipes and condenser inside to accumulate water and drip to the collection pan in the bottom. This pan is built with vent holes to allow the water to escape and evaporate to avoid possible mold or mildew. If your heater is leaking at the piping when not in use, it may be as simple as a loose connection or cross threading.
Your pool lights are typically going to be the Jandy Watercolor niche less LED lights. These are usually installed to a light switch that can be turned on and off from. If you've purchased upgraded automation, you will be able to control the lights from your app. If you want to change the light color, simply turn the light lights off and back on within 3 seconds. This allows you to cycle through the light colors and patterns. If you'd like to reset the lights back to the first color, turn them off and count to 5 then turn them back on.
The purpose of pool cleaning is to create a safe and sanitary swimming environment for pool use. The higher the bather load or pool usage the higher the demand for sanitizer.
Most pools that we install currently feature a Salt Chlorine Generator, that converts Salt Water into Sanitizer for your water. Simply, by ionizing NaCL we convert it to NaOCl. NaOCl is sodium hypochlorite, the same chemical formula for Chlorine. The titanium rods inside the salt cell must be maintained regularly in order for optimal output and performance.
The most common sanitizers used in swimming pools are Chlorine and Bromine. There exist unconventional options including Sodium Persulfate, Lithium Hypochlorite, and potassium peroxymonosulfate which are collectively known as Non Chlorinating Shocks.
We typically use Chlorine or Bromine for the ability to accurately test for the residual in the pools.
Aquacheck 7 way test strips are my personal favorite for easily testing pool chemistry. They even have a handy phone app here.
Hey, a big scary word.
All this means is burning out the bad stuff (organics, bacteria, and Chloramines) and leaving enough sanitizer in the water that will be left over until the next pool cleaning visit.
One of your Main Concerns over the next few years will be your Calcium Hardness in your water. Too little and the pool finish will become soft and dust will come off as you brush it. Too much calcium in your water may cause scaling, hard calcium build ups and rough texture as well as staining. Ensure you are testing your water weekly, and it's good practice to keep a record of your weekly pool levels as you'll need this to submit a warranty claim in the event your pool plaster delaminates or scallops in the future.
How it Works:
Swimming Pools are outdoor bodies of water that contain a mixture of body oils, skin cells, dirt, debris, bacteria, dog hair, insects, and other organisms too small for the eye to see.
When we apply a sanitizer like Chlorine to the pool it will combine with the materials in the water to oxidize them. Oxidize is just a big science word for destroy so we will just say destroy from now on.
A bigger pool will naturally require more sanitizer than a smaller pool to destroy the materials in it as water will dilute the chemicals added. A big pool will also contain more junk so to speak to destroy.
Chlorine turns into chloramine when it combines with something like algae in the pool and it takes 3x more chlorine to then destroy a chloramine. Therefore a dirty pool will take a lot of chemicals to clean.
So, it’s always a great idea to vacuum as much debris out of the pool to waste and fill with fresh water prior to adding chemicals to try and sanitize water.
You want 3ppm of Free Active Chlorine in your swimming pool at all times.
The chart above is used per 10000 gallons. This is typically a small fiberglass pool or lap pool. For your average 16x34ft rectangle pool at 6ft deep multiply the demand by 2 and aim for the 5 ppm column.
For Liquid Chlorine refer to Sodium Hypochlorite 12%
For Powdered Shock refer to Calcium Hypochlorite 67%
One Cup of shock is roughly equal to a pound or 16oz.
For Cyanuric acid (stabilizer) , our goal is 50ppm for screened pools and 80ppm for Open Pools.
1 lb of Stabilizer or Cyanuric Acid will raise a small pool by 10 ppm and a large one by 5ppm.
Free Active Chlorine (FAC) is chlorine in the water that is ready for use and hasnt been used up.
TC is the total chlorine, which includes all chlorine and chloramines that have been used and are left over. The left over dead chlorine is called Combined Chlorine which needs to be removed.
In olympic sized pools, with hundreds of swimmers there is an incredible amount of combined chlorine produced each day. It smells strongly of chlorine and can redden eyes and even cause asthma attacks when present in indoor pools with poor ventilation. To remedy this, we use a chemical called Sodium Thiosulfate which will strip ALL CHLORINE, good and bad from the water and let you start fresh. It’s not recommended in large doses, or for residential use.
For residential pools, simply use 3x the amount of CC on the test to leave adequate chlorine.
For example if a 20000 gallon pool has 1 Free Chlorine and 3 Total Chlorine on the reading, you would have 2 Combined Chlorine calling for a dose of 6ppm New Chlorine. This Would be 4 gallons of liquid chlorine or 4 lbs of Shock.
When starting from 0 Chlorine and 0 CYA, you can raise chlorine to 10ppm to start and raise Stabilizer or CYA to 50-80ppm. For a 20000 gallon pool this would be 3 jugs of liquid chlorine (or 5 lbs of Shock) and 10lbs of Stabilizer CYA.
For pH of your water you'll need Muriatic Acid to lower the pH as necessary and Sodium Bicarbonate to raise it. For average sized pools 2 cups of Acid will lower the pH by .2 and likewise 2 cups of Sodium Bicarbonate will raise it by .2
During the plaster curing process we typically keep the pH more acidic, but as a range you can aim for 7.2 to 7.8 for normal swimming conditions.