Pool Care FAQs

Pool Care FAQs

Whether you’re a novice, pool professional, or simply a pool enthusiast, we all need a little assistance from time to time when it comes to figuring out what to do with our pools. Here at Leslie’s, we’ve gathered some of the most popular and recurring pool questions received from our customers into one helpful article.

Understanding Pool Language

What is pH?
To put it simply, pH stands for “potential of hydrogen,” which refers to the amount of hydrogen found in water. pH can be measured on a scale from 0 to 14. The pH balance inside a pool is very important because it’s the best way to measure the acidity or alkalinity of the water inside the pool. This chemical balance protects the equipment as well as allowing the sanitizer do its best to job to keep the water in tip top shape.

The ideal range should be between 7.4 to 7.6 pH.

What is calcium hardness (CH)?
Calcium hardness refers to the amount of dissolved calcium inside pool water. Keeping the calcium hardness at the proper range is important because it helps protect equipment and helps prevents your water from appearing cloudy.

The ideal range of calcium hardness (CH) is 175 to 225 ppm.

What is Chlorine Demand?
Chlorine demand can be explained as the difference between total chlorine added into pool water and residual chlorine. Chlorine demand can occur in pool water due to weather-related events such as rain, thunderstorms, and other contaminants. To put it simply, it means that more sanitizer is required than is being provided to the water.

What is Free Available Chlorine?
Free Available Chlorine is basically the active chlorine inside your pool water that has NOT combined with organic matter and there to kill bacteria and algae--keeping your pool looking healthy and clean. The ideal range of Free Available Chlorine (FAC) should be between 1-3 ppm. If your FAC is below 1 ppm, this can cause issues with your pool, such as cloudy water and algae growth. Ensuring that your free available chlorine is at the perfect level is imperative, especially during the summer when your pool is being used most.

Basic Pool Care

How long should I run my pool equipment?
A pool filter system should ideally run 6 to 8 hours a day. When water temperatures get above 80° (during the summer months specifically), we suggest running the system 8 to 12 hours every day.

Do I need to drain my pool every year?
Contrary to popular belief, unless it is absolutely necessary, you do not need to drain a pool every year. However, should you need to drain the pool, we advise not draining it during the winter months. Why? You might ask. Keeping water inside your pool during the summer months can protect the bottom of your pool from cracking--especially when it hits freezing temperatures. Instead of draining your pool, we recommend that you purchase a pool cover for the off-season to keep debris and other contaminants to protect the water.

What do I do to maintain my pool lighting?
Maintaining your pool lighting is rather simple. Clean your light covers when undergoing regular pool maintain. It’s always a good idea to replace old bulbs and keeping debris from getting into the lights to avoid malfunction.

How often do I need to clean my skimmer and pump baskets?
Depending on the time of year or where your pool is located, it’s best to clean out skimmers and pump baskets once a day. If you cannot commit to a daily clean out, then it should be cleaned out at least once a week.

I just shocked my pool. How long do I have to wait before I can use it?
We recommend using your pool 8 to 12 hours after shocking your pool. So, to time this perfectly, shocking your pool in the evening is the best time to do as you can let your system run overnight. If you’re using a non-chlorine shock, you can dive right in within 30 minutes of treating your pool.

If I have pool chemicals left over from last season, can I still use them?
This depends on the type of chemical. Pool chemicals can last a long time if kept in the proper temperature and environment. When it comes to dry chemicals, they have about a 7 year shelf life before they expire. Liquid pool chemicals can last just as long if they do not freeze. If a liquid pool chemical freezes and thaws, the chemicals can separate and not properly work like they should. The trick is to store chemicals in comfortable temperatures during the winter season.

What type of pool cleaner is best for me?
There are so many ways to go about answering that question! Lucky for you, we have several articles that will help you decide the best pool cleaner for your pool. Check them out here, here, and here.

Why did my pool turn cloudy?
Another great question! We could go on about this topic, but we have this insightful article that delves into the causes of a cloudy pool. Read it here! Don’t have a cloudy pool, but a green looking pool? Don’t fret! We’ve got the answer to that as well.

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Leslie's Pool Shock

Pool Shock

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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.