Worst pool advice ever

The 5 Worst Pool Advice We Have Ever Heard

Let’s face it, with access to the internet, a lot of jobs and skills that were once sought out and paid for have become jobs you can do yourself. With a little advice and a Youtube video, you can almost build anything on your own. Still, not all advice given is created equal nor should be treated equally. Unfortunately, in the pool industry, bad advice can sometimes mean hundreds of dollars out of your pocket and a lot of missed time out of your pool. Throughout the years we have encountered a lot of customers who have taken their share of bad advice. We wanted to share the top 5 with you in hopes you won’t make those same mistakes. Caveat Emptor!

“I was told I could just put the chlorine tablets in the skimmer or pump basket.”

I’m saddened to say that we encounter this issue at least five times every season and our response is always the same, “Please do NOT put your chlorine tablets into your skimmer or pump.” Your pump and filter are the two driving forces that keep your pool clean and healthy. Let’s say you decide to put your chlorine tablets, or “hockey pucks” as a lot of people like to call them, into your skimmer. Once your pump and filter turns off, the tablets keep dissolving in your skimmer, forming highly acidic water. Once the pump is turned back on, this same acidic water goes straight into the filter. This can compromise the internal parts of your filter – cartridges, o-rings, and gaskets – forcing you to replace them earlier than normally necessary.

Instead of putting chlorine tablets in your skimmer or pump, we recommend using a chlorinator. A chlorinator will automatically disperse chlorine into your pool according to an adjustable setting on the unit. Chlorinators work with your existing pump and filter and are usually very easy to install. Another option is a floating chlorinator which is just a plastic vessel that holds tablets and floats in the pool. Floating chlorinators are super cheap and can usually be found in local stores like Walmart. Whatever you do, though,  please do not put chlorine tablets into your skimmer or pump!

“My pool guy told me I could run my pump a few hours a day…. but now my pool is green.”

Pool pumps should run on average between 8-10 hours a day. As a basic rule of thumb, you should be able to filter your entire pool within an 8-hour time frame. In other words, your entire pool (in gallons) should pass through the filter in this 8 hour period. If you are not giving your pump and filter enough time to properly clean the pool and keep the chemicals in flow, your pool will turn green. Not to mention, it might be unsafe for even recreational purposes.

As a pool owner, you need to become comfortable with certain pool calculations. If not for yourself, definitely as a means of double checking pool “professionals” who may steer you in the wrong direction. Here’s how you can calculate the minimum time you need to operate your pump

  1. Determine how many gallons of water is in your pool.  (Pool’s length x Pool’s width x Pool’s average depth x 7.5)
  2. Figure out the pump’s gallon per minute (GPM) This information is typically listed on the pump label. Once you find this number, multiply that by 60 to get the gallons per hour.
  3. Divide the gallons per hour into the total gallons in your pool.
  4. This answer gives you the minimum hours needed to run your pump so that your entire pool is filtered properly.

So the next time someone recommends that you run your pump for “insert # of hours”, always refer back to the GPM of your pump. No one likes to swim in a dirty pool and no pool owner likes to spend additional money to fix something that was preventable from the start.

“My pool guy sold me a bigger pump than I had on before because he said the bigger the pump, the less I’ll have to run it.”

When it comes to pumps, bigger is not always better. A pump is limited by the plumbing size set up at your home and the maximum capacity your pool filter can handle. A higher horsepower (HP) means more power and energy is being used to pump the same amount of water, thus causing your energy bill to skyrocket. A higher horsepower draws more amps but does not move the water faster through your circulation system. Instead of reaping the benefits you thought you were getting by increasing your HP, you end up with a higher energy bill, a burnt out motor, and an oversized pump you spent more money on than you wish you had.

If you need help trying to properly size your pool pump or want to verify if your current HP is accurate, then please check out our how to guide labeled How To Size A Pool Pump.

If you’re looking to save money, our advice is to switch to a dual speed or variable speed pump. By switching to one of these, you are able to operate your pump using less energy. You can operate your pump at the lower speeds during normal circulation and on high speed whenever you clean your pool. And who doesn’t like saving money, right? In short, bigger is not better when determining the horsepower for your pool pump. Over sizing is very common, but very easy to fix. We are always available to verify if your pump is oversized and if you are overspending.

“You can determine if your pool is clean by the smell of chemicals.”

If someone ever tells you this, take a step back, and go in the opposite direction. The smell of chemicals is not an indication of a clean pool, but just the opposite. A properly disinfected pool has no strong chemical smell. The strong smell common to many pools, especially public, is due to something called chloramines. Chloramines are the byproducts of chlorine’s reaction to contaminants brought into the pool by swimmers. These contaminants include perspiration, urine, body oils, and cosmetics.

Therefore, a strong chemical odor is actually an indication that the chlorine in the pool is working overtime due to the excess amount of contaminants and not an indication of it being clean.

“My pool guy told me I could use Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to lubricate my o-rings.”

You should never, ever use Vaseline or any petroleum-based lubricants for any of your o-rings. Most manufacturers recommend a silicone or a Teflon-based lubricant for all o-rings and gaskets. The oil composites of the petroleum jelly will cause the rubber to break down and will completely eat away your o-ring. Although o-rings range in size from really small to very large, never underestimate their power or the importance of their job. Using the wrong type of lubricant can cause leaks and ruin your system.

143 thoughts on “The 5 Worst Pool Advice We Have Ever Heard

  1. Am a swimming pool contractor in Kenya. I started this venture 5 months ago, my encounter with most clients is the swimming pool equipments are costly how can you help them out. Do you supply the Kenyan & East African market?
    Kind regards,
    Nyabera

    1. Hi Nyabera,

      We do ship our products to Africa and all over the world as normally we can provide quite a savings versus purchasing locally. Typically our international customers would have us ship to a freight forwarder of there choosing here in the USA and then the customer makes arrangements with the freight forwarder for the delivery from the USA to there country.

      1. YAY FOR THIS!!!Better yet – ask Google any question you have and add ‘tfp’ on the end, for ‘trouble free pool’.
        Unbelievably awesome resource.
        And Yes. Outside of problems – nothing (almost ever) except plain unscented NOT-splashless bleach or liquid chlorine.
        Problems? Bleach again, just a bit more. And a couple other mostly household products (normally repackaged by pool stores with a cranked-up price tag.

      2. There is Merit to that system if you’re in Northern California or a cool climate but in the Southern United States it is pretty much hopeless.

  2. I have a couple questions! First all I have an above ground pool. It’s just over 6000 gallons. the tiny pump that came with the pool was most certainly not sufficient and was causing me to have to constantly watch my pool water. I have A purchased a sand pump that is for a pool with 12000 gallons and I have noticed I only have to put chemicals in my pool once a week and generally that’s only chlorine as my ph level chlorine levels and alkalinity levels staying perfect since getting this pump the question I have is, every now and then I get a slight chlorine smell and I’m just wondering if that’s okay? It’s not super strong you have to be really close to the water to smell it but when I read your post above about chemical smells not being good I just wanted to make sure that my water is safe as long as its testing correctly? Sorry this is so long thank you for your help.

    1. Good question Judy! That chlorine smell is “used” chlorine that is no longer helping clean your water. We do not want that used up chlorine clogging our nostrils or our pool water, so I suggest shocking your pool with cal-hypo pool shock (follow dosage instructions on package label.) If after shocking the pool, the smell persists, and your test still comes back as perfect, I suggest taking a sample for a pool store water test for a second opinion.

      1. Actually, we’re both right. Your method can work but the approach I laid is the more commonly accepted and widely used technique. Also, it is backed by the American Chemical Council so it is not something we’re guessing on.

        It sounds like you were trained by some good people, but I was trained by the best.

      2. You could not be more wrong ! If you smell chlorine your smelling chloramines or dead chlorine your free chlorine and available chorine numbers are not the same and this is what your smelling it need to be shocked to bring the pool in balance . I am a pool builder with over 40years of experience

      3. no he is right you are wrong adding more calhypo can increase the chlorimines unless u hit the chlorine break point an o2 based shock wipes it all out

      1. That’s laughable. If you were trained by the “best” you would have suggested getting your water tested before adding addition Calcium Hypochlorite. Due to the chlorine smell, you don’t know what her chlorine levels are (for example say they are at 7.5ppm) and you are telling her to add additional Calcium Hypochlorite, how is that going to help remove the strong smell from the chlorine? It isn’t, it would only ensure that it remains with such strong Chlorine odor. You never just throw additional Calcium Hypochlorite just based upon the smell of the water, ALWAYS test your water chemistry FIRST and that will surely indicate what is needed next.

    2. You can’t tell anyone to maintain chlorine levels at 3ppm without knowing what their CYA level is. The higher the CYA, the more chlorine is required to properly sanitize the pool. If they have been using pucks, their CYA levels could easily be over 100, meaning chlorine levels of 3ppm is a recipe for a green pool.

      You should not only test the pool for free chlorine, but also combined chloramines (cc). A cc level greater than .5ppm indicates something is probably growing in the water (algae) and the chlorine is fighting it. This is the “chemical” smell most people notice.

      The best chlorine you can add to your pool is plain bleach. This adds chlorine without adding unwanted chemicals like extra CYA or extra calcium.

      1. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!!!

        More fantastic advice straight from the Trouble Free Pool (tfp) BBB ‘bible’.

        FC of 3 is meaningless.
        Chlorine in relation to CYA (cyanuric acid – ‘stablizer’ (but ideally NOT from pucks) ) is everything.

        And the ‘chlorine’ smell CAN be ‘good’. Useful at least. An indicator that the chlorine is DOING IT’S JOB but that therefore there is some ‘nasty’ in there meaning, knowing CYA level (and getting pH ideally lowered to around 7.2), add chlorine to YOUR APPROPRIATE ‘SHOCK’ LEVEL where it no longer just prevents stuff occurring but kills what has got there faster than it can grow. And KEEP the chlorine level up there with frequent checks and additions as necessary. And quit the ‘attack on the nasties’ only when OCLT and the other two qualifiers (see tfp) have all passed.

      2. Just plain bleach is for laundry and cleaning. It contains 2% to 5% sodium hypochlorite. It also usually contains phosphates. Phosphates are great for cleaning – they are also a great fertilizer for plant life. Algae is plant life. As a result, when you add bleach to your pool – you are also adding algae food. When the sodium hypochlorite burns off, (and it will as soon as the sun comes out, because it is not stable) you are left with algae food in your pool. Real pool shock never contains cyanuric acid, but many contain calcium. If you want to shock your pool without adding calcium, add lithium hypochlorite, potassium monopersulfate, or liquid chlorine (at least 12% sodium hypochlorite – without phosphates). Get the purest liquid chlorine from your local swimming pool supply store.

      3. I am a pool professional in Dallas Texas with a background in engineering. Typically I keep my free chlorine levels at about 7% of what my CYA levels are. I also rarely super chlorinate to reach breakpoint chlorination and prefer to use a small amount of sodium bromide to get rid of combined chlorine.

    1. I just brought a 18′ ×48″ above ground pool and I was trying to see what I need to do after I put water in …do I need to put. Clorine in

      1. Research pool start up and which chemicals you’ll need. Buy a test kit and test often as you go slowly. Don’t overdue it by just dumping in chemicals. That gets expensive trying to reverse that mistake.

  3. I’m waiting for salt water chlorinator to arrive can i use pucks until i can install it and what will be the effect when i converse to salt water.

      1. convert your pool to salt???dude you have no clue. A salt system is nothing but a chlorine generator. Except the fact you are putting 400 pounds of salt in your pool and compromising your entire system with the most corrosive element around..salt!!

        1. Thier is various opinions on salt pools. I have removed many due to the corrosion factor. Light rings are quickly damaged as well as other parts of your pool circulation system. The metals in the tracks of auto covers are severely damaged. Even using zinc anodes still isn’t adequate. Never experienced these drastic issues in well balanced chlorine pools.

      2. anybody that converts their pool to a “salt system” is highly misinformed. It’s the same exact thing as chlorine except prepare to pay at least another $700 dollars every 3 years to replace the shitty cells they sell and all the extra salt that corrodes your whole system, especially if you have a heater

        1. If anyone is using 700 pounds of salt, you are crazy. No wonder your cells corroded. A salt system is the best way to go.

          1. Joy,

            I have an in-ground pool that is about 24k gallons. In order to get from 0 to 3500 PPM it is 700 lbs of salt. The amount of salt you need depends on the amount of water your pool holds.

    1. We have used salt filter for several years, love it . Pool is crystal clear, feels great, doesn’t fade suits. No burning eyes. We have a 24 ft round pool, used 150 lbs of salt 5$ a bag of 40 lbs. have no idea what others are talking about with exaggerated costs. We use a sand pump and a salt filter. So much less than chlorine filter. Never go back. Do some investigating and you can make a educated decision.

      1. There is no such thing as a salt filer it’s a salt generator there is no sand pump it’s a sand filer and a pool pump. I think you need to do more investigation.

        1. Common sense tell you to clean things to avoid corrosion. Most salt corrosion is avoided with proper maintenance. I’ve been running the same generator, pumps, ladders, slide, diving board, etc for over a decade,

  4. Is it ok to leave chlorine pucks sitting on the bottom of a gunnite pool? We had a serious black algae bloom and were given the advice to scrub the algae with a wire brush them spread chlorine pucks over the bottom and let them sit there. Of course no one will be swimming in the pool until the chlorine levels get back to 4ppm but I was wondering if it will damage the pool floor.

    1. You need to contact someone about black algae immediately, black algae hates the sunlight, if it has gotten to the pool floor then it has grown elsewhere, in your pipes etc. You need to have black algae treatment done, it does not go away with brushing or raising the chlorine it will continue to spread until a treatment has been done, or the pool has been partially drained and an acid wash has been performed.

      1. Drain and acid wash is a very extreme recommendation for black algae it can typically be remedied by triple shocking and using a copper, silver, or sodium bromide based black algaecide followed with brushing and maintaining a high free chlorine level for several days. Although the active ingredient in chlorine tabs will effectively kill black algae via direct contact, it is asl so acidic it can put your Gunite surface if left in contact for a prolonged time.

    2. do not brush black algae until you have killed it or it will spread. Rub the spots with a chlorine tab. I would not let the, sit in the bottom of the pool.

  5. My daughter’s friend open up the floating puck holder my pool is 3 months old ..it’s a above ground intex pool it bleached a big 3 in circle in the bottom. .will it mess my pool up bad..I’m not worried about the white spot. .I’m worried it may have damaged liner..and I can’t afford another pool.

  6. Hello. I have an Intex 15×48 above ground 5000 gallon. I have bought a Krystal clear sand pump. It’s seems to working good. I just have a few questions I’ve read some comments.

    1– I don’t need to run my pump all the time? I run it 24/7
    2– I shock my pool once a week. Is that ok?
    3– I’m confident send about chemicals as the pump instructions say you won’t need as much.

    I’m so confused
    Thanks

    1. 1. If sized correctly, a pump and filter can turnover your water twice or more in an in 8 hour period. That should be enough to keep your water clean, if the chemicals are in check.
      2. Shocking the pool is only really necessary when you have a severe deficiency in chlorine. If you keep your water chemistry in check, there is no need shock it every week.
      3. I do not understand the wording of the question.

  7. Mathew
    So about the last question it was done by auto correct

    What I was asking. In my sand pump manual it states that it doesn’t require the use of a lot of chemicals. Just wondering if that is correct.

    1. Unless the filter has some sort of special antimicrobial thingamajig in there that I do not know about, it just sounds like a puffed up selling point. The sand filter is going to require the same amount of chemicals as the other types.

  8. Hello, couple questions, I’ve had my pool for probably about 2+ months. It’s basically an offbrand intex (Summer Waves) 18ft around 4ft deep. I believe it’s around 7,700 gallons. We had a bad algae problem, because I was putting in the wrong amount of chemicals for the gallons (figured that out the hard way), finally got rid of it and couldn’t get rid of the dead white floating algae. So we drained it, shop vacuumed, and scrubbed it sparkling clean. Got it back up and it’s been nearly perfect for about a month. Started forming algae, vacuumed it out before it got bad. By the way, this time around the chlorine and PH were perfect. Decided to finally switch to a sand filter, because that stock cartridge filter just wasn’t doing the job and had to put a new cartridges in every day.
    To help with information the brand is Blue Wave Sandman filter pump and base (I believe it’s the 12″ filter and 1/2 hp pump from what I found on the Internet)
    Well, I have no clue what I’m doing with this sand filter. The instructions were very brief and not informative after you got the filter put together. I had no idea where to put the hoses that went into the pool… still not even sure I got it right, when I first hooked it up the intake on the pool was shooting out water instead of taking it into the filter, switched the hoses around. The hoses on the pump are leaking and they’re as tight as they go. The pool place didn’t mention it didn’t come with a backwash hose. And I have no clue how or when to back wash?! And I also wasn’t told I’d need a skimmer, which I’m sure they knew I didn’t have one. I also told them I had no idea whay I was doing lol. Do I absolutely need a skimmer with a Sand filter?! Where do I put chemicals in now that I don’t have a cartridge filter?? Before, the instructions always said to add to filter. Also, any other basic information I should know as a beginning sand pump filter user would be great! Also, my email address is khausman94@live.com justhe incase! Thank you!

      1. Kassie,

        Have you taken a sample of your water to a pool store for a free water test? If you haven’t, do it immediately and post the results so we can begin to figure out the source of the problem.

        1) Here is a guide on how to backwash a sand filter, read it and bookmark it: How To Backwash a Pool Sand Filter

        2) Yes, you need a pool skimmer. No matter the filter type, a pool should have a skimmer to help remove surface debris and water circulation.

        3) It depends on the chemical, but you would either add it directly to the pool, or dilute in a bucket of water then pour around pool’s circumference.

        Here are a couple beginner guides to pools: Pool and Spa Chemical Questions, New Pool Owner’s Ultimate Pool Basics Guide

  9. We have just put our salt water pool in this past April and love it. I am getting mixed messages about the chlorine tabs. If I have a salt cell do I also need to use chlorine tabs? I have my automatic pool chlorination system set at 85%. My equipment also has an “inline” tube where I am suppose to add the tabs set at. I have been told I don’t need the tabs. Another told me I needed 3 tabs a week. My chlorine is about 5 at this point, high. We live it Houston and been pushing 100 degree temps if that matters.
    Any help would be great.

    1. The use of chlorine tabs to supplement your salt chlorine generator is not necessary if your generator is operating correctly.

      The use of tabs would only be necessary if your cell was falling behind the chlorine demand. But in those instances, I suggest shocking your pool for a quick boost instead of the slow dissolve of a chlorine tablet. The only reason I can see telling someone you need tabs is to introduce stabilizer into your pool, but you should already be using some sort of water conditioner (CYA.)

  10. My salt chlorinator is leaking profusely around the salt cell and is corroding the unit. I also have struggled all season with maintaining the correct chlorine level. We have super chlorinated and shocked several times this year. I have also developed yellow algae that I am battling. We live in Toronto, Ontario – very hot this summer ( 95+ degrees ). Any suggestions for combating the algae as well as maintaining chlorine levels ? We have had our water tested religiously many times this season….

    1. We have a guide on battling algae here, How to Treat Moderate Swimming Pool Algae. But if the chlorinator had been working correctly the algae would not have had a chance to grab hold.

      What are the current chemistry levels of your pool: Chlorine, pH, Alkalinity, and Hardness?

      The steps I would take to try to fix your issue:

      1) Replace the o-ring, union or cell housing (if applicable) to stop the leak. The constant loss of freshly chlorinated water may be contributing to the chlorine loss leading to algae.
      2) Test and/or clean the cell to get it firing correctly. If the cell is still not putting out enough chlorine then you may need a new cell. How big is your pool, and what is the model number of your generator?
      3) Kill the algae. With the cell up and running, plus the right addition of shock and algaecide the algae should go the way of the Dodo.

  11. Hello,
    We have a saltwater inground fiberglass pool. Our pool guy has replaced everything except the salt cell and motherboard. The motherboard does not work as of yesterday. They are very expensive to replace. Since we have sunk so much money into new pump, tank, pool light etc, can we do something that will chlorinate the pool for the next couple of months until we can replace the salt cell?
    Thanks much!

      1. Just a quick note about using floaters in a vinyl liner pool. We installed a new liner a few years ago and the customer had a floater and it got stuck on the corner of his walk in steps and the bottom of the floater was close to the top step ( this was a pool with the liner over the steps) the highly acidic water distroyed the liner were it was stuck at. FYI

      2. No change the cell ask him to put a new cell on and turn it on than take a salt reading on a strip. If it dosent add up than change your cell. If you can’t afford it than you should not have gotten a pool. If it is the motherboard which it probably is. But it is a good possibility it is both. Don’t just add chlorine that’s just stupid and your pool will go green if you don’t have your cell regulating the salt and chlorine properly. Or disconnect everything and add a clorinator if you can’t afford your system

  12. Hi,

    Firstly, a big thanks for compiling great information which is very helpful for pool owners. We have a big in-ground pool (around 20k gallon). The filter is DE Hayward. This is our first experience with the pool. Novice to begin with, the pool water turned green in a month since we moved into the house. We added Algae corrector and shock but that didn’t help. Later, we realized,our biggest mistake was we mistook DE powder as chlorine and were feeding that in the chlorinator(this was done around 4 times). When we realized what we were doing wrong, we back-washed the DE filter(thanks to your video) and added chlorine tablets to the chlorinator. But the tables arnt dissolving and the pressure gauge on the DE filter shows around 25 psi. what is the best solution to this problem as winter is approaching and we need to close the pool but want to make sure that the pool is in a good condition before we do that.

    1. First off, thank you for watching our vids!

      Secondly, what is the model of your Hayward Filter and chlorinator? What is the normal PSI for your filter? Also, do you see DE powder lingering in your pool?

      1. Hey there,
        Although the algae is all clear now but i do see some powdery stuff lingering along the edges of the liner. That might be the DE powder. Is there a way I can upload an image? and if this is DE powder, how can I get rid of it?

        Thanks,
        Tony

        1. Uploading images is a little difficult on our blog, you may want to try posting this to the forum for pictures. We have a couple of moderators and regular pool owners that can find you the answer.

          A white powdery substance may be remnants of dead algae or scale. When you post in the forum, make sure you post results of your latest water test.

  13. I saw the pool guy trowing powder chlorine in to the pool.
    Question?
    Can this damage my diamond brite, equipment or filters?
    Thank you in advance.

    1. The granules could harm the pool surface if the granules do dissolve quick enough. Most pool owners I know, add chlorine to a half filled 5-gallon bucket, mix, then walk around the pool evenly pouring out the mix.

  14. Hi there Matthew,

    I have a 10′ x 7′ x 4′ small pool made of solid ( 2 inches thick) fiberglass-covered ply. It was originally a large live seafood-holding tank that I have converted into a semi-inground pool. I have sunk it into the ground leaving 1 foot above ground and surrounded it with decking. It has NO holes cut through for draining or return ports; it is just a solid shell.

    My question is, “Do I have to cut drain/return holes in it for filtration/cleaning purposes?”. I would rather just use one of those floating filters that you can attach a pool-vacuum to; and just simply run the out and return hoses that go to the filter over the edge of the pool when I need to run the filter. The filter I have could easily filter the entire pool volume in a couple of hours. Is this possible/viable?

    Thanks for your assistance!!

    Mike

    1. Mike that is a good question, but a question I don’t have a solid answer on. My first instincts are to tell you to bite the bullet and install the proper filtration inlets and outlets needed (skimmer, main drain, and returns.) Because I know, this will work and would be a permanent fix.

      I do not have any experience with floating filters so that they may be the cat’s pajamas but I couldn’t tell you one way or the other. If it will do the trick. If worst came to worse, you could try the least expensive method and then if it fails to go with the tried and true method.

    1. The undiluted chlorine can still make skimmer baskets and internal pump parts brittle. This means you will have to replace these parts more often and negating any money you may think you saved by not installing a chlorinator.

      In my opinion, I wouldn’t try to make a bad situation bearable and just plunk down the $10 for a chlorine float. Also, running your pump is going to cost you a bunch in energy costs.

      1. Skimmer is the only place you should put your tablet it puts the chlorine in the pool quicker skimmer baskets are not that expensive also why would you turn your pump off run it 24/7 keep that water moving

  15. Pool has chlorinator but I was told it would not make chlorine when water drops to certain temp. Running pump during winter so what do I do.

  16. I have an above ground fountain 20ft in diameter with about 18in of water, roughly 3500 gal. There are no inlet/outlet connections for hoses. Can I just run the hoses over the top? Please help I’m out of ideas to keep this thing clean and the Algae is beginning to build

  17. Cloudy water!! Took sample to pool store they said no chemicals showing… they sold me alkalinity and shock. Put 2 shock in and then 3lbs. Alkalinity every 3-4 hours. Did all that and water is still cloudy??? Help please.

    1. Can you post results of the latest chemical testing? They said “no chemicals were showing” I need to have a better idea of what that means. Clarifier can also clear cloudy pools. But if you do not have chlorine in the pool, clarifier won’t fix the whole issue.

  18. She just said no chemicals showing . Had me put 2 bags of shock and 12lbs of alkalinity over 12 hours then 2lbs of ph up. Had test redone and everything was ok except the chlorine still too low ( but I had already put 12 3inch blocks in over 24 hour period along with the other chemicals). Had another test done at Leslie’s and all good including the chlorine and it was at 1, they said the only problem was water hardness, took the same water to another company and they said no chlorine again. The water is still cloudy and the pool companies around here have me in a goose chase. The water is still cloudy, I smell no chemicals especially no chlorine . Tonite I put 2 more bags of shock and 3 more tablets of chlorine. Trying to get the chlorine up. Nothing is working on clearing the water from being cloudy .

    1. Here are the results Leslie’s gave me.
      Free chlorine 1
      Available chlorine 1
      Calcium hardness 100
      Cyanuric acid 50
      Total alkalinity 80
      Ph 7.5
      Copper 0
      Iron 0
      Total dissolved solids 400
      Phosphates 100

      They suggested hardness plus for the calcium level and clarifier for the cloudy pools. Since the calcium isn’t where it needs to be it’s no point in putting the clarifier in. I need help!! Thanks

      1. If the pool is cloudy stop putting in chemicals until it is clear. I’m assuming the cloudiness is from an algae bloom. When you kill, and algae bloom the water is cloudy. I would stay away from adding anything other than chlorine or nonchlorine shock. Super floc will weight down all the suspended material. Then close the skimmer and open the main drain completely and try to brush all that particulant that has dropped to the floor into the filter.

    2. Try sticking with one company until the problem is solved. Many times it takes more than one treatment to solve a problem.

  19. My chlorinator will not open! My pool guy suggested 1. Buying a new one and 2. Putting the chlorine tabs in the skimmer basket. Now that I have read your post, 8 won’t put them in the skimmer basket but I am wondering if it is OK to not buy a new chlorinator and instead, float them in the pool in floating chlorinator as you mentioned?

  20. I am buying an above ground pool on Friday, its an Summer wave Elite 16×48 (something cheap because its our first one) my question is what do I need to do far as the tablet cleaner? I am confused lol I don’t want the turning green problem.

  21. I have a 16 x48 pool I have bought a sand filter and salt chlorinated my question is I’m not sure I like the salt, can u remove it and just use the chlorine floater and still use the sand pump?

    1. Yes, you can remove the salt system from your plumbing and switch back to a chlorine feeder.

      A sand , as well as cartridge and DE, filters can be used in salt or fresh water pools.

  22. Hello,
    I have a 15 x 52 above ground round pool, I’m using an Intex sand filter. My issue is it keeps putting sand back into my pool. I have emptied, cleaned and check the laterals and main tube no cracks or holes. I backwash for three minutes after vacuuming then rinse for about a minute before switching to filter. But after all that I still get sand. What could possibly causing the sand to return?

    1. There is a chance you cannot see the crack or seam because it only presents itself when under pressure from the pump. The best bet would be to replace the set of laterals, unless you want to take it apart one more time.

      1. Our pool company said that the pucks should not contain copper as they will eat away the heater, also Costco’s chlorine tablets have copper.

        Is this a ploy to buy there products.
        Currently using Leslie’s tablets.

        CONFUSED we are

  23. Hi,
    I just bought an above ground ring pool. I would prefer to use salt instead of chemicals. I currently have the pool, a pump and a filter that all came as a package. If I go with salt, what other accessories/equipment will I need to buy (aside from the salt) in order to make this work?
    Thank you 🙂

      1. Thanks Matt. This is very helpful. In the interest of finances, I am wondering if all the mentioned equipment is really necessary or if it possible to test the pool each water and add salt as needed (instead of buying an actual salt system)?
        If not, I may just go with chemicals since I won’t need to purchase additional equipment…

        1. You can’t just add salt to the pool instead of chemicals. You need a salt cell that converts the salt water into chlorine. You should just stick to using the basic chlorine setup that the pool cans with…

  24. I have a 15 x 35 in ground liner pool. How many chlorine tablets to use in a floater? . I was advised by pool company not to put tablets in skimmer and to use a floater. Thanks.

    1. Read the manual, it should list the capacity of the floater, and put that many in. Give it a few days, test the water and see how the chemical levels are doing to determine if there needs to be a change in your approach.

  25. I don’t have a Manuel. I just moved into this house. It did not come with Manuel and my floater was bought from a pool supply without a box or Manuel. Otherwise I would not have taken the time to ask you

  26. I’m aware that putting chlorine tablets directly into the skimmer is a big fat NO when it comes to pools. Recently we switched over to a saltwater system which I absolutely love. I do not like running a boost though because I think it puts a lot of strain on the salt cell, my pump, my energy bill Etc… when we have had a lot of rain, I have taken a chlorine tablet and smashed it into small chunks. These are leftovers from my chlorinated system. I take one of the chunks and I put it in the skimmer at the beginning of the day when the system First turns on. By the end of the day it has completely dissolved. I have been doing this for the last couple weeks and every week we have had our water professionally tested with perfect results. That is all I have done I have not added any other chemicals. I know that the damage comes from when the system shuts down and the tablets it’s in the skimmer dissolving and becoming a very high concentration. That being said, am I still causing harm by performing my chip method?

    1. The chip method may be causing damage to parts, just in smaller increments. Because either way you slice it (or crumble it) there is still undiluted chlorine coming in contact directly with your pump and filter parts. Since you are in Florida, I would go to one of the hundreds of pool stores, or even a Publix to get a floater. They are super cheap and simple. Drop a whole tablet in the container and throw it in the pool. It does the same basic job as the skimmer basket method, without the chance of equipment damage.

      1. I was just looking for a way to use up the 3 tablets we had. I don’t want to buy anymore, and if I need to run a Boost, ill just but liquid chlorine and shock it.
        Good to know anyways!
        Thanks.
        PS… Sure, we can be friends lol!😁
        PPS… My husband had been doing pool service and installations for 20 years. Don’t tell him I did this!😉
        He won’t ever answer me, so I come to this site for answers, but he did say don’t put tablets in the skimmer.

  27. I just have one question, Matthew, do all pools come with a Manuel? Do Manuels clean the pool for you? This thread is the bomb! QUALITY BANTER. That should be your site logo Matthew “Come for the great advice on pools, stay for the banter” Florida mum’s bringing it too!

  28. We had found out that when the company put on our pool finish someone accidentally put some silicone in the stone scape finish. We have a couple spots that were like caulk and have come off leaving a spot that looks like a rusty spot. They quote “fixed” it but the fix has come off again. We do not know how much silicone was mixed in the finish. The contractor has offered us a discount because they had put the wrong color finish. We have been swimming since the beginning of July. We have not given the final payment yet. The silicone was removed from another pool when someone thought it belonged in the mix. Any advice? Are we long term problems with this finish? Should we make the contractor replace the finish? Or seek legal advice?

  29. We are renting a home with a pool and noticed that the pool person put a large rock at the entrance of the skimmer. Since he has done this the pool is sucking in air and the jets are making large bubbles. We mentioned this to the pool person and he stated it was due to a dysfunction in the vacuum hose. We have since removed the rock and the pump pressure is normalizing and it does not appear to be sucking in additional air. What I do not understand is why he would place a large rock at the entrance of the skimmer. I feel bad for the owner and want to make sure that they are not causing any unnecessary issues for the pool.

  30. Hello……I just opened our chlorine bucket and the gas that came out was awful. After giving it a few minutes utes I went back and looked at them and it looks as if they so somehow got a little water on them. I mean little as there as no water sitting in the plastic bag or the bottom of the bucket. Are these safe to store without worry. There were only 3 pucks left in the bucket and each one had a small dark spot on them…

  31. I have just opened my above ground pool which has 17,000 gals of water. My ph is high, reading no chlorine and it’s very, very green, all are usual when i open it. I have treated with algacide and put 11 lbs of shock in so far. The water has changed to very cloudy and test is still showing no chlorine. I’m assuming this is because the shock is being used to kill the algae but I hesitate to add more. It has been filtering non stop for 3 days. Should I add more shock or just let it filter more first? Thanks for your help

    1. I would shock the water again to get the last bit of any clinging algae exterminated. The cloudiness is dead algae floating in your water. Apply some clarifier or Floc & Vac to clear it up.

  32. We are having an above ground pool installed and will have the oxygen system. There’s not much info online about this system. Are you familiar with it at all or have any suggestions?

    1. Intex makes one that works rather well for what it is. Just make sure the connections are the correct size for your pool. Just google Intex Deluxe Wall Mount Surface Skimmer.

    2. Hi Becky…. I’ve seen skimmers on line that hang over an above ground pool. I don’t want to cut into my liner so I’m going to buy the hang over one. Have a good day. 🙂

    3. Yes, they make skimmers that hang on the wall of an above ground pool. They are rare and are called over the wall skimmers.

  33. Is it ok to put chlorine into the skimmer if the filter is run all the time? The filter I currently own is on the lower-end and doesn’t cycle all of the water in the specified 8 hours. I understand thaf if it is off, the tablets continue to dissolve, but I don’t believe that will be that big of a problem with a constantly running filter.

    1. No, pouring chlorine directly into the skimmer will ruin your skimmer and pump’s internal parts. Chlorine is a very caustic material, so it needs to be diluted. That is why we pour chlorine into the pool, or use tablet feeders that float or are plumbed last on the return line. So by the time the chlorine works its way back to the skimmer and pump it has been diluted to safe levels.

      But if you want to buy new skimmer and pump baskets yearly, have at it.

      1. Yearly is exagerated, might replace baskets every few years and pumps shaft seal also. Most severe damage is the skimmer pipe will construct over the next 15 years and lose flow by as much as half.

  34. I’m a new owner of an Intex 18’x48″ above ground…. I have so many questions…
    * First I know I need to get my water tested but haven’t yet.
    * The pump that came with it barley circulates any water at all. Is this normal? I can’t find the HP any where on the pump. Do I need a stronger HP?
    * Can you use a sand pump with a chlorine pool?
    * Which vacuum (brand) to purchase that’s the least complicated to use but does the job?
    * I haven’t bought a skimmer yet because it has to be one that hangs over the pool as I don’t want to cut the liner.
    * My water is cloudy but it’s probably because it hasn’t been maintained. When I purchase the right products hopefully that will take care of my issues.
    Also….
    When the guy installed it he said to:
    Initially put in 5 bags of the hth supper shock treatment. After that put 1 bag in every month.
    Put one whole 1 qt bottle hth Super Algae 60. Then another bottle every 6 months.
    Put 1…. 3″ tablet in the floater but didn’t say how often.
    I’m sorry for so many questions. Hopefully you can help me.
    Thanks much

  35. I have a new 10×18 42” intex pool and I purchased a saltwater system and started w salt. The bags are so heavy I decided to try regular chemicals and I’ve tested my water at home and the store with no problems. Will it hurt my salt water pump to not being using salt? Thanks! Becky

  36. New to this
    Got a above ground pool. A week after I shocked it added the floating pucks but then the pump went out it came with after I applied the shock. I got a sand filter pump but now have the shock residue bottom of pool. What to do ? I tried running the brush through the water stirring it up but it settled.

  37. It totally baffles me how many pool owners here have no clue to how to care for something they paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars for something without investing a little time to educate themselves on pool care. People spend some time learning about things that require maintenance and as well how to do it, BEFORE making a big investment in something that can be dangerous for you or your children if not handled properly.
    There are many websites on the web to assist you in your journey. Take the time to educate yourself and save both a great deal of time and money. By doing so, you may even enjoy your investment instead of it causing you frustration..

  38. Forgive me if this has been said above. I suspect it has but there’s a lot to search through to check!

    1. Just don’t even USE pucks (in the great majority of cases)

    2. Pumping for 8-10 hours is as arbitrary as a FREE chlorine level of 3 ppm. Excessive for a small pool (not harmful though except to an electric bill). Possibly insufficient for a larger pool.
    How many hours? Enough to be sure to turn over the whole pool volume each day. Check tfp’s PoolMath calculator for an easy volume figure then apply that volume to your pump’s gallons-per-minute (gpm) rating.

    3. Chemical smell is not required for a pool in good order, but is NOT a curse. It’s a sign of somethin you need to respond to by way of a SLAM (*Shock *Level *And *Maintain – tfp explains). It’s the smell of combined chloramines, from chlorine doing tge second part of its job – combining with contaminants to eradicate them.

  39. I do not agree with the advice to run the pump 8 to 10 hours per day. I did so the first year I had my pool and then I gradually cut back each year. Now I run it maybe 3 to 4 hours per WEEK and I have had zero problems. I keep on top of the water chemistry and everything is fine.

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