FAQ's About Pool Maintenance

Q: How can I tell if my pool is leaking?
A: Depending on the pool’s normal evaporation, a pool will lose about 1″ to 2-1/2″ per week. Evaporation is at its highest when the days are warm and the nights are cool. Using the ordinary plastic bucket you can perform this simple test to determine if your pool is leaking.

  1. Bring pool water to normal level. (middle of skimmer)
  2. Place bucket on 1st or 2nd step of pool.
  3. Fill bucket with pool water to same level as pool.
  4. Mark water level on inside of bucket.
  5. Shut off pump and mark pool water level on outside of bucket.
  6. Resume normal pump operation.
  7. After 24 to 48 hours, compare the 2 water levels.
  • If the pool water (outside mark) goes down more than inside water level, there is probably a leak.
  • In case of rain repeat the test. (Be sure if your pool is equipped with an auto fill to shut off water supply.)
  • Test is invalid after 48 hours.

Q: How long should my filter run each day?
A: Your pool filter is the most important component in proper pool cleaning. Ideally, a filter should run all the time for maximum circulation and debris removal. A minimum of 8 hours a day in summer and 4 to 6 hours per day in the winter is highly recommended.

Q: When should I run my pool filter?
A: To retard chlorine evaporation, maximize water clarity and prevent algae your pool filter should run during the hottest part of the day.

Q: Why is my pump making loud noises?
A: There are several reasons why this can be occurring. The pump motor bearings are failing and the motor needs to be rebuilt or replaced. There could be a partially blocked suction line causing pump noise in the way of cavitation. The pump could also be oversized for the application causing the pump noise and possibly overheat. Give us a call and we can diagnose the problem for you to find out if you need pool pump repair.

Q: Why is my pump is blowing bubbles into the pool?
A: You probably have a leak in the plumbing, allowing air to get into the system. This is something that should be repaired quickly. If too much air gets in the line, you could burn up your pump motor and require more extensive pool repair.

Q: How often does my pool filter need to be cleaned?
A: This is dependent upon several factors (for example, the size of your pool, size of your pool filter, the type of pool filter you have, bather and contaminant loads). Most manufactures recommend a complete filter tear down and cleaning a minimum of twice a year.

Q: How do I know what size of filter does my pool need?
A: There are many factors which go into determining the correct size of filter for you swimming pool, spa or water feature. You must first determine the required turnover rate and pool volume in gallons. Using this information, we can determine the ‘flow rate’ using the following formula: Flow Rate = Pool Volume / Turnover Rate / 60min/hour. After determining your Flow Rate we can use the following equation to determine Filter Area (Filter Size) Filter Area = Flow Rate / Filter Media Rate.

Here’s an example: You have determined that the total pool volume is 25,000 gallons and your required turnover rate is 4 hours. We must determine Flow Rate as follows; 25,000 gallons/ 4 hours / 60mins/hour = 104 gpm. We will now assume that you are planning to install a DE filter and we will use 2.0 gpm/ft^2 as the Filter Media Rate. Filter Area = 104 gpm / 2gpm/ft^2= 52 ft^2. Therefore, you would need to install a 60sqft filter (round 52sqft up to next filter size) to properly circulate and filter the pool water. It’s always better to oversize versus undersize the pool filter when in doubt. The right filter size will ensure proper pool maintenance.

Q. How do I select a filter, and what are the pros and cons?
A: There are several types of filters and each is outlined below with a short description. For more information on what might be right for your application please give us a call. Bacteria and algae particle size are measured in microns. The smaller the micron the finer it is to detect with the human eye.

  • SAND – This is the least common filter and it’s very easy to use, however frequent backwashing, which is necessary to clean the sand in the filter, uses a lot of chlorinated water. This essentially wastes a lot of chlorine and water. (SAND FILTERS CAN PICK UP 50 TO 100 MICRONS, MAKING IT THE LEAST EFFICIENT)
  • D.E. – (Diatomaceous Earth) This is the only filter we recommend and provides the best water quality. However, it is the most difficult filter to use and requires a lot of attention. (D.E. FILTERS CAN FILTER UP TO 2 MICRONS, THE MOST EFFICIENT)
  • CARTRIDGE – This is the most user-friendly filter and provides water clarity similar to that of a D.E. filter. However, the replacement cartridges for the filter are expensive, wear out, and can tear easily. (CARTRIDGE FILTERS CAN FILTER UP TO 30-50 MICRONS, DECENT BUT MOST ALGAE WILL PASS THROUGH A CARTRIDGE FILTER)

Q. My pool pump electric bill is high. Do you install variable speed pumps to save electricity?
A: Yes we do! Most variable speed pool pumps can pay for themselves in about 1 year with reduced electric consumption. Standard pool pumps can consume as much energy as all other home appliances combined-often costing more than $1,000 per year! IntelliFlo® and IntelliPro® Variable Speed pumps can typically cut energy use up to 90%, generally saving up to $1,500 in utility costs annually-more where rates are higher than average.

Q: Why does my pool/spa need to be chlorinated?
A: Pools should be disinfected continuously by a chemical which imparts a residual effect. Chlorine is a type of “disinfectant”, also called a “sanitizer”. Disinfects or sanitizers destroy living microorganisms and bacteria, preventing the transmission of disease. There are several types of disinfectants, such as chlorine, bromine, salt chlorination, ozone, and UV light. A pool cleaning service will make sure you get the right pool chemicals in balance for the best health of you and your family.

Q: Do you service salt pools?
A: Yes we do. More and more of our customers are switching to salt chlorination. Interested in switching? Give us a call!

Q: What are phosphates?
A: Phosphate is the major cause of algae in swimming pools. Phosphate and nutrients are required by all living organisms, including algae, to survive and flourish. Phosphate is introduced to pool water from a variety of sources including rain, runoff from lawns and gardens, fertilizers, bird seed, plant material, or from pool fill water and bores, dust, suntan oil and leaves. With time all of these sources will cause a build up and increase the concentration of phosphate in the water and progressive algae growth. We can include lanthanum-based compounds / phosphate removers as part of your pool cleaning to reduce the level of phosphate in your swimming pool water below 100ppm or as close to a zero reading as possible.

Q: How often do I need an acid wash?
A: Typically every 5 to 7 years a pool should be drained and acid washed to remove discoloring caused by chemicals. An acid wash is, put simply, purposeful stripping of a tiny layer of plaster, exposing fresh plaster beneath.

An acid wash will generally remove superficial stains, fine scale deposits, and various colored deposits from the plaster. The process strips off (dissolves) a very thin layer of plaster, and will therefore generally restore 75 to 85% of the plaster’s brightness. An acid wash will not remove heavy deposits or stains that have penetrated through many layers of plaster.

As a rule, acid washing a pool should be done only by a licensed professional. Give Hydrotech a call when you need a deep pool cleaning like this.

Q: My hair turns green when I swim, is this caused by the chlorine?
A: No. Exposure to metals dissolved in the water, particularly copper, iron, and manganese causes your hair to turn green. When metals attach to the hair shaft and are oxidized by the chlorine, they can leave behind a green residue. To remove the metals from your hair use a swimmer’s shampoo which contains the chelating chemical ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA).

Q: There’s water in my pool light fixture, is it safe?
A: NO. Absolutely not. This means the seal or cord are leaking and you need to install an entirely new pool light fixture. Call us immediately for this important pool repair.Q: My pool and spa lights both stopped working at the same time, how can that be?
A: Most likely your GFI has tripped. Simply push the “test” then “reset” button then try your lights again.

Q: My GFI keeps tripping on my pool lights, what is causing this?
A: A direct short. If your GFI is constantly tripping or will not stay reset give us a call. Likely one of your fixtures is shorted out and/ or has water in it. In this situation it is not safe to swim with the pool lights on. Call us and we’ll take care of this important swimming pool repair.

Q: Why should I use a pool service?
A: CONVENIENCE: Many of us simply can not afford the time it takes to maintain a pool on a regular schedule. We do the work and take the time to inspect the pool and the equipment for proper operation. If small parts are needed, they are obtained and installed on the next service date, saving you an inconvenient trip to the pool store. No need to lug home gallons of acid and chlorine and find a place to store them safely when not in use.

COMPETENCE: We are experts, because we maintain pools for a living. Knowing what it takes to obtain the proper water chemistry is what we do daily. We know what to do if we spot an algae bloom. As with most things, consistency is critically important and that is why we come on the same day every week. We notice changes in the water balance and adjust accordingly.

COST EFFECTIVE: It will cost you a little more for us to maintain your pool, but probably not that much. You will probably spend an average of $50.00 to $60.00 per month for the necessary chemicals, including chlorine tablets, muriatic acid, shock treatments and chemical test kits. For only a few dollars a week more, we will come to your house and perform thorough swimming pool maintenance for you.

Q: Where should the pool water level be during normal operation?
A: At least 2/3 up to the skimmer opening on pool side.

Q: If I have a pool service do I still need an automatic vacuum?
A: No, you do not need one. But we do recommend it! An automatic vacuum can assist in keeping your pool cleaned in between visits.

Q: If I have a pool service do I still need to empty my baskets?
A: Yes! We highly recommend assisting us in emptying your skimmer and pump baskets especially during the fall / windy season. If your baskets are overflowing the leaves will impair the water circulation and your pump will run dry, so it’s best to not wait until the next time your pool cleaners show up before you do something about it.

Q: When it rains will the water cause my pool to flood the yard?
A:No more than if you have only grass or cement in your back yard. Most backyards are equipped with a drainage system so there is nothing to worry about. Once the pool water level crests it is the same as having a cement yard. If you are still concerned you can backwash your filter for a few minutes to get the desired water level. Be sure to add fresh D.E. as soon as you are done or the filter will need to be cleaned again.

Q: How long does it take to heat my pool?
A: This would depend to a great degree (pardon the pun) on the size of the pool and the BTU rating of the heater. However, I have an 18′ X 36′ pool (about 25,000 Imperial gallons) and my gas heater raises the temperature at a rate of about 1/2 degree per hour.

Q: How long does it take to heat my spa with a gas heater?
A: An average sized spa 580 gallons with a gas pool heater should take approximately 45 minutes to get from 55* to 104*. If it is taking substantially longer your heater is too small or it needs service.

Q: How long does it take to heat my spa with an electric heater?
A: If you have an electric heater then you have a portable spa / hot tub and it must be covered when heating it. If you do not have a cover, get one right away. Portable spas are made to be heated and stay heated. Electric heat elements heat water very slowly at approximately 4 to 5 degrees per hour. It takes approximately 6 to 8 hours typically to get to 104* which is why it must stay covered to retain the heat.

Q: Why are your rates higher then my old “pool guy”?
A: Quite simply because we are professional pool cleaners. We may not be the cheapest service out there, but we are the best! Your “old pool guy” is your old pool guy for a reason. We always show up, we always do a great job, we always care about your pool, and we always make your pool look better than it ever has before. Besides, how much are you really saving if your other service doesn’t show up and algae starts growing in your pool? Now you are stuck paying someone else to come in and clean up the mess. Or because he walks in and out of your yard in 2 minutes, or his chemical imbalance puts holes in your skimmer and pool heater and causes copper sulfate staining in your new plaster and he never notices a leak in your equipment or a motor that is running too high or running dry. As a result he ends up costing you hundreds and hundreds of dollars in repairs. As the saying goes “The cheap comes out expensive in the end.”

Q: How will I know when my pool is serviced each week?
A: We will leave a signed door tag on the back door with the services that were done that week if we don’t speak to someone each visit.

Q: I have dogs. Can you still service my pool?
A: Yes. As long as your dogs are not trained aggressive K-9 attack dogs we have no problem with dogs and other pets. Many of our pool service customers have dogs and we always ensure the gates are latched coming and going.

Q: How do I obtain an estimate for weekly pool cleaning service?
A: Simply email us with as much information as possible including your address, type of pool (salt or chlorine) and we can look at your pool on Google Earth or you can email us some pictures of your pool and we will email you an estimate for cost of weekly cleaning usually within 12 hours. Or call us during business hours at 1-832-716-8122

Q: I am at work all day, can I get an estimate for pool repair?
A: No problem. Most of our customers work and are not able to meet a technican during busines hours. As long as there is open access we can come anytime during the day and call or email you with a quote. Give us a call to schedule an appointment. Be sure to lets us know we can come “anytime” on the specific day your appointment is set for.

Q: What cities do you offer weekly pool cleaning?
A: We proudly provide pool cleaning service to: Houston, Spring, the The Woodlands.

Q: When is my pool service bill due?
A: We send out a bill at the beginning of each month. It is not due until the 1st of the following month

Q: When is my pool repair bill due?
A: All pool repairs are due upon completion

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