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Pool Service FAQ’s

Below are Tropic Island Pool's answers to some of the most popular questions asked by customers about pool service and maintenance.


Question: Is the chemical Chlorine safe for pools? 
Answer: Yes. Chlorine sanitizers are safe when utilized in accordance to package instructions approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chlorine levels within the recommended ranges for pool water do not pose any known health risks. Chlorine sanitizers have been utilized safely as pool disinfectants for over 100 years.  The majority of public pools and 9 out of 10 residential pools are sanitized with chlorine.


Question: How often do I need to test my pool water chemistry?
Answer: Weekly testing works for most backyard pools, but it is best to test your pH and chlorine levels at least twice per week. Chlorine should be added continuously through a chemical feeding device to maintain a consistent level.


Question: What is the correct chemical balance for swimming pool water?
Answer: To achieve maximum swimmer comfort and to prevent scaling or corrosion, pool water should be balanced to the following levels:

pH 7.2-7.6
Total Alkalinity 120-150 ppm
Calcium Hardness 200-250 ppm (Gunite)
Calcium Hardness 175-225 ppm (Vinyl)
Free Chlorine 1-3 ppm
Free Bromine 3-5 ppm
Copper 0 ppm
Iron 0 ppm



Question: When should I shock my pool?
Answer: Regular shock treatment is necessary to destroy water contaminates that reduce the efficiency of the disinfectant or sanitizer. Contaminates like cosmetics, hair spray, suntan oil, and other organic materials react with chlorine.  This causes eye or skin irritations and an unpleasant chlorine odor. Many times pools are wrongly accused of having too much chlorine when this problem is present.


Question: Why is it important to ensure swimming pool water chemistry is correct?
Answer: First, you want to ensure a sanitary swimming environment. Second, balance the water to protect the equipment and pool surfaces.  Third, provide an attractive desirable sparkling water to swim in.


Question: How long do I need to wait to utilize my pool after a chemical treatment?
Answer: Usually it is safe to use your pool after chemicals have dissolved in the pool, usually 15 minutes to one hour. If you are shocking your pool, wait until the chlorine levels drop to recommended levels.


Question: Do I need to run my pool pump every day?
Answer: Absolutely. Your pump should turn over the water through your filter in your pool at least once per day.


Question: How often should I brush my pool?
Answer: By brushing your pool regularly, you will keep dirt from settling the small pores and starting small organic farms. Steel bristled brushes, called algae brushes, are very effective. NOTE: never use a steel brush on a vinyl-lined pool. By brushing regularly, you can reduce the time spent vacuuming. Brush from the shallow end towards the deep end in overlapping strokes. Circle the pool towards the main drain, and much of the dirt will be swept into the drain and up into the filter.


Question: What maintenance does a gunite pool require?
Answer: Regular maintenance is recommended to keep your pool functioning properly. With maintenance, your pool can last for significantly longer.

Weekly: Addition of water to the correct level, chemical maintenance, scrubbing tile, cleaning out debris from baskets and pumps
Seasonally: In cold climates proper winterization for pool closing and opening.  An acid wash of the entire plaster surface is required for heavy staining.
Long term maintenance: Replacement of tile, plaster, and coping stones should be done every 15-20 years. Periodically some tile may need to be replaced more often in particularly harsh environments.


Question: In a saltwater pool – How salty is the water?
Answer: For a swimming application, salt is added to the water to produce a salinity of approx 3000 ppm (parts-per-million). This equals to 1/12th as salty as ocean water or 1/3rd as salty as human tears. Plants and water-feature vegetation near the pool, are unaffected by the low salinity water.


Question: Tree roots – Will they destroy my swimming pool?
Answer: It is best to avoid trees or plants near the pool that have wide-reaching, potentially destructive roots.  These trees or plants may damage swimming pools, causing expensive repairs. If you must-have plants or trees that are potentially dangerous and create maintenance issues, be sure to plant them at least eight feet from the edge of your pool.


Question: How do I remove stains from my plaster?
Answer: Pool plaster stains can come from Dirt, rust, and other minerals. Organic stains can come from leaves. A small amount of granular chlorine added at that location and allowed to settle on the stain will usually remove the organic stain instantly. Non-organic stains will not be removed by chlorine.

However, do not place chlorine tablets directly into the pool. They will stain and etch the pool plaster. If the chlorine doesn't work, acid usually will. By draining and acid washing the pool, a thin layer of plaster (and stains) will be removed.  This will offer a fresh, new-looking plaster. Finally, stains can also be sanded with pumice stones or wet/dry sandpaper.


Question: My tile has calcium deposits – How do I remove them?
Answer: Calcium deposits usually come from setting mortar or grout. Method 1: scrape it off the pool tile. Method 2: utilize a pumice stone. Pumice is a light porous glassy lava stone that can be rubbed over a pool stain to remove it. You can get a pumice stone that can attach to your telescopic pole or a pumice stone that has a handle you can swim with.