FAQ's

Here's a list of our most frequently asked Questions...

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What is Salt Generation?

Your pool producing its own form of sanitation with no side effects such as blondes going green, irritated eyes, bathing suits bleaching, rashes, etc... briefly sums up what a salt water system is.


Unbalanced water, above average bather load, an uncooperative environment, abnormal weather conditions and malfunctions within the unit are all factors inhibiting its performance, efficiency and expected results by the consumer.


General Facts:

  • Yes you have a salt pool but you still have a chlorine pool as well. A salt water pool is still sanitized by chlorine. The salt in the water flows through the cell that is plumbed in your system, gets zapped and chlorine is produced, a 100% production of “free chlorine” and 0% “total chlorine” which is why the side effects are nonexistent.
  • It does not replace any of the other chemicals required to properly balance your water. Sanitation is its sole purpose. pH, Alkalinity, Stabilizer and Calcium are still very much required and needs to be tested regularly, even more now that a salt generator is plumbed in the system.
  • It does not replace any other equipment in your system besides your chlorinator. Your pool will still need a pump, filter, heater, etc...
  • Your initial cost will require a minimum of $2,500.00 to convert to salt. That cost would include the cell, control box, flow switch, all plumbing labor, all electrical labor, initial amount of salt required, installation, tax, all materials and supplies.

To sum it up: if any regular bathers constantly complain that they're continuously irritated from regular chlorine then a salt system would be the right move to make. If no one mentions anything then perhaps staying with the regular chlorine method would be the right decision. 

Are Solar Covers worth it?

The concept of your swimming pool having a blanket that can be put over it to heat the water and trap the heat it produces briefly sums up what a solar cover is.


General Facts:

  • They gain you about 10°, solely alone with no heater.
  • You will need to spend $300 - $500 for a decent one.
  • A reel is needed to help with the use and storage of the cover, which for a good one is another $400 - $600 expense.
  • Every time you want to swim you need to take it off, possible alone but much easier with a second person.
  • Once you're done swimming you have to make sure to put it back on. Again much easier with some help.
  • They tend to suffocate the water, creating issues like cloudiness and algae, even more than you might already have.
  • It doesn't allow the skimmers to work, debris falls on the cover and when removed most of it dumps into the pool and the rest will get wrapped up.

To sum it up: whenever a customer asks us about solar covers we always tell them what we witness from all the other customers who have already tried them in the past...
"After a couple of seasons of using it you can find them rolled up in a ball in their back woods!"

They do work to a certain extent but not sure the only pro out weighs all the cons...

How do I deal with Algae?

All pools will eventually battle the fight against algae including pools that are professionally cared for, Pool Pals included.


If algae is a constant battle for you then execute the following 4 steps in order. Know that the process may need to be repeated if it comes back.

  1. Vacuum the entire pool.
  2. Shock the pool with 10 - 20 gallons of liquid shock, not the granular or powdered form.
  3. Brush the entire pool.
  4. Floc the pool with 1/2 gallon of Revive.


Use a copper based algaecide to help prevent future algae growth.

What are my options for a Pool Heater?

Current fuel prices determine which choice is the most cost efficient.

Units will range between $3,000 - $5,000 installed.

We would have to assess the situation before recommending the best option but the following will help you determine that decision easier...

  1. Electric Heat Pump: designed to maintain the temperature, does not produce immediate  heat, which is partly why its so efficient. Only electricity is involved, no gas. Requires an available 230V / 50Watts.
  2. Propane Heater: designed to produce rapid heat. Requires a tank professionally installed and connected. Also requires a low voltage connection for the electronic ignition which can be tapped into the nearest switch or outlet. (no more red button or match to light the pilot), it does it automatically.
  3. Natural Gas Heater: designed to produce rapid heat. Requires an available gas line from house and needs to be professionally installed and connected. Also requires a low voltage  connection for the electronic ignition which can be tapped into the nearest switch or outlet. (no  more red button or match to light the pilot), it does it automatically.

How do I maintain the pool myself?

Once a week execute the following:

1. Test Water: 
If the colors on the strip match the colors on the bottle then you are all set for another week.
If even one color is off: bring a sample to the pool store, have them re-test and get what you need.

2. Vacuum Pool:
Simply remove any debris from the top and bottom of the pool.

3. Empty Skimmer Baskets:
Located at the pool, under white lid in pool deck.

4. Check Pressure Gauge:
If black needle reaches mark on gauge it’s time to Backwash or Clean the Filter.
If the pressure is low, empty the pump basket and clean the impeller.

5. Add Chlorine Tabs in the Chlorinator: (if it's not a salt pool)
Average is 4 tabs once a week.

6. Check Pump Basket:
Average is once a month to empty but want to check every week.

7. Empty Polaris Bag: (if equipped)

8. Check Salt Level: (if equipped) one 40lb. bag will increase the salt level 150ppm (average).

Pour the bag of salt in slowly so it dissolves as fast as it is being added.

Brush any piles that may accumulate on the floor.

9. Water Level: Be sure that the water is always at least half way up the skimmer plus a little extra… 

How do I Clean / Backwash my Filter?


Sand or Glass Filter:


1. Pump off
2. Multi-port to “backwash” position
3. Open Waste Valve (if equipped)
4. Pump on for 2-3 minutes or until “site glass” becomes clear
5. Pump off
6. Multi-port to “rinse”
7. Pump on for 30 seconds
8. Pump off
9. Multi-port to “filter”
10. Shut Waste Valve (if equipped)
11. Pump on

D.E. Filter:
(w/ multi-port valve)


1. Pump off
2. Multi-port to “backwash” position
3. Open Waste Valve (if equipped)
4. Pump on for 2-3 minutes or until “site glass” becomes clear
5. Pump off
6. Multi-port to “filter”
7. Pump on for 30 seconds
8. Pump off
9. Multi-port to “backwash”
10. Pump on for 1-2 minutes
11. Pump off
12. Multi-port to “filter”
13. Pump on
14. Close Waste Valve (if equipped)
15. Add recommended scoops of D. E. in the skimmer (located on filter label)

D.E. Filter:
(w/ T handle slide valve)


1. Pump off
2. Black “T” handle quarter turn to clear silver pin and pull up
3. Pump on for 2-3 minutes
4. Pump off
5. Push black “T” handle down and quarter turn to lock silver pin 
6. Pump on for 30 seconds
7. Pump off
8. Black “T” handle quarter turn to clear silver pin and pull up
9. Pump on for 1-2 minutes
10. Pump off
11. Push black “T” handle down and quarter turn to lock silver pin
12. Pump on
13. Add recommended scoops of D. E. in the skimmer (located on filter label)

D.E. Filter:
(w/ Bump Handle)


1. Pump off
2. Black “Bump” handle down slowly and up sharply 8 times 
3. Open waste valve
4. Open air relief
5. Wait until air noise stops
6. Turn the pump on
7. After 30 seconds shut the waste valve
8. Shut air relief when water starts spitting out
9. Add 2 – 3 scoops of D. E. in the skimmer (pump should be on)
Repeat process, if necessary, but before adding D. E. in the skimmer (step 9)


Cartridge Filter:


1. Pump off
2. Open air relief
3. Remove drain plug
4. Loosen clamp(s) and remove top half of tank (lid)
5. Remove cartridge(s) and hose down with a high pressure nozzle
6. Rinse inside of tank, remove and rinse “O” ring and clean it’s rim
7. Carefully replace “O” ring in its rim, be certain it’s clean and sitting right
8. Secure cartridges back in tank
9. Replace lid and tighten clamp(s) securely. Use rubber mallet to tap around
10. Re-install drain plug
11. Pump on
12. Close air relief when it starts leaking water 

Contact Us

Pool Pals, Inc.

508-264-4000