Why is filtration important to the quality of swimming pool water?

Filtration is the mechanical system for removing visible matter from the water. The filter is designed to remove hair, dirt, minute skin flakes, metal or calcium precipitates and other visible debris that would otherwise cause the swimming pool water to be hazy and cloudy.

How do I know when it’s time to clean my swimming pool filter?

Normal, periodic rinsing or backwashing will remove most of the dirt from a basically clean filter. However, over a period of time, grease, oils and scale can attack and build up on the sand. When this occurs, you will notice build up, short filter runs, reduced circulation and swimming pool water that does not want to clear up. We recommend mid-season and end of season cleaning.

There is water leaking out of my waste line! What should I do?

It is possible for the gasket in the multiport valve on the filter to become unseated, causing swimming pool water to leak out of the waste port. Sometimes this is caused by moving the valve handle while the pump is running. To reseat the gasket, turn the pump off and move the valve handle around, placing it in each setting until you get back to the “Filter” position. Usually this will solve the problem, however, in extreme cases, the valve may need to be taken apart to be fixed.


Why do I need to shock my swimming pool?

Pool water composition always includes some undesirable elements that actually contaminate the water and reduce the efficiency of the sanitizer. Material such as hair spray, suntan oil, cosmetics, perspiration and other organic material react to combine with the chlorine in the water to form “combined chlorine”.

Once “combined chlorine” forms, it acts as a very poor disinfectant, contributing to eye and skin irritations and the forming of unpleasant chlorine odor. Swimming pools with this problem are often inaccurately accused of having too much chlorine. Routine shock treatment is necessary to destroy combined chlorine compounds and restore the chlorine sanitizer to “free chlorine” efficiency. A swimming pool can be shock treated by adding large doses of chlorine, commonly referred to as super chlorination.

My swimming pool has a very strong chlorine odor. Is there too much chlorine in my pool?

No, you don’t have enough "free chlorine" in your pool. Most swimming pools contain both good chlorine and bad chlorine. The good chlorine is called free chlorine and is capable of killing germs. Bad chlorine, on the other hand, is called "combined chlorine" and is a poor germ killer.

Too much combined chlorine in your swimming pool causes the ammonia-like odor. When the combined chlorine level reaches 0.2 ppm or more, it is time to shock your water. Shocking will eliminate the odor.

I added algaecide to my swimming pool, but the algae didn’t go away. What did I do wrong?

First, you must add the algaecide according to the directions. If you don’t add the correct dosage amount, it won’t kill any of the algae. However, be aware that using the entire bottle of algaecide is also ineffective. Not only will you spend additional money, large doses can also lead to staining and foaming in your swimming pool.

In addition to properly dosing your water, it is also recommended that the algaecide be added in the morning on a bright sunny day for best results. Algae are plants and grow in the presence of sunlight. Adding algaecide during algae’s best growth time will increase intake of the algaecide and make it more effective. Brushing the algae off the walls at least once daily will also help expedite algae removal. Brushing the dead cells away makes the living algae more vulnerable to the algaecide.

I have heard of people talking about pink algae. What is that and how do I treat it?

Pink algae is not an algae at all, but a bacteria. Normal algaecides will not reliably work on them. We have products that are designed for the removal of this bacteria. To eliminate pink algae, you must clean the filter with a good filter cleaner. Let the filter soak overnight then backwash to waste. (Hint: a good rule of thumb is to toss the swimming pool equipment that is normally used for swimming pool maintenance, including hoses, brushes, etc in the pool prior treating. These need to be disinfected too).

Why are my eyes burning?

In most cases this is an indication that the water is out of balance. Incorrect pH levels are the most likely culprit, but other factors may be the problem. Bring a water sample in to Yorktown Pools and Spas for professional testing. In rare cases, we have seen allergies to sanitizers. Also, prolonged swimming in itself causes eye redness especially in children.


What does “Vacuum to Waste” mean?

When you “Vacuum to Waste” you are pumping the debris you vacuum out of the swimming pool and sending the water to the waste line, and not through the swimming pool filter. This method removes a large amount of water from the pool in a short time so be sure the swimming pool is full before you begin. This method is used for large amounts of debris and dirt. To "Vacuum to Waste," set up the swimming pool vacuum normally. However, instead of the valve on the filter being set to “filter”, it should be set to “waste.”

Why don’t I have any suction when I’m vacuuming?

Your pump system should not require any adjustment to the valves to vacuum. But in some cases you may need to create suction only from the skimmer by closing the valves to the other suction lines. Be careful because closing the valve too far will cause the pump to starve for water. If the pump begins to shudder and make interesting noises, open the valves until this ceases.

If you still cannot get suction, check that the filter pressure is not high by checking the pressure gauge or placing your hand in front of the return. The pump basket, and skimmer basket must be clean. Also, make sure the vacuum head is not clogged by stones, acorns, or other debris.

When I vacuum, sometimes I see dirt come back in through the returns, what causes this?

This should not be a common occurrence. First, make sure that the valve on the filter is locked in on the filter position. If it is, this may be caused by vacuuming very fine dirt or a large amount of dirt. When the sand in the filter is exposed to a large amount of dirt (or very fine dirt), the sand can become so dirty that the dirt will work its way through the filter and back into the swimming pool. If you experience these conditions, it may be necessary to backwash the filter frequently during vacuuming. Also, you might want to consider vacuuming to waste.

How do I care for and store my robot cleaner?

1. Most robotic cleaners have a one hour and three hour setting. The one hour setting will run for one hour and clean only the bottom of the pool. The three hour setting will run that amount of time and will clean the bottom and the walls.

2. The robotic cleaner is not designed to run on an extension cord. It is not recommended but if you must use an extension cord make sure the cord is as heavy duty as possible and as short as possible.

3. After each time the clean is used the cord must be disconnected from the power supply and unraveled to prevent kinking and damage. Simply disconnect and walk the cord away from the robotic cleaner and let it spin out any twists.

4. The bag on the robotic cleaner should be removed and hosed off after each cleaning. If the bag is very dirty it can be put in the washing machine on gentle cycle with detergent, then put back on the robotic cleaner to dry.

5. Do not drag or roll the robotic cleaner over on the pool deck. And scuffs or jagged edges on a cleaner can cut and damage liners. Inspect the robot often for any sharp or jagged edges!

6. At the end of the season it is required that the robotic cleaner, cord, and power supply be brought inside a warm garage or house for winter storage. -FREEZING WILL DAMAGE THE ROBOTIC CLEANER!

All questions and concerns can usually be answered at www.smartpool.com which has some videos and manuals for your cleaner. If not please call Yorktown pools.


Can I swim with the Nitro Automatic cleaner in the swimming pool?

We recommend that you take the Nitro out of the swimming pool before you swim because it could pose an entrapment threat with its suction or by swimmer entanglement in the power cord.

Can I swim with my solar cover on the pool?

No! The solar cover creates a suction to the water surface and is very difficult to lift from underneath. This is especially dangerous and difficult for children.

How can I check to see if my water loss is from evaporation?

Please note that during the middle of the summer season you will lose water from evaporation. This is a normal occurrence, and you can experience from ½” to 1″ and sometimes more of water loss in 1 week due to evaporation, children splashing, and filter backwashing. To check water loss, mark the water level on the faceplate of the skimmer and check it 24 hours later (assuming there was no rain in that time period). You can also place a bucket of water on the step with the same water level as the pool. If the pool loses more water than the bucket, there may be a leak.

My pool water is cloudy and I can’t clear it up. What could be causing this?

Several things could be the cause.

First, check to make sure that the pH is within proper range. If the pH is within range, it could be that you have a dirty filter and it needs to be cleaned. If you have a sand filter, this doesn’t necessarily mean to replace the sand, but to use a filter cleaner that will remove both organic materials and minerals.

Check to make sure the sanitizer in the swimming pool is in proper range. If it is not, raise the level. Another cause could be the amount of calcium in the water. If too much calcium is present, it can become cloudy. Also make sure that you are running your filtering system long enough each day. Most swimming pool problems are more filtration then chemical balance.

What should I do if my liner comes out of bead?

It is possible for the liner to pull itself out of the bead receiver. The only way to fix this is to stretch it up far enough to fit back into the coping. Sometimes this requires a lot of effort pulling and tugging on the liner. It is best to do on a warm sunny day when the liner is very pliable. If it is still problematic, a hairdryer can be used to heat the liner and a wooden clothespin used to wedge it back into the bead receiver. However, be careful using this procedure as it may be possible to punch a hole in the liner if you are not careful. Of course, if necessary, Yorktown Pools & Spas service staff can reseat the bead at a small charge.

What should I use to touch-up or repaint my coping?

There is a special paint that is used to repaint the coping that can be purchased at our Yorktown Pools & Spas store.

Why are there bubbles coming out of my returns?

Bubbles indicate that air is getting into the system somewhere between the skimmer and the pump (suction side) Check the following things to try to alleviate the problem:

  • Make sure the gasket around the pump lid is not cracked or kinked and is seated correctly
  • Be sure the pump plugs are tight and the o-rings around them are not cracked
  • Be sure the union in front of the pump is tight and the o-ring in it is good
  • Check that the water level is high enough, keeping the skimmer from drawing air

Bubbles up or down on the solar cover?

The bubbles on a solar cover go down against the water.

Do I need to clean my mesh winter cover?

Usually not. If there is a large amount of debris on the cover (usually caused by ducks or geese in the area), it may be necessary to rinse the cover off. However, usually the cover is free of large amounts of debris. Just roll the cover up and let it dry before storing it for the summer. Also, store the cover in a place where mice and ants cannot make a summer home out of it, or you might end up with chewed holes!


We understand risks accompany the addition of pools and spas on your property, so our main rule of thumb is to always be prepared!

At Yorktown Pools & Spas, we recommend using resources such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov) or the Pool Safety Council (www.poolsafetycouncil.org) to become educated on the dangers and prevention methods for keeping you and your family safe.

Yorktown Pools & Spas’ Pool Safety 101

  • Never remove the No Dive signs from any swimming pool or spa
  • Always have an adult supervising children in or around the swimming pool
  • Install a fence or barrier around your swimming pool or spa
  • Keep a phone near the swimming pool area
  • Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills in case of an emergency
  • Have first aid equipment available at the swimming pool or spa
  • Always have your swimming pool and spa cover inspected by a reliable resource