Swimming Pools & Spas Liners & Covers Chems/Access. & Maintenance


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)



Why should my pool chemicals be balanced?

  It is very important that you test your water every other day and use the appropriate chemicals to balance your water chemistry.   Chemicals disinfect your water and keep your pool looking clean.   Doing so will also save your pool from germ and algae buildup, while protecting your financial investment.   Valley Pool and Hot Tubs offers free in-store water testing, and we will recommend the best products to keep your pool sparkling.


What chemicals should I test for and what are their proper readings?

  When you test your pool water, you should pay special attention to free and total chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid.   Your free chlorine is the active chlorine in your pool and should always be at 1 to 3 parts per million (measuring about an ounce).   Your total chlorine is just what it says: the total amount of chlorine you have in your pool.   Total chlorine should always be between 0 and 1 parts per million.   pH is what helps generate the maximum efficiency out of your chlorine.   pH should be around 7.4 to 7.6.   Alkalinity stabilizes your pH balance and should be between 80 and 180 parts per million.   Calcium hardness is also very important because your pool needs to run on hard water.   Too low or too high of calcium hardness can be corrosive on your pool equipment, therefore calcium hardness should always be between 200 and 400 parts per million, with 220 being best.   Cyanuric acid, also known as conditioner, is basically a chemical blanket over the pool that holds in the chlorine and in turn makes the chlorine more efficient.   Cyanuric acid should be around 30 to 50 parts per million and only needs to be added to the pool when it's extremely sunny or rainy.  


When and how often should I clean my pool?

  You should remove leaves and debris with a leaf net each time you use your pool, or when you notice debris.   You should empty and rinse off the strainer basket once or twice a week. Also, sweep your deck or pool patio and then rinse with a garden hose regularly.   To help keep your water clearer, cover your pool as often as possible.   


How do I take care of unsightly stains on the surface of my pool?

  You can use a stain and scale preventer to help control stains.   Otherwise, on algae you can super chlorinate or use algaecide on that part of the pool.


What is a good temperature to keep my pool at?

  Pool temperature is generally based on personal preference.   We have found that for efficiency, keep the temperature at about 78-82F.   But if you prefer a warmer swimming pool, we recommend 84-86F.  


How can I avoid the nauseating chlorine smell when I sanitize my pool?

  This could be a sign that you need more chlorine or pH.   Check your chlorine and pH level to see where they are at.   If they are low, your chlorine will gas off.   If this is not the case, you can try a non-chlorine shock next time.  


Hot Tubs

How often should I drain and refill my spa?

  Spa water should be drained and refilled bi-monthly, or every 8 to 12 weeks.


What is a good temperature to keep my spa at?

  A good temperature range for a hot tub is 95-103F.


Do I need to have my spa covered when it's not in use?

  Yes, a spa cover is extremely necessary.   Once you are finished using your hot tub, close your spa cover to eliminate the chances of accumulating dirt or debris.


How do I keep my spa from getting brownish film from body oils?

You can help avoid seeing film from body oils by showering before entering your hot tub.   Do not apply body or sun tan lotions, unless they are the oil free kind.   Also, stay away from spa cleaning products that contain soap or ammonia based degreasers, which are very bad for your water chemistry.


How often should I adjust chemicals?   And how do I know what to use?

  You should check your chemicals every 2-3 days, depending upon how much you use your hot tub.   Also, shock your tub once a week.   Unbalanced chemistry can run you the risk of damaging your equipment.  


Do I ever need to clean my spa filter?

  Yes, you should clean your filter once every three months, but may very with hot tub usage. Clogged or dirty filters will strain your pump and can cause heating problems.  


Valley Pool and Hot Tubs, Inc.
1417 Fuller Road • West Des Moines, IA 50265
Phone (515) 225-2431 • Fax (515) 457-8939 • Click here to email.