Routine Maintenance & Cleaning
Correctly balancing the chemicals in your pool is important—it keeps the water safe and inviting. Each of our weekly cleaning techs has been rigorously tested to make sure they know exactly how to professionally test and maintain pool water for the correct chlorine, pH, alkalinity, cyanuric acid, calcium hardness, and salt levels. This not only helps keep swimmers safe and the water looking good, it also lengthens the life of your equipment, which can mean less money spent on repairs.
Every week, Green Army skims, brushes, vacuums, removes any debris, and empties skimmer baskets, and we regularly empty the pump baskets and automatic pool cleaner debris bags. Most pool guys do only the bare necessities, which opens the door to algae, bacteria, and fungal infestations. These kinds of pool problems can be difficult and expensive to get rid of. At Green Army, we’re about doing it the right way, which means doing a complete cleaning every time.
Green Army is about complete and total pool care that goes far beyond removing leaves from the pool. Many pieces of pool equipment require continuous attention for proper maintenance, and with Green Army this is included in your regular maintenance service. The most important piece of equipment that must be continuously maintained is your filter. That means backwashing, tearing down, and continuously inspecting DE filter assemblies for wear and cleaning and inspecting cartridges. We also look after and inspect equipment unique to your particular pool, such as salt cells. Many pool cleaners overlook these important equipment services, not Green Army.
Our weekly cleaning technicians are constantly evaluating and troubleshooting your equipment. If they see signs of a problem, such as a leak, that will perform a thorough multi-step procedure to determine if they can solve the issue on the spot. If they find that more equipment or parts are necessary to do the job right, they’ll discuss it with you and facilitate bringing in one of our specialists, who can resolve the issue quickly and efficiently based on the weekly tech’s analysis.
Other Pool Services
Ask & We Answer
Frequently Asked Questions
How often is testing and balancing my pool water necessary? What should I be checking?
Several different levels need to be regularly adjusted to make sure your pool water is safe and won’t lead to damaged equipment.
CHECKING THE SANITIZER, AKA CHLORINE, LEVEL
One of the most important things that needs to be checked is the sanitizer, which is usually chlorine. You want to make sure your pool always has enough sanitizer to keep the water clean. Without the proper sanitizer level, you can expose your pool to a number of problems, including turning green from an algae infestation.
If you’re taking care of a pool yourself, it’s not a bad idea to check the sanitizer level at least twice a week to prevent sanitizer-related problems. If you’re a new pool owner, you may even consider checking the sanitizer level daily for a while to educate yourself on how the level fluctuates with how much you use the pool, the weather, and other factors specific to your area and property. A professionally trained pool service may check the sanitizer level only once a week, which can be enough for most pools. But you may want to ask them to come more often if you’re going to be using your pool a lot, or to come before and after an event like a large pool party.
CHECKING THE pH LEVEL
You should also consistently check the pH level of your pool. Properly balanced pH helps your sanitizer keep the pool water clean; helps prevent buildup in your equipment, such as your heater and pump; and helps keep your pool finish and tile from looking old.
Every time you check the sanitizer/chlorine level, you should also check the pH. That usually means checking it a couple of times a week. A professional pool cleaner may check it once a week but, like sanitizer, you should have them check it more often under special circumstances, such as frequent use of the pool or pool parties.
CHECKING THE TOTAL ALKALINITY
Alkalinity is another important level that needs to be checked regularly. If alkalinity is too low, it can cause corrosion, scaling, staining, a burning sensation in swimmers’ eyes, and a fluctuating pH level. If it’s too high, it can cause cloudy water and make it difficult for you to adjust your pH at all, and it’s also linked to the sanitizer becoming ineffective. It’s best for you or your pool care provider to check alkalinity at least once a week to make sure it’s in the right range.
CHECKING CALCIUM HARDNESS
The calcium hardness level measures dissolved solids in the pool. Low calcium hardness can cause water to corrode the equipment and pool liner. If it’s high, water can become cloudy and scale buildup can occur, which may damage pool equipment.
It’s best for you or your pool care provider to check the calcium hardness at least once a month.
CHECKING THE SALT LEVEL
If your pool uses salt as part of its sanitization system, it’s important that you check the salt level regularly. The level of salt necessary is specific to the particular brand and model of the salt cell, so always keep your level adjusted in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. You should also be aware of how your salt cell functions. Many cells will notify you of the salt level and if it needs to be adjusted. Even so, it’s generally good practice to also check it once a month.
Is it necessary to brush and vacuum if I have an automatic pool cleaner?
Although automatic pool cleaners are extremely helpful in reducing the amount of time you need to spend maintaining your pool, they don’t do the job for you. Most automatic pool cleaners don’t scrub the surface of the pool. That means that anything stuck to the surface of the pool, such as scale buildup or growth such as algae, will not be taken care of by your automatic pool cleaner. Use your pool brush to thoroughly brush the entire surface of the pool, especially at the water line, once or twice a week. Also, most automatic pool cleaners will not pick up fine debris like dirt because it escapes the mesh debris bag. To gather up fine particles, it’s necessary to vacuum the pool. We recommend also vacuuming and brushing areas like your hot tub, steps, and loveseats.
How often is it really necessary to clean out skimmer and pump baskets?
Keeping your skimmer baskets clear of major debris is important to the functionality of your pool filter. Your pump pulls water through the skimmers so it can clean the water in the filter and maintain proper circulation in the pool. When the skimmers are left uncared for, debris can cause the filtration system to not function properly, which can lead to issues like algae infestation. With this in mind, we recommend that you thoroughly clean out each of your skimmer baskets at least once a week. And if you find that there are times when much more debris than usual is getting into the pool, such as in the fall or while a landscape project is going on in the backyard, keep an eye on your skimmer baskets because they may need to be emptied more often. The pump basket acts as a second defense, after the skimmer baskets, to debris getting into the filtration system. The pump basket is the basket that sits in the pump pot beneath the pump lid—the round top that’s often clear so you can see the water swirling in the pump housing while your pump is on. Because the skimmer baskets should catch most of the debris entering the filtration system, the pump basket doesn’t need to be cleaned as often. But it shouldn’t be neglected, because it can stop the filtration system from functioning properly if too much debris is allowed to gather in it. Generally, try to check the pump basket at least twice a month and clean it out as necessary. Again, if you have reason to think that more debris is getting into the system, check it more often.
What do I need to do to properly care for a diatomaceous earth filter?
A diatomaceous earth filter, or DE filter, is one of the best filtration systems you can buy for filtering small particles out of your pool. But to perform its job properly, it needs to be consistently maintained. A DE filter should be backwashed when the pressure gauge at the top of the filter tank reads about 8 to 10 pounds over standard pressurez or about once a month. The backwashing process is simple. DE filters are equipped with a backwash valve, usually either a multiport valve or a push/pull valve. You can easily find a backwashing tutorial online if you’d like to learn how to do this yourself. Be careful, though, because although backwashing is a relatively simple process that can take less than two minutes, it can have some intricacies, depending on the equipment. For instance, if you have a multiport valve, it’s best to only turn it clockwise when changing the setting; otherwise, you can quickly wear out the internal spider gasket, which may cause a leak in the waste port. Also, if your waste port isn’t hard-plumbed into your property’s waste line, you’ll need to attach a backwash hose to the waste port before you start the process so you can direct the dirty DE water to a proper waste receptacle. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of your particular setup before you try to perform a backwash yourself, or get a trained pool professional to do it for you. Backwashing is not the only maintenance that needs to be regularly performed on DE filters. The DE filter assembly also needs to be torn down, cleaned, inspected, and rebuilt at least once or twice a year. This is a much more complicated process than backwashing and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the filter model. Also, it can be dirty. The DE filter assembly is covered in caked-on DE matter that you need to wash off and that, if you aren’t careful, can get all over your hands and clothes. The biggest challenge in completing a proper DE filter assembly cleaning is the reassembly process once you’ve cleaned all the grids. If you don’t perform this task regularly, knowing where to replace the grids can be baffling. For these reasons, we suggest that you get a pool professional to do the filter tear-down, cleaning, and reassembly for you. If you do have someone do it for you, make sure they check all the parts of your filter for damage while they have it open. The most important places to check are the grids, which may have torn fabric or broken ribs. If they do, your filter won’t function properly, which can quickly lead to DE being expelled through the return jets in your pool.
What do I need to do to properly care for a cartridge filter?
Cartridge filters are much easier to care for than DE filters, and they still do a really good job of cleaning pool water if they’re properly maintained.
The most common form of maintenance on cartridges is taking them out and cleaning them. This process is simple. You just need to use a high-pressure nozzle or a dedicated filter-cleaning nozzle attached to a garden hose and thoroughly spray down the cartridge, making sure to get deep between the pleats. Usually, you can watch the color of the cartridge change from a dirty gray or brown back to its original beige or white. During this process, you should check the cartridge for wear or damage that would indicate the cartridge needs to be replaced. The most common signs are tears in the cartridge material, the cartridge material being mushy, the horizontal bands around the cartridges being broken, the pleats no longer being regularly spaced, or the plastic ends of the cartridge being cracked. If there are multiple cartridges, clean each of them before returning them to the filter tank. The other procedure for maintaining cartridge filters is simply replacing the cartridges. This needs to be done when you see signs that the cartridge is worn out when you’re inspecting it during a cleaning, or about every one to two years.
HAPPY GREEN ARMY CUSTOMERS
“We use Green Army for our pool cleaning needs. The crew always shows up on time and do a much more thorough job than the last company we utilized.”
“Green Army does a fantastic job of keeping our pool perfect all year around. We’re so happy we made the switch from doing pool care ourselves. They do a thorough job at a reasonable price. You will not be disappointed!”