The questions you’ve always had about pools and spas, answered.

Pool FAQs

Typically how long does it take to install a vinyl inground pool?
On average, 3-4 weeks.
How big does my yard have to be to fit a pool?
Any size, we’ve built pools small as 10’ x 16’ to as large as 24’ x 44’ full L’s. Whether installing a vinyl pool or uniwall the sizes and shapes available are endless.
I live in Aberdeen, can I have a pool?
First you should check with the city for restrictions. In some areas of Kamloops we are required to install an under liner system, but in most cases yes.
What are the electrical demands for a standard pool?
Depending on equipment your pool will generally draw anywhere between 20 and 70 amps. All pool grounding and electrical is done by a ticketed electrician.
I just opened my pool and the water looks terrible, can I drain it completely and refill with fresh water?
If you have a vinyl pool absolutely not! You must always keep at least 6 inches of water in the shallow end to protect the liner and hold it in place. If you completely drain the pool the liner will not only shrink but pull away from the walls and slough into the deep end of the pool. Depending on whether you have a sand bottom or a hard bottom you may not only have to replace the liner but have the bottom redone as well.
I’m going on vacation for a week should I leave my solar blanket on or off the pool?
When you know you’re not going to be using the pool for a period of time its best to leave the cover off. Without the cover on the skimmer will be much more effective at creating surface tension and skimming the pool and also it allows the water to breathe. If you leave the cover on for an extended time (even 3 or more days in extreme heat) it will create an incubated breeding ground for algae. Keep in mind you will lose more water to evaporation without the cover so you will need to ensure the water level stays above the skimmer.
I’m putting on a new solar blanket, do the bubbles go up or down?
Always bubbles down, otherwise your blanket will sink.
I have filled my pool for start up but its not running yet can I bring a water sample in for testing?
No. Your pool should have been running at least 6 hours before taking a sample. It takes some time for
the fresh river water to mix with the existing water. Letting your pool circulate for a day before taking
the sample will allow us to accurately dose balancing chemicals.

Chemical FAQs

What is water balance?
Water balance is the measure of the dissolved mineral content present, water requires a certain mineral composition to prevent damage to equipment. Water with too few minerals (soft) is corrosive to surfaces, irritating to bathers, and will cause sanitizers to dissipate quickly. Water with too many minerals (hard) causes scale to form on surfaces, water may become cloudy, and sanitizers are lazy and inefficient. The issues caused by improper water balance cross all aspects of maintenance.
What are the benefits of installing a salt system?
Having a salt generator on a pool will replace using chlorine pucks in a feeder/skimmer. It’s important to remember that all other aspects of chemical maintenance remain the same; because of the corrosive nature of salt it becomes even more important to ensure proper balance and avoid corrosion and bleaching of your equipment and liner. Pools equipped with salt systems do have soft feeling water this can also be achieved by using a maintenance program high in borate which will also soften the water.
How often do I have to shock my pool and why?
A general rule of thumb is to shock a pool once a week, depending on use and weather (ie very hot or a lot of rain) you may have to shock more often. The chlorine pucks dissolving in your pool water keep a base level of chlorine which is free to attack bacteria, when you shock the water you are raising the chlorine levels to literally gas off chloramines and bacteria out of the water and into the air.
How often do I have to test for sanitizer in my pool or spa?
Before you go in the pool or spa you should test to be sure there is adequate sanitizer. Pools and spas can be excellent breeding gounds for harmful microorganisms such as bacteria (ie: e-coli, pseudomonas, staph), viruses (ie: rhinovirus, influenza, hepatitis A), fungus’ (ie athelete’s foot), protozoans, parasites (ie: giardia, cryptosporidium). Microorganisms are constantly being introduced by bathers and the environment. An effective chlorine or bromine residual ensures microorganisms are killed on contact, preventing cross-infection. Always maintain a level of 1 – 3 ppm of chlorine or bromine.
I’ve seen many different “natural” products claiming to be safe to use instead of chlorine or bromine? Are they safe?
In Canada all pools and spas are required to be sanitized with a sanitizer registered with Health Canada.
All approved sanitizers carry a registration number referred to as the PCP Number. Only bromine and
chlorine products are registered for use. Using an oxidizer is a simple way to remove waste without
increasing the bromine or chlorine level in your pool or spa but a residual reading is always required.
Test strips vs test kits what’s the difference?
Typically test strips will show more readings than a kit, generally they will show total chlorine, free chlorine, pH, and alkalinity. Some also show calcium hardness and stabilizer. The color shades can be difficult to read and also in most cases the ideal settings on the strips will not match the ideal readings for your pool.

Ideal chemical levels are based on many different parameters, its best to consult a professional to gauge the ideal chemical levels for your pool. Test kits generally only show pH and chlorine/bromine. The colors are easy to read and liquid reagents can be replaced at very little cost. The only downside to the kit is that the sanitizer reading will show only combined sanitzer not free and total so they can be slightly misleading when being used in a problem solving situation.

For home testing either strips or a kit will give you a general reading and are great to use as a guide, but for start ups, close downs, and problem solving its best to bring your water in to our water test lab for more detailed testing.

Spa FAQs

How often do I have to drain and fill my spa?
Generally every 3-6 months. Basically this comes down to TDS. TDS is a reading of total dissolved solids present in water. Once the water becomes saturated it can hold no more and will be very unresponsive to chemicals. How quickly the TDS rise in your spa will depend on use and can also be affected by what chemicals are added. As a general rule as TDS increases, water management will become more difficult with less predictable results.
Why do I have to leave the cover off of my spa for 15 minutes after each use?
Leaving the cover off of your spa after you get out allows the water to oxidize waste you left behind. If
you close the cover right away it will simply oxidize and drip right back into the water.
We’re going away for some time this winter can I just drain my spa and leave it?
No. If you are going away and want to turn the spa off you need to have it winterized. There can be over 150’ of pipe under your spa and the water will not drain completely. If you simply drain and leave it
you are risking burst pipes and re-plumbing. Also pump seals need to be lubricated and protected from
drying out.
How often do I have to clean/change my filter?
A good rule is to change or clean your filter each time you drain and fill your spa. First hose off big loose debris then soak in filter cleanser. The filter cleanser will break down and remove oils and greases trapped in the pleats.
I want to drain my spa onto my lawn, will it hurt the grass?
Generally no, your lawn will be fine, a few days before draining remove the floater from your spa to allow the chlorine or bromine to dissipate (don’t use it) and turn down the heat. Test the water before draining to ensure the levels have dropped then go ahead and use it to water.
Can I use any type of fragrance or bath oil in my spa?
No. It’s best to only use fragrances and softeners that are specifically made for use in hot tubs. These are biodegradable and will not plug your filter or cause balance issues.
I need new filters for my spa, are they fairly standard?
No. There are many different sizes and styles of filter. If you don’t know the unicell part number, we’ll
need some measurements. Measure the overall height of the filter, the width, and the width of the
core. Also note if both ends are open, threaded, castle top, handle, etc. You can always call in with
measurements ahead of time and if needed we will order the filter in for you.
We purchased a new spa and are thinking about where to place it in the yard, any suggestions?
It’s always good to place the spa as close to your home as feasible. You’ll find if it’s across the yard you’ll have to shovel a path to the spa and you’ll be less likely to follow the rule of leaving the cover off 15 minutes after use if you have to go too far to put it back on. It’s nice and warm sitting in the spa but chilly coming back to cover it and running for the house.

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