The primary cause of algae is high phosphate levels. Phosphates are a nutrient that plants need in order to grow (you will find this in products like miracle grow). When the phosphates reach a high enough level (usually 500+) algae becomes more likely and can become a recurring issue.
How often should I drain the water?
This depends on the levels of dissolved solids and calcium hardness. For pools it is usually every 5 to 7 years. For spas it depends on bather load and the size of the spa but usually 3-6 months for smaller spas. A good rule is "Drain the pool, spa, or fountain when the water becomes difficult to maintain."
Why can't I hold chlorine?
If the chlorine level drops rapidly, and it is out of the ordinary, the most likely cause is probably ammonia. It takes 10ppm of chlorine to remove 1ppm of ammonia. The other cause could be CYA (conditioner or stabilizer) levels being too low and causing the UV light from the sun to neutralize the chlorine.
Why do I keep smelling chlorine?
Much like the previous question, the cause for the infamous "chlorine smell" is ammonia. Ironically, the smell is not caused by chlorine but by the binding of chlorine with ammonia to create chloramines. The solution to this is to neutralize the ammonia.
How often should the cell be cleaned?
How often should the filter be cleaned?
The official answer is 10PSI over clean. Meaning, if the filter pressure after cleaning is 12PSI, the filter is dirty when the pressure reaches 22PSI. You could also assume the filter should be cleaned about every 6 months to 1 year.
Most manufacturers recommend the salt cell be cleaned every 3 months. Most salt systems have an "inspect cell" light that will notify you when the cell should be cleaned and the system checked.
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