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Q. What would my annual savings be if I select a variable speed pump (energy efficient pump) ?

A. Depending upon utility rates, pool characteristics, and equipment selected, your savings can be significant. It is possible to recoup the premium cost of an upgrade from standard equipment to energy efficient equipment in the first year of operation. For example, a system featuring an energy efficient high performance pump, D.E. filtration, and an induced draft high efficient heater can deliver a savings up too $900 annually compared to a standard equipment setup.

Q. Do I really need weekly maintenance services for my swimming pool?

A. Weekly maintenance and cleaning is required to keep your pool safe and clean. Whether or not you need the full range of services VIP POOLS LLC provides, it yet really depends on how much time and effort you are willing to spend on your swimming pool yourself. If your only interest is to be able to jump in at any given time, then you probably want to consider getting the full service package.

Q. When should I open the pool?

A. Most clients open their pools during the first two weeks of May, in order to be ready for Memorial Day Weekend. Some open in early March, because they like to look at their pool and it puts them in a summer frame of mind!

Q. Is it necessary for my pool pump to run every day?

A. Yes. Your pump should turn over the water through your filter in your pool at least once per day.

Q. How long after opening can I swim?

A. When opening in the spring, the turn-around time from Winterized to swim-ready pool can vary. A number of factors effect the time, including: surrounding greenery , condition of the pool at closing, the fit and type of cover, time of year (the later in the spring that a pool is opened the greater change of an algae bloom from rising water temperatures) and the quality and type of filtration system. As a general rule of thumb a DE filter can clear up a pool within 1-3 days, a sand filter 5-10 days, and a cartridge system can vary widely based on the size and condition of the filter elements, and how often they are disassembled and cleaned. Cartridge filters are not an appropriate filter media for the Mid-Atlantic area and areas north of here, as they need to be manually cleaned multiple times during the start-up process. Further south, where pools are in operation year round a cartridge filter can be a sound choice.Once the pool water is clear, debris removal will generally take 1-2 visits to have the pool looking clear, blue and free of debris. It is best to open your pool at least 10 days before you actually plan on using it, especially if you have a sand or cartridge filter.

Q. How often do you come out and clean my pool?

A. It depends on the type of service you sign up for. We offer both weekly and bi-weekly visits. Deciding which is best for you depends on a number of factors, such as the proximity and type of vegetation, the size of the pool, and the age of the equipment (modern equipment often requires less attention). The amount of time an owner intends to invest in the pool also plays a significant role in deciding whether bi-weekly service would be appropriate over weekly service. During the non-visit weeks the pool will typically need to be balanced with appropriate chemicals, skimmer baskets emptied, filter back-washed, bottom vacuumed, etc.

Q. Should I brush my pool regularly?

A. Brushing your pool will keep dirt from occupying the small pores and starting small organic farms. Steel bristled brushes, called algae brushes, are very effective. Remember to never use a steel brush on a vinyl lined pool. Done regularly, brushing can also reduce the time spent vacuuming. Brush from the shallow end towards the deep end in overlapping strokes. Circle the pool towards the main drain, and much of the dirt will be swept up into the filter in this manner.

Q. Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper if I service the pool myself?

A. While it will certainly be cheaper, it will not be easy. We have noticed over the years a pattern for new pool owners. Initially, having minimal knowledge of the pool filter system, water chemistry, or the processes involved with maintaining a clean, safe pool, many will outsource the service to a company such as ours. However, one of two things seem to eventually happen — the pool company does a great job and makes it looks easy, or the pool company does a poor job and the owners realize they could do better themselves. At that point they decide to give it a try themselves. Sometimes it works wonderfully; sometimes it does not go as planned. Even if it goes well, after awhile the owners eventually seem to come to the conclusion that they either have better things to do with their time, or that they do not have the time or motivation to keep after their pool as necessary, (evidenced by a green or dirty pool more often than not). While pool cleaning is not difficult, it is time consuming to perform the required tasks, and maintain all the appropriate chemicals on site, and to spend weekend or evening time cleaning as opposed to swimming or relaxing. Our service technicians today are well-trained, certified professionals who are experts in water chemistry, hydraulics, filtration, plumbing, electricity and sanitization. An improperly maintained pool is not only an eyesore, it can also very easily be unhealthy, and a burdensome annoyance as yet another job that needs to be done! We are here to simply allow pool owners to enjoy their pools, rather than work on them.

Q. How salty is the water in a saltwater pool?

A. In fresh-water applications (such as pools, spas, water-features, etc.) salt is added to the water to produce a salinity of approx 3000 ppm (parts-per-million), which is 1/12th as salty as ocean water, or 1/3rd as salty as human tears. Pool-side plants and water-feature vegetation, in almost all cases, are unaffected by the low salinity water.

Q. I have tablets chlorine–can I get a salt generator pool?

A. What consumers call a salt pool is actually a pool with a chlorine generator. Salt is mixed into the water, and through an electro-chemical reaction with the salt the generator creates the purest form of chlorine available - the chlorine gas. Salt generating pools are a more environmentally friendly option as they do not require the manufacturing of solid chlorine tablets. The cost of a chlorine generator is comparable to the cost of a 5 year chlorine supply however a salt pool will be easier to maintain over that time period for a typical homeowner.

Q. How often do I need to add salt to my saltwater pool?

A. Salt is added to the water at the time of installation. After that, only top-up salt is required to make up for salt lost through water splash-out, overflow due to rain, filter back-flushing, leaks in the pool etc. Evaporation does not reduce the salt level nor is the salt consumed in the saltwater system process.

Q. Will the salt in a saltwater pool corrode or damage my pool, or the pool equipment (pump, filter, etc.)?

A. No, the salinity is not sufficiently high to cause corrosion. The water salinity is similar to that of eye-wash solution (very mild).

Q. Does a pool with an ozonator need any chemicals?

A. Ozonators do sanitize water, but the process alone is insufficient to oxidize solids within the water. In most cases, the simple act of climbing into the water releases enough contaminants to overwhelm the ozonator's efforts for hours. This leaves the pool unsanitized while in use. Maintain a chemical residual, however, and the spa stays clean even after guests drop in. Ozonators can reduce the need for chemicals in spas — and even in pools — but they cannot replace them.

Q. Why do I need a pool heater?

A. You don't. Heaters are not necessary for you to fully enjoy your swimming pool. They do, however, extend your pool-using days considerably, warming up your swimming pool a lot faster (and sooner) than heat covers. They also allow you to continue using your swimming pool later in the season, when the sun isn't always warm enough to do the job.

Q. At what temperature should my pool heater’s thermostat be set to help conserve energy?

A. The American Red Cross suggests that 78º is the most healthful swimming temperature. By setting the thermostat to 78º, you will also be conserving energy.

Q. How do I know what size pump and filter I really need?

A. Your pump and filter will be sized according to the volume of water in your pool piping and equipment installed. The main objective of any filtration system is the ability to turn over all the water in your pool at least once within a period of 12 hours.

Q. Does too much chlorine make a pool smell?

A. Actually, it's chloramines that smell — that is, chlorine that has been spent burning up contaminants. In other words, a pool that smells like chlorine probably does not have enough chlorine.

Q. When do I need to shock my pool?

A. Routine shock treatment is necessary to destroy water contaminates that reduce the efficiency of the disinfectant or sanitizer. Contaminates like hair spray, suntan oil, cosmetics and other organic materials react with chlorine and cause eye or skin irritations and an unpleasant chlorine odor. Most often pools are inaccurately accused of having too much chlorine when this problem is present.

Q. Can I empty and then refill my in-ground pool to clean my vinyl liner?

A. It is recommended only having a professional inspect and drain your in-ground pool. The biggest problem with draining your in-ground pool is pressure from a water table. The pressure can damage an empty pool, resulting in thousands of dollars in repairs. Most liner warranties are voided if the pool is emptied.

Q. Do I need to drain my pool each year?

A. No. Pools can handle cold temperatures better when partially filled with water as a buffer. A drained pool can also crack or pop out of the ground because of pressure from ground water.

Q. How do I measure water evaporation from my pool?

A. You can measure water evaporation in your pool by doing the bucket test. Place a five gallon bucket on the second pool step and fill it to match the water level of the pool (probably have to put concrete block in bucket before you fill it with water to help keep in place). Over the course of 2-3 days the bucket will lose water from evaporation and gain water from rainfall at the same rate as your pool! As long as there is no splash-out or backwashing during that time, if the pool level drops more than the bucket level then you have a leak.

Q. How much water can be safely removed from an in-ground vinyl pool and for how long?

A. Once filled and used, you do not want to drain an in-ground vinyl lined pool. There are many reasons not to drain the pool. The main reason is that over time the liner seems to become less pliable and when the pool is drained the liner contracts. When you refill the pool the liner does not expand to the previous shape and often rips. This is an expensive error. The other reason is that the weight and pressure of the water in the pool provides structural integrity, helping to prevent the walls from collapsing.

Q. Can my pump and filter be moved to a different location?

A. Absolutely, in fact the best time to move a pump and filter system into a different location is when a renovation is being done. A good recommendation is putting the pump and filter in a location where it won’t be seen or heard but is easily accessible. This is often on the side of the house or behind a shed.

Some of the Areas we service:
Northern Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC - District of Columbia
Fairfax County -Alexandria | Alexandria City | Arlington County | Annadale | Burke | Centreville | Chantilly | Clifton | Fairfax | Fairfax Station | Falls Church | Falls Church City | Fort Belvoir | Herndon | Lorton | Mclean | Oakton | Reston | Springfield | Vienna | Newington | Franconia
Prince William County -Bristow | Dale City | Dumfries | Manassas | Manassas Park | Manassas City | Woodbridge Loudoun County - Ashburn | Dulles | Great Falls | Lansdowne | Leesburg | Potomac Falls | South Riding | Sterling | Countryside
Maryland - Potomac | North Potomac | Bethesda | Travilah | Damestown | Kentlands | Poolesville | Cabin John | Chevy Chase | Silver Spring | Rockville | College Park | Hayttsville | Capitol Heights | Oxon | Fort Washington | Clinton | Beltsville

Washington DC -Washington DC Metro Area