Swimming Pool FAQ’s

Debunking Myths & Answering Questions - Bob’s is Here to Help!

From helping you choose the right liner for your new pool to anticipated maintenance and operation costs, Bob’s Pool Builders takes an education-first approach to swimming pool construction. We’ll help dispel the myths that pools can be expensive to maintain, time-consuming, and hard to care for. By ensuring you understand your design choices, financing options, equipment function, chemicals, and water chemistry, we make new swimming pools a breeze!

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New Custom Swimming Pool FAQ’s

The more you know before you build a new pool, the better product and provider choices you can make!

What features can I add to my Bob’s Pool Builders swimming pool?

We offer a variety of swimming pool options and features you can add to your custom swimming pool – slides, diving boards, colored lights, deck jets, waterfalls, and other water features, benches or custom steps across the shallow end, pool sporting equipment like basketball hoops and volleyball nets, and more! These are all things we will discuss in our initial meeting.

How long does it take to build a Bob’s Pool Builder’s swimming pool?

We typically have your project done in 3-4 weeks including the concrete and fencing. The actual custom inground pool itself is usually installed and has water in it within 10 days, weather permitting. Read more about our process here.

What is included with a Bob’s Pool Builders swimming pool?

We include everything you need to maintain and enjoy your pool – the pump, filter, heater, chlorinator, equipment,  autocover, safety cover, vacuum, and allowances for stone, water, and fencing. We work closely with subcontractors for gas, landscaping, and electric. Our goal is to create a seamless experience so there is less work for you and no surprises down the road.

How much will a Bob’s Pool Builders swimming pool cost me?

Our custom swimming pool costs depend on the size, shape, options included, and possible installation issues such as groundwater, access issues, etc. The average cost ranges from $120,000 +. For a more in-depth estimate, schedule an initial consultation, and we can go over your specific pool needs.

Does Bob’s Pool Builders offer financing for my swimming pool?

There is typically a $5,000-$10,000 deposit with the signed contract, and the balance is paid off in stages throughout the installation of your custom pool. While we do not offer financing directly, we do have some recommendations for where you can get financing or we can give you some tips on how to work with your home equity loan. Learn more.

Will my swimming pool from Bob’s Pool Builders have a warranty?

Yes. Every swimming pool component has a warranty offered, but the warranty varies by item. During the installation process, we will get you everything you need to know about our warranties for the products we are using. If you have a specific question about a warranty, please call us at (262) 593-5242.

What pool shapes and sizes does Bob’s Pool Builders offer?

We can build a variety of popular shapes and sizes or help you design your own personalized shape that fits your backyard. Due to the popularity of the automatic cover, rectangular pools are the most popular.

Swimming Pool Service & Repair FAQ’s

Partnering with you for the life of your pool, we’re here with service that will W.O.W. you!

Does Bob’s Pool Builders replace vinyl liners in swimming pools?

Yes, we replace vinyl liners. Learn more.

What amount of maintenance is involved with a Bob’s Pool Builders swimming pool?

The majority of our customers have said they can maintain their pool with just 15-30 minutes a week. Swimming pool maintenance depends on the amount of use of the pool, the weather, and if you keep your pool covered when not in use. Bob’s Pool Builders does offer automatic pool cleaners that can save time, or you can schedule regular cleanings where we will do the work for you.

How often should I test my pool’s pH and total alkalinity?

2-3 times a week is great, but once is acceptable for pH, while alkalinity only needs to be tested monthly.

What is the recommended range for pH?

For maximum swimmer comfort and chlorine effectiveness, a range of 7.2 to 7.6 is recommended.

What is the recommended range for total alkalinity?

Total alkalinity ranges from 120 to 150 ppm. Remember, adjust alkalinity first before making adjustments to your pH. The chemical used to raise your alkalinity will also raise your pH. The pH increaser is then used to tweak the reading to the ideal level.

What should my chlorine level be?

1.0 – 3.0 ppm

How can I prevent algae from occurring?

Keep free chlorine levels between 1.0-3.0 ppm and begin an algaecide maintenance program using Algae Control. Algae is always present in the water. A bloom will cause the entire pool to turn green if it isn’t addressed immediately. If algae are reoccurring, please contact us for a customized plan.

What is "stabilized chlorine"?

Chlorine that has a built-in stabilizer (sun shield) is called “stabilized chlorine.” The built-in stabilizer replenishes any stabilizer lost to splash-out and filter backwashing. It’s like sunglasses for your pool! An acceptable stabilizer level is 50-70 ppm and can be tested with the provided 7-way strips. If your stabilizer is higher than 90 ppm, it can reduce the effectiveness of your chlorine and you may need to do a partial drain of the pool.

What kind of shock should I use in my pool?

We do not recommend using a calcium-based shock in any vinyl lined pool. The preferred chlorine will be labeled Di-Chlor or Lithium.

What leads to chemical residue or uncontrollable chlorine levels?

More than likely, you’ve used a cheap chlorine product that dissolves quickly as your primary sanitizer. We recommend purchasing a premium chlorine tablet for your pool. The few extra dollars you will save buying the cheap chlorine will be spent elsewhere in the long run.

How long will my cover material last?

The average lifespan of your cover material is 5-7 years. To extend the life of your cover fabric, have it cleaned annually.

Can I walk on the pool cover?

Your pool cover is designed to support the weight of several people; however, the only time someone should walk on the cover is in the event of an emergency.

What is the life expectancy of a solar blanket?

Due to the delicate nature of the solar blanket and the many harsh conditions it is subjected to (wind, sun, excessive chlorine levels, low PH levels, and water balance), the solar blanket is not included under our warranty.  The average life expectancy of your solar blanket is 2-3 years.

How do I care for my solar blanket?

A very low PH or high chlorine level can destroy a solar cover in a few weeks. If the PH is below 7.0 remove cover. If the chlorine level is 3 ppm or higher remove the cover. Keep the cover off the pool for a few hours after adding chemicals or shocking. Pools need to breathe.  Do not leave your solar cover on the pool for days at a time.  If you will be leaving town, we recommend leaving the solar cover off unless someone will be around to attend to it.

Do not drag the cover across the deck. On very windy days, sink the cover in a few areas to get water on top to help keep it on the pool. Make sure the reel straps are loose when the blanket is on the pool to prevent the wind from blowing under the cover.  If you notice bubbles flaking off the blanket and in the pool, it is time to replace it. These small pieces can clog the filter and will make a large mess.
Install the protective cover whenever the blanket is reeled up. This will extend the life. Keep the reel covered or indoors for the winter.

Your solar cover can create a dangerous environment for your children and pets.  Your solar cover is in no way a protective safety barrier.  Please keep this in mind if you let your pets into the pool area.  Small children should always be supervised near the water.

Swimming Pool Scenarios

If this, then that. If something looks off in your pool, chances are the answer can be fixed by following these suggestions!

What causes cloudy pool water?

There are numerous causes of cloudy water. Some of the more common causes include contaminant build-up, chemical residue, water chemistry, metals, and poor filtration. Rainwater will deplete the chlorine level in your pool and can cause cloudiness. Dogs swimming in your pool release dander and hair. If your pool has been exposed to large amounts of rain, high bather loads, or animals it is time to SHOCK!

What causes contaminant build-up in pool water?

When swimmers’ wastes and other contaminants build-up, the result is combined chlorine. This is chlorine in the water that has already been used and is no longer effective. This means it’s time to shock the pool! Shocking to remove “chloramines” is an all or nothing treatment. The average amount of granular chlorine required to oxidize this waste is 3-1 lb. bags.

If swimmers get eye irritation or if the pool has a chlorine odor, have I added too much chlorine?

No, this actually indicates a need for more chlorine (a shock treatment), not less! Free chlorine has a fresh smell and used chlorine has an ammonia smell. Please check your chlorine level before shocking the pool.

What should I do if my pool water is out of balance?

Typically, you’ll find cloudy, out of balance water to have a high pH, total alkalinity, or high calcium hardness. Adjust as needed. Follow directions on the back of the bottle or contact our service department.

What can be done about metal build-up in my pool?

Your source water used for topping off the pool may contain high amounts of metals. Stain and Scale prevention can help control the metal in your pool. For very rusty water, we recommend an in-line metal trap which can be purchased from our service department.

What leads to poor filtration?

You may not be running your pump a sufficient number of hours. Your pool should run a minimum of 12 hours a day and should be on during daylight hours. The hot sun blazing down on an uncirculated pool will increase the likelihood of algae. If needed, backwash the filter or pressure wash and degrease your cartridges with Filter Blaster.

Why won't my pool light turn on?

Your pool light is connected to a GFCI protected circuit. Please check all receptacles with a reset button around your pool. These are typically located close to your pool pump and filter equipment. After verifying your receptacle reset buttons, check the circuit breaker located within your automation panel marked pool light. GFCI and receptacles are sensitive to high moisture/high humidity environments as well to ground lightning strikes. If the problem still persists, please contact our service department.

Why won't my pool pump turn on?

If your pool pump won’t turn on or you find it off when it shouldn’t be, please take the following steps before contacting our service department. Verify the double circuit breaker is in the on position inside your automation panel. Electrical code requires us to wire your variable speed pool pump to a GFCI protected circuit. These circuits are sensitive to high moisture/high humidity situations as well as the increased draw in power required to start up the pump. After verifying your power, please review your schedule to make sure the pump is within its scheduled operating time. If the problem still persists, please contact our service department.

Why won't my pool heater turn on?

Verify that your main circulation pump is running. Your pool heater requires flow to satisfy a call for heat. Verify your outside gas valve is in the on position. Verify that your set temperature is higher than the current water temperature in the pool. Verify there is power to your pool heater by viewing the LCD screen located underneath the black bezel on the pool heater. If no power is present, check the circuit breaker within your automation panel labeled pool heater. If power is present, your pool heater may display an error code. Please refer to your pool heater manual for the description of the error code. If an error code is present, please contact our service department.

Why won't my robotic pool cleaner turn on?

Your robotic pool cleaner requires a secondary pump to power it. Please verify that the main pool pump is running. If your main pump is running, the secondary pump has power to it. Your pool automation panel has a feature that interlocks the cleaner pump with the main pump. This requires the main pump to be running for several minutes before the cleaner pump will respond to a command. If you have just powered off your main pool pump, your automation panel may be in the interlock mode and the cleaner will turn on after the interlock period has been fulfilled.

Why is my robotic pool cleaner moving so slow?

Your pool cleaner could be moving slow for a number of reasons. You may have worn internal parts, poor water pressure to the unit caused by an obstruction in the inline filter, or dirty filters. Check to make sure your secondary pool pump is turned on. Inspect the inline filter located on the end of the white hose for debris. If debris is present, your main pool filter may need cleaning or backwashing (sand filter only) or the cartridges may need to be inspected for failure. Please contact our service department if you are unable to resolve the problem.

Why is there no power to to any of my pool equipment?

Your pool automation panel supplies power to all of the pool equipment. The automation panel is connected to your homes main panel. Please verify that the breaker in your home’s main panel is in the on position. The circuit might be labeled pool, outside control panel, etc. After verifying power from your homes main panel, verify that all circuit breakers are in the on position within your automation panel. If the problem still persists after taking these steps, please contact our service department.

Why does my chlorine feeder release an obnoxious smell when I open it?

Your pool is equipped with a variable speed pump. The reduced flow rates through the chlorine feeder can cause the wet tablets to build up a gas within the vessel. When you remove the lid, this concentrated gas is released. Please take caution when opening your chlorine feeder and always take a step back. If gas is building up within the vessel, increase the flow by adjusting the dial to a higher number on the back of the feeder. You may need to reduce the number of tablets you keep in the chlorine output to the pool. Three to four tablets at a time should be sufficient. Verify the black tube within the vessel is not clogged by using a wire or small screwdriver. If problems persist, please contact our service department for more information.

What should I do in the event I inhale chlorine fumes from the chlorine feeder?

Please refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for proper care. If you feel you are unable to refer to the MSDS, please call emergency services 911.

Where is all my pool water going?

Your pool can lose up to a ½” of water per day in the right conditions. Keeping your pool covered at night will greatly reduce evaporation. Evaporation may be more prevalent during the cooler months of the year. You may also lose water from splash out while the pool is being used. If your pool is equipped with a sand filter, please verify that the valve handle is in the filter position. If your pool is equipped with a cartridge filter, please verify that the valve labeled backwash or waste is closed and that no water is filling up the blue discharge hose. If you feel that you have to add more water than usual, please contact our service department. Leaks can be time-consuming and frustrating. Please bear with our service technicians as they work with you on trying to diagnose the problem.

Why are there air bubbles coming out of my pool returns/jets?

Aeration is caused by a vacuum leak somewhere in your pool piping or system. Before calling our service department, there are a few things you can check. The most common sources of air bubbles are from a bad chlorine feeder lid O-ring, a low water level, a bad pump lid O-ring, a loose drain plug on your pool equipment, a stuck skimmer flapper, or very dirty filter media (sand or cartridges).

Verify your water is at an operational level. If it is low by just a little bit, it can cause the pump to suck air.

Inspect the underside of your chlorine feeder lid. You will be able to see if the internal O-ring is pinched. This is usually caused by over tightening or wear.

Inspect the main pump lid O-ring. If the O-ring is dry and brittle, it will not allow the lid to make the necessary seal.

Check your drain plugs on your equipment. If you have opened the pool yourself, the plugs may not be tight enough to create the proper seal.

Check your pool skimmer flappers. Occasionally, these flappers can get stuck in the closed position which causes the pump to surge and draw in air.

Lastly, check your filter pressure. If your pressure is a lot higher than normal, your filter cartridges may need to be cleaned or if your pool has a sand filter a backwash cycle may be necessary.

Why is my pool not skimming properly?

Your pool skimmer(s) are designed to remove surface debris. During high wind/bug conditions, more debris may be settling on the pool surface then the skimmers can manage. If this is not the case, verify your pool water is at an operational level. If the water is too low, proper skimming action will not occur. If your pool water level is too high, the skimmers cannot create the proper draw.

Your pool is equipped with a variable speed pump, speed adjustments may be required to pull back the skimmer flappers and increase the draw – please refer to your pool automation panel manual to increase speed settings. A broken or missing flapper door will impede the performance of your skimmer(s).

Check the pressure on your filter. Dirty filter media will slow the entire circulation system down.

If your pool is equipped with more than one skimmer, it is common that one is more dominant than the other. Lastly, verify that your baskets are not at maximum collection capacity in the skimmers and the main pump.

Why does my pool fill up with worms?

During large rainstorms, worms work their way up out of the soil and are naturally attracted to the pool. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent them from entering. If your pool deck borders grass, consider adding some additional landscape beyond the pool deck. Although this won’t completely solve the problem, it will help reduce the number of worms traveling towards the pool.

Why do I often find unwelcome critters in my pool or skimmer baskets?

Many animals are attracted to the water. Once they get in, they find it very difficult to get out. Common critters are frogs, salamanders, moles, mice, rats, and ground squirrels. There are a few pool novelties that can be purchased to help aid any critters that fall into the pool get out. Please contact our service department for more details.

Why won’t my automatic pool cover open?

There are several reasons your pool cover may not open. First, check the circuit breaker labeled pool cover and verify that it is in the on position. If the circuit breaker is tripped, cycle it one direction and back the other so the on lettering is revealed. If the cover now moves without tripping the circuit breaker, the problem is resolved.

If the circuit breaker trips again, please contact our service department for an evaluation. If you find that your circuit breaker is in the on position and the cover won’t open, verify that there is no water on the pool cover. DO NOT continue to attempt opening the cover if power is applied and there is no movement.

Why does my cover open and closed crooked?

Periodically, your pool cover may need adjustment. If the cover is opening or closing crooked, it may require a service call to realign and adjust the ropes. Sometimes the cover material is off skew and can be realigned by running the cover back and forth several times. This most often occurs right after a large amount of water has been pumped off the cover. We also recommend holding the switch until the cover is fully opened or fully closed. Stopping a few feet short and beginning again may cause the cover to begin running crooked or stall.

Why does my cover move slower now then at the beginning of the season?

Your pool cover motor may require an adjustment on the torque setting. Please contact our service department to schedule a stop for our technicians to evaluate the open/close operation.

When should I store my cover pump on the pool cover?

Your pool cover pump should be stored on the fabric at all times unless the cover is opened. The pump is there to remove the rainwater that collects on the material. Failure to store the pump on the pool cover can result in premature failure of several system components. Rain showers can pop up even on a sunny day and dump a lot of water on your pool, so make it a practice and inform everyone in the family to get into the habit! Please remember drowning becomes a risk if water is not maintained on top of the cover.

Have More Questions?

The team at Bob’s Pool Builders isn’t seasonal! Give us a call or shoot us an email anytime, year round, and we’re happy to help!