There are a number of steps you need to follow to properly open your pool each year, so it is best to follow our detailed step-by-step guide. If you need help, you can book a full-service pool opening from Buds! 


We recommend that you come into Buds with a 1L water sample of your pool or hot tub water once a month. As long as you stick to a proper weekly maintenance regime once a month is plenty.


Proper water balance in a pool or hot tub extends the life of equipment and ensures that the sanitizer works efficiently. Without proof of water balance, equipment and liner manufacturers will not warranty their products. Water that goes unbalanced for extended periods of time can result in liner wrinkles, heater corrosion, leaking equipment and irritated skin and eyes.



A pool pump should run at least 8-12 hours in one day. This will allow the entire body of water to be filtered at least one time in a 24 hour period. Preferably, your pool pump should run during the day especially if there are excessive amounts of rain or heat. Stagnant water has an increased possibility for turning cloudy or green.



You should always backwash your filter once the pressure shown on the pressure gauge has reached 8-10psi higher then your normal running pressure. Backwashing the filter too often can stir up the sand and allow small particles to pass through it. Allowing some dirt to sit in the filter sand, helps to create rough edges so the sand can catch small debris. Not backwashing the filter enough will create a blockage in the filter sand and impede the flow of water back to the pool. All pool filters run at a different pressure based on a number of different variables. Ensure that you have a working pressure gauge on your filter at all times in order to acquire the best performance from your filter. A sand filter should always be backwashed for a minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of 5 minutes depending on the size of the filter. Many people only backwash until the water leaving the backwash line or the water in the site glass is clear. Sometimes the filter sand will have a clear patch in it where no or very little debris has been trapped. Since the water pushes the debris from the bottom of the filter to the top of the filter, if backwashing is stopped at a clear patch, the debris underneath it forms a barrier in the sand and the filtration can no longer perform at its full potential.



The sand in the filter should be changed every 3-5 years. As the sand begins to age, it will not be as effective in picking up debris. At the end of every season, the sand in the sand filter should be chemically cleaned to alleviate oils and debris from adhering to the sand over the winter. This will help to keep effective filtration until it is time to change the sand. If the sand is not chemically cleaned every season, it will need to be changed more often.



If you have a robotic pool cleaner it will run for a maximum of 3 hours and then turn itself off. This vacuum can be used daily if needed. If your automatic cleaner is attached to the skimmer line, you should only run it for a maximum of 2-3 hours 4 times per week. Automatic vacuums that are powered by the suction in the skimmer take away from proper skimming of the pool. When a suction sided automatic vacuum is in use, the water traveling through the system is coming only from the bottom of the pool. If it is used too frequently, the pool does not get the chance to filter properly. Never use an automatic vacuum to clean a green pool.


For swimming pools, clean the cartridge when filter canister pressure reaches 10-12 PSI above the initial system or new cartridge starting pressure. Cartridges should be chemically cleaned in Filter Cleaner at the end of every season before they are put away for winter or anytime you have had to treat the pool for an algae bloom.

Read our guide to learn the complete procedure to clean your pool filter cartridge.


There could be a number of reasons why this is happening. Start by making sure that the return jets in the pool are pointed downward on a 45° angle. Both jets should be pointed to the right in the pool. This will allow for optimal circulation of the water. You should never see rippling on the surface of the pool water. If you see rippling, your jets are only circulating the top of the water and allowing small debris to sit on the pool floor.



A salt system merely generates chlorine in a pool or bromine in a hot tub. Since you do not have to continuously add heavy doses of chlorine or bromine to the water, proper balance is easier to maintain. This however, does not alleviate balancing the water altogether. Using a salt system can cause the pH to rise naturally. Bringing in a water sample to Buds once a month will help to keep the pH in the proper range so it does not harm your equipment. Balancing the water is an essential part of pool maintenance whether you are using a salt system or not. Making sure that you follow a proper weekly regime will also extend the life of your pool and keep it looking magnificent.


There are many steps you need to follow to properly close your pool, so we recommend you follow our pool closing instructions guide. If you need help, you can also book a full-service pool closing from Buds! 

Maintaining your saltwater pool is a multi-step process. It involves regular testing of the pool water and the adding of appropriate chemicals to balance your water. For additional guidance, check out our saltwater pool maintenance guide.

If you need help check out Buds comprehensive pool maintenance services.

Foggy/Cloudy pools may occur due to a number of reasons.  Cloudy water largely occurs because of poor water balance, lack of circulation, poor filtration or the depletion of chlorine/bromine.  It can also occur due to dead algae, dirty or old filter sand, excessive debris in the pool or leaving solar blankets on for extended periods of time.

If you want to learn more about treatment options, please see our blog post on how to treat and prevent cloudy or foggy water. 

It is important to maintain a clean salt cell so chlorine can be continuously produced.  Salt cells that have a lot of scale or calcium build up can not effectively produce sanitizer and often create flow issues within the pool system.  You should check your salt cell weekly to ensure that there are no problems and rinse off the plates as soon as you start to see scale formation.  Every salt cell should be chemically cleaned at least once per season, usually after the pool has been closed.

For the full cleaning procedure, please see our blog post how to clean a salt cell.

Sand filters should be cleaned at least once per season, preferably in the fall before closing. You must clean your sand filter after encountering bouts of algae. Sand should be changed in the filter every 3-5 years.  However, if the sand is not cleaned once per season the sand may need to be changed much more often than that.

For a detailed guide, see our post how to change and clean the filter media.



Green pools are often caused by algae growth in the water.  This could take on the form of patches of green, yellow or black substances that fluffs into the water when touched or stirred.  The water may have discoloration, usually green. It can be dealt with through a combination of manual vacuum and the correct chemicals. 

For full details see our guide how to treat and prevent algae

When spring arrives, it's time to pull out your UV system and get it ready for the summer pool season. We have created a comprehensive guide to help you get set-up with ease. See our spring set-up for pool UV systems.

Phosphates are food for algae. Although they are present in all water, once they reach a certain level they can cause issues in your pool. The main issue is constantly not achieving a chlorine reading as the phosphates consume chlorine. When you have no chlorine reading, your pool can turn cloudy and/or green due to lack of sanitizer. Phosphates can also lead to scale formation on pool equipment, which can seriously damage your heater or salt cell. Phosphates are measured in parts per billion (ppb).

To learn more, see our guide how to reduce pool phosphates.

Borate prevents pH drifting, which results in calcium scaling, metal stains, cloudy water, algae, and hard pool water. When you use borate, the water will remain clear for a long period since chloramine (or combined chlorine) does not form quickly as compared to a pool without a borate.

To learn more, see our guide, benefits of borate to treat your pool.

Closing your above-ground pool involves a number of steps that must be followed carefully. To learn more, please see our guide above ground pool closing instructions.

If you need help, you can book a full-service pool closing from Buds!

Metals can be introduced into the water through foreign object or equipment, such as copper piping and fittings, heat exchanger, using copper sulphate and other copper-based algaecides, or source water. To learn more and see how to prevent staining, please see our guide.