Frequently Asked Questions
Pool Service, Cleaning, Maintenance & Repair
We were founded in Cape Coral over 35 years ago! We are devoted to great customer service.
Draining your pool can cause the pool to “pop!” This means the pool will float on the ground water. This problem happens more frequently during the rainy season. When we drain a pool, we generally attach a well point pump to remove water under the pool so it won’t “pop.”
Florida law prohibits the use of reclaimed water in pools. We’ve tested reclaimed water and it has very high levels of nitrates and phosphates (2 of the 3 components of commercial fertilizer) and it will make your pool algae prone.
If you leave the pool full of water but don’t run the filtration system and adjust the water chemistry on a regular basis, the pool will go green. It is against code to allow a pool to go green, and the city will cite you. It is also cheaper to service a pool regularly, rather than clean up a green pool.
Normal evaporation is 2-2.5 inches of water per week. If you are losing more than this, you likely have a leak. Read more on our leak detection page for a description of how to do a “bucket test” to determine if your pool is leaking.
We recommend at least 8 hours a day in the summer and 6 hours a day in the winter. Running the pool less than this amount will increase the likelihood of algae forming in the pool and cloudy water.
Most manufacturers recommend that cartridge filter elements be replaced every year. We find that they are usually good for two or maybe three years. As they get old they get clogged, discolored and squishy.
Our pool service cleans residential filters every month. You can really get by with cleaning the filter every 2 or 3 months. A moderately dirty filter actually removes finer particles than a freshly cleaned one. However, if you have a dog that swims in your pool, it probably needs to be cleaned monthly.
This is one of the common uses for an automation system. Stay inside and push a button on the remote and your spa will be ready to use. Automation will also control spa blowers, heaters, vanishing edges, water features, lighting and more.
Phosphates and nitrates are the main reasons that some pools tend to grow algae. These can get into the water from fertilizer used around the pool, decayed plant matter, rain, animal waste and reclaimed water. We can test to see if your pool has high levels of phosphates and nitrates. We sell an effective phosphate remover; however, the only way to remove nitrates is by draining and refilling the pool.
We get this question a lot. Unfortunately, we are not psychic! We don’t know how your water should be treated unless we test it first. That is why we offer free water testing in our store. When we service a pool, the first thing we do is test the water.
First, take a pool brush to the stain. If it brushes up it is algae or dirt, not a stain. Stains are caused by metals such as iron or copper which get in the pool from fertilizer, well water, the metal used in pool ladders, lights or heaters. We can do a test to determine what kind of stain it is and if a stain treatment is likely to be effective.
Nitrates and phosphates are used as fertilizer to make plants grow. They can get in your pool and make algae grow rapidly. Normal levels of chlorine and the other pool chemicals will not be effective in controlling the algae.
People often ask how nitrates and phosphates end up in the water. The number one reason is the use of reclaimed water to fill pools. Water bills state: “Florida law prohibits the use of reclaimed water to fill swimming pools”. Not only is against the law, but reclaimed water is full of nitrates and phosphates! It is great for your lawn and plants, but please do not use it to fill your pool! Reclaimed water may end up in your pool if sprinklers are not aimed correctly, or the wind blows the water in.
Nitrates can also end up in the water from fertilizer used near the pool, plant matter that drops into the pool, bird droppings (they “land” on pool cages all the time), urine and sweat. Lightning ionizes nitrogen and the subsequent rain will raise nitrate levels. Nitrates tend to increase over time. We can test for nitrates. A reading above 10 PPM (parts per million) is high and will promote strong algae growth.
Phosphates result from fertilizer used near the pool, decaying plant matter, and cosmetic products used by bathers. Phosphates are used in many cleaning products that are used near pools, or on pool decks and tiles. (Note: the tile soap and other products we use do not contain phosphates.) Phosphates tend to accumulate over time. We can test for phosphates. A reading of 500 PPB (parts per billion) is too high.
What can be done about high levels of nitrates and phosphates? There are products such as Orenda’s Phosphate Remover and Natural Chemistry’s Phosfree that can be added to lower the level of phosphates. Unfortunately, there are no products which will remove nitrates. The pool will need to be drained and refilled with fresh water.
Should you have any questions about nitrates and phosphates, do not hesitate to give us a call at (239) 574-1133. We are always happy to answer any pool questions!
Pool Repairs & Upgrades
We are a warranty station for all the brands listed above. Manufacturers choose us to do their warranty work because we have the experience to get the job done right.
Yes, we sell almost all major brands including: Hayward, Pentair, Sta-Rite, AquaCal, AutoPilot, Pool Pilot, AquaRite, Marathon Motors, Jandy, Raypak, Speck, Tork, Intermatic, Feherguard, Dynasty Spas, The Pool Cleaner, Zodiac/Barracuda, Jack’s Magic, Orenda, and Relax/Jonas.
We’ve experimented with all the products and devices available on the market today. With all the sun and heat we have here in Southwest Florida, there is no good alternative to chlorine. However, a salt chlorine system can maintain a lower, but still effective, level of chlorine.
For most homes, the pool pump is second behind the air conditioner in energy usage. The new energy efficient pumps and pump motors can save you approximately $400-500/year. Call us and we can share the latest info on the savings available.
Salt systems work by converting salt added to the water into chlorine. Because the system continuously makes chlorine, a much lower level of chlorine can be maintained in the water. This will make the water more pleasant to swim in. Salt systems have other advantages as well. The low level of salt in the water makes the water “smooth and inviting” like bath salts. You won’t ever have to buy chlorine. The system will continue to make chlorine when you are out of town.
If you want to extend your season by a couple of months, solar pool heating has very low operating costs. However, if you want to be able to swim all year, a heat pump is your best choice. It will heat your pool on cloudy days and after the sun goes down. It is very efficient and you won’t need panels on your roof.
We repair and replace:
- Pumps and motors
- Timers and filters
- Heat pumps, gas heater and solar
- Salt systems and automation systems
- Pool lights
- Pool stains and acid washes
- Green pool clean ups
- Leak detection and repair
Yes, we offer 2 plans to meet everyone’s requirements and budgets. Visit our Pool Service to learn more.
No, we have a one month minimum. Beyond that, you are free to cancel at any time.
Just give us a call at (239) 574-1133. We’ll ask you some questions so we can figure out which of our four plans best meet your needs. We’ll agree on a day when your service will commence. Then you will have to figure out what to do with all your new free time!
Residential pool service is done on a weekly basis because water chemistry needs to be checked and adjusted weekly in order to ensure the water is safe to swim in. Some companies take a couple of holiday weeks off. However, we find that these are the most important weeks because the pools are often used heavily and we want them to be safe for swimmers. A few companies offer bi-weekly service. We wouldn’t swim in water that hadn’t been checked and balanced in two weeks!
There is no extra charge for chemicals; however, if we get to the pool for the first time and the pool has algae or the chemicals are below minimum standard, there is a one-time charge for chemicals.
If you cannot see the main drain, the pool cannot go on go on pool service until it has been cleaned up. Call us, we will visit the pool and give you a quote to complete a green pool clean up.
Unless a note was left advising you not to swim for a period of time, the pool is safe to swim 15 minutes after our tech leaves. This will allow the circulation system to disperse any chemicals we added.
We put our techs through an extensive training program that is two or three times what other companies provide. They learn about all the newer and more technical equipment such as salt systems, automation and variable speed pumps. Should questions arise, we have in field supervisors and experienced repair technicians that can answer their questions.
Amazingly, this is one of the most common questions we get from people using other services! Our techs will service your pool on a regular day, complete a specific list of requirements and leave a card outlining what they have done. Supervisors routinely follow behind our techs to check the quality of their work and our techs pay is tied to the quality of their work. If you ever have a question about the work our techs do, we’ll have our in field supervisor check up on them.
The average pool requires about $45 of chemicals a month. Driving to the pool store to get your water tested weekly costs about $20/month according to IRS mileage rates. Taking care of your pool will probably take about 5 hours/month. If you make $20/hour on job, it is costing you $100/ month in time. The total of these costs is $165/month. That is more than twice the cost of some of our pool service plans!
Our techs are all drug tested, background checked and wear uniforms. We have had individuals that were in the Florida sex offender database apply for positions. We, of course, did not hire them! We know that some of these individuals obtained employment at other pool companies.
No, the Pool Doctor is a family owned business. We operate out of one location and service and repair more pools than anyone else in Lee County. We became the biggest by providing great service delivered by a family of pool professionals.
No. Properly designed pools have decks that drain water away from the house and have overflows built into the skimmer. See the section “Hurricane Preparedness” for more details.
There’s a short list of things to do BEFORE and AFTER the storm to protect your pool. Should you need assistance in preparing for, or recovering from a hurricane call the Pool Doctor at (239) 574-1133.
Before the storm
- Don’t drain your pool. Properly constructed pools have overflows that drain excess water. Code requires that pool decks be constructed to drain water away from the house. Emptying the pool is dangerous because it can “pop” out of the ground by floating on the ground water.
- Turn off power to the pool equipment. Turn off the circuit breaker to the pool equipment. If the motor starts while sitting in a puddle of water, it’s a good bet it will be destroyed.
- Secure the pool area. Remove or secure all furniture, toys and anything else that can blow around. Don’t put metal furniture or glass tops in the pool; they may stain the finish or break.
- Add extra chlorine if possible. Super chlorinating the water will prevent algae from forming. Servicing the pool may be delayed following the storm.
- Prepare your portable spa. Store the spa cover inside or in the garage, because it will blow away. Otherwise, prepare your spa as if it were a pool, using the steps listed above.
After the storm
- Inspect the area. Make sure there are no downed electrical wires or other dangerous hazards. Damaged pool cages have very sharp edges and may collapse. Exercise caution! Call a licensed professional if you have any questions.
- Check and balance the pool water. If you don’t know how to do this, bring a water sample to a pool store. Then you can carefully remove objects or debris in the pool. Again, you may want the help of a professional.
- Check out the electrical system. If the equipment was damaged or underwater, have a licensed professional review it before restarting.
- Reset the timer. If we have an electrical outage, the timer will need to be reset to the correct time or it may run at night instead of the day.
- Monitor the pool for the next few days. You will want to make sure everything is running properly.
No, we want them to have your best interest at heart, and not be motivated to sell you stuff you don’t need.
Of course, we offer free water testing and advice. We will give you a free water sample bottle to bring your water in. If you don’t have one, use a clean water bottle.
We are open 8:30 to 5 six days a week. On Thursday, we are open till 7PM.
Nobody can match the level of experience we have behind the counter. We have great prices on all major brands of pool products and equipment. We are the largest pool company in Lee County, FL, and got that way by providing great service and value. We are always happy to answer any question you may have.
2104 Del Prado Blvd S. Cape Coral, FL That is .3 miles north of the Midpoint (Veteran’s) Bridge on the west side of Del Prado Blvd S.