On May 20th from 5pm-7pm we will be holding a Consumer Chemical Class at the New Columbia Community Center. Our bioguard representative, Jason, will be there to thoroughly explain any chemical questions you have. Please bring a water sample and we will test it for you. At this class you will receive a 10% off coupon on your next chemical purchase from us! This building is located on 3rd street in New Columbia across from the church. We hope to see you there! Please RSVP as soon as possible via email; [email protected] or phone; 570-742-2631

Winterizing Your In-Ground Pool

1. Vacuum the pool and remove all leaves and debris.

Test water and make sure Ph and chlorine are in normal range. If Ph balance is off, add proper amounts of Ph plus or minus to correct the problem. Run the filter on bottom drain for approximately 2 hours before adding winter chemicals. If the chlorine is too high or low, adjust the amount of winter chlorine used to coincide with your chlorine reading.

Test water for Ph balance. Adjust as needed and circulate for 2 hours before adding winter chemicals. For winterizing, add monthly dose of Shock, weekly dose of Baqua Check 50 and test the Softswim level and top it up to 50 by adding the full amount on your kit calculator.

3. Drain the water level in the pool down 2″ below the skimmer face plate.

4. Add winter chemicals to the pool and circulate through the bottom drain for 1 or 2 hours.

5. While chemicals are circulating, lay out water tubes around the pool area and fill them 2/3rds full with water. Check to make sure none of the tubes are leaking.

6. Remove ladders and handrails from the pool. Clean and dry them before storing.

7. If you have a light, remove the top screw from the light assembly and pull light assembly out of the pool and lay it on the deck so it may be covered with the winter cover.

8. Remove directional eyeballs from the wall returns. DO NOT forget step returns, if you have them.

9. Disconnect return lines from the filter and blow each line out with an air compressor. While a strong flow of air is blowing out the return, insert a screw in the winter plug where you removed the directional eyeball. DO NOT continue to blow air through the lines after you have plugged them. Repeat the procedure with step returns.

10. Remove the basket from the skimmer. Disconnect the skimmer line and blow the water from the line. Insert the Gizzmo into the skimmer to plug the line.

11. If there is a bottom drain line, disconnect it from the filter and blow it out. NOTE: It is impossible to blow all the water from this line, so we recommend adding 1/2 to 1 gallon of a vegetable type antifreeze into the line. DO NOT USE CAR ANTIFREEZE – IT IS TOXIC AND COULD BE HARMFUL TO YOUR LINER AND PIPES.

12. Reconnect all lines that were disconnected from the filter or cover them with duct tape so that water cannot back into them.

13. Open drain cap at the bottom of the filter. Drain all the water from the tank. Leave the drain cap off to prevent possible freeze damage to the filter bottom.

14. Open the pump lid and remove the basket. Also remove the drain plugs from the back and side of the pup and leave them out for the winter.

15. If you have an automatic chlorinator and it can be removed, do so and tape the lines shut. If you can’t remove it, drain the water from it and fill it 1/3rd full with the same vegetable antifreeze used in the bottom drain line.

16. Diving boards and slides can be removed from the pool or covered. However, remember that if you remove them, handle it carefully and store it in a safe place because they are fiberglass and can be damaged easily.

17. If you have a heater, turn off all oil or gas lines, then open the petcocks at the side of the heater and make sure it is completely drained. Leave the petcocks open.

18. Install cover, making sure that the cover goes down the side wall of the pool and lays on the concrete deck. Slide the water tubes through the lops and onto the cover.

19. Gather all small items removed from the pool, such as light screw, eyeballs, filter drain cap, pump plugs, etc. and put them in a plastic bag and store them in the skimmer basket until spring.

NOTE: It is recommended that solar covers be hosed off thoroughly and dried before storing for the winter.

How to Maintain Your Pool


For maximum sanitizer effectiveness throughout the entire pool the water must be circulated. The more your pool water is in motion, the harder iti s for bacteria and algae to take hold and grow. Another advantage is the more water that is passed throughthe filter, the more debris is captured. the best time to circulate the water is during the day, for 10 hours or more.


The filter is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your pool’s system. It removes both visible debris and most microscopic matter. A filter usually should be backwashed, which is the removal of material trapped on or in the filter media, when the water pressure in the filter reaches eight to ten pounds above normal. (Make sure to check the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Because backwashing does not remove oils and deeply imbedded debris, every filter needs to be chemically cleaned regularly. Town and Country Pools can help you establish a filter maintenance program.


The walls and floor of your pool needs to be brushed regularly. All swimming pools have certain areas that have little or no circulation. This is where algae and bacteria can begin to grow. At least once a week, the walls and floors should be brushed and vacuumed to remove debris that the filter misses. Even if you use an automatic pool cleaner or retain a weekly service, brushing is a must!


Every pool has certain chemical characteristics which must be regularly measured. Most important are the pH and the level of active sanitizer. By testing these two factors at regular intervals, you’ll e able to understand how bather load, weather and product application affect the water. Test your pool water two or three times per week. Plan to bring a sample of pool water to Town and Country Pools, your BioGuard® Authorized Pool & Spa Care Center, at pool opening and closing, and every four to six weeks thereafter. This will ensure that proper balance is maintained and greatly reduce the potential risk for problems.

Proper Water Maintenance

The last step in a total pool maintenance program is the right application of products to your pool water in a timely manner. Your three objectives are:

  1. Provide a sanitary swimming environment.
  2. Chemically balance the water to protect the equipment and the pool. Unbalanced pool water can permanently damage both.
  3. Provide clear, sparkling water free of algae growth for all bathers.

Pool Care Basics

Five essentials make up the basics of pool maintenance. Understand these categories of care so you have an overall idea of what you’ll need to do. (With the help of your BioGuard® Dealer, of course.) Paying regular attention to these areas is your best guarantee for getting maximum pleasure from your pool.


Pool water must be circulated to maximize your santitizer’s efficiency. The more your water is in motion, the harder it is for bacteria and algae to take hold. More debris is captured by your filter, too. It’s best to circulate the water during the day for 10 hours or more.


The filter is a very important piece of equipment. It removes both visible debris and most microscopic matter. Check the filter manufacturer’s guidelines to see about backwashing. This process removes material trapped on or in the filter media. Your filter also needs to be chemically cleaned regularly since backwashing does not remove oils and deeply imbedded debris.


All swimming pools include areas that have little or no circulation, where algae and bacteria can begin to grow. At least once a week, brush and vacuum the walls and floor. Brushing is a must, even if you use an automatic pool cleaner or retain a weekly service.


Certain pool characteristics must be regularly measured and adjusted. Most important are pH and the level of active sanitizer. Test these two factors weekly. Also, take a sample to your BioGuard Dealer when you open and close your pool, and every four to six weeks during the season.

Proper Water Maintenance

Make sure you apply the right products to your pool water at the right time. Your BioGuard Dealer can give you precise instructions on what to do. That’sa big part of their job – and one of the most valuable services that come with the BioGuard brand.

How to do a Filter Clean for Inground Pools

STEP 1    Turn filter system off

STEP 2    Open pump lid and pour filter cleaner directly into pump housing. Shut pump lid.

STEP 3    Make sure filter valve head is in backwash position.

STEP 4    Turn system on for approximately 1-2 seconds until filter cleaner is reserved into sand filter.

STEP 5    Turn system off and put valve head in the closed position, leave off for 24 hours.

STEP 6    In the morning, put valve head in backwash position, and turn system on.  Backwash until sight glass is clear. Then proceed with normal filtering.

Planning for Your New Fence

Taking a little time to plan can avoid headaches and save money.

Be sure to:

  • Measure carefully. Remember that you are responsible for your property line and set back requirements set forth by the prevailing authority.
  • Draw the plan on graph paper
  • Consult neighbors, check homeowners associations for restrictions, check local building codes and zoning requirements, and check with utility companies about lines
  • Select a fence style that is complementary to and practical for the landscape
  • Order the materials

Vacuuming and Backwashing Your Inground Pool


  1. Filter head should be on the filter.
  2. Ball Valves in front of the pump (if you have them) should be in the vertical position.
  3. The pump will be pulling half from the skimmer and half from the bottom drain.


  1. Take vacuum equipment and stick it in the pool for the end of the hose that has the skim vac on it. If your hose has a swivel cuff at one end, that end MUST be on the vac head or you will lose prime.
  2. Turn the bottom drain off (ball valve should be in the horizontal position). The ball valve will be found in front of the pump.
  3. Fill the vac hose with water by taking the skim vac and putting it in front of the return jet until the vac head sinks to the bottom of the pool.
  4. When the hose is full of water put the skim vac in the skimmer over the basket and start to vacuum.
  5. Vacuum until the pool is clean or pressure is 15 pounds above normal filtering pressure.
  6. When pressure is 15 pounds above normal backwash the filter.


  1. Tum off the pump.
  2. Turn filter head handle to backwash position.
  3. Tum the pump on and run it until the sight glass is clear.
  4. Turn the pump back off and turn filter head handle to rinse position.  Turn the pump back on and run for 10 seconds.
  5. Turn the pump off and turn filter head to recirculate.  Turn pump on and run it for 10 seconds.
  6. Turn the pump off and turn the filter head handle to filter position and start vacuuming or normal filter operations.

How to Open Your Pool

1. Solid Covers only – remove water from top of cover with a pump or syphon. Starting at one end of pool, with 2 people on either side, roll cover towards other end of pool. Try to get as little dirt and debris from top of cover. Clean cover and store away (ask about Stowaway chemical for storing). Treat water tubes the same way.

2. Loop-loc covers – Starting at the deep end of pool, unhook the springs.  Then start up the sides unhooking springs on both sides and folding cover as you go, until cover is completely removed.

Lay cover out, rinse off, let dry, fold and store in original bag. Loop­ loc covers can also be stored in a Stowaway solution if preferred.

3. If water level is below normal level of 1/2 way on the skimmer, add water to fill to that line. If water level is above 1/2 way on the skimmer lower the level by connecting your vacuum (after steps 4,5,6, 7) and with your filter valve turned to waste, vacuuming the pool debris to waste until the water level reaches the correct fill line.

4. Remove winter plugs from returns and steps. Screw directional flow fittings back into returns in pool (note – step jet returns only get the trim. ring, not the center eyeball). Directional eyeballs should be turned in the same direction (left or right) pointing away from the skimmer and slightly downward to create a circular flow of water around the entire pool toward the skimmer. Put baskets back in skimmer and pump. Put drain plugs back in pump (1on round lid, 2 on square lid pumps). Put drain cap back on bottom of filter.

5. If needed, this will be the easiest time to replace your sand in the filter, as it is dry (every 3 years on Baq. or SS and every 5 years if you are using chlorine). If not replacing sand, open top of filter and remove any excess debris within the top 1″ of sand, either by hand or with a small shop vac.

6. If using a D.E. filter, unscrew top of filter .and do a chemical filter clean for 24 hours before starting up pool (skip this step if filter was cleaned after pool was closed in fall). Examine plates that fingers hang from (top & bottom) for any stress hairline cracks. Replace if any are found.  Clean off gasket and tank area before reassembling.

7.  Reconnect all lines at filter using Teflon tape or clear silicone on threaded ends. Make sure any gaskets or O-rings on fittings are clean, and not cracked, broken, stretched or pinched (do not use Vaseline on gaskets and O-rings). If using an automatic chlorinator, reconnect in the same manner, and fill With LARGE tablets or sticks that are recommended for such chlorinators.

8. Set all return ball or gate valves to the OPEN position.  (If water level is not yet up and you have a bottom drain, set valves to FULL or OPEN drain valve and close skimmer valve). Put one bucket of water in top of pump. Check gasket under pump lid to make sure it is properly seated and clean from sand or debris. Close lid and seal tightly. Turn on filter. (D.E.FIL ERS only – within a few minutes of the system purging itself of all air, add the proper amount of Earth for your filter through the skimmer – do not vacuum before adding Earth.)

TROUBLESHOOTING: If after running the filter for approximately 5 minutes, all air is not purged from the system (water level should be full in pump-basket), stop the system and go over what you have connected to make sure there are no leaks, gaskets missing or pinched and everything is properly sealed. DO NOT attempt to vacuum until water is at proper level and all air is-out of the system.

9.  “When system is running properly check your pressure gauge reading. It may be different than last year. When the pressure rises 15 lbs. above that number, backwash your sand filter or bump the Earth filter 7 or 8 times. If pressure gauge does not move at all, replace the gauge. Do not operate the filter for an extended period of time without a gauge.

10. Clean ladders and handrails and reinstall in pool. Make sure rubber ladder bumpers are in good condition. and properly fitted. If not, replace them.

11. Vacuum pool BEFORE adding start up chemicals. (TROUBLESHOOT­ ING) If vacuum does not have suction or is picking up debris too slowly, make sure to check the following: A. Is water at proper level in pool? B. Is vacuum head connected to the proper end of the hose? (Swivel cuff should be on vac head, not skim vac.) C. Is the black gasket on the skim vac in good condition?  D. Is there a hole or cut in the hose? Remember; you will not get good suction for vacuuming, if the filter system has an air leak. On the same note, if when the vacuum is not hooked up to the filter and the system is working properly, then the problem HAS to be with your vacuum equipment or water level. One last thing to remember here is that you should always backwash a sand filter or bump an earth filter prior to starting vacuuming, and you may have to repeat during vacuuming if there is a lot of dirt or debris being picked up. Also remember to backwash or bump again when finished. (Earth filters may need to have a change of Earth at this time also


CHLORINE: If you have had water tested in prior years, and know you have a problem with metals, add a Metal out as your first step. Run filter for at least 4 hours prior to adding the other chemicals.

A. With your test kit, check the reading for PH, and add up or down to bring into proper range. Run filter 4 hours before proceeding.

B. Add 1quart of a 60 % algaecide to pool water and circulate for 1hour.

C. Add the proper amount of start up shock to the pool water and at the same time, add whatever type of maintenance chlorine you are using (exception – if using granular, wait 4 hours to add)

D. Retest pool after 24 hours and adjust maintenance doses or chlorinator setting accordingly.

E. Take a water sample to your pool store for analysis of your calcium and alkalinity and metal ranges.


SOFTSWIM OR BAQUACIL: Add Stain control or Baq Out prior to adding any other chemicals and run filter at least 4 hours.

A.  Add the monthly required amount of Shock, and 1quart of “A” (Baquacil users, add weekly dose of Baqua Check 50 in place of A) directly to pool water. Run filter 8 hours.

B. Test Softswim “B” (or Baquacil) level and add the proper amount to bring pool into the 50 range. Do not cut this amount in half for the opening procedure.

C. Take water sample to pool store or analysis of your calcium and alkalinity and PH and metal ranges.


OPTIMIZER: If you used this product last year, you need to be tested by your pool-store, for top up dose at beginning of season.

POOL LIGHT: There is only one screw that holds the light in, but it is tricky to get in. Be careful not to strip the threads. If you do, you will need to purchase a light wedge to repair the problem • Remember, not to turn light on until it is back in the pool, as they are water cooled.

HEATERS:  Make sure all the petcocks on the unit are closed, and the pilot light is lit. If pilot light does not light, check to see that the nozzle is-clear. Make sure all valv

How to Change Your Sand

Changing your sand is best done when your pool is just being opened in the spring, while the plumbing is disconnected.

Take the valve head off the filter.

Before you do anything else, take a piece of duct tape and put it over the hole on your lateral assembly (center pipe), this will prevent sand from going into this pipe and shooting into your pool.

Make sure that the drain cap is off the bottom of the filter.

Remove as much sand as possible. The best way to get the sand out is to use a shop vac, or it can be dipped out by hand.

Take your garden hose, rinse out the bottom of the filter then let it drain.  If you had sand shooting into your pool before changing your sand you need to remove the center tube and fingers (screw out or fold up) and inspect them for breakages or cracks.

Put the drain cap back on your filter.

Make sure your lateral assembly (center pipe) is setting straight up and down. Put water in the bottom of filter, just above the fingers (spoke assembly).

Slowly cup in the first bag of sand, proceed with adding the rest of the sand, when you are finished adding sand, make sure you take the duct tape off the lateral assembly (center pipe).  You are ready to put your filter back together.

When first running the filter with new sand, filter will purge itself by blowing a small amount into the pool.  This should not continue after first or second use. If sand continues to blow out then the lateral assembly (center pipe) was either cocked when filling or has a crack and needs to be replaced.