Our pool experts are here to help you answer your pool related questions.

Can I save money by running my pumps at night instead of during the day?

The short answer is no. There is really no difference in the amount of energy used at night than during the day.

The most common pump houses a 2 HP motor and uses 0.12 cents per kilowatt hour.

A typical run schedule is 10 hours in the winter and 12 hours in the summer, so you are looking at a little over $2 per day.

It is crucial to run the pump during the hottest, sunniest time of the day so that you are circulating, filtering, and chlorinating when algae is most actively reproducing.

Why This Is Important: It’s important because people who run the pump during the night are leaving stagnant water in the pure sunlight and thus begging for algae.

How do I automate my pool?

With a pool/spa control system you can set when your pump should come on, when the lights should turn on, when the heater should start heating the pool, and more! You can set schedules from the outdoor control panel, wireless handheld remote, or from the convenience of your smartphone with the right accessories.

How do I backwash?

Backwash while the pool pump is off by following these steps:

  1. Put your multi port valve in the “backwash” position.
  2. Turn the pump on and let it run for 1 minute, or until you don’t see any dirt coming through sight glass anymore.
  3. Turn the pump off.
  4. Put valve in the “rinse” position and let run for 30 seconds.
  5. Now, put the valve back in the “filter” position and turn the pump on.
  6. The final step is adding DE (diatomaceous earth). Ignore this step if you have a sand filter.

Refer to the manufacturers instructions on your filter to find how much DE to add after a backwash.

Why This Is Important: It’s important to keep pressure down on the filter.

How do I clean my pool? (Beginner's guide)

Here are a few tips on how to clean your pool:

  • Invest in the best pool equipment.
  • Skim all the debris.
  • Vacuum the floor of the pool
  • Routinely check your skimmer and equipment baskets for debris
  • Empty your debris bags from in-pool cleaners when full
  • Regular chemical assessment
    • MPS Recommends the Taylor Test Kit
  • Keep your Chemicals properly stored. 
How do I know when my filter needs to be backwashed?

The general rule is to backwash when the PSI rises 7-10 points above normal operating pressure (the pressure the filter runs in high speed following a filter clean in pool mode: the filter pressure will always be higher in spa mode. This is called “native” pressure), or every 3-4 weeks.

Some pressure gauges do not register large changes in pressure and some filters need to be backwashed more often.


Why This Is Important: It’s important to keep the pump circulating and filtrating at maximum efficiency. Also, with high PSI over an extended period of time, it can cause damage to the filter and pumps.

How do I run my pool equipment?

Typically, your pool equipment will be connected directly to a power source. Without a pool timer or an automated system, your equipment would run 24/7/365. With a pool timer, the power between your system and the source is disconnected and reconnected for the times you’ve set your equipment to run. A pool timer, most frequently called a time clock mechanism, is an intermediary between your equipment set and that power source. Time clock mechanisms are mechanical in nature and most models look like an extension cord connected to a large box with an internal, mechanical clock.

How do you clean a green pool?

To get your pool from green to clean, clean the filter first. Next, shock the pool. Then, flock the pool and vacuum the sediment to waste the next day. Fill the pool with fresh water again. Pools do not turn green in a day. Proper maintenance and routine filter cleans are required to fight algae and other organic matter that can discolor your water.

How do you clean pool tile?

Brush the tile line vigorously in combination with acid. Use a metal brush with a tile cleaner. Then, use a pumas stone or metal brush again. For hardened or thick caking of calcium stains on tile, a “bead blasting” method may be recommended. Sodium bicarbonate or finely ground glass will be aimed at the stains for removal. This process is safe on pool surfaces and tile, and when applied professionally, has minimal clean up. 

How long should I be running my pool pump?

Your pool pump can run 6-8 hours in the winter and 10-12 hours in the summer.

Why This Is Important: If the pool is not run for the proper amount of time, it will not filtrate the water through the filter effectively. A pool has a lot of water in it, usually around 10-30k gallons. ALLof that water needs to filtrate, or run, through the filter to clean it. Also if the pool is not circulating and is stagnant, it becomes a breeding pool for algae.

How much does pool maintenance cost?

Pool Maintenance is priced by different variables such as:

  • Trees & Bushes in the surrounding area
  • Size of the Pool (How many gallons of water)
  • Angles, Pool Build, and Depth
  • Salt or Chlorine Pool

Manning Pool Service proudly offers our services to both residential and commercial pools. We focus solely on in-ground concrete/gunite pools.

How often should I backwash?

Backwash is recommended every 6 months!

Why This Is Important: It’s important to keep pressure down on the filter.

How often should you change the sand in a pool filter?

The sand in a filter is only good for use of 5 years. Pool filter sand contains jagged points that can wear down with use. When these points rounded down, the filtration properties of the sand are lost. Changing the sand can be costly and often Commercial properties choose to replace the filter outright. The lifespan of filter sand will vary with use of the pool, the amount of debris, and climate factors.

My cleaner seems to get stuck on the steps and walls. How can I fix it?

Look at the back of your automatic cleaner and you will find a thruster jet.

Try adjusting that in a different direction than it is already. Point the jet at the wall that the cleaner “hugs” so the water moving through the jet can trust it toward the center of the pool.

Why This Is Important: If the cleaner gets stuck it will not work properly and clean the bottom of the floor or scrub the walls with its tail, thus leaving it moot.

My pump keeps kicking on in the middle of the night. What's going on?

It is mostly due to the water being too cold. The freezing point of water is 32 degrees. Your pool’s “freeze mode” kicks on at 36 degrees. It creates friction in the pipes in order to prevent pipes from bursting and make them less susceptible to cracking.

Why This Is Important: Important to not cause further damage to the other equipment, or to the homeowner, who wants an correctly operating system.

My spa drains when my pool is off at night. Why?

This is usually caused by a “check valve” – that holds the water level – that is faulty.

Why This Is Important: It’s only important if you, as the homeowner, don’t want it to drain!

None of my pool lights will turn on! What do I do to fix this?

It is highly unlikely that all of your lights will go out at once.

The usual culprit is the GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter. This is usually on the side of the main control unit on the pool equipment.

For some reason, something tripped the power going to the lights. Simply do the following to fix it:

  1. Put the system in “service mode.”
  2. Hit the “reset button” on the GFCI.
  3. Turn the lights on via the remote.

Why This Is Important: You can’t see the bottom of the pool at night without the lights and thus may be dangerous for children playing at night.

Should I get an automated pool system?

Most salesmen would say yes, but we value education and equipping buyers with the knowledge to make a decision that’s right for them. The right choice in pool automation depends on what features you want to include with your backyard oasis. Do you want lights? Do you want to heat your pool when it’s cold? Do you want to include a water feature? Two water features? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then an automated system is the best option for you.

So, I can control my pool from my phone?

Absolutely! All that is required to control your pool from your phone is the latest generation of automated pool/spa control systems and a good Wi-Fi connection. You may also need to download the most recent version of the corresponding app for whichever automation system you go with.

What are some ways to prevent a green pool?

Here are some ways you can prevent a green pool:

  • Clean your filter regularly
  • Backwashing
  • Stay on top of your chemistry
  • Check equipment for proper circulation
  • Wash and clean swim wear after visiting lakes or beaches. Black algae can transfer from natural bodies of water into your pool!
  • Algaecide can be applied during the beginning stages of algae growth to stop propagation
What are the best pool control systems?

We recommend Pentair automation systems. Your preferences may differ from others; However, Pentair’s EasyTouch® brand of pool automation is great for most homeowners because of their simple design and affordable price range – more affordable now with our Pentair Automation Special!

What is a pool automation system?

A pool automation system is a control panel within a metal enclosure, usually found outside next to your pool equipment. Most homeowners prefer these systems because they allow the user to control multiple auxiliaries and set schedules for each independently from another.

What is a smart pool?

A smart pool is any pool that takes advantage of current pool automation technologies and can be controlled from a smart device like your phone.

What is the right way to clean a pool?

We scoop first, then vacuum, and finally, brush. Then, we test for chemicals and inspect all pool equipment. In addition, please remember to clean your skimmer basket! 

Looks good. Don’t want to sound repetitive

What pool services are offered?

Manning Pool Service is proud to offer a wide array of services to meet your pool’s needs. Specialize in in-ground swimming pool maintenance, pool repair, Pentair Warranty, Special Cleaning, Complete Drain and Cleaning, and Pool Inspections! We absolutely everything BUT build the pool!

We offer pool maintenance, pool inspections, renovations, small repairs, fix pumps, automation, Drain & Clean, Pentair warranty and so much more! We do everything BUT build a pool!

What's included in weekly pool maintenance?

During each Weekly Pool Maintenance visit, we scoop leaves and debris from the surface of the pool, vacuum the bottom of the pool for sediment, brush the walls of the pool and steps of the spa, spot check all equipment for wear and tear, test and assess chemistry. An electronic door hanger will be emailed after each visit, providing a full report of services provided.

In our Weekly Pool Maintenance, we scoop the pool, vacuum the bottom of the pool, brush the pool walls, test all the chemicals in the pool, and check the pumps for functionality.

Where is Manning Pool Service located?

Manning Pool Service is centrally located at 610 and 290 to serve the residents of the Greater Houston Area. We service pools as far west as Katy, and as far east as Mount Belvieu. From the tall trees of The Woodlands to the beautiful sunsets of Galveston, if your pool is in need of our expertise, we are simply a phone call away.

Manning Pool Service is located at 2121Judiway Street Houston, TX 77018.

Where should my water level be?

You can easily tell if your water level is too low if air is being sucked through the skimmers.

Another tell-tale sign is if you can see air or bubbles coming out of the jets.

The correct water level is in the middle of the top tile, near the coping of the deck.

If the water level is too low and the skimmers are sucking air, turn off the pumps immediately and add water to the pool. It does not take very much time at all to ruin the equipment when air is in the system, so be careful to keep an eye on your water level!

Why This Is Important: This is important to keep optimal levels of water to the pumps and thus, avoid burning it up.

Why is my Polaris not working?

First, “finger screen” your Polaris. Next, check the floats. They may not be aligned properly or might also be weighing it down with water.

Your Polaris or other in-pool cleaner is working hard to tackle leaves and debris. Be sure to check the debris bag for holes or tearing and empty the bag when full. Some parts on the Polaris unit are designed to be replaced. Tire treads, wheel bearings, and hoses should be routinely inspected and assessed for normal wear and tear. Lastly, inspect and maintain your booster pump like all other equipment.

Why is pool automation important?

Making the right choice in pool automation saves time and money. Customers love the ability to change schedules, turn on their pool lights, or get the spa bubbling all from the comfort of their living room sofa. An automated system eliminates trips outside to the pool equipment, memorizing the operating sequences, and adjusting your mechanical time clock.