Swimming pools are our summer escape from our hectic lives.
Opening them marks the beginning of summer fun. A time when priceless memories are made with family and friends.
Once we open our pools, however, the job’s just begun. We start the summer off strong with clear, clean water. Even with the best intentions, the swimming pool water will eventually get cloudy.
Swimming pools need regular maintenance to provide swimmers with the best experience. They also need to be kept clean to avoid any health hazards. We certainly don’t want our pools to become a breeding ground for irritating insects.
Read on to learn swimming pool maintenance tips to try next summer!
Swimming Pool Maintenance 101
Swimming pools are a great investment which increases your home’s value. Like any home-related investment, we need to know how to maintain it. Explore the following tips to keep your pool’s water nice and clear next season.
1. Consistent Chemical Routine
Swimming pools regularly need chemicals added to the water. Chemicals reduce irritants, make the water clear, and remove bacteria.
Develop a routine of testing the water for proper chemical balance. Test kits or test strips are available to gauge water quality and chemical properties. Always read test results and instructions properly to understand what chemicals may need to be added to the pool.
Aim to test your swimming pool at least once a week. If your pool gets used often by many people, then test twice a day. Getting in a routine of testing your pool’s chemicals will allow you to correct any problems before the water gets murky.
Once you test the pool water, consider which chemicals it needs. Always have an adequate supply of pool chemicals on hand. It’s also important to keep all chemicals in a safe place where children and pets can’t reach them.
Chemicals needed to maintain water quality and balance include cyanuric acid, free chlorine, acidity and alkalinity, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
A balance of acidity and alkalinity result in healthy PH levels in your pool. PH levels need to be maintained between 7.2 and 7.8 for optimal health and water quality. PH and chlorine work together to fight off bacteria resulting in clearer, cleaner water.
If the pH balance gets out the optimal range, then skin and eye irritation, water illness, and pipe corrosion could result.
Unbalanced pH levels could also result in calcium buildup in the pool. If calcium buildup occurs, then your pool will need to be drained. If the calcium buildup is bad enough, you might even need to hire a professional to deal with the issue.
2. Regularly Remove Debris
Debris in the form of algae scum, leaves, or other objects needs to removed on a regular basis. When the sides or bottom of the pool feels scummy, then it’s definitely time for a scrub!
Make a daily habit of skimming the surface and bottom of your pool. Skim the surface of the pool for leaves and fallen debris. For the bottom of the pool, invest in a robot skimmer that will clean at regular intervals.
Robot skimmers will also collect larger sunken debris like leaves and twigs. Take care to empty the robot skimmer’s bag on a regular basis as well.
Have on a hand a scrubbing tool for the sides of the pool. Skim and scrub the pool on a daily basis to avoid build up.
Clean and unclog your pool’s filter on a regular basis as well. Filters regulate water flow which improves water quality. Filters also need to be replaced regularly, so make sure to check your specific filter’s instruction manual to see how often.
3. Clean Your Deck
Your pool deck acts as a barrier between your pool and debris. While some debris ends up in the pool, your pool’s deck usually collects more. When the wind blows, it’s likely that this debris will also end up in your pool.
To avoid deck debris from compromising water quality, clean your deck regularly. Powerwash monthly and sweep the deck daily to prevent debris from ending up in the water.
Your pool’s cover can also create a helpful barrier. When you can’t avoid the pool deck from getting dirty put on the cover. For example, when you’re mowing use the pool cover to collect grass clippings.
Carefully remove the cover and wash off the pool cover. Durable, automatic electric pool covers are an even better investment as they completely block off pools as needed. These covers also can be walked on which provides extra safety.
4. Adjust Water Level
As needed, add or subtract water from your pool. Water levels change because of heavy use, evaporation, or rainfall.
When water levels change, expect a change in your pool’s chemical balance. To correct this issue add water into the pool from a hose or subtract water by siphoning it out or using a water pump.
If you use a water pump, do some research beforehand to make sure the pump is usable with your liner. Some pumps can damage the lining of the pool.
5. Shock It
If testing your pool water results in low free and available chlorine levels, then it’s time to shock your pool. Shocking your pool means that you will be “super chlorinating” it to remove bacteria. To shock your pool use 3 to 5 times the amount of chlorine or other sanitizing product you normally use.
Add the chemicals needed to a separate bucket of water, stir, and then add to the return line of your pool’s filtration system. Aim to shock the pool at least twice per season or once a month based on usage amounts. Shock the pool at night to avoid UV rays interfering with the chlorine.
Feeling Like a Swimming Pool Maintenance Pro?
Always seek to learn more about swimming pool maintenance. When in need, never hesitate to hire a professional. Pools are a big investment and repairs could be costly if not done properly.
When all the maintenance is finished for the day, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. After all, this is why you bought and maintain your pool in the first place!
Considering a summer trip and a vacation from pool maintenance for a while? Check out our blog post to explore 10 unique vacation destinations.