Owning a swimming pool can be pretty sweet during those hot summer months. Just as most good things, a swimming pool requires a bit of maintenance and attention to detail.
Many people choose to seek the help of pool professionals, but if you are more of a DIY (do-it-yourself) kind of person, read on to find out how to keep your pool water sparkling clean.
Just like a car, computer or other appliances, your swimming pool needs regular upkeep to be at its best. That’s why it pays to develop a strong basic understanding of pool maintenance essentials.
Monitor your pool to ensure it is in good condition.
There are a few things you should take not of as it will let you know if there is an issue with your pool.
- Are the returns in the sidewall of the pool weak?
- Is the in-floor cleaning system working correctly? Your pool should be free of 99 percent dirt and debris.
- How is the water clarity of your pool? The bottom should be visible with crystal clear water.
- Is the drain at the bottom obstructed?
- Is your hose cleaner moving as it should?
- Any abnormal odors?
If any of these conditions exist, it is likely time to clean the filters. Most pools should only need this done a couple of times a year.
General Tips on Proper Pool Maintenance
The foundation of effective pool care is built on three simple but important concepts: pool circulation, cleaning and chemistry.
Clean Pool Filters
Ideally, you should run your pool pump 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since that’s not feasible for everyone’s budget or equipment, it is recommended you run your filter at least 10 to 12 hours a day. That will turn the water over a few times and help your pool stay safe and clean.
Clean your filter regularly or as needed. A great filter for pools is a cartridge filter. They provide maximum flow rates, waste little valuable water (no back washing), get the water crystal clean, and only need to be cleaned a couple of times a year.
The other key component to good pool circulation is frequently back washing your filter for those that need back washing.
Check your water level
Is it too high or too low?
Your water needs to be right at the center level of your pool skimmer or pool tile for optimal results and performance. If it is low, it can run the pump dry and burn it up, and if too high, the skimmer door will not work properly. That door keeps the debris in the skimmer.
Clean the lint Pot of the Pool Pump
You should do this every couple of weeks or as needed. Turn off the pool pump to do this and release pressure on the system. This is the basket installed just inside the clear glass of your swimming pool pump. You can also clean out the debris catcher or leaf basket. A leaf trapper and a debris removal system is recommended.
You should check your pool chemistry once or twice a week during the summer and once every week or two during the winter.
- pH levels: the measure of how acidic or basic your pool water is. High pH levels are acidic, while low levels are basic. The ideal range for your pool is 7.4 to 7.6
- Sanitizer levels: The amount of chlorine, bromine etc… in your pool water should be properly adjusted depending on the type of sanitizer chosen for the pool.
Check the Chlorinator
If you have a deck chlorinator or inline chlorinator, these need to be regularly checked for proper chlorine levels, loading or possible clogging. This unit depending on style and features has the ability to add a constant residual of needed chlorine.
Check the Ozonator
If you have an Ozonator, make sure the light is on and it is actually working. Ozone as well as UV or a combination thereof can reduce the amount of chlorine your pool uses. There are different types and many have different installation and use instructions.
Check the Chlorine Generator
If you have a salt system, salt water pool or what some call a no-chlorine pool, then heed these tips.
Do not add too much salt – if you can taste it, your pool is likely over salted. Salt systems artificially push pH up. you will use more acid as a result. The ideal range is 100 to 150 parts per million (ppm)
Once you know your pH, alkalinity and sanitizer levels, you can start to add chemicals to tweak your water balance.
Make sure you read this comparison on whether salt water pool is better than chlorine water pool for your environment.
Plan and Create a Maintenance Schedule
As you learn more about your pool and how to care for it, your to do list might start to seem a little intimidating. Write down your pool maintenance schedule and tape it on the wall, fridge or even somewhere near your pool.
Creating a pool maintenance schedule makes it easy to stay organized and make sure important tasks are not forgotten.
Whether you maintain the pool yourself or use a pool professional, maintaining proper pool chemistry can help you save time and money while enjoying your backyard paradise.
Accurate pool maintenance can do more than just prolong your fun in the sun. It can also extend the life of your pool’s external parts and interior pool finish.
Keeping your pool looking good doesn’t have to be hard work. Regular maintenance once a week can make sure your pool is ready to swim in, when you want to.
Preventative maintenance just like you do on your automobile or home, will go a long way in reducing life cycle cost on your swimming pool.
If you want your pool cleaned automatically on an automated cycle, check out our guide on robotic pool cleaners.