Swimming pool maintenance: Dos and don’ts you need to know
Nothing feels more invigorating than having a dip in your own pool during the scorching days of summer. Likewise, nothing beats a lazy Sunday afternoon lounging by the poolside working on your tan while reading your favorite book.
But as great as these may sound, your pool requires regular care and upkeep, which most pool owners often overlook.
If you don’t practice proper maintenance, you may see your backyard pool succumbing to several conditions. These include algae accumulation, green water, and defective filters, to name a few. Of course, the last thing you want is to swim in something that can put the health of your family at risk.
The same is true with plastic pools. In fact, an inflatable pool can easily spread germs since it is not safe to add chlorine in it and other germ-killing solutions.
Maintaining a pool should not overwhelm you. The key here is to set a proper maintenance system to guarantee the health of your pool water and equipment. So with that in mind, here are the best pool maintenance tips that can help kick off the summertime to a good start.
The dos of pool maintenance
Here are some of the things you need to do to maintain your swimming pool.
Check your pool regularly
You can easily keep your backyard pool and its filter system in excellent shape by doing a walk around and checking it a few times a week. Make sure the pool water is clean, clear, and at the proper level. Skim any dead insects, leaves, and other debris floating around before they get a chance to sink to the bottom.
Also, check if there are any leaks or cracks. Call a pool contractor immediately if necessary to prevent bigger problems in the long run.
Balance the chemical levels
Chemical levels are without a doubt one of the most vital aspects of pool upkeep. Poorly balanced pool water looks murky, which can irritate your eyes and skin. On top of that, it can turn your backyard oasis into a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
Pool specialists often advise testing chemical levels of the following at least once a week:
- Chlorine. A sanitizing chemical that can help keep the water germ-free and safe.
- Alkalinity or pH level. To protect your equipment and prevent irritation, make sure the pH level is within the range of 7.5 to 7.8.
- Total alkalinity. This will help balance the pH level. Keep the level between 60 to 120.
- Cyanuric acid. The chemical manages chlorine levels and defends it from sunlight. Its appropriate level should be around 30 to 50.
- Calcium hardness. Having the ideal level of this can keep the plaster from getting damaged. The ideal level is around 220 to 350. Aim for lower if your pool has vinyl siding.
Once you determine the chemical levels, adjust if necessary to obtain the ideal balance. The water of your pool will have no scent, crystal clear, and will only leave minimal residue on your skin when properly balanced. Hence, it will make swimming more enjoyable and safe for everyone.
Give your pool a shock
It is advisable to shock your pool every week if you use it a lot or at least every other week to keep your pool looking great. Essentially, shocking involves applying as much as three to five times the usual amount of chlorine in your pool as you normally would. Doing so can fight ammonia and nitrogen development in the water.
Often, adding algaecide follows the treatment so that the organisms are kept at bay. For best results, do the treatment at night time so that UV rays will not impede the process.
Often, adding algaecide follows the shocking to eradicate any existing algae and to keep them at bay. This is especially helpful if you live in an area with rainy and windy conditions since these promote algae growth. In general, you can prevent those blooms from returning by doing algaecide treatment once a week or twice a month.
Vacuum your pool once a week at least so that the water and surfaces of your pool are gleaming all the time. This may sound strenuous but you can save so much time with the chore by using a suction pool cleaner.
This automatic pool cleaner is propelled around in your pool, sucking in water and getting rid of debris like hair, insects, and leaves, with the help of your pool’s pump. All the dirt and debris go into your filtration system which you can wash easily by removing the filter basket.
Although it will not eliminate the need for you to brush and skim regularly, it will make these tasks more manageable. You can spend the time you have saved savoring your clean pool rather than manually cleaning it.
Avoid general pool issues
Having a sparkly clean pool is more manageable than you think. All you have to do is to avoid doing the common mistakes that can make all your extensive upkeep efforts go down the drain.
So when you’re removing poolside filth, make sure to steer your garden hose away from your swimming pool. Or else, you’re only giving both yourself and your pool filter extra work. Additionally, cover your pool when there’s a brewing storm as rainwater encourages algae infestation.
The don’ts of pool maintenance
Here are some things you don’t want to do when maintaining your swimming pool.
Don’t add shock product directly into the water or through the skimmer
Even though pool chemicals help keep your pool safe, adding shock directly to the pool water can harm you and the pool liner. As the granules make their way to the bottom of your pool, they will bleach out the liner. This, in turn, will make the bleached area fragile and brittle, causing leaks. So make sure to fill a bucket with water first before you add the shock to dodge any likely serious splashback.
Moreover, be very careful when dealing with any kind of chemicals. If your filter system has an automatic chlorinator attached to it, do not pour the shock through the skimmer. That space is very small for these chemicals. Once they combine, it may result in an explosion.
Alkalinity and pH levels should never be ignored
Highly acidic water can be quite damaging. Your pool surfaces may be free from algae but you’re putting your pool equipment at stake. Meanwhile, a low pH level can also bring damage to the following:
- Filtration system
- Pool pump
- Pool liner
- Chemical feeder
- Maintenance equipment
- Automatic pool cleaner
Don’t put chlorine in one place
Dumping chlorine tablets into the basket and walking away may be easy but not to your pump. Additionally, doing this can result in buildup or bleach spots to rear its ugly head in areas they sit in. That’s why it’s vital to distribute your chlorine tablets evenly as much as possible.
Don’t forget to run your filter
The minimum time to run it is around 8 hours daily. You’ll have the immaculately clean pool of your dreams if you’ll equip it with an adequate filter system and follow the pool maintenance tips we have here.