Many people do not want a swimming pool because they are worried about the headache of up keep and maintenance. If you follow these simple tips caring for your pool, it will no longer be a massive headache but rather a relaxing sanctuary.
Caring for your swimming pool properly is the key to keeping everything in the best condition and running smoothly.
1. Skim for Debris and Clean out Baskets
Every few days use a skimmer and remove any debris floating in the water by hand. Debris is much easier to remove when it is floating than after it sinks. Using a net (skimmer) with a long handle will allow you to remove the floating debris fairly quickly, especially if the process is repeated often. Cleaning out your strainer baskets at least once a week will help with water circulation and lower chlorine usage. Simply locate your pools baskets, dump collected debris in the garbage and rinse it out.
2. Vacuum and Brush your Pool
Pools need to be vacuumed at least once a week to maintain cleanliness as dirt and other contaminants settle on the bottom and sides. There are many types of pool vacuums available. If you have a manual vacuum, it works very similarly to a household vacuum as you want to just work it back and forth over the pool surface and slightly overlap between “sweeps” to get the best clean. If you are lazy like me, or just do not have the time to vacuum the pool you can leave that up to a “bot” or the Automatic Vacuums. These vacuums basically do the work on their own after you have programmed the settings on them.
Along with vacuuming make sure you brush your pool walls and tile weekly to prevent algae or calcium build up. Pools can differ based on what they are made of so be sure and select a brush that works well with your design as you do not want to cause any damage.
3.Clean Your Filter
There are different kinds of swimming pool filters out there and depending which one you have your cleaning process will vary. All do require periodic cleaning; you will want to check your owner’s manual for the correct procedures and time frame for cleaning your filter. Cleaning the filter too often or not often enough can cause problems.
4.Have your Heater Professionally Serviced
Pool heaters usually require the least amount of maintenance of all your swimming equipment but when they do need service it is best to leave it to the professionals.
5. Maintain Your Water Level
Regular use of a swimming pool can be blamed for some water loss through things like evaporation and splashing. Each week when you are checking your baskets it is a good idea to check your water level also and make sure it does not fall below the skimmer. Having a low water level could cause damage to your other equipment. If you need to add water just use your garden hose.
6. Test Water and Keep Chemicals in Balance
By using an at home test kit you can test your swimming pool water regularly to make sure that it is clean and healthy. This will help you avoid problems with your equipment due to bad water chemistry but also keep your swimmers happy and safe from harmful bacteria that can get into the water.
7. Shock Treat
Shocking your water (also known as super chlorination) will help keep your water clean and also help eliminate the “chlorine” smell that many people dislike about swimming pools. Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for super chlorination as it applies to your pool.
8. Repair Leaks
When you are losing water from your swimming pool sometimes it is hard to know if you have a leak or if it is just evaporation. To find out you can perform the following test:
Get a small bucket and fill it with water but still allow it to float. Mark the waterline in the bucket, at the same time mark the waterline in your pool. Allow the bucket to float around for a few days and then check the waterlines again. If the water in the bucket has gone down the same amount as the waterline in your swimming pool you know the loss is due to evaporation. If you have lost more of your swimming pool water then you know you have a leak. At that point you would want to contact a professional to find and fix the leak.
9. Properly Prepare for Winter
Depending on where you live, properly preparing your pool for the winter is very important to keep your swimming pool equipment in the best condition. If you live where temperatures get to freezing level you need to take proper steps to protect your pool.
You will want to ensure that all water is blown from your lines, and drain as much water as possible from your filter and heater, anything left can be treated with non-toxic antifreeze (different from what is used in cars). Then you will want to your chemical feeders, heater, and pump. Then give the pool a good scrub and make sure it is clean, lower your water level by about 1.5 ft. below coping, then shock treat. Now you need to cover your pool to keep out debris.
10. Swim in Swimming Season
If you winterized properly it should be easy to reopen your swimming pool when the warm weather comes back around. Before you open the cover just make sure it is clear of any debris on and around it that may have accumulated during the winter. Use your garden hose to refill the water level back to the right level. Reconnect anything that was disconnected. Now you need to test the water and get everything back in balance which could take up to a week before it is swimmable.
Once your water is balanced, ENJOY! After all these hot summer months is what you got your relaxing oasis for!