Owning a pool requires regular upkeep, yet maintaining it should not be a difficult endeavor. The most important aspect of pool maintenance is consistency. The better kept your pool is, the longer it will last and the safer it will be for your family.
Check pool chemistry often: By checking your pool’s chemistry twice a week during the summer months and once per week when it is not in use, you can make minor adjustments to the water and avoid major adjustments that create imbalance in the future.
Monitor pH levels: Normal pH levels should fall between 7.2 and 7.6. pH testing kits can be purchased at pool-supply stores and contain thin paper strips that are chemically treated to react to the acidity in your pool water. If the pH levels are too low and not corrected, pool equipment could be damaged. If pH levels are too high, your pool walls may get unwanted buildup.
Know when to add chemicals: Avoid adding chemicals like liquid chlorine during the day. Wait until the sun has set in the evening to add chemicals.
Monitor Total alkalinity: Total alkalinity measures the total amount of dissolved particles in the water, which can include dirt, sand and baking soda. Alkaline particles in the pool can act as a buffer to prevent rapid changes in the pool’s pH. When the total alkalinity in the pool is at the recommended levels, between 120 and 140 ppm, the pH of the water will stay balanced for a longer period of time.
Avoid backwashing sand or DE filters too often: Unnecessary backwashing on a regular basis prohibits the filter from reaching its full cleaning potential. Most filters require backwashing when the pressure gauge rises 8-10 PSI from clean.
Brush the pool: Automatic cleaners remove small debris and algae spores from the pores in the pool surface, but there is no substitute for a thorough brushing of the walls and the bottom of the pool. Brush the pool while the pump is operating and cover the entire pool from the tile line to the main drain. Sweep slowly and push the brush toward the main drain so the debris will be pulled directly into the filter, which will properly remove debris from the water.
Skim the pool: Although vacuuming and brushing remove dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool, they do not remove debris from the water’s surface including grass, leaves, bugs, etc. Hand skimmers remove debris quickly before it has the opportunity to become saturated with water and sink to the bottom.
Run the pump routinely: The pump acts as the heart of the pool’s circulation system. The cleaning system cannot operate, and the pool water cannot be filtered without the main pump. It is recommended that the pump run for 12 hours a day during the hottest summer months, 4-5 hours during the winter months and to varying degrees during spring and fall. Pool owners can divide the daily cycle into multiple cycles, and each should be no shorter than 4 hours since this is the amount of time it takes for all of the water in the pool to pass through the filter at least once.
Cover the pool: It’s important to keep your pool covered when not in use. It helps maintain a more even water temperature, and keeps the pool free of debris.
Store the chemicals properly: Keep them stored away from direct sunlight, and avoid storing chlorine and acid side by side.
These easy steps will help maintain your pool, and keep everyone swimming along.