If you are searching for “pool maintenance tips“, this post by Above All Pool Care, LLC, can help! Keeping your pool clean and maintained, means you will get a longer life out of your pool and be able to swim for many years.
Skim Debris and Clean Out Your Pool Baskets
Skimming the water surface by hand every couple of days is one of the easiest and fastest ways to keep your pool clean. Some debris will sooner or later sink bottom, becoming more difficult to remove. Use a long-handled net called a leaf skimmer to remove leaves, insects and other unwanted debris. Skimming greatly increases the efficiency of your pool’s circulation system. Skimming also helps in lowering the amount of chlorine you’ll need to add. Cleaning out your strainer baskets once a week also helps with circulation and lowers chlorine needs. Simply remove the plastic basket and shake it out; spraying the basket with a hose can also dislodge unyielding objects.
Vacuum your Pool and Scrub Pool Walls and Tile
Your pool should be vacuumed every week to help keep water clear and decreases the amount of chemicals you will need. There are different types of swimming pool vacuums. If you have a manual design, work it back and forth over the surface of the pool like you would as if you are vacuuming carpet. It’s good form a slight overlap on each stroke. Be sure to check the filter each time you vacuum, and clean when necessary.
Brushing or scrubbing the walls and tile once weekly helps slow algae buildup and calcium deposits so they don’t become bigger problems. The type of material your pool walls are made of will determine what kind of cleaning tools you will be using use. Select a rigid brush for plaster-lined concrete pools and a more soft brush for fiberglass or vinyl walls. For tile, use a soft brush to avoid scratches or deterioration of grout. A mixture of water and muriatic acid or putty knife or pumice stone can also work well.
Clean Your Pool Filter
There are three types of pool filters: cartridge, diatomaceous earth and sand. While there are different maintenance processes for each type, all require regular cleaning depending on the type of filter and how often your pool is used. Cleaning the filter more often than you should can actually interfere with the filtration process. A clean filter is less efficient than one with a small amount of dirt in it because the dirt helps to trap smaller particles. But, you don’t want to let the filter get too dirty, either.
Professionally Service the Heater
Pool heaters usually require the least amount of maintenance of all your pool equipment. Gas heaters can work fine with not being serviced for a couple years, and the electric ones can last even longer. You should consult your manufacturer’s manual for their specific care instructions. Every now and then, calcium can build up inside the heater tubes and restrict its flow, prohibiting the water from heating sufficiently. If this happens, you should get the help of a professional because it may need to be dismantled and have its tubes cleaned out manually with a wire brush or acid. Hiring a professional to service your pool can cost $100 or more per month, it really all depends on the maintenance your pool needs.
Check and Maintain Your Water Levels
A lot of water will be lost over the course of the swimming season because of natural evaporation and swimming, splashing and exiting the pool. When you skim your pool throughout the week, it’s also a wise time to check your water level. Make sure it doesn’t fall below the level of the skimmer; it may damage the pump. If your water is too low, use your garden hose to bring it back up to safe levels.
Maintain the pH Level
Your pool water should be tested frequently to make ensure it is clean and healthy. The pH scale is a measurement of alkalinity or acidity that runs from 0 to 14. An ideal reading between 7.2 and 7.8; this range is safe to swim in and assists the sanitizers to work at top efficiency.
You can easily monitor your pool’s pH level with a testing kit from your local pool supply company. There are many types of testing kits available; typically, most homeowner’s versions are either test-strips or reagent kits. Reagent kits aren’t that difficult to use. Just take a sample of pool water, and then add the test liquids or tablets to it. The water will change color, signifying its chemical balance. Test-strips work different than the reagent kits. When you submerge them in the pool water for a few seconds, dyes that they contain cause them to change colors. Next, match up the strip to a color chart that came with the kit to see the pool’s pH level. Use this knowledge to gauge how much chemicals and how much of them your pool will need.
Super Chlorinate (Shock) Water
Gradually organic contaminants like ammonia and nitrogen build up in a pool. Enormous amounts of these contaminants can combine with a pool’s chlorine to form chloramines (also known as secondary disinfection), which give off that powerful chlorine. To get rid of the odor, it’s necessary to super chlorinate or shock your pool water back to regular chlorine levels. While it may seem contrary to common sense, adding large amounts of chlorine to a pool can make the unwelcome odor go away. Most pools should be shocked at least once a week, while others can go for a significantly longer time. Follow manufacturers’ instructions before super chlorinating your pool to get the best results.
Find and Repair Leaks As Necessary
Sometimes it could be a challenge to determine if low water levels are due to natural evaporation or if you actually have a leak. You can discover leaks in your pool by conducting a simple bucket test. Fill a bucket with water and weigh it down. Place the bucket on top of the steps of your pool and match the water level that is in the bucket to that of the pool. Check the water level in 24 hours. It should drop from evaporation about ¼ a day. Check it with the filter on, and check it with the filter off. If you are losing more than that in a day, you may have leak. That is your indicator to call a professional to come out and see if you have a leak and what you should do about it.
Getting Your Pool Ready For Winter
Depending on where you live determines whether or not you should winterize your pool. If your location experiences temperature drops below freezing, you will need to take steps to ensure that your pool stays in good condition until the upcoming swimming season. Residual pool water left in pipes can expand when they freeze and cause damage. Before this happens, use an air compressor to blow water out of the pool’s plumbing system when the current swimming season is over. It is also a good idea to drain as much water as possible from the filter and pool heater. Any remaining water can be eliminated using nontoxic antifreeze (caution: this is very different from antifreeze for your car). Disconnect the pool heater, its pump and chemical feeders, the latter of which should be cleaned, dried, and stored.
Lastly, clean the pool: skim, brush the pool walls, vacuum, empty skimmer baskets, close skimmer line valve, lower water level to relatively around 18 inches (45 centimeters) below the coping and super chlorinate. Finally, use a pool cover to cover the pool to keep out debris, insects and/ or animals.
Open Your Pool for Swimming Season
If your pool is correctly winterized, it can effortlessly be reopened come swimming season. First and foremost, do not remove the pool cover until you’ve cleaned and cleared out the area surrounding the pool. Sweep, or hose away debris to stop it from getting into the pool. Next, use a garden hose to fill the pool to its regular water level. Reconnect everything that you have disconnected. Water will need to flow throughout the circulation system, so be sure to open the skimmer line valve. Use a test kit to test the water for its pH level, then to super chlorinate or shock the pool. It will take about a week or more before the pool gets balanced and becomes available to swim. Let the pump run 24 hours a day, and reduce the run by only an hour or two each day until the waters chemicals and level is balanced.
Pool Maintenance Services
If you don’t have the time, tools, desire, or are just unsure about maintaining your pool, you can always hire a professional, like Above All Pool Care LLC. By hiring an expert pool service, you can be sure the job will get done properly, leaving you with a bright and brilliant pool for you, your family and friends to enjoy.