Whether you are new to pool ownership, or just tired of paying someone else to do it, some simple maintenance routines can help keep your pool from turning into an algae-filled pond.
Keep in mind, if your pool already looks like a pond, you may want to call in the experts. However, if your pool looks pretty good now, it isn’t too difficult to keep it that way. Spending a few hours a week doing routine maintenance is the key.
Making sure the pool hardware is operating correctly is the first step, and the most important. Check the pressure gauge on your pump on a regular basis. Most pumps are operating at an optimal level when the pressure reading is below 20 psi, but check your pump instructions for specifics.
Check your skimmer baskets once a day. Remove any debris that has accumulated in them. Removing this debris will keep the pressure on the pump at a good level. Make sure you check the basket on the pump, just remember to turn the pump off before you do. Leaves and other large pieces of debris can quickly build up in this basket and hurt your pump’s performance.
The skimmer removes a lot of debris for you, but by no means should it be doing all of the work. You need to remove any debris that may be floating on the surface with a skimmer pole. This is especially important after a storm when the wind may have blown a large amount of leaves and other debris into the pool. It is also necessary to do some weekly cleaning. Use a pool vacuum to sweep out debris on the bottom of the pool and use a brush to scrub the sides.
And of course, make sure you are running your pump for six or more hours every day. Just because no one is in the pool doesn’t mean you don’t need to turn it on. The pump plays a critical part in pool maintenance. It removes small particles from the water and keeps the water moving, thus helping combat any algae that might try and build up. Running the pump everyday will make everything else go smoother and your water will stay clear.
The next step involves the chemicals. This can often be confusing because many of these chemicals have very scientific names and there seems to be so many different kinds, but don’t get overwhelmed. If this is your first time treating your pool on your own, take a water sample to a pool store. Many places will test it for free and suggest some chemicals.
The first thing you will need is chlorine. Chlorine kills any bacteria that may be in your pool water and that is why it is so important. Shock your pool once a week in the summer. This basically means, give your pool a chlorine overdose to kill anything that might be in there. Shock usually comes in two varieties, liquid and powder. Both will do the job, however powder shock can sometimes cloud up some pools. Make sure you are using the right kind for your type of pool. Read the directions and when in doubt, ask the pool shop. It is also a good idea to shock the pool in the evening. Direct sunlight can strip your pool of chlorine before it has really had a chance to work.
Keep a steady amount of chlorine in the pool by using a floater with chlorine pucks in it. Check the floater on a regular basis to make sure they haven’t dissolved. Once they have, add more.
To keep the chlorine in your pool longer add stabilizer to the water. Stabilizer will act as a shield for your chlorine and keep it in the pool longer. Ask your local pool shop for the specifics on when to add stabilizer as this can differ depending on pool size and water composition.
There are a myriad of other pool chemicals. None of which are as important as chlorine. They are usually prescribed for certain pool maladies. Different types of algae are treated by different chemicals, for example. To determine what else you may need to add to your water, take a sample to your local pool shop. Or, if you have a specific problem, ask them about it and they can give you an idea about what you may need to add to your pool. It is a good idea to do this on a regular basis.
Although this may sound like a lot of work, it really only amounts to a few hours of work every week. Taking care of your pool yourself will not only save you money, but will also prove to be quite satisfying once you’ve tried it.