Spring is here and it’s time to get your pool in shape. To make your swimming oasis last for years and look its best, it’s essential to keep up with proper maintenance. Here’s an overview of the most important things to keep an eye on.
1) pH Level
Every six to eight weeks, check the pH level of your water to make sure it has the proper measurement of acidity and alkalinity. The ideal pH reading is 7.4 to 7.6.
Use approximately one half to one pound of chlorine every week to maintain purity in your pool water. Occasionally, you’ll need to super-chlorinate (“shock”) the pool to eliminate non-filterable wastes.
3) Algae Prevention
Nothing ruins the appearance of your pool more than algae growing on the surface. This happens when the contaminants in wind and rain deplete the chlorine supply. It’s a good idea to use a high-quality algaecide every other week or every week. This will serve as a chemical backup system in case the chlorine gets depleted.
4) Stain Prevention
Metals introduced into the pool water via rain and corrosion of metal equipment can stain the interior walls. A metal chelation product will keep the sides of your pool looking brand new. After the initial treatment, maintenance follow-ups should be done every other week.
Consult your manual for detailed instructions on these chemical aspects of pool maintenance.
Maintaining The Water Level
It’s important to keep the water level near the center of the skimmer. A lower level will damage the pump and filter, but if the level is too high, the skimmer will not work efficiently. Check the water level at least once a week.
In-Floor Cleaning and Circulation
Your pool’s cleaning and circulation systems work through pop-up nozzles on the floor that emit a powerful stream of water that circulates throughout, preventing bacteria growth and keeping the temperature constant. During the summer months, you’ll want to run your circulation system four to six hours a day. During the winter, two to four hours a day is sufficient.
Surface Skimmers, Strainers, and Filters
Skim the pool’s surface every few days to remove floating debris. Strainer baskets should typically be cleaned of leaves and other debris once a week. Your filters will also need to be maintained. Consult your manual for filter-specific instructions. Most filter bags should be emptied every other week.
Vacuum and Brush
Dust, soil, and sediment will gather periodically at the bottom of your pool. If the water is adequately circulating, the skimmer can catch most of it. However, you’ll still want to vacuum about once a week to remove all debris. First, remove any leaves with a rake. Then follow the instructions in your manual. Do not vacuum large items as they may clog the plumbing lines.
Once you’ve vacuumed, lightly clean the interior walls with a soft brush approved for vinyl walls. At the water level, you may see a ring caused by suntan products, body oils, and contaminants. You can remove this with a gentle surface cleaner.
Your Pool Cover
A pool cover is essential for preventing unsupervised children and pets from falling into the water. Over the course of the year, it is exposed to harsh environmental conditions and chemicals, so it needs to be maintained properly. Be sure to consult this list for proper maintenance procedures.
As you get ready for days of suntan, barbecue, and family fun, take some time to go over these maintenance steps to ensure your pool gives you the maximum enjoyment this summer.