Having a pool in your backyard is nice, and makes you the envy of those who do not have one. However, in between all those daydreams about having parties, starting a regular exercise routine, including doing a few laps after a long day of work, and finishing it off with a few hours by the pool getting that gorgeous tan, you do not give much thought to the maintenance that comes with being a pool owner.
If you go without the proper care for your pool, it will not be luxurious for long. The water will soon take on a green hue and start to build up algae, it will have filters that are broken and need replaced, and that is just a few, there would be too many to even start mentioning here if your pool doesn’t get the proper care it needs. Needless to say, no one wants to lay out by a pool that makes them think of a swamp.
The following are ten tips to help with maintaining your pool, if you want to keep your pool up without doing much you should try these right away:
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner at having a pool or if you have had a pool for years, these tips will help get your summer off to a great start.
- Start thinking of skimming, with a little bit of scrubbing as one of your daily routines:
You should skim off the leaves and debris from the pools surface on a daily basis, if you want your pool to be pristine. If it is something that you can afford, get a robot vac for cleaning your pools bottom for you. The Polaris Pool 360 is on the higher price range, however it’s performance reviews are up to five stars. Skimming is not the only thing that needs to be done, although it does not need to be done quite as often, scrubbing the sides of the pool is also called for, if you want to keep the buildup of algae that is. At least scrubbing the sides of the pool is not something that will need to be done daily, once every couple of weeks will be fine, simply scrub any growths you see to keep it fresh and clean. You can use an old sock filled with chlorine and let it lay on any stubborn stained areas that does not want to come out for a few hours and then give scrubbing another try. The chlorine is going to take that algae right off and just think, now you have a purpose for those single socks.
- Your pool’s filter serves the same purpose for it as your kidney’s serve you:
Your kidneys work to take the impurities out of your body and your pool’s filter works in a similar way, by taking out the dirt, leaves, and other things from the water, removing impurities from your pool. Usually, you can clean the pool by turning the filter off and taking the filter cap out of the filter basket (often located on the pool’s deck), cleaning any debris out of it and replacing it as it was. Also, you need to clean out the pool’s filter basket on the average of once a week. Another thing your pool will need you to do for it is to clean out all pipes that are utilized by the filter system, this is something you can do by merely setting the filter to backwash and take out the leaf basket, clean, and replace, now turn the pump back on and run the pump for a little while, just until the waste pipe has clear water running out of it. Another thing about turning the pool’s filter on and off, this is not something you want to do very often as it can cause the filter’s mechanisms to give way and crack. Have your filter set up on a timer, allowing it to run for approximately 6–hours every day.
- The chemical levels in your pool need to be consistent:
Without a doubt, the chemical levels in a pools could be the most important facet of maintaining a pool. If the water appears to be murky or irritates the skin and eyes, it could be because it is improperly balanced, which causes your pool to become a breeding ground full of bacteria. The water should be tested regularly, at least once a week. There are 6-different chemical levels to consider, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The different chemical levels to consider are:
- Cyanuric Acid:
This chemical determines what the free chlorine level require should be and protects the chlorine from direct sunlight. The average reading for your outdoor pool should be between 30 and 50.
- Free Chlorine:
This is a chemical known as a sanitizer that helps in keeping your pool safe, and free from germs.
This is known as the pool’s PH level. The acidity of the pool needs to stay between 7.5 and 7.8 in order to prevent irritation and to protect the pool’s equipment from rusting and/or eroding.
- Total Alkalinity:
This helps to keep the pool’s PH balanced. The levels need to stay between a range of 60 and 120.
- Calcium Hardness:
This will help prevent damage to the plaster if kept at the appropriate levels. Try keeping it between 220 and 350, unless it is a vinyl siding pool, then it will need to be kept even lower.
Testing your pool’s water is not hard to do. You can buy testing kits at your local pool store, it is best to buy several of them at a time to have plenty on hand for testing. All you have to do is fill it up with a sample of the water in your pool. Next, add in the solution (provided in the testing kit) and then close the vials. Wait a few seconds, now you can see as the water begins to change colors. Now, compare the sample water you have tested to the colors that are with the testing kit to determine what the current chemical levels are. Now that you know what the levels are, you will adjust them and balance them out.
Keep in mind that the water will be crystal clear when you have reached the proper balance, there should not be a scent, with hardly any residue on your skin.
- If your pool is cloudy, shock it:
That is correct, if your pool looks cloudy, do not be worried about shocking it. Anytime you feel the pool looks cloudy, by all means, feel free to give it a shock when it is necessary. Though that might sound like it would be more for a public pool, it is not. Consider how your pool’s water appears after you throw your parties, by all means, shock it. Get that murkiness out! It is the bacteria your concerned with isn’t it? All shocking your pool is doing is bringing up the chlorine level suddenly, for a short amount of time, lone enough to kill off any bacteria’s. This is done by simply diluting water with 3 to 5 times the amount you would normally of either chlorine or a sanitizer and slowly pouring it into your pool’s return line, it will need to filter all over the pool so give it some time and you can then slowly refill the pool. Naturally, shocking to much can cause damage to the pool’s siding, in order to prevent this from happening it is best to only shock it about twice per season.
- If you are paying too much for your pool’s chemicals, you should give Baking Soda a try:
There is no reason for you to keep putting out a lot of money for the chemicals your pool needs, when you can get Baking Soda right at your grocery store and it cost a lot less. Even a pool store will tell you that it is a good idea to use sodium bicarbonate in your pool to control the alkalinity, and it works without reducing the PH levels suddenly. Of course, you are going to find that most of the pool stores are going to try and get you to spend a lot of money by trying to sell you items that are overpriced. Yet, it turns out that Baking Soda, yes, the kind you would buy to put in your refrigerator, will do the exact same job for your pool for a lot less money. Check the label and you will see that ‘sodium bicarbonate’ is in there. Go ahead, look for it. No need to worry about having to do any complicated conversions, it just so happens that Baking Soda has the equal amount of the same concentration per pound in it of sodium bicarbonate as the solutions do. Which means that you would add the same amount of the Baking Soda to your pool as you would the solution.
- Always have an eye on the level of your pool’s water:
Yes, the chemical composition in the water is extremely important, however, the water level itself comes in nearly as important. Taking into account the water fluctuating after a heavy rainstorm or after a day of people jumping in and out of the pool, but all in all, the water level needs to be tended to. You will always want to keep the level of your pool’s water halfway up your pool’s skimmer opening. When it is too low, simply add some by using the water hose. When the water level is too high, drain off the excess with a submersible water pump. However, should your pool’s liner be made of vinyl or maybe it is made of fiberglass materials, which could put excessive weight on it and do damage, it may be best to consult a professional. Always remember to recheck the waters chemicals after refilling or draining the water when correcting the water level, this is because the levels may throw the chemicals off balance again.
- A tennis balls is a good way to absorb oils:
Tennis balls are not just for playing with in the pool, they are great for soaking up unwanted oils. There are oils that can sometimes come off of swimmers and when they exit the pool they may be leaving behind part of their suntan lotion, oils from their skin, and oils from their hair products or their hair’s oils. Not something we really want to spend time thinking about, so simply throw a tennis ball or two in the pool and let it do the rest. It is the fibers that the tennis ball is made out of that do the trick by absorbing the oils.
- Make your pool deck shine, give it a power wash:
The surrounding area of your pool is important, so keep your deck and the surrounding area of your pool up to par by power washing it. Power washing is just another way to say pressure washing it. Either way, it will help keep any rust and also weather stains at bay. Don’t own a power washer, that alright, you can rent one at your local home improvement store. You will first want to sweep all the dirt, leaves, and any other debris away from the pool area. Be sure you set it on weak to medium spray setting, begin removing the deck debris in layers, repeating the process until the deck area is clean. Over lapping as you do it is beneficial if you do not want to leave streaks on the deck. In order not to tear-up the deck area it is best to keep the spray nozzle at least 1 ½ to 2 feet off the deck.
- Even if you do not feel it is necessary, set up a yearly service appointment:
When it comes to your pool’s mechanical equipment, such as the pumps, heating systems, and filters, you should have these things checked out by a professional at least once a year. Just before your appointment you need to take a look at your pool and gather any information you want to being to the attention of the professional. For instance, any holes that is noticeable in the linear, noises coming from the mechanisms, any leaks, and any usual smells that may be coming from the water and as always, mention all of these type of things to your service person. Keeping in mind that it is important that you do not cancel your pool’s yearly appointment, detecting and having an issue fix early on can save you a lot of time, trouble, and money later on.
- You need to learn the proper way to winterize your pool:
Knowing how to winterize your pool can save the pool from being damaged and save you a lot of time, trouble, and money further down the road. Your pool care during the summer months are important, however, your pool care during the winter is even more important. Taking time to properly care for your pool when it comes time to winterize it can save on time, trouble, and money when you pull it out for the following summer. You will need to ensure that the pool’s chemicals are correctly balanced and blow all excess water from the plumbing lines, purchasing a cover for your pool can benefit you in the long run.
Although keeping a pool up and going and put away safely is somewhat a chore, it should not be felt as a burden. If these tips are used and you have a regular cleaning routine for your pool you are going to be sure that you will have time to set by your pool to get that tan.
Please let us know how these tips help you, we welcome your comments.
IF you live in the Scottsdale Arizona area and are looking for pool maintenance services, give us a call at (480) 423-9333.