Pool maintenance – a few things you should know

Keeping a pool clean doesn’t have to be tedious work. Regular maintenance however, ensures pristine pool health. These are some things I make it a point to do between periodic heavy-duty cleanings.

 

I skim once a day, vacuum and scrub every few days.

 

ob6One of the easiest and quickest ways to keep the the water clean is by manual skimming every few days. I had noticed before that when floating debris is allowed to get to the bottom of the pool, it becomes harder to remove. A hand or leaf skimmer is a net with a long handle that I have used since then to remove bugs, leaves and other unwanted floating objects on the water. It helps me use less chlorine for disinfection while also increasing the circulation system’s efficiency. I remember to do once-a-week cleaning out of the strainer baskets to help with circulation and to reduce the amount of chlorine I have to put in. for convenience, I have also invested in a quality robot pool vacuum cleaner for cleaning the pool’s bottom.

Aside from skimming, I also need to scrub the sides of the pool to keep algae growth in check. I do this once every two weeks, targeting the algae growths as I see them to ensure that the pool walls are clean and fresh. For stubborn growths,I have tried a simple tip I saw online: I fill an old sock with chlorine and let it sit on top of the growth spot for a few hours prior to intense scrubbing.

 

I really give the pool filter some attention

 

ob7No matter what kind of pool filter you have, whether, sand, cartridge or diatomaceous earth, this component will require periodic cleaning. Each filter type comes with its own maintenance procedures. Cleaning too often is not good advice as it can actually prevent effective filtration. Somehow, the dirt can help trap other particles or debris from the water if the filter has a mild amount of dirt. That being said, letting the pool filter get too dirty is not a good idea either. I always know the filter needs cleaning when the pressure gauge and flow meter demonstrate increased flow, or when the difference reaches 10 to 15 pounds psi. Every month, I remember to clean out the filtration system’s pipes, which I do simply by backwashing. I avoid switching the filter on and off. Instead, I just set the filter on a timer to run for at least 6 hours each day.

 

I also give chemical levels significant monitoring

 

Improperly balanced water not only appears murky but can also irritate the eyes and skin and can make any pool a fertile breeding ground for bacteria. This is why I perform water testing weekly. I focus on testing six chemical levels: free chlorine; Total alkalinity (60 to 120 levels); acidity/alkalinity or pH level (ideally between 7.5 and 7.8); cyanuric acid (normal is between 30 and 50); calcium hardness (go for 220 to 350, and lower for vinyl-sided pools). I have purchased a testing kit for this purpose from our neighborhood pool supplies seller.

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