10.4 million. That’s how many residential pools there are in the United States these days!
This sky-high number should come as no surprise, though. Pools are the perfect place to relax, hang out with loved ones, and enjoy life. Heck, for many homeowners, their pool’s their pride and joy.
However, if you don’t take care of them properly, swimming pools can soon become a dirty, damaged, and expensive headache.
Know the struggle? Well, don’t worry! We created this simple pool maintenance guide to make your life a little easier.
Check it out to learn exactly how to keep your pool looking and working great all year round.
Test the Water
The first key step is to check your pool’s chemical levels.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a pool maintenance pro to figure this out! All you need is a testing strip or chemical water tester.
These clever testing kits make it easy to determine everything from the pH balance, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness to how much cyanuric acid and carbonate hardness (KH) is present.
Whichever you choose, simply follow the instructions on the packet to get near-instant results! Depending on the reading, you may have to add the necessary chemicals to bring the levels back up to where they need to be. If the levels are too high already, then products like the Layorcare calcium releaser can remedy the problem.
Don’t worry if you’re unsure how to interpret the test results either.
Any of the pool supply stores in town will do it for you. You can also visit your local public health department or pool company for similar support.
Clean the Pool Filter
Next up on our list of essential pool maintenance tips is cleaning your pool filter.
Make sure you check it on a regular basis- especially in the hot summer months when your pool’s likely to be used a lot.
Check it once a week and your filter should be clean enough not to require any further attention. If the pressure’s high and/or the flow rate seems low, though, then it’s time to clean it out.
Doing so will prevent unwanted pests, dirt, and debris from getting into the pool and causing a build-up of bacteria over time. That’s good news if you want to swim in clear and sanitary water!
Unless the guidelines in your pool’s manual say otherwise, try to clean a pool filter every 1-2 weeks. Heads up, though, the amount you use the pool and the type of filtration system you have will both impact how often you’ll need to do it.
Backwash the Filter System
Another crucial part of keeping your filter functioning properly is to “backwash” it at least once a week (or if you’re experiencing very little water flow through the pool).
This vital process involves reversing the flow of water through the system.
Whereas the water usually moves through the filter and into the pool, it flows from the pool and into the filter (before flowing out of a waste pipe). The purpose?
To flush out any detritus that’s built up in the filter over time.
Backwashing is essential regardless of the type of filter. Whether you have a sand, glass, or OC-1 filter in your pool, it’ll need to be back-washed periodically. That said, you’ll have to backwash sand filters (which trap dirt and debris among the grains of sand) on a more frequent basis.
Top tip: never backwash the system when people are in the pool! Oh, and always follow the manufacturer instructions for your specific filtration system to ensure you backwash it correctly.
Keep Up with Regular Cleaning Tasks
There are numerous simple steps you should take on a daily basis to keep your pool in top condition too. One of the most important?
Skimming the surface.
This is when you use a net (or similar cleaning tools) to remove leaves, insects, twigs, and dirt from the water top. Doing this every day will stop the debris from sinking to the bottom of your swimming pool and/or clogging up the filter.
Be sure to vacuum inside too. Whether you use a manual or automatic pool vacuum, you’ll clear out anything in the water and on the bottom that shouldn’t be there!
While you’re at it, take a moment to brush down the sides and tiles too. This should prevent scum lines, algae, and calcium deposits from building up and ruining the aesthetic appeal of your pool.
Be Wary in Winter
You have to stay on top of the changing seasons as a pool owner. Remember, maintenance doesn’t stop just because you’re not using it as much!
For instance, to protect your pool during the colder months, it’s sensible to cover the top with a winter cover that won’t allow light through. But first, you should remove any debris that could be caught underneath.
You’ll want to clear out your skimmers and pump basket too. The dirt and residue could cause mold and algae to grow if you don’t! You should also take out the pool test strips from their holders and store them in a safe, dry location. Chemical feeders should go into winter storage as well, so they don’t freeze.
Last but not least, winter’s a great time to replace old components with new ones. This should ensure everything in your pool’s ready for whenever the weather starts warming up again!
Remember the Importance of Pool Maintenance
As you can tell, swimming pool maintenance is a big job.
But it’s well worth the effort! Do it right and it’ll mean less stress, hassle, and expense in the long run.
With any luck, the tips in this article will help in this regard. Keep them in mind and you’ll be one step closer to enjoying a clean and functional pool for years to come! Ready for more insights on this topic and others like it?
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