Swimming pools are great outdoor installations. They are great for relaxing, exercising and playing. Moreover, swimming pools create a unique aesthetic that enhances your outdoor design. There are numerous types of swimming pools. They are primarily divided into; above-ground, semi-inground and inground pools. Each type has its pros and cons and serves particular needs. Nonetheless, all pools require proper maintenance. Here are a few tips on how to render proper maintenance to your pool and get the most from it.
1. Make Maintenance a Routine
Clearing debris off the pool surface is a no-brainer, but try it out every day for a month and you will feel the uphill nature of the task. Maintenance is only effective when done daily. Establishing a routine is as important as executing maintenance duties. However, not all cleaning must be done on a daily basis.
Scrubbing the sides of the pool prevents algae build-up and it’s often done intermittently at least once every other week. You only need to identify growth and go after them with a scrub brush. Stubborn spots may need a more aggressive approach using chlorine. If you are unable to keep up with the routine maintenance requirements, you have two options. You can automate the cleaning process using robot vacuums which clean the pool surfaces. On the hand you can outsource the job to a pool service technician.
2. Take Care of Your Filter
Filters to a pool are like kidneys to the human body. They are constantly working to get impurities out of your water. Filters remover leaves, dirt and other small debris that find their way into the pool. Unfortunately, the filtration system also needs cleaning lest it becomes inefficient. At least once a week, you should turn off the filter, remove the filter cap on the pool deck, lift out the filter basket and clear out all debris. Moreover, pipes running through the filtration system should be cleaned at least once a month. You can do this by backwashing. Tune in the backwash setting on your filter and watch the magic happen.
Remember your filter is only considered clean once the waste pipe ejects clear water. Aside from cleaning, it’s important to have your filter on a timer. Turning the filtration system off and on can damage the internal mechanics. However, a time does the job automatically and allows the system to run for at least six hours a day, the recommended duration.
3. Pool Chemistry
When it comes to pool maintenance, one of the most important facets is chemical levels. Imbalances cause skin and eye irritation, murky appearance and bacterial breeding. Swimming pool water should be analyzed at least once a week. There are primarily six chemical levels that need analysis
- Free Chlorine: This chemical keeps the swimming pool water free of germs and serves as a germicide.
- Cyanuric Acid: The acid protects chlorine from sunlight. It also dictates the desired free chlorine level.
- Acidity/alkalinity: Otherwise known as the pH level, acidity needs to be kept at 7.5-7.8
- Total alkalinity: This should be kept within range of 60-120 and keeps the pH in balance.
- Calcium Hardness: This prevents plaster damage and is maintained at levels of 220-350. However, vinyl pools require lower levels.
Testing pool water is simple. You only need to buy testing kits, dip them in the pool water and look out for colour change. Colour change correlates to the chemical levels. If you want comprehensive analysis you can take a sample to the pool store. Apart from analysis the store will provide guidelines on how to optimize your pool’s chemical composition.
4. Shock a Cloudy Pool
If you are thinking of plugging wires and turning on the switch, that’s not what shocking a pool means. Shocking involves drastically raising the chlorine levels of the pool for a short period of time. This is particularly useful following a big pool party or when preparing your pool for the summer. Shocking the pool kills bacteria. Since extremely high chlorine concentrations are used, shocking should be done once or twice every season. Overdoing it can damage the pool’s siding
5. Monitor the Water Level
The water level in your pool is as important as the chemical composition. Pool water levels fluctuate depending on the weather condition and the activities taking place in the pool. When the water is too low, grab your garden hose and fill up the pool to the appropriate level (halfway up the opening of your skinner). If the level is too high you can rent a submergible pump and drain the excess water. Once you have achieved the appropriate pool water level, recheck the chemicals. Water imbalances often change the chemical composition.
6. Use a Tennis Ball
This tip is not for fun and games. A tennis ball is a good way of absorbing oils from the pool water. Swimmers leave all sorts of oils in water ranging from suntan lotion to hair products. These oils can form a slick sheen on top of the water and make your swimming experience unpleasant. The thought of entering such a pool is nauseating. Tennis ball has fibres that absorb the oils and prevent accumulation. Just throw a few balls in the water and wait for the magic to happen.
7. Wash Your Pool Deck
Equally important to your pool and pool water is the area surrounding your pool. The pool deck is often the source of many debris and contaminants that get into your pool. Therefore the area should be power washed to remove rust and weather stains. Sweeping is the initial step and clears errant dirt and leaves. Pressure washing ensures the surface is completely clean. Washing not only protects your pool but also enhances the aesthetics.
8. Book a Service Appointment
Although most of these tips you can do on your own, an expert’s input is important. There are particular aspects of pool maintenance that are best left to the professional. Technical faults like malfunctioning or inefficient heating systems, filters and pumps require professional servicing. Therefore it’s crucial to schedule at least one appointment each year with a pool expert. CrystalPools Team can identify and fix a small problem early before it escalates into a huge crisis. Moreover, they offer the best advice on how to maintain your swimming pool.