Growing up our pool had a Polaris. Yes, the same Polaris that I would try to outswim because in my innocent mind I thought it equivalent to a shark. But not just any shark, the kind of shark that only went after little girls wearing a Little Mermaid one-piece. I was terrified of that thing. However, while terrified, it was needed for our swimming pool care. In fact, if I wanted to keep wearing that Little Mermaid one-piece, I would have to accept its presence in the pool. (Though I kept my eye on it).
Now with that said, having a Polaris mindlessly skim the bottom and sides of your pool for debris is a great start to regular swimming pool care but what the things a “pool vacuum” can’t take care of?
You cannot neglect your swimming pool care strategy because it could honestly damage the integrity of the pool, the condition of the water, and possibly your family’s health! And if that’s not enough to scare you, nobody wants to look at or smell a murky, green pool that has officially been dubbed home for tadpoles. Oh yeah, I’ve seen it all.
Here is your definitive guide to proper swimming pool care:
1. Ensure proper circulation and filtration of your pool.
Your pool’s heart and lungs are its pump and filtrating system. Without the two working cohesively, your pool may have to go on dialysis.
The pump is responsible for the circulation of water inside your swimming pool. The pump moves the water from the pool to the filter where the dirt, dust and debris get filtered and the clean water is sent back to the pool.
If you empty your filter basket about once a week, your pool should remain clean. To do this, you need to first turn off the filter then remove the cap of the filter, which is situated on the pool deck then take out the filter basket- clean it and reassemble the components.
Then, about once a month, clean the pipes of the filtrating system. This is done by a process called backwashing. To do this you need to put the filter on backwash then take out the leaf basket and clean it. Later allow the pump to run till it starts throwing clear water.
Now, a pertinent question that should come to your mind is how long the filtrating system should run? Easy answer, work it like it works a 9 to 5; put it on a timer so that it runs for at least 8 hours a day.
Other swimming pool care filtration tips are:
- Skim your pool on a daily basis- Buy a heavy duty skimmer net and attach it to a pole for skimming the surface of your pool, which should be done once every day. This keeps your pool clean and stops the debris from settling down at the bottom of the pool.
- Brush your pool once a week- Buy yourself a pool brush, heavy duty again, and attach it to a pole so that you can clean all the sides and bottom of your pool, which you should do once a week. It is not only the top and bottom of your pool that carry all the dirt. Dark and hidden corners, walls and the back side of the ladder – these are all areas you should clean regularly, as algae thrive in such places.
- Vacuum your pool as and when required- If you can afford one, you should purchase a Polaris to vacuum the little things you might miss with a net. It can clean your entire pool and that too without supervision.
- Clean the pool deck regularly- If you want your pool to remain clean you should ensure that the pool deck area is regularly cleaned – brush it and wash it at least once a week.
- Keep the area around the filter clean- There should be no debris around the filter area. Ensure that it remains clean most of the time.
Proper circulation and filtration are the key to maintaining your pool’s health!
2. Always maintain the required water level.
If you have a big dog like me, you know that with every jump in the pool comes a lot of water splashing outside of it. Every splash effects your pool’s water level as well as evaporation. You can gauge your pool’s water level with your skimmer. The water level should be half way up to the skimmer line of your pool. Monitor these levels for being either too high or too low. Water levels are one of the most important parts proper pool maintenance.
3. Maintain your pool’s chemical levels.
How do you ensure that your pool water is healthy? You need to constantly keep testing your pool water- at least once a week for safe and healthy swimming. As per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), you need to keep a tab on the following chemical levels:
- pH level: This means that the water should neither be acidic nor should it be too alkaline. The correct pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH measuring strip. Correct pH balance keeps your pool equipment safe.
- Total alkalinity: Helps in maintaining the pH balance, which should range within 60 to 120.
- Cyanuric acid: It safeguards chlorine from the sunlight and regulates the free chorine level.
- Free chlorine: It is a disinfectant which helps fight germs and also keeps your water safe.
- Calcium hardness: Correct levels of calcium hardness in the pool water prevents plaster from getting damaged. For concrete pools it should range from 200 to 250 ppm, but for vinyl ones the range is 175 to 225 ppm.
You can get the testing kit from any pool store and test your pool water to monitor your pool’s pH levels.
4. Shock your pool when required.
When your pool water looks murky and it smells too much of chlorine, it’s time to shock the pool. Shocking is just raising the chlorine levels in your pool water substantially for a short duration so that all the bacteria gets killed. Backyard swimming pools should be shocked when required, but normally twice a season.
5. Winterize your pool.
The more you take care of your pool, the less money you spend on repairs. While it is necessary to take care of the pool during pool season, it is equally essential to protect it for winter. You need to winterize your pool so that when spring break comes around you won’t have to add anything else to your prepping checklist.
First, check if the chemicals in your pool are rightly balanced, then make sure that water is blown out of the plumbing system and drain excess water from the heater and filter. Clean your swimming pool by skimming, vacuuming, brushing, emptying the skimmer basket and lowering the water level. Last, but not the least cover your pool.
6. Always call in pool experts before the start of the season.
From pump, filter and skimmer to heating, plumbing systems and leaks, make sure all of these are in place before the pool season. You need a swimming pool leak detection service to check out your pool’s water levels. After all, for everyone who didn’t seek maintenance before pool season will be waiting for pool experts’ busy schedules to free up!
If you are in and around Orange County, Orlando, Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Apopka, Maitland, Seminole County, Oviedo, Longwood, Winter Springs, Brevard County, Osceola County, Volusia County or Lake County, contact Certified Leak Detection, pool professionals- they will keep your water healthy by maintaining the correct chemical levels round the year. They would ensure that your pool’s circulation and filtering systems remain in top gear round the year.