You love your swimming pool, but are you maintaining it on a regular basis? While you may be diligent about testing water chemistry, there are other tasks vital to good pool upkeep that should also be on your schedule. Certified Leak Detection does not perform pool maintenance, but our team knows that a well-maintained pool is less likely to develop problems – and that pool owners who follow a regular program are better positioned to recognize signs of a leak or other issue so it can be repaired sooner rather than later.
In addition, a well-maintained pool provides a safe, healthy environment for all to enjoy, with water free of algae and other contaminants. Our blog post – “Pool Cleaning Schedule – What You Need to Know” – provides a good basic breakdown of what to do and when to do it.
Daily Pool Maintenance
Certain activities need to be performed daily. SwimmingPool.com provides a list, which follows:
- Your pool’s circulation system includes the skimmer, pump, filter and jets. Check the water level to make sure it’s where it should be. The skimmer will suck air if the level is too low, and stop skimming if it’s too high.
- Run the pump for about 8 to 12 hours per day. Proper water circulation helps prevent algae and bacterial growth. Also, when water runs through the filter, it traps contaminants and other particles. Good circulation also ensures that chemicals disperse evenly in your pool.
- Check the filter gauge daily. Backwash or clean the filter if pressure is above 10 to 15 psi. Follow manufacturer’s directions.
- Make sure that jets are facing circular and downward.
- Check the pump and skimmer basket and empty as needed.
Weekly Pool Maintenance
Just as you need to perform some activities daily, there are other chores you need to add to your weekly schedule. The good people at Hayward provide the following list.
- Skim off leaves, insects and debris from the water’s surface; try to remove before they sink to the bottom, where they become difficult to remove and may cause stains.
- Brush the pool walls, steps and fixtures (such as ladders and slides) to remove dirt and prevent the spread of algae; brush sediment toward the main drain so it can be vacuumed up easily.
- Vacuum the pool. Once the algae and sediment have been brushed from the walls, they can be vacuumed up, along with any other debris that has floated to the bottom.
- Check your pool water chemistry regularly to monitor and maintain the correct pH and chlorine level. The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Use a pH increaser or decreaser according to instructions in order to adjust the pH. Add the appropriate chemicals as necessary per test results.
- Establish a weekly routine to clean the pool and add pool cleaner. A shock treatment solves and prevents many pool problems. Test the pH and the free available chlorine in the pool water and shock-treat if necessary on a weekly basis. Our blog post – “The Shocking Truth About Shocking Your Pool” – covers this topic in detail. Do an additional shock treatment in the following situations:
o After a hurricane or very heavy thunderstorm
o More swimmers than usual
o Contaminants, such as human or animal feces.
o Foul-smelling water
o Extreme temperatures
o Swimmers with burning, red eyes
o Algae growth
o Murky, slimy water
Monthly Pool Maintenance
- Monitor cyanuric acid levels, which should be between 30 to 40 ppm.
- Perform a saturation index test. Water balance levels can change when the temperatures rise during the summer months. This test lets you know whether your pool water is corrosive or scale-forming or not. Performing this test can help you avoid scaling, staining or etching of pool surfaces.
- Keep the inside of the skimmers clean. If you want to get rid of oily scum and dirt, use a cleanser and a scrubbing sponge, which keeps the well of the skimmer clean. You can use a tile and vinyl cleaner or a chlorine-based cleaner to remove a “bathtub ring” around the pool.
- Check the time clock. The manual time clock stops turning during power outages, which can frequently occur during Central Florida’s summer thunderstorms and named storms. It’s good practice to check after any outage, but also check on a monthly basis. Reset if needed.
Seasonal Pool Maintenance
Much as we like to think that winter passes up the Sunshine State, winter months are typically too cold for swimming – unless your pool is heated, of course! Or unless your relatives from the frozen north visit and decide the weather is perfect for a dip! Here’s how to prepare your pool for a little nap:
- Balance the pool water chemistry.
- Run the filter continuously for 24-48 hours.
- Remove cleaners, skimmer baskets, ladders, solar blankets and wall fittings.
- Bring the water level down in the pool to 6″ below the skimmer level (at 1″ or 25 mm per hour).
- Drain the filtering, pumping, sanitizing and heating equipment.
- Lubricate valves, plugs and O-rings.
- Vacuum and clean the pool thoroughly.
- Winterize the plumbing and add winterizing algaecide.
- Cover the pool; make sure the cover fits tightly.
When the warming rays of spring beckon, “wake up” your pool as follows:
- Remove debris from the swimming pool cover; remove cover and store.
- Use a skimmer net to clean the surface of the water.
- Clean and vacuum the pool.
- Check water level and bring up to the correct level.
- Test and adjust the pH level.
- Shock the pool.
- Check and reconnect the pump and filtration system; prime and start the filter pump; check the water circulation.
Annual Pool Maintenance
- Clean the diving board and slide surfaces (if applicable).
- Inspect the bolts for tightness. Over time, diving board bolts, ladder tread bolts on slides and pool ladders can loosen. Tighten if needed.
- Inspect the pool cleaner parts, which can also loosen over time. Inspect and replace as needed.
- Clean the filter properly. It is important to clean (hose clean) the DE filter thoroughly once every year. You also need to clean cartridge and sand filters annually.
- Lubricate the O-rings. These include the pump lid, chlorinator lid, filter and push-pull valve.
The Take-Home Message
Again, we don’t perform pool maintenance services, but want you to get the most out of your slice of Central Florida paradise! If you notice issues with dropping water levels or anything else that raises concern, contact us at Certified Leak Detection for experienced detection and repair.