Having a swimming pool in the backyard is a great way to add instantly outdoor fun and excitement during the warmer months of the year. Whether for throwing pool parties or to help with rehabilitation from an injury, the swimming pool offers limitless enjoyment. However, you do need to make sure and take care with pool maintenance.
Failure to take care of your swimming pool results in the pool not only breaking down and potentially costing substantial amounts in repair bills, but the water may become unsafe to swim in. Due to all of this, you need to perform proper pool maintenance. Here are 10 pool maintenance tips you need to perform, regardless of where you live or the size of your pool.
Why Keep a Pool Maintained?
Failure to perform proper pool maintenance leads to the pool deteriorating. Expensive elements such as the filter and pump will breakdown, which will cost several hundred dollars (or more) for every repair. If you don't perform proper pool maintenance, the pool might leak water into the ground, which opens you up to several other problems. You spent a sizeable amount of money in the pool investment.
Due to this, you need to protect the investment with correct pool maintenance. It only takes a few minutes during the day to take care of your pool and save you thousands of dollars of undesired repairs. If you are not willing to take care of your pool maintenance or pay someone to take care of the pool maintenance, it is better to fill it in and avoid the damage it might cause your property.
Equipment to Help Pool Maintenance
To perform proper pool maintenance, you need to invest in all the standard equipment, such as the pool pump and filter (depending on where you live your pool contractor will recommend specific filters to work with the local elements, such as dust, dander, and debris). You will need a skimmer to collect debris floating on the top of the water, and you'll want a pool vacuum. These come in both manual designs, and you can select a robot vacuum as well.
Beyond this, you'll need general cleaning supplies and all the necessary chemicals your pool needs to ensure a suitable and safe swimming environment. If you have a saltwater pool, the requirements will differ slightly, so listen to your pool contractor.
10 Tips to Keep Pool Maintained
Test Pool Chemicals
Unless you own a saltwater pool (in which case the salt helps prevent the development of the most undesired plant and bacteria development), you need to add chemicals into the water. Of the 10 pool maintenance tips, this is one of the most critical for your overall health. It is best to check your pool chemicals one to two times a week.
During off-season where you don't use the pool at all, it is best to test the chemicals one or two times every other week. One of the biggest mistakes of many pool owners is not checking the chemicals during times the pool is not in use. Failure to check the water during these time periods results in the excess growth of bacteria, which in turn causes expensive repairs later down the road.
Clean Skimmer Baskets
The skimmer baskets help remove debris that falls onto the top of the pool. However, it only works as long as it is clean. Due to this, you need to clean out the skimmer basket at least once a week. If you live in an area where more debris collects than you need to clean the skimmer basket more frequently. It's best to establish a routine and to clean it on a regular basis (as well as perform the rest of your pool maintenance).
Clean Lint Pot
This area also referred to as the hair and link pot, is found at the front of the pool pump. Over time hair, lint from fabric and other small debris will begin collecting in the front of the pump. If you fail to clean this out, it will begin to bog down the filter which forces it to work harder. A harder working pump burns out the motor faster, increasing your repair costs. You can check the hair and lint pot once every few weeks (or more frequently, depending on your pool).
Fill Cracks Around Pool
If you notice any developing cracks around the edges and perimeter of the pool (such as the space between the deck and the tile) you need to fill the cracks with a clear silicone. If you don't fill in the cracks, you increase the chance of water seeping in under the deck through the cracks. This can lead to all sorts of problems not just for your pool but the surrounding area. Spotting and filling the cracks is a quick way to prevent these future problems.
Clean the Surrounding Tile
If you have a tile line around the pool, you need to clean this space weekly. Failure to clean the area results in the development of a scum line. Additionally, the pool chemicals can begin to collect on the tile as well. By cleaning this on a weekly basis, you'll prevent the scum build up. Attempting to clean it later after a thicker build-up develops not only becomes difficult but it may result in additional deterioration of the tile line.
A pool vacuum is one of the most important purchases you'll make for the pool. This helps clean off the bottom of the pool and prevents any kind of debris build up. There are manual vacuums that connect to the pool pump and filter. You may even invest in an automatic robot pool vacuum. This device works much like the robot vacuums for the interior of the house. You program it, and it vacuums the pool without you needing to do it.
Maintain Water Level
You need to check the water level and make sure it's maintained. A low water level results in the pool pump and filter running dry, which leads to a damaged pool pump. Additionally, if your water continually runs low, it may mean there is a leak somewhere within the pool. So monitor your water level and make sure it remains at a constant level.
Winterize the Pool
If you live in a climate where you can't use the pool throughout the year, you need to winterize the pool. If the outdoor temperature drops below freezing, you need to take proper care of the pool. If you don't the water will expand and contract as it freezes, which in turn leads to damaging the pool. It also may freeze the pipes, which causes other problems.
Instead, drain the pool and blow water out of the pool's plumbing using an air compressor. Disconnect the heater, chemical feeders, and pump from the pool, then apply a non-toxic pool antifreeze to any remaining water you couldn't drain (make sure the antifreeze is made for pools and not cars). You also want to remove the ladder, clean it and place it in storage. This is also the time to clean all tools, skimmers and other equipment. Finally, cover the pool to prevent any debris from collecting.
Prepping for Swimming Season
It will take a week or two for your pool to be back up and running for the swimming season. This is because it takes time for the chemical levels to adjust back properly. During this time, let the pool pump run 24 hours a day. This helps balance the water so you can enjoy the pool again.
Invest in a Quality Cover
You need to invest in a quality cover. Select one designed specifically for the size of your pool and make sure it fastens down. This will prevent any animals from crawling under the cover. The last thing you want to deal with when removing the cover is dead animals at the bottom. If your cover tears you need to have it repaired or replaced.
If you own a pool, you need to make sure and take care of it. Pool maintenance does not need to take long. You can perform most of the tips every few days, and each only takes a few moments of your time. While you will need to clean the pool and check the water level to make sure there are no leaks, a pool that is taken care of will last longer and require fewer expensive repairs.
By following each of these 10 tips, you'll instantly improve how your pool runs while keeping everyone healthy who are enjoying your pool. On top of these 10 recommendations though, make sure you talk with your pool contractor and take into account all of their suggestions as well. There are different pool maintenance requirements for different kinds of pools, so by following their suggestions as well, you'll always have a great pool to enjoy your time in.