Understand Your Pool’s ChemistryIt is important to familiarize yourself with the optimum chemical balance your pool needs. For instance, your pool’s pH level should be between 7.2-7.8. Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm (parts per million). Calcium hardness: 180-220 ppm. Chlorine: 3 ppm. There are chemical test kits and test strips you can purchase to make sure your chemical balance falls within the proper levels. You can also have your pool professional test a sample of your pool water and give you some basic guidance. Failure to maintain the proper chemical balance can result in issues that can lead to equipment damage, skin and eye irritation, algae and bacterial growth, and a shorter life for your pool overall.
The Importance of Good Water CirculationThe circulation of water in your swimming pool is an essential part of keeping your pool clean. Your pool pump and filtration system are the key components of good water circulation. The fact is, moving water is cleaner than still water. Your pool pump makes this happen when it pulls in water and passes it through the filtration system where particles of debris are removed. Good water circulation also results in better chemical disbursement. Invest in an energy-efficient variable speed pump and operate it 8-12 hours a day to maintain good circulation and the correct sanitation level of your water. It is also important to clean your filters regularly and replace them when necessary.
Regular CleaningIf you are maintaining the proper chemical levels and circulation of your pool water you have a great head start on the cleaning. Nonetheless, there are regular tasks that need to be performed weekly. First, get in the habit of emptying your skimmer basket. Second, skim the surface of the pool to remove any floating debris. Third, thoroughly brush the sides, steps, waterline, and corners of the pool. This will dislodge any potential bacteria or algae from taking hold and causing problems. These bits of debris will be passed through the filtration system and then be removed from the water. Finally, use a manual or robotic pool vacuum as the final step in maintaining great pool hygiene. Consider going robotic, and then you can lie in the chaise lounge sipping your iced tea while it does the work.
Maintain a Proper Water LevelMany people do not realize that when your pool water level is correct the other components of your pool will work more efficiently. If the water level is too low, water will not enter the skimmer meaning no filtration can take place. Also, damage to the pump and filtration system can occur if no water is passing through it. The best way to check if the water level is correct is to simply look at the skimmer. The water should be about midway up the height of the skimmer. Get in the habit of glancing at your skimmer every time you are poolside to be sure all is as it should be. If the level is too low, you can add more water with a hose. However, if the water is too high, you can siphon some off or wait for it to evaporate.
If You Have a Vinyl Lined PoolDo you have a vinyl-lined pool? There are many reasons they are so popular: affordability, ease of customization, and fast installation time. If you have a vinyl-lined pool you probably know that the liner is expected to last about 6-10 years before needing to be replaced. Care of a vinyl-lined pool is not much different from other types of pools, However, to make sure your vinyl liner lasts as long as possible, there are a few specifics to observe. One: maintain your pool’s chemical balance faithfully. Two: never add undiluted chlorine as it will degrade the liner surface. Three: avoid punctures by removing debris promptly, keeping pets out of the pool, and banning non-pool toys. Four: monitor your water level. Five: use your pool cover regularly. If you pay attention to these tips, you can increase your vinyl-lined pool’s lifespan.
Repairs Not To Put OffWe have discussed some basic maintenance tasks that can prolong the life of your pool. In addition to these fundamentals, you should check the components of your pool regularly in case repairs are needed. Quite often a small issue, when ignored, becomes a larger and more expensive problem.
- Pump: Your pool pump is the beating heart of your pool. Check it occasionally for leaks and contact your pool professional at the first discovery of one.
- Filter: It is pretty easy to see if your filter is not working properly because your pool water will not stay clean. If you have cleaned your filter and the water is still cloudy, call in the professionals to check on it.
- Pool heater: If your pool heater is malfunctioning, it will be obvious. Check to be sure it is on and that the breaker has not been tripped. Take a look at the evaporator to see if something has become lodged in it. Check the thermostat. If your heater is on the blink, have it checked out.
- Pool surfaces: Cracks, stains, and other abnormalities in your pool’s surface could be an indication that it needs attention. A rough texture, peeling, or fading could mean that your pool needs to be resurfaced.
- Leaks: Know the signs of a leaking pool. If your water level won’t stay constant, if the ground near the pool is mushy, or if you can’t keep chemical levels balanced, it could be a sign of a leak. Don’t delay; call in the experts promptly.