Now that the horrible winter is finally behind us for good, we can now focus on the fun we will have this summer. And for many people that fun involves swimming in their very own pool. While having one can be a luxury, pools are also a big responsibility. So, in order to keep your pool ready for swimming at any time this summer, there are some important tasks to be done.
Any matter of things can fall into the pool, be it leaves, bugs or the occasional can of beer. Unless it has been opened, fishing out that beer is not a big problem. It’s the smaller things that need to be skimmed off regularly to ensure a clean swim. If you catch them right away, skimming the surface of your pool is quite easy. However, some things may sink to the bottom after a few days if you leave it. Doing this task on a regular basis increases the efficiency of your pool’s circulation system and decreases the amount of chlorine you will need to add. Also be sure to check the strainer baskets for debris and clean them out too.
While skimming will take care of things on the surface, vacuuming will get everything from the bottom of the pool. This should be done at least once a week to keep the water clean and also limit the amount of chemicals you need to add. A proper vacuuming takes about 30 minutes to clean your pool. Some pool vacuums are manual, meaning you will have to work it like an indoor vacuum to cover the entire bottom of your pool. Fancier models will do the work for you but will be more expensive to buy. Check the vacuum’s filter as you go and empty it as needed.
Brush Walls and Tiles
This is something you can do while you are vacuuming, as it too needs to be done once a week. Cleaning the walls will prevent things like algae and calcium deposits from building up. Depending on the material of your pool you will need a certain kind of brush to do the job. For instance, a plaster-lined concrete pool requires a stiff brush, while vinyl and fiberglass needs a softer brush. Use the same for cleaning tiles to prevent scratches from forming.
Clean Pool Filter
There are a couple of different things you will need to do to clean your pool’s filter. First, it all depends on what kind you have. The three types of filters are sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth (DE). Each has a different method for “backwashing” the system. A sand filter will push dirty water into a waste line leading to the ground or a storm drain. A cartridge filter is one that you remove and hose off to clean. A DE filter will backwash into a bag that needs to be emptied every two weeks. Once you have backwashed the system, turn it off so you can clean the hair/lint catcher in the pump.
You will need to check your pool’s pH level on a regular basis so that you know how much chemicals you need to add. The right balance of chemicals will keep your pool water clean and healthy for swimming. To do this, you will need to buy a test kit, either a reagent kit or test strips. Reagent kits utilize tablets that are dropped into a sample of your pool’s water. They will change colour determining the pH level of your pool. Test strips are similar in how they change colour but all you need to do is submerge it in your pool. The ideal pH level for swimming is between 7.2 and 7.8. Use muriatic acid if it’s above and soda ash if it’s below. It may be necessary to shock your pool every now and then by adding a large amount of chlorine. Doing this will counteract the potent smell chlorine has. It may seem weird adding more, but it actually works.
By: Meagan Dieroff