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A Beginner’s Guide to Pool Maintenance

A Beginner’s Guide to Pool Maintenance

Swimming pool maintenance is essential to address, either when you are preparing to purchase a pool or as it is being installed. After all, pool maintenance is critical to protecting your investment. Whether you plan to care for your pool yourself or by tapping professionals, you will want to know what is involved. 

This guide highlights the critical aspects of this vital part of keeping your backyard oasis clean and safe for everyone who enjoys it. After discussing how to maintain a pool, we review pool maintenance costs so you can know how to work them into your budget.

How To Maintain A Pool 

Here are the core aspects of swimming pool maintenance:

Keeping circulation consistent in five steps.

You must keep the water moving to maintain pool water health. 

Step 1. Make sure there are no “dead areas” in your pool. 

These zones can develop because it is more challenging to get the water circulating through some parts of the pool than others. Look for dead areas behind the ladder, around the skimmers, and in the corners. 

To correct dead zones, try one of these two tactics: 

  • Position your returns downward. That way, the corners and bottom of your pool will have improved circulation. 
  • Use specialized fittings with your returns so that all parts of the pool are accessed as it rotates.

Step 2. Maintain filter cleanliness.

Your water cannot circulate adequately if your filter is dirty. Beyond debris and leaves, you can also have calcium accumulate within them. 

If your pool has cartridges, regularly remove them and hose them down. Routine backwashing will be needed if you have DE or sand filters.

Step 3. Brush & vacuum.

Brush your pool’s surface. This task will also help to ensure you resolve any dead zones. Those areas should be a particular point of focus. Operate the vacuum once you have completed the brushing. Through this process, you will both get the water circulating better and mitigate the problematic bacteria that can grow within the debris.

Step 4. Take a swim every once in a while.

It may sound funny to tell you to use your pool to keep it in good shape. It’s true, though. You can help the water move throughout the pool if you take a regular swim in it.

Step 5. Operate the pump.

All the above are supportive, really. The filtration system is the circulation kicker. The water will skim out the debris and maintain consistent movement via the pool pump. For ideal pool maintenance, the pump should be running at least 8 hours per day – and more than that if you are using the pool a lot.

3 Central Aspects Of Pool Chemistry

Beyond cleaning, it is also critical to know that your pool chemistry is balanced correctly. It is relatively straightforward to effectively care for your pool water in this way.

The water testing kit is your fundamental tool for this task. Always test before you start dumping in chemicals. You can only balance your water correctly if you know what state it is in currently. 

These three concerns are central to this aspect of pool maintenance:

  1. pH: Knowing how basic or acidic your pool is will be revealed by its pH levels. It is basic if the level is high, while it is acidic if the level is low. You want it to be anywhere from 7.4 to 7.6.
  2. Alkalinity: You can keep from getting your acidity or basicity way out of whack through the pH buffer of alkalinity. Baking soda can be used to bump up your alkalinity level. You want it to range from 100-150 parts per million.
  3. Sanitizer: Your sanitizer may be chlorine, bromine, or a similar chemical. Depending on the sanitizer in your pool, the best level will be different.

To adjust your water balance, you can add chemicals based on the readings you get from testing the above levels. Be careful and do not rush. Be sure how the chemical will affect the water prior to introducing it to the swimming pool.

Your Pool Cleaning Schedule

Knowing about circulation and chemistry will help, but you also must put in some hard work to keep the pool clean. Here are the core tools that will enable you to do that:

  • Pool brush
  • Pool vacuum
  • Net skimmer.

When people swim in your pool, they will bring with them their hair products, deodorants, and perfumes. Mold and leaves will make their way into it as well. Even frogs and birds will take dips from time to time. Plus, your pool can become contaminated with bacteria. Keeping the pool clean will keep you healthy. 

Every week, at the very least, you must skim, brush, and vacuum for proper pool maintenance. That way, the walls will stay clean, and you will rid the pool of debris. One of the most straightforward scouring cleaners, capable of keeping delicate liners and tile from degrading, is baking soda paste.

If you want to take the easy route with DIY cleaning, consider an automatic pool cleaner. While you will still need to skim and brush, it will get simpler and less time-consuming to do both. 

A couple of other interesting tactics can be effective too:

  • Pantyhose: To make your filter extra-fine and capture more contaminants, you can wrap pantyhose around your skimmer basket. 
  • Tennis balls: These sporting goods can also be helpful, whether you put them straight into your pool or in the skimmer basket. Either way, they will help absorb the oils left by makeup, sunscreen, and other body products.

Be sure to replace both of the above items as they begin to degrade.

Shocking The Pool

No matter how well you perform any of the above tasks, there will be times when your pool starts to smell like chlorine or develop cloudiness. At those times, it could be low on free chlorine and have excessive chloramines. A typical scenario leading to this issue is a stretch of hot days after significant rainfall. By using a considerable amount of sanitizer, you can shock the pool. Perform this task in the early evening

How Much Does Pool Maintenance Cost?

It costs approximately $960 to $1800 per year to maintain a pool, amounting to about $80 to $150 per month. It will generally cost anywhere between $150 and $350 for a one-time pool cleaning if you hire a service. 

Minimizing Your Pool Maintenance Proactively

Are you currently buying or installing a pool? Are you concerned about maintenance? 

When building your new pool, discuss your pool maintenance concerns with your pool builder. They should be able to provide some insight on proper maintenance, recommend some possible upgrades, and even refer you to trusted pool maintenance professionals in your area. 

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