Everyone loves swimming pools, but no one loves to maintain them! Especially in the winter when we don’t even use them but they still demand our time and attention to keep them looking good. Yet swimming pool maintenance shouldn’t be something to dread – by learning a few simple techniques, you can keep your pool looking amazing every day of the year with only a small amount of effort on your part.
There are three basic areas to focus on when it comes to perfect pool maintenance, and if you understand and get the hang of each one, you’ll be doing, well, swimmingly!
So let’s dive in:
Think of your pool like a huge cup of coffee. If you don’t stir it after you add milk and sugar, all the good stuff sinks to the bottom and stays there, significantly reducing your enjoyment of your caffeine fix!
A pool is exactly the same. Properly circulating your pool water means you’re working to spread the chemicals you add to the water. It also means you’re filtering it properly, which keeps it clean and free of debris.
Your pool pump is the heart of your circulation system, working hard to ensure the continual flow of water from the body of the pool through the filter and back into the pool again.
How long you should run your pump for is one of those tricky questions to answer. Ideally, your pump should run 24/7, but this is usually not feasible because it would skyrocket your electricity bill, and cause undue wear and tear on the pump itself. So the second best option is to base your running time on the size of your pool, how often it’s used and by how many people at a time.
As good general rule of thumb, you should try to run your pump for about 12 hours a day in summer, and eight hours a day in winter, with the basic idea being to run all the water in your pool through the filter system at least once – but ideally two to three times – a day.
Regularly backwashing your filter will help to keep your pool running optimally, although don’t do it too often, as it is just a waste of water. Generally speaking, most filters require backwashing when the pressure gauge rises 8-10 psi from clean.
Most people think that if they have an automatic pool cleaner, that’s their cleaning commitment taken care of. Not true. Your pool cleaner usually doesn’t get to certain places, such as steps or behind pool ladders, for example, so you will need to brush these areas at least two to three times a week to keep them free of dirt and algae. Regular brushing gives your filter the chance to filter out any unwanted organisms.
Keeping your pool water chemically balanced is important to make sure the chlorine does what it’s supposed to, as well as ensuring the water is pleasant for people to swim in (unbalanced water can cause burning eyes and other irritations).
Testing your pool water is easy. You can get test strips and pool kits, which you can use at home to work out your pH and alkalinity levels, although it’s advisable to take a sample of your pool water to your local pool shop every two to three weeks for a full, professional analysis.
To prevent scaling or corrosion, and to maximise swimmer comfort, your pool water should show a pH of 7.5, which is the same pH as human skin. At this level, chlorine is about 60% active. At 8.5, chlorine is only 10% active.
Help Is At Hand
If you’d like any advice on how best to maintain your pool, please chat to one of the experts at Pool Spa and Filtration supplies. We’ve been in the business for years and can answer all your questions. Let us help you get the most out of your pool. Call us today.