Have you just bought a home with a swimming pool? Well, we’re jealous. There are 10.4 million residential pools in the US, and every single homeowner who has one is scientifically proven to be happier as a result.
Okay, so don’t quote us on that! But with the opportunity to swim, exercise, relax and entertain guests at awesome pool parties, it’s hard to imagine anyone being any unhappier with a pool in their yard. Nevertheless, owning a pool isn’t all sunshine and rainbows…
The pool maintenance that’s required means there’s serious work to do as well! And that can be a genuine challenge- especially when you’ve never had to do it before. Do you want some pro tips on how to handle the maintenance with minimal fuss?
Let us help. Keep reading for a comprehensive beginner’s guide to maintaining a pool.
Understand the Pool Parts and Systems
The first step to being able to maintain your pool is understanding how it works. You don’t have to do anything extreme, like taking a course. But it’ll definitely prove useful to have a basic idea of the different parts, processes, and functions in place.
We could write a whole article on this one topic, so be sure to do further research on it. For now, though, it’s enough to know about the all-important pool pump and filter…
The pump and filter make up the filtration system, which operates to circulate water around the pool and clear out any dirt that accumulates, respectively. Remove the filtration system (or fail to maintain it) and it won’t be long before you have a dank, dirty, and polluted pool on your hands.
Get the Right Gear
Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to get your hands on the cleaning gear you’ll need. From deluxe kits to the bare essentials, you’ll find pre-assembled supplies readily available online. Find out more about what’s best and make your decision accordingly.
A few key cleaning items include a pool pole, a leaf rake, a brush, a hose and the The pool pole helps you reach down into the depths of the pool with the other cleaning equipment. The leaf rake’s self-explanatory, the brush is for scrubbing the pool’s sides and bottom, and the vacuum/hose combo helps you clear out any debris.
A garden hose will be essential too. This is used to top up your water levels when they go down (through splashing and evaporation). Oh, and don’t forget to buy essential cleaning chemicals to keep your water safe and sanitary.
Keep the Water Moving
And by ‘moving’, we mean ‘circulating’. Remember what we said about the importance of the pump and filter? The pump is what keeps the water moving around your pool and stops it from becoming stagnant.
Leave it turned off for too long and you’re in for trouble. Expect the water to turn cloudy and algae to develop in no time! However, leaving your pump operating 24/7 can be taxing on your bank balance (not to mention the actual equipment).
Try to strike a balance instead. If you can keep your pool pump pumping for at least 10 hours a day, then you should be okay. The water will circulate enough to stay fresh without putting undue pressure on your purse strings.
Clean the Pool
One of the most time-consuming parts of pool maintenance is the actual cleaning. It goes with the territory though! If you want to enjoy the myriad benefits of owning a pool, then you need to clean it on a regular basis- especially in summer.
Developing a cleaning schedule should help you stay on track. Strive to skim the surface of any debris (think dust, leaves, and insects, etc) and clean out the skimmer basket on a daily basis. From there, you should bank on brushing down the sides (with a purpose-made pool brush) and vacuuming (with a purpose-made pool vacuum) once a week at a minimum.
Getting into this habit will do two things. First, it’ll keep your pool water both safe to swim in and looking fantastic. Second, having cleared any larger debris from the pool by hand, you’ll a) help the filter do its job and b) prevent calamitous clogs.
Clean the Filters
It doesn’t matter how hard you try. Sooner or later, those filters will need to be cleared out. It’s your job to clean those filters so they can clean your pool.
You should know that there’s no such thing as over-cleaning when it comes to filters either. Feel free to check, empty, and rinse them through whenever you like! In general, though, you can get away with doing this job in line with the recommended guidelines for your specific swimming pool.
Don’t Forget to Test
Many pool owners get caught out when it comes to swimming pool chemistry. Heck, many people haven’t even heard of it! Yet balancing the chemicals in your water is another core element of effective pool maintenance.
Fail to do it and your pool won’t remain usable for long. The water will become putrid, smelly, and downright dangerous to anybody who goes swimming. The good news is that pool chemistry isn’t as hard as some people think. It comes down to understanding the current state of your water and correcting any issues by adding the right chemicals thereafter.
A simple pool maintenance kit for testing the chemicals makes this job a breeze. Dip the strips into your water and it’ll tell you exactly what’s going on with the pH level, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels. You can then add the necessary chemicals and test again until you get them right.
Remember These Pool Maintenance Tips
Few things in life are better than having a pool in your yard. They’re the perfect addition to any household. Not only do they make your property more valuable, but they also open the door to bucket-loads of fun, relaxation, and entertainment.
Just don’t forget to do the pool maintenance! It might not be the most enjoyable part of owning a pool, but it’s downright essential. With any luck, this beginner’s guide will help you complete the maintenance tasks with far less fuss.
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