Having a swimming pool in your garden can be a lot of fun but don’t forget that with ownership comes responsibility. If you want to ensure many summers of enjoyable, trouble-free pool use, you need to look after your pool.
Routine preventative maintenance will help keep your pool in pristine condition, sparkling clean and inviting whenever you wish to use it. With some regular upkeep, not only will you avoid the frustration that comes from the pool being out of action just at the point when you want to have a swim, it will also save you from more expensive repairs further down the line.
Here are the essential 7 maintenance tips offered by super-fast pools by Compass, to help save you time, money and hassle – whilst protecting your investment for the long term.
Balance the pool chemicals
Check the pH level of your pool every week or so – more often during the summer. As the pH rises, the chlorine in the water becomes less active. Chlorine at 7.00 pH is approx. 50% active, dropping to 10% active at 8.00 pH. When the pH is really high, you’ll find that the water will leave deposits on everything – check the tile line every week to monitor and prevent scum lines.
If the levels are too low or two high…
You could end up with all sorts of problems, including stinging eyes. Monitor your pool pH level closely and you’ll find you will need to add much less chlorine.
The best investment you can make is to get a pool skimmer, a long handled net or rake that helps you keep your pool free of debris at all times. Use it daily if necessary!
Skimmer baskets are installed in the side of the pool to skim the pool surface and catch any debris before it sinks to the bottom. The more effective this mechanism is, the better. Clean out the skimmer basket(s) on a weekly basis to keep them clear all the time.
Also, check your water level to make sure it is just right for optimum performance. If there is too much water, the skimmer door, which keeps the collected debris safely in the skimmer basket, won’t work properly. If the water level is too low, the pump can run dry and burn out.
And on the subject of the pump, check the hair and lint pot, the basket just inside the clear glass of the pool pump at the front of the pump, every 2 weeks or so. Obviously, you should turn the pump off and release pressure on the system to do this.
Protect your pool from falling vegetation and organic waste
Depending on the location of your pool – there may be trees or shrubs nearby – leaves and other vegetation will inevitably end up in your pool. Use a skimming net daily to remove anything that’s landed on the surface of the pool water – it’s easier than cleaning the bottom of the pool! When the pool is not in use, make sure it is covered up.
Vegetation, insects, bird droppings, animal waste and other organic matter are the perfect food for algae to grow – and you really don’t want that.
Pressure wash the pool surround
Keeping the entire pool area clean not helps it to look good, but it also keeps it safe too. Pressure washing will stop the surface from becoming slippery and hazardous, particularly for children. Summer is the best time for pressure washing.
Before your turn on the pressure washer, check that all loose debris has been swept up beforehand, so you don’t run the risk of accidentally blasting it into the pool!
Ironically, the most damaging substance to the integrity of your pool is the water, so take the opportunity to check for cracks around the perimeter of the pool around the deck and seal it with clear silicon to prevent the water to seep into the cracks under the deck.
In-deck or in-line chlorinators need to be checked periodically for proper chlorine levels, loading and potential clogging.
If your pool has an ozonator or a UV water sterilizer, check that the light is working. These devices are worth the investment, since they can reduce the amount of chlorine needed in the pool.
If you have a salt pool chlorine generator, make sure the cells are kept scrupulously clean and keep an eagle eye on your pool chemistry for optimum performance. If you can taste the salt, you’ve probably added too much.
Clean out the filters
Keep a close eye on the general condition of your pool. The following problems may indicate that your filters need cleaning – usually about twice a year.
- Your pool is less than 99% free of debris and dirt, meaning the in-floor cleaning system is not working properly.
- Poor water clarity – it should be crystal clear with the bottom of the pool clearly visible.
- The hose cleaner is not moving correctly.
- The drain at the bottom of the pool has become obstructed.
- There’s a funny smell.
Soak the dirty filter in a 10% solution of muriatic acid, or alternatively use a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP). Wear gloves and eye protection and make sure you always ad acid to water, not the other way round. Rinse well and dry.
Pool shock treatments
Shocking your pool should only really be required if the bather load suddenly increases, eg. after a pool party in the summer. As a rule of thumb, the more people use the pool, the more likely the water is to become cloudy as a result – and that means nasty bacteria in the water.
You can shock your pool with a heavy dose of chlorine, then slowly and gradually replenish water until the correct balance has been re-established. If you have an ozone system, shocking shouldn’t be necessary on a regular basis. The best time to shock your pool is at night, and don’t use the pool while treatment is on going.