Having your own swimming pool can be amazing on a hot summer’s day, but many people don’t realise the maintenance involved to keep it in tip-top condition and running smoothly all year round. The key to a crystal clear, safe, swimming pool is regular maintenance and there is a list of things that need to be kept on top of if you want to avoid murky water and costly repair bills. So whether you are thinking about getting a pool or already have one and want to learn more about maintaining it, read on to find out more.
Regularly remove debris from the surface and bottom
Both indoor and outdoor pools always seem to collect a lot of both floating and sinking debris, from leaves to bugs, twigs to grass, things fall in the pool and are trodden in by people as they get in and out. To avoid your filters blocking and having to swim amongst the rubbish try to skim your pool daily wherever possible, this will stop any build-up of debris and ensure that organic matter is removed before it starts to decompose. You can skim the pool easily with a pool net on a telescopic pole but also check out automatic pool skimmers which will do this for you, these sit at the water level and collect the debris as it floats into them. If you’re using a pool skimmer you will need to check and empty the baskets at least once a week. To remove any grit, dirt or leaves that have sunk to the bottom of your pool consider investing in a pool hoover which will remove debris from the pool floor.
Keeping your pool clean does require a little elbow grease. Scrub the tiles, walls and floor of your pool at least every other week to prevent a build-up of algae which can make your pool turn green. You can buy purpose-built pool scrubbers for every type of pool surface and these often fit a telescopic pole which means you don’t need to be in the water to get scrubbing!
Treat your water and regularly maintain chlorine levels
The key to crystal clear water that doesn’t smell is to carefully balance your pool chemicals. Pool chemical levels should be checked at least once or twice a week in summer and once a week or two in winter. It’s important to regularly sample your pool water for any changes, you can do this by using test strips which will change colour to indicate the PH level and chlorine level. The optimum PH for a pool is between 7.2 and 7.8 as at this level bacteria struggle to reproduce but the water remains safe for swimmers, by maintaining a proper pool PH you will need to use less chlorine which can save you money. To really keep bacteria at bay, it’s important to ‘shock’ your pool once every so often. You can do this by adding a large amount of chlorine, this is sometimes referred to as ‘super chlorinating’ the pool and helps to remove a build-up of organic contaminants. How regularly you need to shock your pool can depend on a number of factors such as water temperature and pool usage, so always refer to your pool instructions or consult a professional. Remember, the pool will not be safe to swim in straight after a shock treatment so plan this into your regular pool maintenance.
Regularly service your pump and filters
Your pump and filters are the heart and lungs of your pool. A healthy pump and well-maintained pool filters are vital to a clean pool and so they should be treated with care and attention. Check your filters regularly and remove anything that may be blocking them but don’t fully clean them too often as a pool filter actually works best when slightly dirty as the dirt helps to trap other particles. Service your pool pump regularly to avoid costly pump repairs and always consult a professional for your maintenance needs.
Maintain your water level
Keeping your pool topped up to the correct water level is very important if you want your skimmers to work correctly. Skimmers help remove floating debris but they only work if your water level is at the correct height. If the water is too high then the leaves and bugs can’t get in as the skimmer door will not work effectively. If the water level is too low then the skimmers will be sucking in air which can cause the pump to burn out. Check your pool levels regularly and top up with water as required, be wary that pools can evaporate a fair bit in hot summer temperatures and with regular usage and if you are adding water to your pool your chlorine and PH levels will need to be checked as they may have changed.
Install a pool cover
A well-fitted pool cover helps to stop water evaporation and the dissipation of heat at night or in colder temperatures, which can save you money. A pool cover also provides a useful barrier to leaves, bugs and other things that are trying to fall in the pool, reducing the amount of manual cleaning you need to do. Rigid pool covers made out of materials such as fibreglass can also be used as a safety feature, but be wary that soft covers to not offer any safety protection.
Proper pool maintenance may not be as fun as swimming in the pool but it’s a job that has to be done to keep your pool algae free, clean, safe and efficient and you will save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run by keeping on top of maintenance throughout the year and not having to form out for costly repairs. So make pool maintenance a part of your routine to keep getting the most out of your pool year in and year out.