Your swimming pool needs to be well-taken care of, in and out of season. Without proper care, the water can become a breeding ground for illness-causing organisms. A regular maintenance schedule will ensure that the pool remains clear and in good condition all throughout the four seasons.
In addition to the usual maintenance procedures for ensuring that the water is chlorinated and refreshed, some “unusual” methods can be applied to give the pool a facelift. These techniques will not only make your pool cleaner and safer for use, but they will also save you money, time, and energy.
1. Use Some Baking Soda
It not only works magic in regards to cleaning the swimming pool, but it also helps maintain the correct pH levels in the pool. Some stores will offer you a substitute known as an “alkalinity increaser” but buying baking soda will save you money. Eventually, both products give you the same results, but baking soda does so more efficiently. The amount of the baking soda required is dependent on the size of the pool.
2. Tennis Ball
You might wonder what this has to do with pool maintenance, but you will be surprised to know the effects. Tossing a tennis ball into the pool will clear the water by sucking up all the chemicals and oils that people bring into the pool in the form of sunblock and suntan lotions. If you leave the ball floating every once in a while, the difference will be hard to ignore.
3. Use a Bucket to Track Water Usage
Environmental factors, like temperature, and humidity, dictate the rate at which the pool loses water. However, average water loss should not be more than twenty-five percent of an inch daily. To measure the rate of water loss, place a weighted bucket on the stairs and mark the water levels at different intervals throughout the day. Significant margins are an indication of a leak in the pool, which you should have repaired. If the water levels are lower than what you would like, simply use a hose pipe to fill up the pool to the required levels. Remember to check the chemical levels after each refill.
4. Use a Line and Net to Remove Dirt
Loose dirt that finds its way into the pool can be removed by skimming, using a net fixed to a line. However, dirt, residue, and contaminants may stick along the tile area and water line, necessitating proper cleaning. Dedicate yourself to cleaning this area at least once per week to reduce calcium build up. As you clean the tiles, also remember that the walkways need to be cleaned too to minimize chances of transferring grime and dirt into the pool.
5. The Filter is the Kidney of Your Pool
If you do not adequately take care of this small, yet crucial part of your pool, eventually you may end up with a dead pool. In the same way the kidneys are responsible for removing impurities, so the filter is designed to remove contaminants like leaves, dirt, and small debris from the water. Once a month, it is advisable to clean the pipes in the filter system. A simple way to do so is to backwash by removing the leaf basket and turning on the pump and letting it run till the pipe discharges clear water.
6. Ensure that You Maintain Consistent Chemical Levels
This is one of the most critical factors in proper pool maintenance. When the water lacks proper chemical balance, it looks murky, irritates skin, and can harbor bacteria. It is recommended to test the chemical levels weekly. The chemical levels to be tested are cyanuric acid, free chlorine, total alkalinity, acidity/alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
Get a professional to do the testing for you. If you want to do it yourself, buy the testing kit from the local pool store and follow the attached instructions. Chemicals that are well balanced make your water very clear and produce no smell and leave no residue on the skin.
It is also recommended to “shock” your pool. This refers to raising the chlorine levels of the pool suddenly but for a short time. The technique is useful in killing bacteria, and the way to do this is to dilute five times the usual amount of chlorine with water and then slowly pouring it into the swimming pool. A few minutes later you refill the pool with water to restore the normal chlorine levels. Shocking increases the risk of damaging the pools siding, and that is why it is recommendable to limit the process to no more than two times each season.
7. Check the Condition of the Skimmer Lid
Occasionally it is necessary to replace the skimmer cover in case it gets cracked or broken. It plays an important role by preventing people or pets from falling into the skimmer well so it is important to ensure that it is in good condition and firmly fixed in position. During replacement, ensure that the power to the pump is turned off to avoid accidents.
8. Power Wash
This is also known as pressure washing and the process helps get rid of weather stains and any rust that can occur over time. The process begins by sweeping the deck clean to make it free of loose dirt so that it does not spread all over during cleaning. Set the power washer to medium power and spray the surface to remove all debris, doing so over and over again until the place is thoroughly clean. A power washer can be rented from the local pool store.
9. Ensure You Schedule a Yearly Service Appointment with an Expert
You may not think that it is necessary, but the knowledge you have may not be sufficient for the care of your equipment like filters, pumps, and heating systems. A professional pool service provider will not only check your devices but also advise you on what you need to improve to keep your pool in good order. They can quickly detect small problems that might cause a massive crisis in future.
10. Planning for Winter
it is equally important to take care of your pool during winter just like you do during summer. You don't want to check your pool at the beginning of the next summer only to find that the water turned color and is home to dangerous bacteria. Properly winterizing your pool will save you a lot of money and time during the next season as you do repairs. Some of the things you need to do are balancing the chemicals, blowing out excess water from the plumbing lines, and covering the pool to keep away debris.
With these simple, yet surprising tricks, your pool should maintain higher standards that are not so common with most privately owned swimming pools.