You’ve got your goggles. You’ve got your foam noodles. And of course, you’ve got a great big, wonderful swimming pool. You’re all set to enjoy swimming at home for years to come, right? The answer depends on our approach to pool maintenance. Just like a car, a computer, or a secret lair hidden inside an undersea volcano, your swimming pool needs regular upkeep to be at its best. That’s why it pays to develop a strong basic understanding of pool maintenance essentials. When you know how your pool works, the best ways to care for it, and how to plan for it, you’ll be ready to solve just about any potential pool problem that floats your way this when matrix fitness come in to relive you all this hustle.
Good Pool Maintenance Begins with Knowing Your Pool
Before you can properly enjoy or care for your pool, you might need to brush up on your pool’s anatomy. You don’t need to take an annex course or go for your doctorate in swim ology just call or email us. And good thing, because we’re pretty sure swim ology isn’t a thing. But knowing the basic parts of your pool, and their functions, helps us keep everything running smoothly—and makes it easier to resolve issues when they occur.
The Basic Parts of a Swimming Pool
Like most major home improvements, you can get as fancy as you like with your swimming pool. You can add advanced lighting, install high-tech pool covers, and even enjoy music while you swim with underwater pool speakers. But whether you have a basic backyard pool or a massive in ground oasis shaped like Elvis, every pool has four components that need regular care to keep the good times rollin’. These include:
- The pool water
- The pool’s interior wall or liner
- The pool’s filter system
- The pool’s system of skimmers and returns
It might seem like a no-brainer—after all, you can’t enjoy an empty pool unless you’re really into skateboarding—but the water in your pool is key to lasting pool happiness. Keeping it clean, clear, and balanced protects you and your family from contaminants and pollutants. It also helps you avoid costly hardware repairs due to corrosion or mineral build-up, and helps your whole pool last longer.
The walls of your pool liner are in constant contact with pool water, and everything that enters it. Keeping these surfaces in good repair, and clear of algae, mold, and debris, will help keep your pool clean and safe.
Pool Filter System
The pumping heart of your pool is also its liver. OK, that sounds a little weird. But think about it: your pool pump draws water keeps your water circulating, like your heart does with your blood. Your pool filter clears dirt and other contaminants from your water just like your liver filters last night’s cheese fries from your blood. Both protect you and your pool from harm. Without a functioning filter system, your pool will soon be a cloudy, polluted, and swimmable mess. Depending on your setup, you might have a cartridge filter, a sand filter , a diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filter. Or, if you have a salt water system, a salt water chlorinator
Pool Skimmers and Returns
If your pool’s filter is its liver, then your skimmers and returns are its veins and arteries. Your skimmers—not to be confused with a net skimmer , the cleaning tool attached to a telescoping pole—pull water into the filter for cleaning, while the returns push the cleaned water back into your pool. And like your veins and arteries, they work best when they’re clean and clear of obstructions. No two pools are alike, and you’ll no doubt encounter pool maintenance challenges specific to your pool as time goes on. But if we’ve got a firm grasp on these four pool components, we’ll be well equipped to face down most upkeep challenge
The Three C’s of Proper Pool Maintenance
The foundation of effective pool care is built on three simple but important concepts: pool circulation, cleaning, and chemistry.
Even if you never set foot in a Scout meeting as a kid, you probably know that stagnant, still water is (to borrow a term from our own childhoods) grody to the max. In your pool, as in the great outdoors, moving water is cleaner, clearer, and safer. Proper pool circulation is key to healthy and safe swimming. A pool with good circulation rarely has issues like cloudy water or pool algae infestation. Keep your pump and filter system running daily to maximize circulation. How long should you run your pool pump? Ideally, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But since that’s not feasible for everyone’s budget or equipment, we recommend running your filter at least 10 to 12 hours a day. That’ll turn the water over a few times and help keep your pool safe and clean. The other key component to good pool circulation is frequently backwashing your filter. Forget notions of “floaties” in your drink. In this case, backwashing refers to reversing the flow of water through your filter and shunting the dirty water and built-up contaminants to the waste port, carrying them out of your pool. How you clean and backwash your filter depends on the type of filter you have, but the underlying concepts are largely the same. If your pool has a sand filter, we will manage to boost its filtering power. Cloudy water will clear more quickly as the D.E. aids your sand filter in straining fine particles.
If it has proper circulation, we’ve already made cleaning your pool much easier. But we will still need to apply some good old-fashioned elbow grease. The basic tools we have are:
- Net skimmer
- Pool brush
- Pool vacuum
Both Mother Nature and the folks using your pool bring all sorts of wild and wacky things into your pool, from leaves, mold, and the odd duck or frog to residues from shampoos, perfumes, and hair products. Add in the risks of bacterial contamination, and cleaning your pool becomes an absolute essential part of safe swimming. Skim, brush, and vacuum your pool weekly, at a minimum cost. This will keep debris out of your water, and your walls sparkling clean. The chemicals we use works particularly well as a basic scouring cleaner that won’t damage delicate tile or a vinyl liner when we brush. An automatic pool cleaner can significantly cut your pool cleaning time. It won’t eliminate the need for regular skimming and brushing, but it wont make both tasks easier, freeing you up to spend time enjoying your pool instead of cleaning it. We can also make your cleaning life easier with a few unorthodox additions to your pool. Toss a few tennis balls into your skimmer basket, or even right into the pool, and they’ll absorb surface oils left behind by suntan lotion, cosmetics, etc. we can also wrap your skimmer baskets with pantyhose to create an extra-fine filter that’ll catch more contaminants than a skimmer alone. Tip: If you have an in ground pool, the drains built into the bottom of the deep end will help pull water into the filter and make it easier to clear debris loosened during cleaning. Above ground pools don’t have these drains, but we can get the same water-clearing boost with a manual pool vacuum. We can also clear cloudy pool water quickly with flocculants. But remember, that just treats the symptom, not the cause, so it’s only a temporary fix.
Step away from the Bunsen burner. Pool chemistry might sound intimidating and complicated, but you don’t have to worry. While it is an essential part of effective pool maintenance and water care, basic pool chemistry is not surprisingly straightforward. The most important tool in our bag of water care tricks is our water testing kit . We wouldn’t season your stew without tasting it. So before we reach for the chemicals, we test your pool water. Understanding what’s in your water, and what isn’t, is the first step to balancing it. The three most important parts of pool water chemistry are:
- pH levels: The measure of how acidic or basic your pool water is. High pH levels are acidic, while low levels are basic. The ideal range for your pool is 7.4 to 7.6.
- Alkalinity: Works as a pH buffer and helps avoid huge spikes in basicity or acidity. The ideal range is 100 to 150 parts per million (ppm).
- Sanitizer levels: The amount of chlorine , bromine, etc. in your pool water. Proper levels vary depending on which type of sanitizer we choose.
Once we know your pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels, we can start to add chemicals to tweak your water balance. We take our time to do it to your satisfaction.
We Don’t Forget the Shock!
Every once in a while, your pool will need sanitization, especially after a rainstorm, or if a lot of people have been using the pool. We will shock your pool.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
Creating a pool maintenance schedule makes it easy to stay organized and make sure important tasks don’t slip through the cracks. Not only will we be able to stay on top of basic upkeep, but we’ll be able to plan ahead for more advanced pool maintenance tasks like closing your pool, caring for it during the off season, or getting your swimming pool ready to roll when pool season returns.
We keep it Simple
We write down our pool maintenance schedule and tape it somewhere near your swimming pool. For tracking purpose.
Come on in, the Water’s Fine—Thanks to You
Owning a swimming pool is one of the most rewarding ways to enjoy fun in the sun at home. Yes, it needs regular care, but that doesn’t mean you’ll spend your life shackled to a vacuum or fiddling with your chemistry set. You’ll enjoy not just your swim, but the peace of mind that comes with regular and thorough pool maintenance.