Having your very own swimming pool can easily provide good feelings especially when you can easily daydream of the many pool parties, or incorporating a workout routine involving laps. Not only that but just imagining yourself as you just lounge around the pool soaking up the sun.
However, it is important to remember one little detail that could make the dreams come crumbling down if neglected: maintaining it. If you fail to maintain your pool, then it will naturally succumb to the elements where you will only have murky water, algae, and filters and pipes that are beyond repair or maintenance.
So if you’re planning to own a pool but have no clue about what it takes to own one successfully, you should get ahold of the professional at Austin Pool builders or take a peek at our tips below on how to maintain a swimming pool.
Become Familiar with the Pool’s Skimmer
When using the skimmer, you’ll be able to remove all of the debris, leaves, and bugs that are on the water’s surface. This may seem like a no-brainer, however, it’s ok to instill it into your brain because how easy it can be to forget. Skimming should be done at least once a day. For the big spenders, you can invest in a submersible vacuum that can clean the pool bottom.
Besides skimming, you need to remember to scrub the inside of the pool so that algae don’t develop. This shouldn’t be done too often and usually, only once a week should suffice. If you notice any algae beginning to grow you can just attack it with a scrubber so that the sides will maintain their clean appearance.
Maintain Your Filter’s Cleanliness
Your pool’s filter can easily be compared to your body’s kidney for the simple fact that it easily removes all impurities like leaves, dirt, and bugs. Most pools are able to be cleaned by just having their filters removed so that the debris and dirt can be removed before everything gets put back together. To achieve the best results, you should clean the pool filter one time per week.
Then, monthly, you should ensure that the filter system’s pipes are cleaned by conducting a process known as backwashing. This can be accomplished by setting your pool filter to “backwash”. When completed, you will just need to clean out the leaf basket and turn the pump on and then just wait until the water becomes clear before turning off the pump.
Make sure that backwash is done monthly so that you don’t run the risk of cracking the pipes.
Maintaining the Level of Chemicals
The level of chemicals is an important part of maintaining a pool. When your pool’s chemicals are imbalanced they can give the appearance of being murky, can inhibit the growth of bacteria, and could cause skin irritations.
Preferably, the pool water needs to be tested at least weekly to ensure that the following chemicals have their required levels maintained:
- Cyanuric Acid –Helps to keep chlorine protected from the sun and regulates the amount of Free Chlorine. A pool normally needs to have a reading that’s between 30-50.
- Free Chlorine –A Free Chlorine mixture should be no higher than 3 PPM.
- Acidity –This is known as the water’s PH level. The level of acidity needs to be no higher than 7.8 in order for it to be safe to swim.
- Alkalinity – The alkaline helps to balance the PH and should be no higher than 120.
- Calcium Hardness –The calcium level needs to be no higher than 350 so that no damage occurs to the plaster. For vinyl siding pools make sure that the calcium level is on the lower end of around 220.
Water testing is easily accomplished by using a water test kit that can be purchased anywhere. To test the water, you need to obtain a water sample and pour it into a testing vial. Add the testing solution and close the test vial. Shortly, you will notice a change in the sample that will appear like the comparison chart. You can then compare the vial to the chart to determine the levels of the chemicals. Once you have the results, you can then make adjustments to reach the proper balance. After reaching proper chemical balance in the water, it will become clear, and odorless.
Use an Alternative to Chemicals like Baking Soda
There’s no doubt that the cleaning chemicals used for a pool can be costly that is why you need to know about a great alternative that can be found in the market. Sure, going to a pool store can offer the required sodium bicarbonate in order to maintain the pool’s PH level and alkalinity. Although they may have what you need, they will also have overpriced products.
This is why it’s nice to know that using baking soda will provide the same results because it contains the same sodium bicarbonate in the list of ingredients. When using regular baking soda you won’t be required to do any measuring either because the concentration is the same as the pool store chemicals.
Give Your Pool A Good Shocking
Continuing on with chemicals, you need to be comfortable with giving your pool shock treatment. You may be familiar with the term in relation to public pools, but honestly, you need to think about giving your own pool a shock as well, especially if it gets used more often than not. And if you begin to notice a murky color in the water, you need to be aware that that is bacteria and you need to get rid of it in a hurry.
This is where shocking comes into play by increasing the level of chlorine in order for the bacteria to be killed. To shock, you need to mix water with at least three times the amount of chlorine, and then pour it slowly into the return line of your pool. You then need to let it filter through before you refill the pool.
Keep in mind that shocking will only need to be completed twice a season due to the pool siding possibly getting damaged.
Ensure That Your Pool’s Water Is at the Proper Level
Your pool water level is just as important as the chemicals that you use. The main reason is that the water fluctuates whether by use or by rainfall.
The proper water level should be at the halfway mark at the opening of your skimmer. You can use a normal garden hose to refill it if the level is low. If you need to drain a little to maintain the level then you can use a water pump to do so. Be careful though because a submerged water pump can easily damage the liner of the pool, so your best bet would be to have a professional such as Austin Pool Builders to come out and do it.