Pools are a great way to escape the heat, stay active or just spending time with friends and family. The only downside to owning a pool is the upkeep. It takes a bit of work and know-how to keep your pool swimmable, but if you’ve ever had to revive a muck filled green swamp of a pool, you know that regular maintenance is worth the hassle.
If you’re new to home pools, here are the basics of keeping a pool clean, they should make owning easier on you. We’re talking filters, chemicals, and clearing debris.
The Basics of Keeping a Pool Clean
No, filters alone are not enough to keep your water from going green. Filters are very important and your pool was probably installed with one of these three filter types; D.E. Sand, or Cartridge. All three are effective, as long as the filters are clean. If you are a DIY (Do It Yourself) guy you will need to learn how to back flush your system and do your own monthly filter maintenance. You will also need to learn how to overhaul it at least one a year, though some filtration systems need it every three months.
Again, filters alone won’t be enough, they will clean out small particles, and more debris if you have an automatic pool cleaner (pool vacuum) connected. But if you have large debris or a large amount, you don’t want to put it through your filter; you’ll just bog it down and have to clean it again. This is where leaf skimmers and leaf rake comes in. A bit of manual labor will save you from filter repairs and these are cheap. A leaf skimmer is a flat net used on the surface of the pool. A leaf rake is similar, but has a deep bag and is made to scrape things from the bottom of the pool. There is professional equipment for this that works much faster, but if you keep your pool clean you won’t need to make that kind of investment, they are for neglected pools.
So now you’ve got all visible problems cleaned out of your pool, time to sanitize it. ‘Is it really necessary?’ YES! Would you eat with dishes that had only been rinsed and wiped off? No. you don’t want to swim in an un-treated pool either. Treating a pool is called “shocking”, and is typically done with chlorine, tablets, powder, or liquid treatments. Shocking your pool will kill the tiny things you’re scared of, we’ll leave it at that; the package can list its victims if you really want to know. Also, when you’re reading the label make sure you check how much of your chlorine product you need for your size pool. There is a proper amount, and depending on the product, if you dump all of it into your pool you may be over or under chlorinating your water. To know for sure they make pH testers, these will tell you if your water is too acidic, or if it needs more chlorine. If you overdid it there are products you can buy to balance out your pH.
Congratulations, your pool is swimmable again! You have a whole 30 days before you have to go through this again. That might sound less than encouraging to some of you. Some people get a pool knowing exactly what it will take to keep it up; others have no idea and only learn after their pool turns green. Regardless of the group you find yourself in you have a lot of work ahead of you. There is one shortcut you may consider helpful; hire a professional. It’s not very expensive and it means spending less time treating, and more time swimming. All the time and money it will take for you go through the most basic process will dwarf that of hiring out. A good pool company can come when it’s convenient for you, and will have everything the job requires in their truck already. They will also have the experience to get the job done quickly. So take a load off, maybe go for a swim.