Best Tips for Maintaining a Swimming Pool

Swimming pool with waterfall.

Owning a swimming pool can be very exciting. You may imagine a life of sunbathing by the pool or cooling off after a hectic day at work by doing some laps in your backyard pool. While these desires are certainly very enticing, owning a swimming pool requires you to put in a little bit of effort into its maintenance. After all, if you want to enjoy a clean pool that’s safe for you and your family, you’re going to have to invest in regular maintenance. Regular maintenance will ensure that your pool is functioning efficiently and help cut costs associated with repairs in the long run. 

Maintaining a pool can seem like a daunting task, and while it does require some effort, regular maintenance doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult. 

Here are some tips on how you can easily maintain your swimming pool:

Skim, scrub and vacuum your pool

Vacuuming your pool on a daily or weekly basis will help remove debris and reduce the usage of chemicals for cleaning. It can also help avoid staining of the pool. A robotic cleaner can help with cleaning the bottom of your swimming pool. Skimming needs to be done every day to remove dirt and other debris from the surface of your pool. Skimming also helps with the circulation of water and lowers your pool’s demand for chlorination. You must also scrub your pool walls as well as tiles to prevent any build-up of algae or calcium deposits that can turn into bigger issues with time. For fibreglass pools, softer brushes work better when used for scrubbing.     

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Check water quality

It’s necessary to test your pool waters to make sure it’s clean and healthy. A testing kit can be used for this. All you have to do is take a sample of your pool water and add the given solution to the kit. After some time, the colour of the water will change, and you must compare this water with the colour chart shown on the testing kit. You’ll need to make adjustments to the chemical levels accordingly. The right chemical composition will avoid causing eye and skin irritation while also maintaining the safety of your pool. The six main considerations are:

Free chlorine – keeps your pool germ free. 

Cyanuric acid – ideal level is between 30 and 50.

pH level – should be between 7.2 and 7.8, ideally at 7.4. This is necessary for preventing irritation and erosion of pool equipment.  

Total alkalinity – optimum level is between 60 and 120. 

Calcium hardness – avoids plaster damage and should be between 220 and 350. 

You can even use baking soda as a quick home remedy since sodium bicarbonate is what is needed to control pool alkalinity and keep pH levels in check. 

Clean collection pots and baskets

It’s crucial that you clean your pool’s collection pots and baskets. You must clean your pool pump’s hair and lint pot. This can be found within the clear glass of your pool pump. You must switch the pump off and release system pressure before cleaning it. It’s important that you clean this every two weeks at least. You’ll also have to clean out the debris catcher or leaf/skimmer basket if your pool is equipped with them.   

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Evaluate water level

The water level in your pool fluctuates due to evaporation, wear & tear, splashing or even rainstorms. Maintaining your pool water level at the halfway point of your skimmer’s opening is necessary. Water levels that are too high or too low can damage the pool pump and affect the functioning of the skimmer. For high water levels, you can drain the excess water using a submersible pump, but you need to be careful as the weight of the pump can damage the liner of fibreglass pools. For low water levels, you can bring it back to the optimum level by using a garden hose. Once you restore the appropriate water level, you must check the chemical composition again.   

Clean the pool filter

You don’t want to go overboard with cleaning your pool filter, but you need to make sure your filter doesn’t get too dirty before you decide to clean it. If you notice that there’s more pressure on the pressure gauge, it’s time to carry out the cleaning of your pool filter. You should turn off the filter, remove its cap, take out the filter basket, and remove collected debris to clean your filter at least once a week. Every month, you must also clean the pipes of your filter system by backwashing. That exact process to be followed will depend on whether it’s a sand filter or a cartridge filter.   

Winterise your pool

It’s important to care for your pool during the summer, but it’s equally important to winterise your pool so that you don’t start the summer opening your pool cover to a leaky, bacteria-filled swimming pool. By winterising your pool, you’ll be saving on time as well as money spent on repairs for the next season. To properly winterise your pool, you need to get a water testing kit to make sure that there’s a proper balance in the chemical composition of your pool. After this, you must get all excess water out of your plumbing lines and get a good pool cover to keep debris out of your pool.    

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Try shocking a cloudy pool

If your pool looks cloudy, it’s because it contains a lot of bacteria. Shocking is a good option in such cases. This is the process of drastically increasing chlorine levels for a short duration so that the bacteria may be killed. For this, 3 to 5 times the normal chlorine amount is diluted with water and slowly poured into the return line of the pool. This is allowed to filter throughout the pool, and then the pool is refilled with water. Shocking your pool at least twice every season is a good idea, but if done more than this, it can damage the sides of your pool.  

 Absorb pool oils using a tennis ball

While it may sound absurd, a tennis ball can do a lot more for your pool than act as a medium of entertainment. Swimmers naturally leave behind oils from hair care products, tanning lotions, or even natural body oils. Tennis balls have fibres that can absorb these oils when left in the pool water for a while. This can help remove the sheen that tends to form on top of pool water.   

Schedule a professional service

There’s a lot you can do to maintain the health of your pool, but even then, there are just some things that are better left to a professional. This is especially true when it concerns your pool’s mechanical equipment such as heating system, filter, as well as pool pumps. You can make a list of things you’ve noticed as a cause of concern for your swimming pool to give the professional an idea of where to start.

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Even if you haven’t noticed anything through regular pool maintenance, it still makes sense to hire a professional at least once a year to service your pool. Professionals have the knowledge and experience to detect issues early on and recommend the necessary changes that can extend the life of your pool and save you on expensive repairs in the future. To get more advice on swimming pools visit our friends over at Factory Pools Perth for more insights.

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