411: Pool Maintenance
The number one thing to keep in mind when it comes to your pool is being well-educated and up to date with daily maintenance. If you can learn some basics and stay ahead of the curve, a knowledgeable pool owner will rarely have any problem. When they do, they will have the answer.
Owning or inheriting a pool is a great privilege and should be regarded as such. The relationship you share will your pool will be unique to you both. There is a variety of factors that can make your routine maintenance different from your friends’ such as geographical location and whether your pool is above- or in-ground.
There is a little trick to getting to know your main pool duties. The trick is the three C’s. Circulation, Cleaning and Chemistry. These are the fundamental pillars of pool care. Dive in and get to know your pool.
Even though it’s the most crucial area of pool maintenance, circulation is frequently overlooked. A pool that has proper circulation will rarely have problems with algae and murky or cloudy water.
How often should you run a pool pump and filter? Ideally, you want to run the pump and filter all the time, but this can become costly and not fit into your budget. If you cannot afford to run them both all the time, or as often as you’d like, try running them at least once each day for about 10 -12 hours. This should be sufficient to cover the basics as the filter system takes about 2-3 days to turn the water over completely.
You could lump both circulation and cleaning into one category, but circulation is mandated and expected (and, yet, still oddly the most overlooked) of routine pool care. Your pool, however, will need some extra attention from you every so often. While the pump and filter do their best to keep the water clean, you can do your part by vacuuming, skimming and brushing your pool on a weekly basis.
Of course, these special cleanings should be done as necessary and before your filtration system could be subject to damage. Letting the foliage pile up and become stuck in the pipes tends to be the most common issue for pool owners. Before you know it, you’ll be replacing parts and draining the pool because of a lack of proper cleaning. Clean routinely to avoid expensive pool-correcting costs.
The final pillar of pool care is chemistry. This seems to be an area of focus where pool owners tend to get confused. It seems daunting and beyond what you learned in school, but it’s a lot easier than you would assume. There is a select number of chemicals that you need to have in your arsenal. Anything else has no purpose but to confuse you and fluster you into spending more money than you need to.
Before you begin mixing in chemicals the pool store associate told you to buy, test your water first. Testing your water before adding any type of chemical is a practice you should start to make a habit out of. If you want an accurate read and diagnosis, having a clear understanding of your pool will be paramount.
Once you have tested and understood the water and its pH, alkalinity and chlorine levels, you can start to add chemicals. Read labels or do online research on what each chemical does and its effects on the water and the people who are going to be swimming in it. Use this guide as a resource to help you better understand basic pool chemistry.