Having a swimming pool in your backyard provides your family and friends with a great place to gather and have fun. However, owning a swimming pool comes with a certain level of responsibility, including regular maintenance. Proper maintenance ensures that your pool remains clean and inviting. Let’s explore the basics of pool maintenance and show you how to care for your swimming pool to keep it in top condition.
Clean the Pool Regularly
The first step in cleaning your pool is to remove all the leaves and debris, which you can do using a skimmer net or vacuum designed for pools. You can also use a brush to scrub the sides and bottom of the pool to get rid of dirt and algae. You should do this at least once a week to ensure that your pool stays clean and free of debris. If you don’t want to skim your pool that often, you can install a pool cover, which prevents leaves, twigs, and other types of debris from falling into the water.
Balance the Water Chemistry
Know Your Water Balance
The chemical levels of three elements—pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness—determine the balance of your pool’s water.
The pH level should lie between 7.0 and 7.6, alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm, and calcium hardness between 200 and 400 ppm. Testing the water twice a week with a reliable test kit will help you determine the levels of each element in your pool and adjust them accordingly. By keeping these levels in check, you can avoid equipment corrosion, scaling, and even skin irritation.
Sanitize the Water
Sanitizing your pool water keeps it crystal clear and eliminates harmful bacteria that can cause skin rashes, eye infections, and other health issues. Maintaining a proper chlorine level in your pool water is key to effective sanitization.
Chlorine is a disinfectant that kills bacteria and viruses that can contaminate your pool. However, too little or too much chlorine can be harmful. To achieve the perfect balance, start by testing your pool water to determine the current chlorine levels. Next, adjust the levels as needed by adding chlorine to maintain a range of 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.
Check the Chlorine Stabilizer
Chlorine stabilizer, also known as cyanuric acid, is essential to maintain a stable chlorine level in your pool’s water. The recommended range for cyanuric acid is between 20 and 50 ppm. This prevents chlorine from breaking down too quickly due to sunlight exposure, making it last longer.
However, remember that too much of this chemical can cause a chlorine lock, rendering the chlorine ineffective. Regular checks of the chlorine stabilizer levels will help you maintain an adequate balance and avoid any potential problems.
Clean and Replace Filters
Understanding the Different Types of Pool Filters
Before we dive into the cleaning and replacement process, you should know what type of filter you have in your pool. There are three main types of pool filters—sand, cartridge, and D.E (diatomaceous earth) filters.
Sand filters are the most common, but cartridge filters are growing in popularity as they are more environmentally friendly. D.E. filters are the most efficient but require more maintenance and are usually the most expensive. Understanding which type of filter you have will help you to determine what method to use when cleaning or replacing it.
How Often Should You Clean Your Pool Filters?
Regular cleaning is crucial for your pool filters to function correctly. The frequency of cleaning depends on factors like the size of your pool, how often you use it, and the type of filter you have. On average, you should clean sand or D.E. filters once a year, while cartridge filters need cleaning every three to six months. However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines.
Steps for Cleaning Your Pool Filters
The first step to clean your pool filters is to turn off the pump and close the skimmer valve. The next step is to remove the filter from the tank and rinse it with a hose to remove any large debris.
For sand filters, backwash the filter for three to five minutes. You need to soak cartridge filters in an acid-based solution for 24–48 hours and then rinse it thoroughly with a hose. For D.E. filters, backwash the filter to clear our debris, remove the old D.E. powder, and replace it with fresh powder. Once cleaned, re-assemble the filter and replace it in the tank.
When Should You Replace Your Pool Filters?
Over time, the pool filters will start to deteriorate and need replacing. Signs that it’s time to replace your filters include poor water quality, decreased water flow, and higher-than-usual pool maintenance costs.
Cartridge and D.E. filters generally last two to five years, while sand filters last around seven to 10 years. We recommend referring to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific filter replacement information.
Conduct Shock Treatments
Determine When You Need To Shock Your Pool and How Much Shock You Need
There’s no standard rule on how often you should shock your pool since this depends on several factors, like weather, frequency of use, and the number of swimmers. However, a general rule is to shock your pool after every heavy usage or every two weeks. You can also shock your pool after a heavy rainstorm or whenever you notice persistent cloudy water issues.
Before you shock your pool, you need to determine the correct amount of shock you need. A general rule of thumb is to add 1 pound of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. Always check the label of the shock you’re using to ensure you’re adding the recommended amount of shock per gallon of water.
How To Shock Your Pool
Once you have the right amount of shock, you can start the process of shocking your pool. First, turn off all the pool equipment and balance the pool water. If the pH level is too high or too low, it can affect the effectiveness of the shock treatment.
Remove any debris in the pool before adding the shock. Finally, add the shock to the pool’s deep end to allow it to circulate thoroughly. Then, let the pool water circulate for about eight to 10 hours before testing the water’s pH levels.
You can use your pool again 24 hours after you shock it. Performing these tasks at regular intervals will keep your pool in top condition all year round.
Now that you know the basics of pool maintenance and how to care for your pool, you can ensure it’s crystal clear and ready to dive into.
If your pool needs a little more TLC than your regular cleaning or you’re ready to give your pool an upgrade, contact Limitless Custom Pools and Backyards Inc. today. We’re pool builders in the Houston area who specialize in installation and restoration services. Whether you’re looking to build a breathtaking pool in your backyard or remodel your current swimming pool, we can do it all.