Guide to Pool Maintenance

by Pool Builders on 07-12-2010 in Articles

Owning a swimming pool is a lot of fun, and a lot of work - especially if you don't follow the proper pool maintenance guidelines. While swimming and lounging in a clean, crystal clear pool is fun, maintaining the pool is anything but joyous. Nevertheless, if you want to enjoy the pool and have a sanitary and safe spot for your family to play, maintenance is the key.

It is a fact of life that most people do not enjoy cleaning, but just a bit of work on your behalf can have your swimming pool looking good. Arm yourself with the appropriate pool cleaning equipment and necessary chemicals, however, and your pool maintenance will be easier than you ever imagined.

Before You Start

You have to really know your pool in order to maintain it properly, and this includes knowing how much water it holds. The number of gallons of water in your pool is a necessary figure that will allow you to determine the amount of chemicals that should be added to the pool, like chlorine and other necessary chemicals. You can find the volume of the pool inside the owner's manual that was packaged with the pool. If you do not have this information, you can figure the volume yourself. Simply figure the area of the pool and multiply it by the average depth - and then multiply the result by 7.48 to get the total volume or number of gallons of water in the pool.

What You Will Need

Balanced water is clear and clean water, and making sure that the pool water is balanced is accomplished using a test kit. These inexpensive kits will tell you if your chlorine level is optimal, and also reads the calcium hardness, pH, and alkalinity of your pool water. The various chemicals that you will need to add to your pool water under your pool maintenance schedule include:

- Chlorine - used to sanitize the pool water and make it safe for swimming. Chlorine is sold in granule, liquid and tablet form. You can also purchase an inexpensive chlorine tablet floater that will dispense chlorine gradually for you.

- Stabilizer or water conditioner - is used to protect the chlorine in your pool from being depleted by the rays of the sun.

- Shock treatment - boosts the effectiveness of chlorine and should be part of a weekly pool maintenance schedule.

- PH increaser/pH decreaser - used to raise or lower the pH level of the pool water as needed.

You may also need other chemicals like algaecide to eradicate algae and cause a decline in algae growth, and water clarifier for cloudy water. You should also have a high quality pool vacuum on hand for removing debris and other particles that accumulate on the floor of the pool, and a brush for brushing off material that clings to the side walls.

For proper pool maintenance, you will need to test your water quality with a test kit daily and add chemicals as needed to get the water to an optimal level. You also must skim out any debris, bugs, and other material from the top of the water each day, clean the skimmer basket, and check the pump to ascertain if the filter needs to be backwashed. Once weekly, brush the sides of the pool with a stiff brush, vacuum the pool, backwash the filter, and top off the pool water if needed. Be sure to clean any pool floats and toys as well as the pool ladder once weekly, too, so as to steer clear of algae growth on these items.

Following this maintenance schedule will allow you to fully enjoy the summer swimming season without a huge problem developing that could end up costing you more time and money!

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