How to Properly Maintain a Swimming Pool

by Pool Builders on 02-20-2012 in Articles

Opening your pool for the season

It's finally warm out and you're ready to open the pool for the season. The first thing to do (before even touching the pool itself) would be to ready to pool deck area. Clean up any debris from the surrounding pool deck area-anything that will potentially produce debris in your pool. You must also to make sure to trim up any surrounding bushes/trees that may have grown over your pool during the off months.

Once the surrounding area is clean you can begin to inspect the pool itself. You need to remove any freezer plugs, inspect the filter and pump, inspect the light fixtures, install any handrails/ other equipment, and most importantly check the tile for chips and cracks. Once the pool itself is inspected you have two options: You can either drain and clean the pool (scrubbing the walls/floor), or you can shock the water and walls with chlorine and vacuum the pool floor.

Water Analysis

Once your pool is ready and filled you must continually do a water analysis to make sure your pool is safe for swimmers. Some of the things to measure are the total alkalinity, calcium hardness, phosphates, and most importantly the pH levels. A pH level of 7.2-7.6 is ideal. Once the pH level is set, it should stay consistent for 1-3 weeks, depending on the amount of rainfall into the pool. If you have complaints from swimmers about their eyes burning- you most likely have an issue with you pH levels (they may be too high or too low).

Determining the proper type of chlorine for your pool is also an important step in your water analysis.Chlorine comes in tablets, sticks, and granular form. While different types of chlorine can vary greatly in price, don't be surprised to find that they all contain the same main active ingredient. The only difference will be the concentration levels of the active ingredients.

Water testing should be done about twice per week; unless it is being done by a professional, then 3-5 times per season is adequate.

Cleaning/General Maintenance

While keeping the chemicals balanced is extremely important, general cleaning and maintenance should not be overlooked. Vacuuming the pool floor and cleaning the pool surface are two of the most basic, yet effective ways to clean a pool and keep it safe. This will rid the pool of debris before it has time to break down and have an effect on the water. Other important areas to continually clean are handrails, ladders, diving boards, etc. These areas are especially important to clean as they are areas we are in close contact with just before entering the pool. By keeping these areas clean we can avoid bringing extra debris/germs into the pool. Lastly, checking and exchanging out dirty cartridges from your pool filter will ensure it functions properly and keeps your pool clean.

Closing your pool for the season

Getting your pool ready for the winter isn't as simple as it sounds. In order to properly winterize your pool you must first drain your pool to the proper level (which is different depending on the size of the pool). The next step is to remove all pool hardware such as handrails and baskets. You can then insert anti-free and freezer plugs to protect pool pipes for the winter months ahead. You must also remember to remove the pool filter and shut down the heater. Some pool owners also decide to add a winterizing chemical to their pool to prevent algae growth while the pool is covered up.

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