Pool Maintenance Tips - These 3 "Pillars" Are A Must

by Pool Builders on 03-29-2011 in Articles

Often, especially first time swimming pool owners, believe there's very little, if any, pool maintenance items that need to be consistently done. The reality is that swimming pool maintenance can be a breeze and extremely simple if we know what we're doing and why we're doing it.

Pool maintenance tip #1: Water flow. Without water movement, your swimming pool is essentially nothing but a stagnant bucket of water. Circulation is paramount to enjoy a beautiful and sparking pool during the swim season. Without water movement, you can add all the necessary chemicals, but they won't do anything productive as they're not circulating.

This is a why for a standard sized swimming pool, the equipment should be running for 8-10 hours a day. You can back off to 6 hours a day during the off season (unless you winterize your pool). Running your pool for 8 hours should provide you with enough movement where the water completes at least one full cycle of filtration. Anything less than this can lead to a buildup of pathogens and algae - especially in the areas of the pool where water circulation is minimal.

Pool maintenance tip #2: Chemistry. Although one doesn't need to be a chemist to effectively balance their water, there are a few things that need to be done regularly to ensure you don't have an algae infested body of water. Always make sure your free chlorine is between 1-3 ppm (even if you have a salt water swimming pool). Make sure the pH levels are maintained between 7.2 and 7.6 ppm. Too low for an extended period of time can lead to corrosion at the equipment and if it's too high, you can get scale - that nasty white buildup of calcium along your water line. The third item that needs to be monitored is your TA level. This will tell you how alkaline (or lack thereof) your water is. Your TA level should be maintained at 80-120 ppm.

Pool maintenance tip #3: Filtration. Even if the first two items above are dialed in appropriately, filtering the water is paramount. There's only 3 types of common media on the market to filter pool water. These are DE filters, cartridge and sand filters. All 3 of these need to be cleaned periodically. A good rule of thumb is that when the filter pressure exceeds 5psi greater than its normal operation pressure it's time for a cleaning. On a DE and sand filter you do what's known as backwashing. Adjust the multi-port valve to where it says "backwash", let it run for 60-90 seconds (or until the water coming out is clear) and return it to normal filter operation mode. On a cartridge filter, the dome of the filter needs to be removed (typically, there's a band clamp that needs to be removed) so you can access the cartridge(s). Simply remove the cartridge(s) and hose down with a high pressure nozzle attached to your garden hose. Spray off all the gunk and dirt and reassemble the filter.

There you go. I hope you've enjoyed these 3 swimming pool maintenance tips. They are what I call the "pillars" to a sparkling, algae-free swimming pool.

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