Spring Cleaning for Your Pool  

by Pool Builders on 09-11-2012 in Articles

Spring is here and now is the perfect time to start cleaning your pool in preparation for a busy summer period ahead. In this article we will go through some of the techniques you can use to keep your pool sparkly clean and enjoyable for the swimming season.

The Pool Cover
The pool spring cleaning process begins with removing the pool cover. Remove rain from the cover using a small pump. Tightening the cover by pulling the edges encourages the water to pool in a central location. Using a broom, remove as much dirt, leaves and other debris from the top of the cover as possible. Fold the cover to one end of the pool and remove. Lay the cover in a sloping area of the yard and clean the surface with a garden hose. Allow sufficient time for drying before folding and storing the cover.

Pool Pump & Filter Cleaning
Wrap plastic tape around the threaded plugs that fit into the pool filter, pool pump, chlorinators and connections. Insert the plugs and hand tighten. Reattach hoses and reinstall pool pumps, skimmer baskets and pressure gauges. Tighten skimmer and return screws. Assess and replace the gaskets and the metal around the skimmer and return openings if needed. Assemble the filtration system while inspecting parts. Pay close attention to hoses that may have become brittle during the winter. Replace hoses if necessary.

Remove leaves and larger debris using a rake or a leaf bagger. Pool filters require thorough cleaning now if not done the previous fall. There are several different methods for cleansing sand filters. Soak the filter in a sand filter cleaner or use a backwash filter cleaner. In either case, do not run pool pumps on a normal cycle before thoroughly backwashing and rinsing. Manufacturer's generally recommend replacing sand more than three years old. Filters containing diatomaceous earth also require soaking using the recommended pool cleaners.

Cleaning the bottom of the pool
Fill the pool to the normal water level, turn on the pool filters and monitor the water circulation. Before vacuuming dirt from the pool's bottom, set the filter system to €waste.€ This setting sends the debris through the backwash without contaminating the sand filter. In the event filtration systems do not have this feature, detach the hose between the filter and pump. Attach a backwash hose directly to the pump. Clean filter baskets as needed during the process.

For above ground pools, attach the wand and hose to the vacuum head and place the device into the water. Attach the skim-vac adapter to the other end of the hose. Hold the adapter over the return jet, which forces water in and air out of the hose. Slide the adapter into the skimmer. With the siphon started, slowly move the vacuum head across the bottom of the pool.

Cleaning and Chemical Treating:
Use a brush and one of the recommended surface pool cleaners and gently scrub the walls around the perimeter of the above ground pool. For granite or tile pools, use commercial tile cleaners. Surface pool cleaners also work well for cleaning out skimmers. Clean ladders, steps and faceplates at this time.

Following the manufacturer's instructions, check the pool water quality. Replace kit reagents every spring before beginning this process. Normal alkalinity levels range between 80-120 parts per million or ppm. Add one pound of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of water, which raises alkalinity 10 ppm. Average calcium levels range somewhere between 180-220 ppm. Use one pound of calcium chloride for every 10,000 gallons of water, which raises levels approximately 5 ppm. Run the pump for around eight hours, allowing thorough chemical circulation.

Check the pH level, which normally lies between 7.4 and 7.6. Increase the pH using sodium carbonate or soda ash. Decrease the pH with muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. Some pool owners also add clarifiers at this time. Allow another eight hours for chemical circulation. Hyper-chlorinate or shock the pool using one pound of granulated calcium hypochlorite or five gallons of household bleach for every 10,000 gallons of water.

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