Pools are one of the things buyers look for in a home. Having a pool at your home is a luxury that everyone dreams of.
But attaining the crystal clear water necessary for a relaxing swim isn’t always easy or cheap. The average cost of pool maintenance is more than two hundred dollars per year.
Proper pool maintenance requires buying the right chemicals, keeping up with leaves and debris, and anticipating changes in your pool’s pH level. If you don’t keep up with a pool maintenance schedule, then you could fall victim to algae build up, broken water filters, and nasty green water.
Read on to learn more and ensure you keep up with your pool.
1. Skim Regularly
Skimming the leaves from the top of your pool water may seem obvious, but it’s important to make a point to mention it. If you want your pool to be in tip-top shape, you have to make skimming a part of your regular routine.
If you have some money to spend on the effort, consider purchasing a robotic vacuum that will do the job for you.
2. Scrub Often
Scrubbing should also be a part of your daily pool maintenance routine. If you want your pool to be crystal clear, you can’t have any green algae forming on the sides of the pool.
Using a scrub brush to clean the sides of your pool at least once a week is a great way to ensure its always fresh when you go for a swim. This tip is especially important if you have tile accents around the border of your pool since you don’t want algae to get on the tile.
3. Take Filtering Seriously
The filter of your swimming pool is basically its kidneys. If you want it to be clean, then you need to change the filters regularly and maintained them between changing.
Most large pools have a filter basket that filters larger debris from the pool. Clean this basket out once or twice per week based on how much access small critters might have to get in your pool. The filter basket is often where you will find frogs and lizards hiding.
About once or month or so, you can clean your filter system by backwashing it. Change the settings to backwash and remove the basket from its spot. Your pump will run. Shut it off when the waste pipe begins to eject clear water.
Pro tip: Don’t turn your filter on and off too often. The mechanics of your filtration system are set to run on a six-hour cycle and shutting it off can interrupt the cycle and cause your equipment to start to malfunction before its time.
4. Maintain Consistent Chemical Levels
The chemical levels of your pool will have one of the largest effects on its ability to stay crystal clear. If your water isn’t balanced, it can appear cloudy, green, irritate your skin or eyes, and turn your pool into a cesspool of bacteria.
To ensure your pool is being maintained properly, you should test your chemical levels at least once a week.
The six chemicals that you will be measuring are cyanuric acid, free chlorine, acidity/alkalinity, the total alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
Your cyanuric acid protects your chlorine from degradation in the sunlight. It should be at a reading of 30-50.
Your free chlorine is a sanitizer that helps your pool stay free of germs. The level will vary based on personal preference as well as the other filtration and cleaning systems that you have in place.
The acidity/alkalinity of your pool is its pH level. It should be in a range of 60-120.
And finally, your calcium harness should be in a range of 220-350 unless your pool has vinyl siding on it.
5. Use a Pool Strip Kit for Pool Maintenance
To check the levels of these chemicals, buy a test strip kit at your local pool store. Fill up a sample glass with water from your pool and dip the strip in it before comparing it to the chart on the vial to see if your levels are in the right range.
It should only take a few seconds for the test strip to develop and the color to change. Once it adjusts you can add more chemicals and continue to test the water until it reaches a proper balance.
6. Use Baking Soda as a Low-Cost Pool Chemical
Pool chemicals can get expensive, but there are ways to balance your pool without buying fancy lab-made mixes. Try buying some baking soda at your local store and use it to control the pH level of your pool.
Instead of using sodium bicarbonate that you buy from the pool store, use your baking soda. The amount you need should be identical since sodium bicarbonate is the primary ingredient in baking soda.
7. Shock Your Pool When Necessary
Many people avoid shocking their pools because they are nervous about the strong chemicals they have to use and don’t want to do it wrong. But shocking your pool when it is necessary is one of the best ways to ensure it stays clean.
Every time you have a large party, you should shock your pool to kill all the bacteria and keep it from getting murky. You should shock your pool about twice a season.
8. Consider Fiberglass Pool Resurfacing
The fiberglass pool resurfacing cost may be high, but it can have a lot of benefits for your pool in the long run.
It can create a more easy to maintain pool environment and cover up any cracks or stains that may appear in your pool over time.
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Performing regular pool maintenance is key if you want your water to stay crystal clear all year round. Taking the steps to keep your pool in tip-top shape will ensure it is always ready when you go for a swim.
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