Keeping the pool clean and healthy is not as complicated as many people think. While every pool and its maintenance requirements are different, the key to maintaining a pool in pristine condition is regular care and upkeep.
Correct care and maintenance is something that you can learn only by educating yourself. Every pool owner that is knowledgeable will rarely have any problems and even if there is one, they generally know the solution too.
Being a knowledgeable pool owner is not something that takes a lot of time, but we’ve made a list of some handy hacks to help you out. From skimmer baskets, Unicel Pool Filter Cartridge Replacement, to pH levels of pool water, these hacks cover a lot of important pool maintenance basics.
Clean the Skimmer Basket Often
As the name suggests, its job is to skim the pool water surface and remove debris before it becomes saturated with water and sinks to the bottom. The skimmer has a basket which is generally accessed via a small panel on the deck. The debris is collected in this basket. Discarding the contents of the skimmer basket on a regular basis will ensure the skimmer continues to work effectively.
Clean and Replace the Filter
The filter plays a crucial role in the health of your swimming pool. As a result, it is just as crucial to clean it regularly and replace it when needed. Out of the different types of filtration systems out there, cartridge filters are the most popular. It is recommended that cartridge filters be cleaned regularly; but a good rule of thumb is if your pressure gauge is 5-8 lbs higher than normal, it’s time to clean the filter cartridges.
It’s a good idea to keep a spare Unicel or Pentair Pool Filter Cartridge Replacement handy for when you clean your current filter cartridge. Cartridges perform best and at highest efficiency when they are completely dry before putting them back into the system. Having a spare on hand guarantees that the cartridge will be dry as well as reducing down time for the pool.
Regular cleaning of the pool filter cartridges also extends the life of the filter. While there is no specific timeline that applies to everyone due to usage, environment, and weather, cartridges that are maintained properly can last a very long time. In some cases, customers have used the same cartridges for 3 years or more!
Check the Pool Chemistry
Keeping your pool at the proper chemistry levels is crucial. It is very important to test the pool’s chemistry regularly and make adjustments if needed. During the summer months, you should test at least 1-2 times per week, and during the winter months, at least once every 1-2 weeks.
One of the most important items to check for is proper pH. The recommended pH level in a pool is between 7.0 – 7.8. pH is tested to determine the chlorine requirement of the pool. The higher the pH is, the less active the chlorine is. There are many different types of testing kits available; however the most popular one is the testing strips. Inexpensive and very easy to use, testing strips are an accurate way to measure the pH in the pool.
Check for Pool Leaks – With a Bucket
Recently installed pools should not have any leaks, but this is a common problem with older pools. Checking for leaks does not mean you need to remove all the water! A simple bucket test will indicate if you have a leak or not, and it is very easy to do!
Fill a plastic bucket with water, about three quarters. Mark that water level on the inside of the bucket. Place the bucket on the water in your pool and mark that water level on the outside of the bucket. Let the bucket float for 2-3 days and then check the water levels on the outside and inside of the bucket. If the water levels are about the same, there probably isn’t a leak in your pool and water loss is due to evaporation. If the water outside the bucket has gone lower than the inside of the bucket, you probably have a leak and need to hire a professional to patch it.
Use a Tennis Ball to Eliminate Oils and Lotions
Suntan lotions and sunblock are often carried by swimmers into the pool. But when the swimmers leave, they leave all of that behind, and oils and lotions will quickly cloud the pool water and make it appear dirty.
Simply toss a tennis ball in the pool and it will start collecting those oils and lotions from the water. Easy!
Watch the Water Level of the Pool
The water level in your pool should remain constant. Incorrect water levels can result in problems to the pool pump and/or skimmer. Most pools are designed so the correct water level is easy to determine—try to keep the water level in the center of the pool tiles or the pool skimmer opening for the best results.
If the water level is too low, the system pump will run try and can burn out. Additionally, if the water level is too low, the skimmer door will not function properly. The skimmer door keeps all of the debris and dirt inside the skimmer basket.
Winterizing the Pool
You may or may not need to winterize your pool depending upon where you live. If the temperature where you live falls below freezing (32 degrees) during the winter months, additional steps need to be taken to ensure a healthy pool. Three of the most important steps to take are as follows:
- Use an air compressor to remove all the water from the plumbing system of the pool at the beginning of winter. Water left in the plumbing can freeze and result in serious damage.
- Try to remove as much water from the heater and filter as possible. Use non-toxic antifreeze to eliminate the remaining water.
- Clean your pool and reduce the water level to about 20 inches before super-chlorinating and covering it.
Invest in Good Quality Cleaning Accessories
There are many different types of pool cleaning accessories that make regular pool cleaning and maintenance so much easier than it was a decade ago. However, you don’t really need all of them—depending on the type of pool you have, the appropriate accessories are easy to determine.
Some of the most common accessories are algae remove, phosphate remover, water test strips, scum magnets, and leaf catchers. Also available are all-inclusive kits that contain everything you need for regular cleaning and maintenance. These kits can sometimes contain clarifying pods that can also remove scum build up and phosphate.
Keeping your pool clean and healthy does require some work but it isn’t as challenging as one would expect if you have the right knowledge. With these easy to follow hacks, you can easily become a professional pool owner!