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A Beginner's Guide to Swimming Pool Maintenance
Adding a swimming pool to your backyard can be a great investment. You're always just a few steps away from your own waterside oasis!
Yet, to enjoy your pool to the fullest, it's important to take great care of it. By keeping it healthy and well-maintained, you can ensure it will last as long as possible.
Not sure where to start? We've got you covered! Today, we're sharing our beginner's guide to basic swimming pool maintenance to help you get started.
Know the Basic Pool Parts
When you're ready to establish a pool care routine, the first step is to understand all of the different parts that your pool includes. You want to make sure you're effectively cleaning everything and not only the biggest pieces you can easily see. The basic components include:
- Pool water
- Pool filter system
- Pool interior
- Pool skimmers and returns
Let's take a look at how to keep all of these parts looking their best and operating at full capacity.
The water in your pool should be clear and balanced at all times. The goal is to keep it clean and free of any kind of contaminants or pollutants that could harm you or your family. As an added bonus, regularly cleaning your pool water also keeps the interior hardware clean.
When grime is allowed to build up on those pieces, it can lead to rust, corrosion, and mineralization. This can affect their appearance and shorten the lifespan of your pool.
Pool Filter System
Your pool's filter system is essential to its operation. This is the part responsible for clearing dirt, debris, and other contaminants from the water. It must be in safe operating condition.
If it's on the fritz, you'll notice it. Poorly functioning filters leave pools cloudy, grimy, and visibly polluted.
When designing your pool, you had lots of different options for the interior. No matter which materials you chose, it's important to keep them clean. Due to their constant exposure to moisture, interior walls tend to be breeding grounds for icky bacteria, mold, and algae, which require routine removal.
Pool Skimmers and Returns
In a swimming pool, skimmers draw the water into the filter so it can be cleaned. Then, the returns send that freshly cleaned water back into the pool.
You'll need to check these parts often to make sure they're free of any debris or obstructions that could limit their operation.
Gather the Right Products
Before you begin honing in on all the elements of swimming pool care, you'll need the right gear. At Pool Store Canada, we offer a variety of pool cleaning products designed to keep the guesswork out of keeping your pool water clean and clear.
Some of the essentials to stock up on include:
- Filter cleaner and scale remover
- Water clarifier
Filter cleaner removes oil and mineral scale deposits from your filters, helping them last longer and work better. If possible, look for one with solvents that can emulsify products like suntan lotion and body oils. Aqua Pool Filter Cleaner and Scale Remover is a great pick!
When shopping for a water clarifier, the goal is to find one that will effectively remove small, suspended particles. Even the finest particles can affect the sanitation and purity of your water. Aqua Sparkle from Aqua Pool flocculates these particles, including bits of dead algae, to the bottom of your pool to make the cleaning process easier.
Finally, a great-quality algaecide is what you need to prevent algae buildup within the interior of your pool. Look for one strong enough to remove the most common kinds of algae, including green, mustard, and other varieties. Wham-O from Aqua Pool gets the job done!
Create Key Schedules
A clean swimming pool operates like a well-oiled machine. If you want to help yours perform at peak function, you'll need to create a few schedules. These include:
- Pump circulation schedule
- Cleaning schedule
- Maintenance schedule
Pump Circulation Schedule
Ideally, your pool filter should run around the clock. However, that might not be reasonable depending on your budget or the type of equipment you have. At the very minimum, set yours to run at least 10 to 12 hours per day.
While creating this schedule, also set aside time each month to backwash your filter. This is the process of pushing water through your filter in reverse mode, sending the dirty water and all debris to the waste port, where it can then be removed from your pool.
In addition to the cleaning products listed above, you'll also need a few swimming pool supplies to keep your water clean. These include:
- Pool brush
- Pool vacuum
- Handheld net skimmer
Aim to skim, brush, and vacuum your pool at least once per week. If your budget allows, an automatic pool cleaner can cut back on the elbow grease required, leaving you with more time to enjoy your pool!
Follow the directions on the bottles of your cleaning supplies to determine how often you should use each one, and how to apply the product.
Once you have all of the elements of pool maintenance down, you can create a weekly and monthly schedule to help you stay on top of tasks. Here are the basic steps to follow.
- Check your water levels
- Test and balance the pH levels and alkalinity
- Test and balance the chlorine levels
- Test and balance oxidizer and stabilizer levels
- Check water for clarity and algae growth
- Remove any debris from the bottom of the pool and skimmer basket
- Skim the surface of the water to remove debris
- Check filter pressure and backwash if required
In addition, you should also plan to shock the pool at least once every two weeks. Shocking helps eliminate water contaminants and clarifies the water.
- Clean the pool filter
- Inspect pump and filter for proper functioning
- Inspect pool liner for holes and make necessary repairs
- Test and adjust calcium hardness
- Test and adjust total alkalinity
- Inspect materials (e.g. concrete, gunite, fiberglass) for cracks
- Check all hardware (e.g. ladders, handrails, diving boards) for loose pieces and repair if necessary
Stay Diligent With Swimming Pool Maintenance
When you decided to add a pool to your property, you likely envisioned warm days spent lounging by the water or enjoying a game of splash volleyball with your loved ones. You might not have thought about all the ins and outs that come with swimming pool maintenance!
While these steps might sound complex, they will soon become commonplace. The more you perform pool upkeep, the easier it will be. At Pool Store Canada, we have all of the supplies you need to keep yours in great shape.
Check out our pool maintenance products online to find all your essentials!