A pool is often the focal point of any backyard. Not only does it look great, but it can also be a little bit of a social hub during summer. With pool ownership comes responsibility. You need to make sure that your pool is always at its sparkling best, especially when guests are about to visit.
To help you out, we’ve put together a guide that will provide you with the fundamental knowledge you need to keep your pool clean all year round. Let’s dive right into it.
Starting up for Summer
The transition from Spring to Summer is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of the year for all pool owners. Also, you friends might be calling you more often to see when your pool will be open for the season. The last thing you want is to greet them with a swamp and not a pool. Here are 7 essential steps you should take to ensure that your pool is as welcoming as possible.
1 – Take off the Pool Cove
An obvious first step. You should start by removing all debris off your pool cover, removing it, cleaning it completely and then putting it away in storage. Hopefully, there are no nasty surprises waiting for you beneath once you’ve completed this step.
2 – Connect your Equipment
Next, hook up your filter, pump and skimmer if you’ve disconnected them for the off-season. Unless you live somewhere where your water could freeze over, then we recommend that you never disconnect these. The danger of keeping your equipment hooked up in extremely cold climates is that your equipment could burst with the water inside it.
The next step is to change your skimmer baskets followed by reconnecting the filter’s pressure gage. Also, if you have a heater installed in your pool, it’s time to turn the gas on and ignite.
3 – Check Water Levels & Add More if Necessary
Test to see if your water level has dropped during the off-season. If it has, you might have a leak. In any case, your water level should be about half-way up your skimmer.
4 – Get Rid of all Debris & Dirt
Another no brainer. There’s two ways in which you could perform this step. If you would rather the easy route, invest in automatic pool cleaner such as dolphin robot pool cleaner. Make sure you go for an automatic cleaner that will clean the floor, walls and surface of your pool. If you’d rather go the traditional route then use your skimmer to pick up any surface debris, followed by a brush with which you will scrub your pool’s walls and floor.
5 – Circulate your Pool Water
Even during the off-season, making sure your pool water is circulating is one of the most important parts of the maintenance process. When your opening your pool for the swimming season, run your pump for between 12 and 24 hours. This way, you will ensure you get the most accurate results possible during the next step.
6 – Test your Water
If you like, you can perform this step yourself with a test kit. Though for the most accurate results, scoop some water out of your pool and into a plastic container then take the sample to your local pool shop. Try to reach in as far as your elbow, so that you can get more accurate results. Before you head to the pool shop, measure your pool’s dimensions i.e. length, width, depth. From there, your local pool specialist will tell you what type and amount of chemicals you need.
7 – Balance your Water
The final step is to balance your pH levels and you will do this based on the specialist’s recommendations. We will tell you more about balancing your pool water later on in this article.
Maintaining Your Pool During Summer
After successfully opening your pool for the swimming season, you need to keep your water healthy all the way through until winter. To do this successfully, you should monitor three aspects, being;
- Circulation – making sure the water is being pumped through into the filter system, where dirt and debris are collected.
- Cleaning – Manually brushing your pool walls and floor to get rid of algae and dirt. You can also use a robotic pool cleaner to do this.
- Chemistry – making sure that your pH levels are in check. It’s best to ask for the advice of a pool servicing professional.
How to Balance your Chemicals on your own:
To make sure that your chemicals are properly balanced, you need to keep your pH levels in check. The pH level is a measurement of your pool waters acidity vs alkalinity – on a scale of 1 to 14.
If your water is too acidic, you could damage your pool equipment i.e. filters and pumps. If your water’s alkalinity levels are too high then your water can become cloudy. To keep your water in check, you should test your pH levels about once per week and make small adjustments accordingly. Ideally, you should be aiming to have pH levels between 7.2 and 7.6. Take a sample of water to your local pool shop and they will be able to tell you exactly which chemicals you need and how much you should apply.
How to Close your Pool for Winter:
Now that you know how to open and maintain your pool, it’s time to learn how to close it. If you have kept up with your maintenance throughout the year, then doing this will be a piece of cake. Here is a quick breakdown of the steps that you need to take:
- Scoop up any leaves from your pool surface and scrub your pool walls. Then, vacuum the floor. You can also use a robot pool cleaner for this step.
- Make sure your chlorinators, filters and pumps are working properly and run the latter for 4 hours each day.
- Backwash your filter.
- Check your pH levels weekly and balance accordingly.
- Prevent algae build up with phosphate remover.
- Put on a pool cover.
- Take a water sample to your local pool shop once per month.
That’s all folks! As you can see, pool maintenance is a fairly consistent process with minor adjustments depending on the time of year. Do bit by bit throughout the whole year and you’ll avoid any major pool servicing bills.