One of our favourite pass times at this time of year is hanging out by the pool. Make sure it’s in top nick by following these handy pool maintenance tips.
Regular pool maintenance and cleaning
The key to keeping your pool healthy, in good condition and enjoyable is to keep it clean. Having a pool pump, filters, and a creepy crawly or automatic vacuum system on a daily cycle will definitely help this process along, but it is still necessary to perform some regular cleaning tasks.
Skim the surface
Every couple of days, you should skim the surface of the pool to remove bugs, leaves and other debris. It only takes about 10 minutes if you keep the routine up.
Clean the filter
You need to clean the filter basket out regularly, but don’t make it ‘too clean’. According to How stuff works, a clean filter is less efficient than a slightly dirty one because having some grit in it will actually help ‘trap’ other dirt particles.
Scrub the pool
To prevent algae blooms and stains, you need to scrub or brush the sides, steps and bottom of the pool regularly. Pool maintenance professionals recommend doing this anywhere from once a week to once a fortnight, depending on your pool.
Tip: If you have stubborn algae stains that won’t brush off, try soaking an old sock or rag with chlorine and using it as a hand-held ‘scrubbing brush’.
Chuck in a tennis ball
A hot tip for keeping your pool as clean as possible is to throw in a tennis ball so it’s fibrous covering catch surface gunk and oils like sunscreen residue.
Keep an eye on the water level
Maintaining your pool’s optimum water level is important so you know how much chemical to put in it to keep it clean and clear. Aim to have the water level about half way up the opening of your skimmer (of inground pools); this is a good way to visually check the level and will ensure the skimmer can function properly. Evapouration and splashing will be the most common causes of water level fluctuations, but in some cases excessive water loss might be due to a leak. If you suspect a leak, try the DIY bucket test.
Water testing and chemicals
To ensure water has clarity, is clean and safe (i.e. bacteria-free) and doesn’t irritate skin, you need to keep on top of your pool’s water health. Desirable PH levels, acidity and alkalinity depend on whether your pool is chlorinated or salt water, the pool design, the climate you live in and how you use the pool. It is best to get a pool maintenance professional to inspect your pool and its equipment, conduct comprehensive tests, and provide you with advice on your ideal chemical levels and ingredients, and a required care schedule. From there, you can take care of regular water testing and chemical maintenance using easy to use DIY water testing kits (available online and from pool supply stores).
Tip: After a summer storm, your pool is likely to have more debris in it than usual and be out of whack from changing water levels and temperatures. As soon as possible after a storm, you should clean it out and test and sanitise the water to prevent a bacteria outbreak.
Once a year, it’s a good idea to get a pool service professional to come out and do full check over of your pool heath and pool equipment; try an Airtasker pool expert for great service and results.