Your pool gets a lot of use in the summer, so keeping it safe and clean for your family and friends is important. Create a scheduled cleaning routine to keep your pool in top shape.
1. Set A Timer For Your Pump
How often, and for how long, you should run your pump will depend on how big your pool is and the size of your pump as well. A professional will be able to determine that for you.
Keeping the water circulating is very important. It helps to clean your water to prevent algae and bacteria growth. Having a jet installed also helps move the water, especially at the bottom of the pool.
2. Clean The Skimmer Basket
Filtering your water, and having jets, help push dirt and debris to the skimmer baskets. Some pools only have one, some have multiple, to catch as much as possible. If your pool is under large trees, it is vital to constantly clean out the skimmer basket since it will likely always be filled with leaves. If you are not emptying the baskets regularly the water cannot flow properly.
3. Test The pH Balance
Pool test kits are very easy to use. All you have to do is put a strip in the water and you compare the colour on the strip to the colours in the kit. This is testing the water quantity and chlorine level. The lower the pH level, the less chlorine you have to add. The higher the pH level, the more likely your skin will get irritated and the water could be cloudy.
4. Chlorine, Bromine & Algaecide
There are a few different options when it comes to keeping your pool healthy and properly sanitized, and not all brands will be the same.
Chlorine helps keep your water safe by killing bacteria in your pool. You can buy it in a stick form, tablets, or granular, which depending on your cleaning routine, one may appeal to you more than the other. Tablets can be placed in floating tablet holders that keep your pool clean for up to two weeks. Granular will require more labor as you have to apply it almost daily.
Bromine also helps kill harmful bacteria in the water, but it is more stable in warmer temperatures (which is why it is popular for hot tubs). Bromine also lasts longer and uses less chemicals as chlorine, but it is more expensive.
Algaecide is not to be used instead of chlorine or bromine, but with your sanitizing routine. It helps to prevent algae from ever growing in your pool.
5. Cleaning Supplies
Common cleaning supplies you will need on top of a pH testing kit and chlorine or bromine are:
- Telescopic poles/net
- Vacuum head/hose
- Pool brush/tile brush
- Leaf traps
- Pool cover
6. Keep Pool Full
Letting the water get too low can actually damage the pump and let it run dry until it burns out. It can fluctuate often, especially if there are storms. If the water gets too high, it can be pumped out, but if you notice it is too low, start filling up with your garden hose right away. Having to replace your pump because you did not feel like filling up the pool could cost you a lot to replace it (anywhere from $300-$1,000).
7. Winterizing Your Pool
The way you look after your pool in the winter is just as important in the summer. You will need to make sure it is covered properly to avoid any cracks or leaks. Clean it one last time before closing it – give it a good vacuum, scrub the tiles or vinyl, check the pH balance, and shock it one last time. Keeping your water clean throughout the winter will ensure your lining will not be damaged or have anything growing on it come spring.
You may want to drain your pool below the skimmer line and remove the skimmer basket, or you can buy skimmer covers. But if water builds up in the skimmer and freezes, it could crack. You will also need to drain the pump completely and bringing it indoors and safely storing it can help prevent any damage during winter storms, since they are expensive to replace.
Once your pool cover is in place and all your pool accessories are safely stored away, you are ready to say goodbye until spring.
Owning a pool does not have to be a hassle. With a regular cleaning routine and the proper cleaning products, it will be a breeze. But make sure you are speaking to a professional about all the products you need and what will work best if you have an above ground pool, in-ground pool, or saltwater pool. Your real estate agent can also provide you with recommendations to local pool professionals in the area.
Looking to buy a house with a pool? These agents can help you:
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