There’s nothing like spending a warm summer day in the comfort of a cold swimming pool. But in order to make that pleasant experience a reality, you’ve got to make sure that you’re taking proper care of your pool on a regular basis. If you’re not practicing proper pool maintenance during the spring and summer, you’re going to end up with cloudy water, damaged filters or worse.
Luckily, taking care of your swimming pool isn’t hard when you know the basics. Here are 4 pool maintenance tips that you can do to keep your pool clean and clear all summer long!
The Basics of Shocking
Shocking your pool is one of the most important things that you need to do to keep it clean. Shocking your pool means pouring chlorine into the water so that it can remove bacteria and keep your water from getting cloudy. Most people don’t take the time to think about it, but your pool is actually filled with outside invaders that make the water much less clean than it originally was.
Sound surprising? Consider this: Even if you take a shower before you enter the pool, you’ll be bringing sweat and sunscreen into the water simply by swimming. Unless you’ve got an enclosure over your swimming pool, you’ll probably have insects, leaves, and other parts of nature in the water during a typical day.
All of that can change the complexity of your pool’s water, and not for the better. Using chlorine in your pool eliminates the bacteria from your skin and other sources and prevents them from multiplying in a hospitable environment. In fact, that’s where the smell of chlorine comes from: it’s the chemical reacting with and eliminating bacteria from the water.
However, it’s imperative that you’re only trying to shock your pool in the evenings because there’s another outside factor when it comes to chlorine: the sun. The sun’s rays can make chlorine far less effective, so if you’re trying to perform pool maintenance at the wrong time of day, you’re probably not going to be very successful.
Controlling pH levels
Before you shock your swimming pool, you need to take the time to make sure your pool water is at the proper pH level. Ideally, your pool’s water will have a pH between 7.4 to 7.6, which is just slightly above neutral. If your water’s pH goes higher than 8, you’re at risk for skin rashes, and a pH lower than 7 will result in burning eyes from acidic water.
Your water’s pH also matters for pool maintenance, because if your pH goes above 7.6, chlorine becomes much less effective at cleaning the pool. When water goes above a pH of 8, chlorine is only about 10 percent as effective as it should be, so shocking it won’t do much to get rid of unwanted bacteria.
Luckily, changing your water’s pH level doesn’t have to be difficult. If your water is acidic (below 7.4), all you have to do is add some baking soda to make the water more basic. If your water is already soft and basic, hydrochloric acid can make the difference you need. Just be sure that you’re testing your pool regularly to make sure that you haven’t pushed things too far in the opposite direction.
Clean Up Debris and Clean Skimmers
If you’ve got an enclosure over your swimming pool, you won’t have to worry much about leaves, dirt or insects entering your pool. But if you’re like many homeowners, your pool is likely open to the elements, and that means that your pool maintenance needs to include a regular cleaning of your pool’s skimmers.
Ideally, you’ll empty your skimmer at least once a week, but you really need to check it more often than that. You should also make sure to remove larger debris, such as leaves, before it has a chance to reach your skimmers. Your skimmer is meant to get debris off the top of the water, and it’ll have a much better chance of doing its job if it’s not busy removing larger debris that you could easily pull out of the water on your own.
Even when your skimmer is working the way it should, it’s going to fill up pretty quickly if you’re using the pool on a regular basis. A good habit to start is to take a look at your skimmers every time you get out of the pool. If there’s any kind of debris in there, empty it out so it’s clean for your next swim.
Run Your Pump Regularly
Your skimmers and your pump are meant to work hand in hand with each other, so if you’re taking care of one, basic pool maintenance says that you should take care of the other. One of the best things you can do for your pool is to run your pump on a daily basis so that your swimming pool filters out the debris that your skimmers have collected.
Running your pump for six to eight hours a day ensures that most of the debris gets filtered out of your pool, which makes it easier for the chemicals you’re adding to do their job. If you can run your pump for even longer, it’s a good idea to do exactly that. If you’ve been cleaning your skimmers regularly, your pump will operate at peak efficiency, keeping your water in top shape.
But no matter how long or often you run your pool’s pump, you also need to clean it once a month. To do so, you’ll set your pump to backwash so that it ejects the dirty water that it removed from the pool. If you don’t do this, your filters can get overwhelmed with debris, which makes it hard for your skimmers and your pump to get anything done.
If you need an extra helping hand with pool maintenance, Pool Chemical Service is here to help! We can offer weekly services for your swimming pool and make sure that every part of your pool is well cared for throughout the summer. If you’d like a little help with keeping the pool clean and clear all year long, just give us a call at 707-536-1280!