Pool Cleaning & Maintenance
If you have an in-ground pool at your home or business, you’ll want to ensure that it is clean and safe to use all season long. But trying to keep your pool water clean can be quite the challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter what type of pool you may have.
In this blog, we’re going to break down how to clean a pool and provide a guide to pool maintenance for beginners.
How to Clean a Pool
Remove the Pool Cover
As we will discuss in the pool maintenance section, you should always cover your pool when you’re not using it. Using a pool cover is particularly important during the off-season, but should also be used between pool sessions.
To remove the cover, get a friend or family member to help you. Should you attempt to remove the cover by yourself, you risk debris from on top of the cover falling into the pool itself, defeating the purpose of the cover.
Ensure that the pool cover is completely cleaned and dried before putting it away for storage.
Inspect the Pool
Next, you’ll want to check the pool for anything unusual. This includes mold, cracks, leaks, chips, and other abnormalities. It’s crucial that you take care of any needed fixes as soon as you notice them, so call a professional to repair your pool if necessary.
You should also be inspecting the pool’s water level. Evaporation is a normal process that will slowly lower the water level, but if your pool’s water is draining at an unusually high rate, it’s likely a sign of a leak somewhere. Checking your pool water level regularly is just another protection against a hidden leak costing you money and causing damage.
Clear All Debris
Use a pool skimmer to get rid of leaves, nettles, pinecones, and other debris from the pool. Make sure to remove any toys or larger objects from the pool when it’s not in use, too.
You might be thinking, “won’t the pool filter just clean debris on its own?” Over time, leaves and debris can clog your pool’s pump and filter system, so it’s best to clean those bits out yourself.
Scrub & Vacuum the Pool
Algae and bacteria won’t just form in the pool water, but also on the pool’s surfaces such as the floor, walls, ladders, and railings. Use a pool brush to scrub excess debris and mold from all surfaces.
You should also use a special pool vacuum to get any areas that you couldn’t reach when using the pool skimmer or pool brush. It’s best to allow your pool filter to completely filter through all of your pool water after you finish cleaning the pool manually, as the cleaning process might distribute debris that was laying dormant before you started cleaning.
pH Balance the Pool
Before you finish up your cleaning, make sure that your pool chemicals are properly balanced. Use a pool test strip or testing kit to ensure that the chlorine level, pH level, and other water chemistry elements are properly balanced. Here is where your chemical levels should be at for proper chemical/water balance:
Total Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm (parts per million)
Chlorine: 2.0-4.0 ppm
Cyanuric acid: 20-50 ppm
Calcium hardness: 200-400 ppm
How to Maintain a Pool
Practice Above Steps Throughout Usage Season
Don’t just clean your pool before you use it for the first time each swim season – clean it regularly throughout the season. Your pool is more likely to become damaged or dirty while the pool is being used, making it crucial that you practice proper pool maintenance techniques.
Keep the Pool Cover On
Though it might be a lot of work to remove and clean the cover each time you want to use your pool again, pool covers are your best defense against debris and unwanted objects.
If you’re diligent about using your pool cover between uses, you’ll actually save time when you go to clean the pool the next time. This is because there will be significantly less debris to clean out, since it will be caught on the cover instead.
Keep the Filter Running
You should keep your pool filter running for around eight hours a day during the swimming season and 4-6 hours a day during the fall and winter (assuming the outside temperature is under 70 degrees).
Keeping the pool filter running ensures that the water doesn’t remain stagnant. Still bodies of water are common hosts for bacteria, algae, and mold. The water filter can also clean out debris and minerals that are too small to see with the naked eye.
Check Your Pool for Leaks
In addition to a dropping water level, here are some common signs that you may have a pool leak on your hands:
Higher than usual water bills
Wet spots in your yard surrounding your pool
Strange gurgling sounds coming from the pool
Algae forming in your pool
Water that is turning green
Cracks in the pool or around the pool area
Clean the Pool Filter
Your pool filter should be cleaned at least once a month during swim season and once in total during the off-season.
Learn more about how to clean a pool cartridge filter step-by-step by watching the video below:
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