According to U.S Census Bureau, swimming ranks at the 4th place for the most popular sports activity in the United States, which is why a backyard pool is a sought-after luxury.
Unfortunately, people nowadays love to own a pool, but only a few know how to maintain it. Just like your car, swimming pools require year-round cleaning and maintenance so that the sludge settling inside the pool doesn’t foul the water, or your health, for that matter.
Here’s an essential guide to pool cleaning and maintenance for beginners and the pool-owners who don’t know where to begin.
Image Source: Unsplash Todd Quackenbush
Learning Swimming Pool Components
You cannot learn maintenance as long as you are not familiar with the basic components of a swimming pool, which are pivotal and require routine check-ups.
Water:Of course, needless to say, pool water is the constitutional component of a swimming pool. Keeping it clear, clean, and fresh is your pool’s only chance at lasting happiness, and similarly, your key goal to prevent hardware repairs or health complications.
As opposed to the outer layers that are thinner and cosmetic, a swimming pool’s interior walls are next-in importance to keep the pool safe and clean. The surface is in constant contact with the pool water and all the dirt that accumulates inside it. As long as the interior is soiled, the pool water cannot remain clean.
Pool interior walls are usually made up of plaster, fiberglass, tiles, stones, or vinyl, which is better for custom shapes and lasts 10 to 18 years.
Like the heart of a human body, water passes through the pool’s filter system and comes out clear of debris and grime. Since pool filters play the crucial role of filtering the water, keeping it fit is important. Without the filters working properly in your swimming pool, your pool would be an un-swimmable mess.
Image Source: unsplash Sajin S
Make a Checklist
Before we begin a step-by-step guide to keeping the pool in tip-top shape, here is the checklist essential to a pool-cleaning chore.
- Proper Pool Circulation
- Proper Pool Cleaning
- Keeping proper Pool Chemistry
- Regular Pool Shocking
- Keeping a proper Maintenance Schedule
The Three C’s:
Circulation, Cleaning, and Chemistry are the famous three C’s of a pool caring task. Easier to remember it this way, each “C” comprises of various chores that lay the foundation for a healthy, crystal clear pool water.
Step #1: Keeping a Proper Circulation of Pool Water
It is recommended to keep the pool water circulating through a filter system. Ideally, a circulation frequency of 10 to 12 hours a day is sufficient to ensure the pool filters are correctly functioning according to the pool size. Stagnant water is home to fleas and dirt, which is why the filters must keep the water in circulation for a healthier and cleaner pool environment.
Under the Circulation tab, a backwashing pool filter is another essential to-do task, especially if the filter gauge reads 10psi or above the normal reading for a clean filter. You must learn how to backwash your pool filters or clean the filter cartridges as significant add-ons to the pool care routine.
Step # 2: Cleaning the Pool Regularly
Besides proper water circulation, manual cleaning of the pool is mandatory. This one is an all-inclusive cleaning step to tidy up the in-house oasis you’ve got, ranging from skimming off debris to using the pool pump and backwashing the filter.
Pool brushes, net skimmers, and/or pool vacuums are some of the tools you require for cleaning it weekly, at the very least. Of course, you wouldn’t need to do half the chores if you have got a robotic pool cleaner, but that’s a discussion for another time.
Step # 3: Regulating Pool Water Chemistry
Not nearly as intimidating as that may sound to a person who just wants to dip and stay away from books, testing pool water chemistry is surprisingly basic. A balanced level of chemicals in pool water inhibits bacterial growth and keeps internal parts safe from mineral-buildup.
The pool water should essentially remain at:
- A pH of 7.4 to 7.6, which is only slightly basic to impede the growth of microorganisms and keep the water safe for human use.
- The Alkalinity of 100 to 150 ppm that acts as a buffer to resist changes in acidity or basicity of the pool water. You may use baking soda to balance the total alkalinity.
- Balanced quantities of sanitizers such as chlorine, bromine, and phosphates.
- Moderate calcium hardness of around 200 to 400 ppm.
There are several pool water testing kits that you can keep in your cleaning bag to determine (and correct) the different chemical levels. It is noteworthy to know that chemical levels in a pool depend on the size of it.
You can go with a standard handbook, but if you have a custom-sized swimming pool in your backyard, you would need to do some math to calculate the exact chemical balance.
Step # 4: Shock Your Pool
By shocking the pool, we literally mean jerking it up with super-concentrated doses of sanitizers, once every two weeks at least. Pool shocking classifies under the Chemistry tab, but it is more of a biweekly treatment given to kill off contaminants, remove organic debris, and weather a few factors. These include; an algae breakout, a large and unexpected spill of pollutants, and after a storm.
You can easily buy a pool shocking fodder from any home-improvement store and electrify your pool water every 1-2 weeks for a safer and cleaner swim.
Step # 5: Making a Timetable
Scheduling duties and remaining consistent with it is the key to overall performance. Breaking down pool cleaning chores into short weekly tasks makes it easier to fit it into your routine. Seemingly, the workload sounds too big, but regular maintenance hardly takes up a few hours every day.
Work up a schedule for cleaning and maintenance and paste it by your mirror. You may rope in family members on a Sunday for a fun-filled, pool-cleaning day and share the duties.
Wait – Don’t Forget About the Kiddie Pools!
Image source: pexel-Juan Salamanca
Kiddie pools might appear white and bright with only little scrubbing required on the surface, but the Centers for Disease Control has some shocking news for all adults.
As compared to the in-ground or over-ground pools in your backyard, the kiddie pools are the more preferred home to gastrointestinal microorganisms that can cause copious diarrhea and rashes to your child if not properly maintained.
- Drain the kiddie pool every week, scrub it with a kitchen brush, and refill it with fresh water.
- Purchase a kiddie pool cover to cap it when not in use.
- Get a pool vacuum to clear out the dirt and sand at the bottom of the pool.
- Frequently use sanitizing chemicals such as formulated chlorine, algaecide, borax, and bleach in the water, and a testing kit to analyze the right balance of chemicals.
Water is a habitat for several organisms, including algae, fleas, and disease-causing bacteria. Poorly maintained, stagnant water in your swimming pool is an open magnet to everything except for humans, because no one would want to bathe in murky water.
Following this pool cleaning and maintaining guide, you can thoroughly enjoy all rewarding aspects of owning a swimming pool with your mind at peace.