A Beginners Guide To Pool Maintenance
Your swimming pool needs regular upkeep. Thats why it pays to develop a strong basic understanding of pool maintenance essentials.
When you know how your pool works, the best ways to care for it, and how to plan for it, youll be ready to solve just about any potential pool problem that floats your way.
Pool Maintenance With A Pool Vacuum
No matter how powerful a pool pump is, coarse dirt that has settled on the bottom can only be removed from the pool with difficulty with the filter system or the floor drain.
If the dirt is not removed early on, bacteria and algae will develop in the pool, which will cloud the water.
This is where the pool vacuum comes in. The dirt in your pool can easily be vacuumed off with a pool vacuum.
The advantage of a pool vacuum is that it works without direct electricity and is connected to the existing filter system in your pool the dirt that is sucked in remains in the filter until the next backwash.
An alternative to manual pool vacuums is the automatic pool vacuums or the electric pool robots. You can find more information about vacuum robots in my blog.
Using An Automatic Pool Cleaner When You Have An Algae Problem
Dealing with pool algae is hard enough. Add vacuuming to the list, and you might find yourself thinking its time to replace your pool with something less high-maintenance, like a rare orchid farm or a meerkat sanctuary.
Its tempting, but dont fire up your robotic cleaner. Pressure-side automatic pool cleaners push algae and other debris up through a mesh bag. This gives the algae a nice little tour of your pool, but doesnt remove it.
Taking things high-tech wont help, either. They do an amazing job when algaes not an issue, but even the best robotic pool cleaners use a fine mesh bag thatll clog with algaefast. The clogged gunk gets blown around the pool, and youre back to square one.
S To Keep Inflatable Pool Water Clean
The key contaminants of an inflatable pool or paddling pool are bacteria and debris. The constant stagnant water attracts bacteria hence regular treatment of the pool is essential.
Salt and chlorine sanitizers are common in killing and preventing bacteria growth.
On the debris, it is vital to have a mechanism that will help remove any possible debris in the water and prevent the entry of leaves and debris, such as using covers and rakes. Below are more details.
When Do You Choose Automatic Cleaning
Whether or not you opt for automatic cleaning depends to a large extent on the size of your pool and the extent to which you use it. For smaller swimming pools, a swimming pool pump is actually not necessary. You can often clean it more efficiently yourself.
A swimming pool pump often only becomes relevant for swimming pools with a diameter of 183 centimetres or more. Some swimming pools contain a cartridge filter or sand filter pump. The method of purification of these pumps differs. A cartridge filter pump contains a paper filter that you must change every 1-2 weeks. A sand filter pump filters through sand or glass grains dirt the size of a sand grain from the water. Before purchasing a swimming pool pump, you should note the diameter of the hose and the connection.
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How Do I Keep A Kiddie Pool Clean Without Chemicals
If you simply do not want to use chemicals to keep your kiddie pool clean, there is an alternative. Rather than chlorine, use Distilled White Vinegar. Add 1/2 Cup for every 100 gallons of water in your pool. If you choose to use this method to keep your pool clean, then it is important to note that Vinegar is a known weed killer. If you drain your pool in your grass, expect your grass to yellow severely. Alternatively, drain the pool in the driveway.
Backwashing Your Pool Filter Too Often
Despite its name, backwashing is NOT a secret toddler technique for leaving floaties in your soda. Backwashing cleans the media inside your filter, whether its sand or diatomaceous earth . Pool water washes funk and gunk out of your filter media, then exits through your filters backwash valve drain port.
Backwashing is an important part of basic pool care, but overdoing it is one of the more common pool maintenance mistakes.
Two Ways To Circulate Pool Water Without A Pump
- Using A Siphon Hose: A siphoning hose is a soft plastic pipe. It is open on both ends and can be attached to a garden hose to elongate its length. A siphon pipe of the desired size is the only thing needed for this pool water circulation method. One notable thing is that the bigger the hose, the faster it drains water.
- Using a Shop Vacuum: This is regarded as the best and most straightforward pool water circulation method. It is efficient, fast, and typically works with any pool. Besides, it operates by creating a suction effect from the vacuum bag affixed to it.
Vacuum The Bottom Of The Pool
You can use the skimmer to scare up some of the sand and debris at the bottom of the kiddie pool, but you wont get all of it. The Aqua Broom is a fun little gadget that vacuums the bottom of the pool to help keep it cleaner longer.
The Aqua Broom runs on D batteries, which are known to corrode if water gets inside, so make sure the compartment is sealed tight after you replace them.
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Common Pool Maintenance Mistakes
Making pool maintenance mistakes ranks on our personal scale of fun somewhere between tripping on a rake and getting kicked in the tender bits. Owning a swimming pool brings plenty of chances to make pool care mistakes, big or small.
But mistakes are really just opportunities to learn. Educating yourself on the most common pool maintenance mistakes helps you keep your pool safer, cleaner, and running efficiently with less mess and frustration.
Also, if you want to avoid making any of these pool maintenance mistakes in the future, invest in our pool care video course. Youll learn how to keep your pool consistently clean with proper skimming, vacuuming, and brushing techniques. And well also show you how to keep a simple, regular schedule so your pool will always be clean and clear.
Always Measure The Ph Value In Your Pool
The pH value measures the acidity of the swimming water is. In principle, the lower the pH value, the better the disinfection of your pool, but the value must also remain healthy for your skin. The ideal pH value of swimming water is between 7.2 and 7.6. At a value of 7.0 the water is neutral at a higher value the water is basic and at a lower value the water is acidic.
The pH value of your swimming pool is relatively easy to check with the help of test strips. The colours on such a strip indicate whether the values are correct or not. If you see that the pH value is too high, this means that algae formation and lime deposits can occur. In addition, a high pH value is unhealthy for eyes and skin. You will then have to add pH minus to lower the pH value. Too low a pH value is bad for your health and skin. For example, you may suffer from irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes. To reduce the balance, you can add pH-plus to the water. A correct pH value is very important and can prevent various problems. So, you should check your swimming pool regularly with the help of the test strips and read the guidelines that are supplied with the pH raisers and lowers.
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Knowing The Parts Of A Pool Makes A Big Difference
It would be difficult to fully maintain your pool if youre unfamiliar with its anatomy. Think of it this wayif you were going to maintain your own car rather than take it to a mechanic, its imperative to know how the engine works, what all the parts are, how they work together, and what to look for when something goes wrong.
Its no different when you own a pool. Thankfully, though, a pool doesnt have nearly as many moving parts as a car, so you can take care of it yourself a lot more easily. But that care still requires a foundational knowledge of all the parts of your pool.
Find A Neighbor Or A Friend
This is the key to success when it comes to keeping your swimming pool clean while youre away.
The ideal candidate is someone who owns a pool themselves. They should already know what to do. Tell your friend or neighbor to check on the pool once a day and provide them with a simple checklist, including:
- Empty the skimmer basket
- Skim the surface of the pool
- Check the filter pressure
- Test the water with a test kit or test strips
- Add any necessary chemicals
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Draining & Refilling An Inflatable Pool
Some of the nicer, full-featured inflatable pools include a drain plug to make regular draining and refilling easier. Just remove the plug and drain, or connect a garden hose if you want to avoid lawn erosion or over-saturation.
If you dont have a drain plug in your kiddie pool, but you have a nearby hillside, you could use a garden hose to siphon most of the water out, to a point where you can flip it over to empty fully. An easier method would be to use one of our small submersible pumps.
Even though you may do all of these things above testing and adjusting pH level, keeping a constant chlorine level, and maybe even filtering the kiddie pool water, there comes a time in the maintenance of a small pool or kiddie pool when you really should drain the pool and start over.
Larger soft sided pools with frames can operate as a normal above ground pool, since they usually come with a properly sized filter and pump. For most inflatable pools or plastic kiddie pools following the guidelines listed above, the water should be changed every two weeks at a minimum. If you are not adding chlorine to kill bacteria, drain the pool every other day. Stagnant water without chlorine can become unhealthy water in as little as 24-48 hours.
Why Should You Clean The Kiddie Pool
When I set out to write this piece, I was blissfully ignorant of the horrific dangers that lurk in the kiddie pool. Cue the Jaws music, and zoom in to all the microscopic monsters that lurk in the depths: Cryptosporidium! E. coli! Shigella! Giarida! These germs can cause gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, the kiddie pool is positively rife with bacteria, especially if children from more than one family use it.
Now, the CDC, to me, is the ultimate authority on such matters, but Ive got to say, my sister and I swam in communal horse tanks and wash tubs and blow-up kiddie pools our whole childhood, and so has Ruby, and as far as I can recall, no swimmers ear, oozing rashes, or copious diarrhea ever resulted. But that obviously doesnt mean it cant or wont happen.
To help ensure it doesnt, the CDC recommends warning your children not to get pool water in their mouths. Good luck with that. Also: Give children a cleansing soap shower or bath before they swim. Um, yeah. Lady, the swim IS the bath.
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Removing The Debris From Pool
Debris and other organic materials will damage the pools surface and pose a risk to the swimmers. Thus, you need to check for debris in the pool regularly, how youd wonder.
There are many ways of removing sediment from bottom of a pool, but here are some common ways.
- Use A Pool Leaf Rake
Maybe you are used to using a rake for removing leaves from your compound grass. Pool leaf rakes are specially constructed rake with nets and a deep bag that is used to remove debris from the pool.
Just simply connect the pool pole to the net and drag it on the bottom of the pool.
- Use A Pool Cover
Typically, the kiddie pools come with a cover. This cover serves to prevent the entry of pets, leaves, or debris into the pool. Consequently, you should put back the cover to help have your pool clean.
Ensure that the cover has a tight fit by holding it with bricks or bungees.
- Use Pool Filter
Using filters is another mechanism that can help keep inflatable pools clean. As their name suggests, filters work by removing any unwanted material in the water.
However, you should not use a filter while the pool is in use, for it alters the suction power of the pool.
- Use A Pool Vacuum
There are manual and automatic vacuum cleaners for inflatable pools. The automatic vacuum cleaners have a rechargeable battery operation.
For the manual vacuum cleaner, connect the garden hose to the pools pole to vacuum.
- Regulate the ph level
Keep Your Water Clear
Keeping your pool water clear can become a massive task if you dont take care of it before it happens. You want water that you can see through, and at the very least, you dont want your pool water to be colored with a green or brown tint. Any tint of yellow, brown, green, or even shades of blue can be a sign of algae formation, and you will have to purchase additional algaecides to remove already-formed algae.
The best thing you can do is get a pool clarifier liquid that you add to your pool to help maintain its clarity and clearness. These pool clarifiers help remove substances like hairspray, makeup, natural oils, and lotions so that algae and other bacteria dont form as quickly.
If you already have a formation of algae in your pool, you will have to use an algaecide to get rid of the algae and wait until the algae is removed before entering your pool safely again.
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How To Clean A Pool With A Leaf Skimmer
The first step in pool water cleaning is to remove all the leaves, dirt, and other floating debris from the waters surface. Its essential to perform this routine daily to prevent clogging in the filter system and keep the water clean.
- Telescopic pole
Attach the leaf skimmer net to a telescopic pole to reach the furthest areas of the water. Skim the surface with the net to pull out the leaves and foliage and remove the excess debris as needed while you work.
Begin at one side of the pool and make your way across to the other side as you clean the water surface.
Cyanuric Acid Or Stabilizer
Most chlorine products you add to the water will be stabilized chlorine. However, if you start with fresh water, you might want to add some cyanuric acid as a stabilizer base so that the chlorine doesnt get burned off by the suns UV rays so quickly. This chemical will protect your chlorine from the sun.
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How Often Do I Need To Clean My Pool
To keep a pool clean and healthy, you need to be consistent. During the swimming season, you will have to do a little work to maintain it a few times a week, or even daily. Before the offseason, you will have to winterize your pool, or at least prepare it for closing, to avoid coming back to a swamp in the spring.
There are some tricks that will let you reduce the number of times you have to clean your pool to twice a week or so. But if you miss a cleaning, you could start a chain reaction that is hard to reverse. Consistency is the key. It is highly recommended that you keep a written schedule of cleanings. This will help you stay on track. It will also help you to track things like chemical levels, which will make maintaining safe, clean water easier.
You should probably skim and vacuum your pool daily, or at least every other day. Depending on how much you are using your pool, water testing and chemical adjustment could be a daily or a weekly task. Brushing can be done once a week. Checking and emptying skimmer filters should be a weekly chore. Backwashing your filter can be done less often, possibly once a month or once every 8 weeks depending on pool use.
If it seems like a lot of work, you may want to consider a pool cleaning service. The Pool Butler offers White Glove Service, the highest standard in pool cleaning. Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring The Pool Butler, it is important to know the three keys to keeping your pool clean.
Tip #: Perform Regular Cleaning Chores On Your Pool
Simply maintaining your pool chemistry, filter, and skimming will not be enough to keep your pool clean forever. More strenuous tasks will be necessary to keep your pool clean. These chores include vacuuming, scrubbing the sides of your pool, and shocking your pool. All of these will benefit your pool in the long-run.
These are not tasks that will need to be performed as often as other tips on this list, but your pool does still need them. Humans and pets are not as clean as we like to image they are, and their dirt and grime will build up in the pool over time. This will require you, the pool owner, to stay on top of this cleaning to keep your from becoming a gross and unkept mess.
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