There’s nothing like a nice cool dip in the pool to beat the summer heat.
But for homeowners who own a pool, there’s a lot of maintenance that comes before the first splash.
Keeping a regular maintenance schedule can seem overwhelming.
With so much to do your pool may seem like more of a chore than a joy. But here at The Pool Butler, we want to save you time and make your pool fun again.
Here’s how to maintain your pool quickly and easily.
How Often Do I Need to Maintain My Pool
How often to maintain your pool is a common question. Many pool professionals will tell you to test and adjust your water a few times a week, or even daily.
But if you bundle all of your pool cleaning tasks together into a neat package, you can get away with a weekly routine.
In fact, setting up a weekly pool cleaning ritual will keep your pool clean, safe, and crystal clear with minimal effort.
The key to any pool maintenance is regularity.
Pick a day of the week to maintain your pool and stick to it.
Never go more than a week and you should be in the clear.
On the other hand, letting your pool go too long between cleanings will require more work to undo the damage.
So if you want to keep your pool cleaning ritual simple and quick, you have to stay on schedule.
Clean out Debris
The first step is to take just a few minutes to clean out debris from your pool.
Using your skimmer on a long extension pole, quickly skim the entire surface of your pool.
This will catch any floating debris.
Next, empty the skimmer basket.
Dispose of the debris well away from your pool, in some bushes or even in a compost bin.
You want to make sure the debris can’t just blow back into the pool or be tracked in by people walking in and out of the pool.
To keep the debris cleaning quick and easy, identify debris causing hotspots.
Look for trees and bushes that shed a lot of leaves, blossoms, or pollen.
Make sure to keep them trimmed back so you are not constantly fighting the plants to keep your pool clean.
If possible, you may even consider replacing the offending trees and bushes with varieties that cause less of a mess.
Vacuum the Pool
First, turn the return jets on the side of the pool so that they are facing downward.
This will reduce ripples on the surface of the water and make it easier to see the bottom of the pool.
Next, set up your hose and submerge the head so that it is at the bottom of the pool.
Vacuuming is the part of your maintenance that will take the most time.
An average sized pool should take 30 minutes to vacuum completely.
Don’t rush or you won’t get all of the debris.
Use smooth, even strokes that overlap a bit.
Think of it like mowing a lawn.
If you notice the hose floating a bit, you may be losing pressure.
Check to see if the filter is full and empty it if it is.
If you have low pressure and the filter isn’t full, there may be a hole in the hose.
You will need to repair or replace the hose before your next weekly maintenance routine.
After you’ve vacuumed the whole pool, use a vinyl brush to knock any algae off the side of your pool.
For a concrete pool, you can use a brush with stainless steel bristles.
Adjust the Chemicals
With a little practice, this step can be done quickly and smoothly.
Get a testing kit from your local pool store and follow the directions exactly. After doing this a few times you will find that it goes much more quickly.
The first thing to adjust is the pH.
If the pH is above 7.6, add muriatic acid.
If it is below 7.4, add a soda ash product to raise the pH.
Next, adjust the chlorine and alkalinity.
If the chlorine is below 1 ppm or the alkalinity is below 90 ppm, you can quickly “shock” the water.
Dissolve some chlorine and/or alkalinity increaser in water and add it to the pool.
Try using a lithium-based chlorine.
It will dissolve more easily and won’t leave a residue or affect the pH too much.
Backwash the Filter
Backwashing doesn’t have to be done weekly, but doing it weekly will keep your water clean and avoid problems building up.
There are three main types of filters: sand, diatomaceous earth (DE), and cartridge filters.
In a sand filter, the sand traps dirt and oil. Letting the dirt and oil accumulate can cause serious problems.
Backwashing will run the water through the sand in the opposite direction and the water pours out a waste pipe into the ground or a drain.
With a DE filter, a fine clay collects dirt and particles in the pool water.
Backwashing will wash the dirt in a collection bag.
Empty the bag every other week and replace the back once every few years.
When the backwash is done, add some DE to the skimmer to replenish the filter.
A cartridge filter catches dirt and particles in a fine mesh filter.
Simply remove the cartridge and hose it off with a garden hose.
Then replace the filter and you are done
After backwashing, check the hair and lint catcher in the pump.
Make sure to shut the system off and close the skimmer valve in front of the pump.
This will hold the water in place so you don’t have to prime the pump after cleaning.
Once the system is shut down and the valve closed you can unscrew and remove the filter.
Dump its contents in the trash, replace the filter, and turn everything back on.
Chlorine is necessary to keep your pool water clean.
It kills bacteria and prevents algae from growing in your pool.
Keeping a constant level of chlorine in your water is the best way to keep your water clean, clear, and safe.
Once you have completed all your other pool cleaning tasks, you are ready to add chlorine to the system.
There are a few ways to do this. Many pools have a chlorinator.
A chlorinator is a small, tube-like tank next to your pool that allows you to slowly introduce chlorine to the water with slow-dissolving sticks.
You can get these sticks at your local pool supply store.
Read the directions on the packaging to calculate how many sticks to add based on the size of your pool.
If your pool doesn’t have a chlorinator, you can use a floating chlorinator.
It works in the same way, with slow-dissolving chlorine sticks.
However, if you have children who will be using the pool, this may not be the best solution.
It can be dangerous for small hands to find their way into a floating chlorinator.
Refill the Pool if Necessary
The final step in your weekly maintenance ritual is to check the pool’s water level.
It is important to keep the water level about halfway up the mouth of the skimmer.
This prevents the skimmer form sucking air, potentially damaging the pump system.
Use a garden hose to refill the water and bring it back up to the desired level.
Keep On Schedule
This is a great way to keep your pool clean with as little work as possible.
As long as you can keep to a schedule, following these steps should keep your pool clean and ready to use.
However, skipping steps or cleaning sessions can lead to problems.
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to clean your pool, The Pool Butler can help.
We offer regular pool cleaning and maintenance so you don’t have to think about your pool when you’re not swimming.
Contact us online or call us at 770-439-2644 and we’ll set up a regular maintenance schedule to keep your pool at its best.
In conclusion, regular pool maintenance is critical to keeping your pool clean, safe, and enjoyable.
By following a weekly cleaning routine, which includes skimming debris, vacuuming, adjusting chemicals, backwashing the filter, adding chlorine, and monitoring water levels, you can ensure that your pool remains in optimal condition.
If you find it challenging to maintain your collection or prefer professional assistance, services like The Pool Butler are available to help you with regular pool cleaning and maintenance.
So, take the necessary steps to keep your pool clean and ready for a refreshing swim whenever you desire.
How often should I clean my pool?
It is recommended to clean your pool every week. Regular maintenance helps keep the pool clean, safe, and crystal clear.
What should I use to clean debris from the pool surface?
A skimmer on a long extension pole is ideal for removing debris from the pool surface. Skim the entire pool to catch any floating debris.
How long does it take to vacuum a pool?
Vacuuming a pool typically takes around 30 minutes for an average-sized collection. Take your time and use smooth, overlapping strokes to ensure all debris is removed.
How do I adjust the chemical balance in my pool?
Use a testing kit to check your pool’s pH, chlorine, and alkalinity levels. Follow the instructions provided with the testing kit to adjust the chemical levels accordingly.
How often should I backwash the filter?
Backwashing the filter should be done regularly, typically weekly, to keep the water clean and prevent problems. The frequency may vary depending on the type of filter you have.
What is the best way to add chlorine to the pool?
If your pool has a chlorinator, you can add slow-dissolving chlorine sticks to the chlorinator based on the size of your collection. Alternatively, you can use a floating chlorinator, but exercise caution if small children use the pool.
Should I refill the pool if the water level is low?
Yes, it is essential to maintain the water level at about halfway up the mouth of the skimmer. Use a garden hose to refill the water and return it to the desired level.
How important is it to stick to a regular maintenance schedule?
Consistency is crucial in maintaining a clean pool. Skipping steps or cleaning sessions can lead to problems. By following a regular maintenance plan, you can ensure your collection stays in optimal condition.
What if I need more time or knowledge to maintain my pool?
If you prefer to leave the pool maintenance to professionals, services like The Pool Butler offer regular cleaning and maintenance. They can help you maintain your pool and ensure it stays in its best condition.
Proper pool maintenance is essential for a clean and enjoyable swimming experience. If you have any additional questions, contact a pool maintenance professional or The Pool Butler for expert assistance.