The family swimming pool provides lots of fun and entertainment. In order to make sure the pool stays in good condition, there are some regular items that have to be addressed. Pool maintenance is not glamorous – but it should be attended to regularly, or it can lead to problems. Here are 5 tips to keep the pool clean and clear:
1) Take care of the pool chemicals. Handling this item “every so often” is just asking for trouble. Checking and adjusting pool chemicals is best handled as a weekly item on the chore list. Just go look at a pool which has been neglected – the scum of algae on the sides of the pool will be a great motivation to make sure this item gets handled. Check the pH of the water, and adjust as needed, and the kids won’t run in the house saying “Mom, the pool smells funky.”
2) Attend to the pool pump. All the water in the pool circulates through the pump, so it’s a collection point for hair, lint and debris. It’s like the lint trap in the dryer – if it’s not cleaned out, the dryer won’t work as well. Shutting off the pump and cleaning up the basket which collects debris doesn’t take long, and is well worth the effort. Pool professionals say that cleaning the pool pump is one of the easiest ways to assure that the pool water stays clean. After cleaning, make sure to “re-prime” the pump, so that the pump is circulating water – to avoid a pump burning out.
3) Clean the pool filters. This is not a weekly job – it is suggested to clean pool filters every 4 to 6 months. You can schedule this cleaning when you change the air filters in the house as an easy way to remember this maintenance item. Remove the filters, clean out the debris, then pool pros recommend soaking them in a 10% solution of muriatic acid. Make sure to use rubber gloves and eye protection. After the soak, rinse the filters, let them dry, put them back in place, and that job can be checked off the list.
4) Use the leaf net regularly. Particularly if there are a lot of trees in the yard or the neighborhood, cleaning leaves is a must item. If it’s a windy day, that’s a good time to give the pool an extra cleaning. Leaves seem to congregate in a pool, so a few minutes cleaning them is not a bad price to pay to avoid the leaves decaying and contaminating a pool. The biggest point is to be regular about it. Most of the time, 2 to 3 times a week will keep the pool clean.
5) Use the pool brush often. The usual recommendation is to brush pool surfaces once a week. Make it part of the Saturday morning routine, and it won’t get forgotten. The worst thing is to be watching that great football game and realize you forgot to brush the pool. The regular cleaning prevents the buildup of algae or unsightly discolorations that will make the pool so much less appealing for swimmers. It also prevents the bigger problem of cleanup once the problem has gotten worse. Yes, it takes a little time, and can make a pool owner break a sweat – but jump in the pool as a reward.
Pool ownership involves a certain amount of maintenance. When it is handled regularly, it allows the pool to be the source of enjoyment it was intended to be. The chores are not tremendously time consuming, and prevent major maintenance like replacing a pool pump prematurely.
From time to time we accept guest articles. Today’s article was written by Carol Atkins. Carol has 3 kids with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely black Labradors. When she’s not working out with aqua aerobics in the family pool, she spends hours watching the kids and dogs play and have fun. She is also a dedicated runner, and diligently training for her first half marathon. She currently writes for Poolcenter.com.
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