The weather is hot, kids are out of school, and outdoor activities are in full swing. Summer has arrived and there is no better way to spend your days than in and around your backyard pool. Since it is more fun to swim in your pool than clean and maintain it, some
important things may be overlooked to keep your pool clean, safe and running smoothly. Here are six easy steps that, when performed weekly, will keep your backyard oasis crystal clear and perfectly safe for you and your guests.
- Removing Debris: With your pool net, skim any floating debris off the surface of the pool and discard in an appropriate area where it won’t blow back into your pool. Remove skimmer basket and discard the debris as well. Pruning of trees and bushes closely surrounding or overhanging your pool can help keep excessive debris out.
- Vacuum: Automatic and robotic pool vacuums have become quite popular over the years. They are intended to be left in the pool for long periods of time, but in most cases not run for all 24 hours of the day. If you are using a standard hand operated pole vacuum, this should be done weekly. Be sure to rotate return jets towards the bottom of the pool so visibility is at its best. Move slowly, in overlapping, parallel lines similar as if you were mowing the lawn. Next, brush the sides of the pool down to remove any algae.
- Chemicals: An extremely important part of pool upkeep is the water chemistry. Your pool water should be tested weekly, regardless of the amount of activity. Start by adjusting the pH first. If your pH reading is above 7.6, muriatic acid should be added; a pH reading of below 7.4 will require soda ash. Next, if your chlorine reading is less than one part per million (ppm) or your alkalinity is less than 90 ppm, you will need to “shock” the water. Shocking your pool will raise the chlorine level for a short period of time killing bacteria and anything organic in the pool making it cleaner and safer. For more information on maintaining your pool’s water quality, visit: http://www.maintainyourpool.com/pool-water-maintenance-tips.html
- Backwash: Backwashing cleans the tiny particles clogging your filter and allows for better water flow. To do a backwash, start by turning the filter off. Next, turn the dial on the filter to “backwash” and run for three to four minutes. Now turn the dial to rinse and run for another few minutes. Lastly, turn the system off, turn the dial back to filter and turn system back on.
- Pump Filter: One of the last steps of your pool maintenance is to clean the pump filter. In order to do that, you must first shut the system off. Next close the skimmer valve in front of the pump. This will keep the water in place, eliminating the need to re-prime the system afterwards. Unscrew the filter trap cover, remove basket and discard the contents. Reassemble filter trap, open skimmer valve and turn system back on.
- Adding Chlorine: There are a couple of ways to introduce chlorine into your pool water. A chlorinator sits next to the filter system and slowly adds chlorine as water is filtered through. The second is a floating canister. Although these canisters are effective, they can be dangerous if children often use the pool. To add chlorine, read packaging and calculate how many sticks will be needed, based on the pool volume. As a rule, you can use slightly more chlorine when the water is warmer or there is increased pool use. Lastly, add water if the level is less than half way up the skimmer well-maker.
You can get the most out of your pool with this simple weekly plan. We hope our summer pool maintenance program keeps you and your family’s outdoor entertainment plans going swimmingly all season long!