According to IBIS World, a reliable international data source, swimming pool maintenance will be worth $7.2 billion in 2023. While many resort to expensive professional maintenance services, I’m here to tell you that this is something that you can do yourself.
Cleaning up your pool and maintaining it year-round doesn’t have to be daunting or take up all your time. If you do it just right, you’ll be able to enjoy a sanitary and clean pool throughout the year. This means that you can have the freedom to jump in any time that you want without worrying about dirt, leaves, bacteria, and more.
If anyone is well enough equipped to explain the ins and outs of pool maintenance, it’s me. Over the years, my family and I have lived in three different villas, all of which had full-sized pools and were maintained solely by me. That’s right – we never needed a pool maintenance company to come by and clean it up for us.
How? You might ask. Well, it’s quite simple. With a few techniques, tips, and tricks, you can keep your pool looking new without an ungodly effort.
In this comprehensive guide, I will dig deep into pool maintenance and how to keep your swimming pool tiles clean and clear water. I’ll also go over some do’s and don’ts of pool maintenance.
How Often Should I Clean My Pool?
You should clean your pool once a week. If you can effectively do this, it’s unlikely that you will need help from an above-water pool cleaning service. Cleaning your pool at least once weekly helps prevent dirt and algae from growing and solidifying on the surface of your pool tiles.
Remember, when it comes to pool maintenance, the water isn’t the only aspect of your pool that will need replacement and constant care. You’ll also need to pay attention to the pH level, the quality of the flooring tiles, observe them for any cracks or inconsistencies that can be dangerous, and much more.
In case of such damages, the cost of maintaining a pool can add up quite quickly, which is why regular maintenance is so important. You’ll also want to run your pool water pump regularly to ensure your pool water is properly circulated—more on that in the next section.
Pool Water Circulation
Ideally, your pool water pump should always run along with your heater. Why? Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. However, it can often be impractical to run your water pump 24/7. So I recommend running it for at least a few good hours, say 4, daily.
Super chlorination is a term that means adding a higher amount of chlorine – usually three to four times more – than you usually would kill off harmful bacteria and algae that might be growing in your pool. This is especially useful after having a pool party with many family members and friends or if you haven’t used your pool in a long time and the regular amount of chlorine or bromine just won’t cut it.
But what happens to all that chlorine in your pool? Over time, the sun’s UV rays and exposure to the atmosphere causes it to dissipate and lose concentration, meaning you don’t have to worry about toxicity or harming your body.
However, you can’t use your pool for at least a day or two after performing the super chlorination, as the concentrations of chlorine at that time can be harmful to your skin, teeth, eyes, nails, and internal organs if swallowed.
Cleaning The Pool Filter
First, it’s important to understand which type of pool filter you have. There are three most common types of pool filters, namely sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters.
Why is this important? Because each filter is slightly different when it comes to cleaning, Remember, no matter what type of filter you have, it’s vital to turn it off and disconnect it entirely from the primary power source before you begin any maintenance work or cleaning on it.
For sand and DE filters, your first step is to release the pressure by turning the air relief valve. This ensures you don’t get any back pressure going into the filter while you clean it.
Backwashing means reversing the water flow through the filter to flush out all the debris that may have accumulated over time. If it’s been weeks or even months since you’ve done this, the debris build-up can be pretty substantial, so take your time cleaning it out with bristles and a brush to ensure you get it just right.
In case you have a cartridge filter, this is where you take out the cartridge to have it cleaned out. This is also an excellent opportunity to assess whether you need pool repair. If you inspect your cartridge and find it damaged beyond repair, this is the point that you should change the cartridge for a new one.
Your next step is to reassemble everything, including putting back the cartridge or replacing it with a new one and priming the pump in the case of a sand or DE filter. You can prime it by filling the pump basket with water to prevent it from running dry.
Now all that’s left to do is start your pump and let it run for a few hours, checking for any inconsistencies and ensuring it runs smoothly.
Acidity or alkalinity measured by pH levels is crucial to monitor while maintaining and keeping your pool up to the best possible condition. While understanding pH levels might initially seem complicated, I’m here to clarify things.
pH is a scale from 0 to 14, which measures how acidic or basic your pool water is. A pH of 7 is neutral, meaning neither acidic nor basic. Anything below 7 represents acidic, and anything above 7 is basic or alkaline.
But how much on the pH scale should your pool water measure up to be? The correct answer is neither too acidic nor too basic, between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale.
This is because if your pH level is too high, it can lead to cloudy water, scaling on pool surfaces, discomfort in your eyes, and skin irritation.
If the pH level of your pool is too low, it can mean that your pool water can become corrosive, leading to damaged equipment, and you feel like you’re swimming in lemon juice, which is not very pleasant!
What To Do If Your pH Level is Too High Or Too Low?
Don’t worry if the pH level of your pool isn’t just right. There are many simple ways that you can remedy this without needing to shell out excessive amounts of money or put in back-breaking work.
If you need to raise your pH level because it is too low, add a pH increaser like baking soda. If it’s too high, only a pH-level-decreasing agent like muriatic acid must be added.
Do’s and Don’ts of Pool Maintainance
Here are some of my top do’s and don’ts of pool maintenance at a glance:
|Test pool water regularly
|Don’t neglect pool water testing
|Skim the pool surface frequently
|Don’t let debris accumulate in the pool
|Vacuum the pool floor weekly
|Don’t ignore the dirt and leaves on the pool floor
|Brush the pool walls and tiles
|Don’t let algae and grime build up on walls
|Balance pH levels (7.2 – 7.8)
|Don’t let pH levels become too acidic or basic
|Use pool chemicals safely and correctly
|Don’t mix pool chemicals haphazardly
|Clean pool filter as recommended
|Don’t ignore a clogged or dirty pool filter
|Super chlorinate when needed
|Don’t forget to shock the pool after heavy use
|Protect the pool from extreme weather
|Don’t leave the pool exposed during storms
|Cover the pool when not in use
|Don’t allow debris to enter the pool when covered
|Regularly inspect and maintain pool equipment
|Don’t ignore equipment issues or leaks
|Hire professionals for complex repairs
|Don’t attempt complex repairs without expertise
Pools are beautiful additions to our homes and can create remarkable moments for you and your loved ones. There’s nothing better than diving into your pool in the privacy of your own home at your leisure. However, this comes with a caveat: regular maintenance is required for the upkeep of the pool.
Basic tasks like circulating the water regularly, along with checking the pool filter and pump periodically, are all steps you can take to keep your pool maintained.
Another vital part of pool maintenance is super chlorination. I do this at least once every three months or when we use the pool heavily after a party to kill off any germs or algae that may begin accumulating. Remember, stagnant water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and insects that can harbor diseases, so running your water pump regularly is key for good circulation.
If you need help or it’s just been too long since you’ve cleaned your pool, you may need professional cleaners to do a thorough deep clean. The pool cleaning cost can run you anywhere from $500 to a few thousand dollars, depending on the pool size and how much work needs to be done.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are the essential steps for saltwater pool maintenance?
Saltwater pool maintenance includes regularly testing and balancing the water chemistry, monitoring salt levels, cleaning the pool walls and floor, and assessing the salt chlorinator system.
2. How often should swimming pools be cleaned, and what is involved in the process?
The surface should be skimmed at least once a week, the pool floor swept, the walls brushed, and the pool filter examined and cleaned.
3. Why should I hire a professional above-ground pool cleaning service?
Hiring a professional above-ground pool cleaning service provides skilled care, correct equipment handling, and periodic maintenance, saving you time and effort while keeping your pool in outstanding condition.
4. What factors contribute to the cost of maintaining a pool, and how can I estimate it?
The cost of maintaining a pool depends on factors like pool size, location, water usage, chemical treatments, and any required repairs; you can estimate it by calculating monthly chemical expenses, electricity usage, and occasional maintenance costs.