Did you just move into a new house with a pool? Just signed over the turnover sheet from your contractor for a finished pool? Overwhelmed with everything you see online that talks about pool cleaning and maintenance? Scared of shelling out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to a guy in a van promising to keep your pool clean on a monthly basis? Well, if you’ve answered yes to any of those questions then you’re in the right place
Bookmark this page so you’ll always have a place to go back to whenever you feel that your pool cleaning or maintenance tasks are spiralling out of control. See, pool maintenance doesn’t have to be hard or expensive, all you need is a little know how and guidance from people who used to BE the guys in the van. So let’s dive in shall we?
How your pool works
The first thing you have to be aware of is how your pool works so you don’t have to wonder what each part is and what it does. We have a helpful and comprehensive guide about how your pool works here, so you can check out how everything is connected to give you a better understanding of your pool. (Don’t worry about clicking the links, they all open in a new window so you won’t lose this page)
Pool Chemicals and Levels
No need to be a chemist or a mad scientist to be comfortable around pool chemicals. Don’t be scared of the wide assortment of pool chemicals that you see out there. They all play a critical role in keeping your pool clean and safe for everyone that uses it. Even though there might be a lot of them, they’re all interconnected in one way or the other, this means that as long as you keep the main ones balanced then you shouldn’t have problems with wild swings when it comes to chemical levels.
Pool Chemicals In a Nutshell:
- Chlorine - Keeps your pool clean / destroys any biological contaminant in your pool.
- Stabiliser / Cyanuric acid - Extends the life of your chlorine / protects it from sunlight.
- Stabilised Chlorine - Chlorine with Cyanuric acid added to it
- Alkalinity Up / Sodium Bicarbonate - Reduces the Acidity in your pool and acts as a buffer to prevent wild pH swings in your pool
- pH Down - reduces pH levels in your pool safely
- Calcium up / down - Adjusts the calcium levels in your pool
- Phosphate Remover and Algaecide - Used to control / destroy algae in your pool
This is a very rough overview of what each pool chemical does for your pool. If you want more information like dosing instructions, safety and handling precautions, required levels and everything else that you want to know (and things you probably don’t want to know) about with regards to pool chemicals then you can check out Mr Pool Man’s Ultimate Guide to Pool Chemicals here.
Don’t forget that you also need to test your pool water so we suggest you also check out Mr Pool Man’s Guide to Testing your pool water.It contains everything you need from how to test, when to test, testing tips and tricks and what each of the tests means for you and your pool.
Pool Cleaning and General Maintenance
Another major component of pool ownership is pool cleaning. Believe it or not, there is actually a wrong way and a right way to clean a pool! Everything is outlined here in The Only Pool Cleaning Guide You’ll Ever Need from types of equipment needed to clean your pool. Proper pool cleaning technique. Tips and tricks to make your pool cleaning tasks easier, and helpful advice from people who have cleaned thousands of pools over the years.
If you don’t have time to dive into the comprehensive pool cleaning guide then here’s a quick and dirty rundown of what you’ll need to do to keep your pool clean.
- Floating debris? Scoop it out with a leaf scoop
- Debris at the bottom of the pool? Manually vacuum it out or use an automatic pool cleaner
- Stained or dirty pool surfaces? Scrub it out or use a robotic pool cleaner
Want to lighten the cleaning tasks? Check out your pool cleaning options as we compare the differences between manually cleaning the pool, using automatic pool cleaners, or getting robotic pool cleaners.
Pool Equipment Troubleshooting Guides
First time pool owner and something doesn’t feel right? Or did you move in to a house with a pool and some of the equipment aren’t functioning as you expect? Here are some links to common troubleshooting guides that we have on our site.
- Is your pool cleaner (automatic and robotic) on the fritz? Getting stuck or not functioning right? Check out our Pool Cleaner Troubleshooting Guide right here.
- Pump making weird noises? That might be pool pump surge. Read up on how to identify pool pump surge and how to deal with it.
- Do you have a sand filter and the multiport doesn’t feel right or is leaking water? We have prepared a helpful Multiport Maintenance Guide right here.
- Thinking of doing some preventive maintenance? Here’s a good place to start with our How to test and fix your pool equipment guide.
- Lights flashing on your salt water chlorinator? The cell might need replacing or cleaning. Which is it? Check out our guide on how long salt cells last right here.
- Did your pool come with older lights and you want to replace it with newer, more energy-efficient LED pool lights? See our Guide to Installing LED pool lights,it’s actually pretty easy and can be done under an hour with just basic tools.
- Did the previous pool owner leave behind a robotic pool cleaner or were you gifted one? Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to use a robotic pool cleaner.
These are just some of the common questions we receive on the site, and there are hundreds more! If you don’t find the answer to the question that you’re looking for, be sure to check out our entire collection of pool maintenance blogs here.
Want more information on your pool equipment?
Already comfortable with the basics of maintaining your pool and you’re now ready to dive deeper into getting to know your pool better? Here are some helpful articles that you may want to check out.
- Interested in getting a salt water chlorinator or wanting to know how one works? Check out our guide on how a self-cleaning salt water chlorinator works right here.
- Wondered why there are different kinds of pool filters? Check the pros and cons of each pool filter type here.
- Considering getting a pool cover? Well, check out our ultimate pool covers guide here.
- Do you want warm water the whole year round? Save money with an energy efficient heat pump and learn more about the benefits of using a pool heat pump right here.
- Confused about what’s true and what’s not about salt water pools? Don’t be! We have demystified salt water pools and salt water chlorination here.
- Afraid of your pool chemicals expiring? Or not sure how much to get? Be sure to check out our guide on Chemical expiry and do pool chemicals expire.
- Feeling a little bit more advanced than usual? Well, we have a couple of articles that are sure to tickle your fancy for advanced pool knowledge like our article on LSI / Langelier Saturation Index and Break-Even Chlorination here.
Now these are just some of the articles that we have on our blog that can help you on your journey of becoming your very own Mr Pool Man (without being “the guy in the van”).
Wrapping it up, pool care basics in a nutshell
As a new pool owner, here are some things that you should keep in mind on:
- A Daily Basis
- Observe your pool - Yes, we look at our pools every day to relax, but it’s also good to keep an eye out for things that can be remedied immediately like low water levels, water colour and clarity and strange noises coming from your equipment.
- A Weekly Basis
- Test and Balance your pool water - At the very minimum, you must test and balance your pool chemicals to ensure that your pool water stays crystal clear and safe to your.
- Empty our skimmer and pump baskets - This is a good practice to do on a weekly basis since we’ll never know what’s caught in our baskets until we check up on them since they’re out of sight.
- Clean the pool - Manually vacuum the pool or let your automatic or robotic pool cleaners loose on the pool!
- A Monthly Basis
- Check your filter elements and clean as necessary - For filter cartridges, give them a good cleaning with a hose or do a backwash on your sand filters.
- Shock your pool - If you’re very religious about balancing and sanitising your pool water then shocking can be optional, but it’s something that we regularly do “just in case”
Check out these essential tips you need to know as a new pool owner
- Do THIS, not THAT. Swimming Pool Tips and Tricks
- How to get your swimming pool ready for summer
- How to get your Automatic Pool Cleaners Ready for Summer
- Getting Back into the (Pool) Groove
Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Happy swimming :)