Pool maintenance mistakes to avoid

We don’t want to come across as earbashing when we’re talking about pool maintenance mistakes to avoid, but these are just things that are actually counterproductive and can actually be more trouble in the long run. This post may be a little bit long, but trust us, you’ll feel much better at the end of this blog knowing that you’ll never make the same pool maintenance mistakes ever again.

Pool Chemical Mistakes

We’ll categorize the different pool maintenance mistakes to avoid so that it’ll be easier for everyone to take notes (or print out for future reference). Our first category involves everyone’s favorite thing when it comes to pool maintenance, chemicals.

Pool Chemical Mistake #1

Some pool owners think that they have the pool chemical balancing act down pat and they have a regimen of adding certain pool chemicals to balance it by “feel”. Let me be the first one to say that this doesn’t work. Sure, it may seem like it’s working at the start, but in the long run, this will throw your balance so far off that you’ll be using up more chemicals than a mad scientist with a starter set.

By regularly testing your water weekly, you’ll know exactly what levels you need to adjust and you’ll end up using far less chemicals with small adjustments rather than waiting for everything to go out of whack and you’ll end up using a few months’ supplies of pool chemicals in just a few weeks. So break out your test kits and test strips and test often!

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Pool Chemical Mistake #2 Adding chlorine during the day

Whether you’re shocking the pool or just adding your regular dose of sanitizing chlorine, try and add it at night or as close to dark as possible. The reason for this is that the sun loves chlorine. And by loves chlorine, we mean that the sun loves to “eat” or “burn” chlorine, making it less effective. The sun can eat as much as half of the chlorine added to your pool making it less effective in its job. By adding the chlorine at night, you’re giving your chlorine a full 12 hours of full-strength sanitizing before it gets eaten up by the sun.

Even if you use stabilized pool chlorine, the cyanuric acid will only last so long under direct sunlight and once it’s gone, your chlorine will be next to be eaten by the sun. Think of it this way, at least you don’t have to add chlorine during the day where you can get sunburnt as well!

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Chemical Mistake #3 Pool shock mistakes

The first pool shock mistake people do is that they add it directly to the pool. Pool shock usually comes in powder or granule form. The first instinct is to dump this directly into the pool and that’s a big no! What will happen is that the granules won’t fully dissolve and will just sink to the bottom, creating a dangerous patch of super concentrated chlorine. This can also lead to permanent staining or even damage to your pool surface. The correct way to add powdered or granulated pool shock is to take some pool water in a bucket, fully dissolve the pool shock before pouring it back into the pool.

Another pool shock mistake people make is when they think they’re beating the system and adding shock directly to the pool skimmer thinking, well, the water is moving and it’s dissolving the pool shock, and as a bonus it’s being jetted out of the pool at the end. This is a big no! Powdered pool shock produces gas and fumes when it comes in contact with water. While it isn’t really an issue if you dissolve it in an open container, dumping it into your skimmer is another issue altogether. If the pool shock starts to produce gas in your pool pipes or in some other closed environment in your pool like a saltwater chlorinator then the pressure might be more than enough to cause an explosion! So be safe, take the extra five minutes to dissolve the pool shock in a bucket of water. It’s safer and much more effective that way.

Pool Chemical Mistake #4 Not adjusting total alkalinity first

Having a proper pH level will ensure that your sanitizer will do its job properly. If your pH levels are too high or too low, your chlorine won’t be as effective so you’ll end up using more, which is a waste in itself. When testing and balancing your pool water, deal with the pH first, this will make everything else much easier to balance.

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Pool Chemical Mistake #5 Neglecting maintenance when running out of chemicals

This is where a green pool usually starts. When people start putting off their maintenance routine because they’ve run out of pool chemicals. The mindset? “Oh, I’ll get to it after I get some more from the pool shop.” What happens is a day will turn into a week, a week will turn into a few weeks, a few weeks will turn into a month, and the next thing you know, you’ll have green pool water and the creature from the black lagoon is swimming in your pool. To prevent this, always have a supply of pool chemicals on hand and if they start to run low, place an order online to save time and to avoid “forgetting”.

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Pool Pump and Filter Mistakes

Not only are mistakes made with pool chemicals, but there are some mistakes that you should avoid when it comes to your pool pumps and filters as well! Some of the mistakes listed in the following section are so common that even we're guilty of them at certain times!

Pool Pump and Filter Mistake #1

You think to yourself; my pool looks great; the chemicals are balanced and everything seems to be great! I can get away with running my pool pump for just a couple of hours to save on electricity costs. This is just wrong. You should always run your pool pump for at least 8 hours a day, giving your pool water at least one or two good cycles. Remember, if your pump is off, your water isn’t being filtered and you’re creating a stagnant environment. Your pool chemicals are less effective because they’re just there, floating around and not getting circulated. The end result? You’ll end up using more chemicals to catch up and you’ll have to run your pump much longer for deep cleaning cycles. If you really want to save money on electricity costs, consider upgrading to an ECO pump. ECO pumps allow you to run your pumps for much longer at a fraction of the cost of regular pool pumps.

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Pool Pump and Filter Mistake #2 Backwashing your sand filter too much

Yes, there’s too much of a good thing. Believe it or not, pool sand filters function better when they’re a little bit gunked up. Not too much mind you. Some buildup will compress the sand and will allow them to trap debris much more efficiently. A few PSI above the normal level should be fine when it comes to pool sand filter. Only backwash your sand filter when the PSI reading is at least 10 above your regular/clean levels. By avoiding this pool maintenance mistake, you’re not only saving water but your pool sand filter will be more effective in filtering the water as well. Read more on backwashing your pool sand filter by clicking on the button below.

Pool Pump and Filter Mistake #2 Not using a pool skimmer sock

A what? Yes, a pool skimmer sock. Pool skimmer socks are basically ultra-fine mesh socks that go over your pool’s skimmer baskets. Bugs and other small debris will usually be trapped in your pool’s skimmers preventing them from going straight into your pump and filter but the flowing water will eventually break these down and allow them to slip through the skimmer baskets. While this is fine in itself, having a pool skimmer sock will extend your filters cleaning cycles by catching anything that should have passed through the holes in your skimmer basket.

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Pool Pump and Filter Mistake #3 Not cleaning your filter cartridge enough

Unlike pool sand filters which can take a bit of dirt and debris before requiring a backwash, your pool filter cartridges will need a good cleaning every now and then and will function better the cleaner they are. A good rule of thumb is to give your filter cartridges a good hose down at least once a month and a good soak in a pool filter cartridge cleaning solution every few months or so to melt off stubborn gunk.

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Pool Pump and Filter Mistake #4 Forgetting Annual Maintenance for pumps

A pool pump contains a lot of moving parts, and the more moving parts something has, the more maintenance it needs. Make it a habit to have your pool pumped serviced annually even if you think it doesn’t need servicing. By servicing your pump regularly, you’re making sure that wear and tear of its internals will be kept at a minimum and that efficiency will be at its peak. Whenever something isn’t running at peak efficiency, you’re losing money due to waste!

Pool Cleaning Mistakes

Is there a wrong way to clean your pool? Apparently there is! Read on to learn more about common pool cleaning mistakes that we've encountered over the years and learn from out mistakes so you don't have to make them yourself.

Pool Cleaning Mistakes #1 Not Vacuuming the pool enough

Pool vacuuming at the very least should be done once a week. It removes gunk that’s stuck to your pool surfaces and makes your pool chemicals work better. Every pool owner knows this, but like many pool owners, some will think that it’s okay to skip vacuuming the pool for a week or two. Don’t do this. By skipping your vacuuming pool regimen, you’re just compounding your maintenance tasks for the next week. Skipping will just add to the growth of any algae already in the pool, making it harder to scrub off, and in turn needing more chemicals to clean the pool and so on.

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*Please note that you will be using your existing vacuum plate that suits your pool, not necessarily the Poolrite S2500 plate as showcased above. If you have a different vacuum plate, you can see our entire range of Vacuum Plates through the button below.

Pool problems from not vacuuming the pool enough don’t add up, if they did then it would be easy and you can skip a week or two without worrying to much. But in real life, they don’t add up, they multiply and grow exponentially. So missing a week or two of vacuuming will lead to three, four, even five times more work and chemical usage than if you didn’t miss your pool vacuuming regimen

You want to make pool vacuuming easier? Get a robotic pool cleaner! Just drop it into your pool and it’ll do the rest! Read more about robotic pool cleaners through the button below.

Pool Cleaning Mistake Number #2 Not Brushing your pool

Brushing your pool can make a world of difference in preventing algae growth and keeping your pool clean. Some dirt particles or algae growth will be stubborn and will need a good brushing to fully dislodge them so that your filter system can trap them and get rid of them. Make brushing your pool a weekly thing (or get a robotic pool cleaner to do it for you!) to prevent gunk and algae buildup in your pool, especially at the corners and other hard to reach areas.

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Pool Cleaning Mistake Number #3 Using Automatic Cleaners when things get out of hand

If you haven’t made the first two mistakes, then this mistake will never be an issue. Automatic pool cleaners work best to prevent large algae blooms and green pool water. But once your pool water has reached the point of no return (algae everywhere, green murky water) then they are no good. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and do everything manually. The reason for this is having murky water and an algae infestation will overwhelm the capacity of automatic and robotic pool cleaners.

Pool Cleaning Mistake Number #4 Not cleaning up after guests or pets

A good rule of thumb is that your normal pool usage includes the use of you and your family. Every time you have guests over or if pets are using the pool, clean up immediately after them. This means clearing your pool skimmer baskets, giving filter cartridges a good hose down, or backwashing your pool sand filters. Having guests deviates from your regular use profile and whatever system you had in place for maintenance is definitely no longer applicable. Give this a reset by giving your pool a thorough clean afterwards so that you can continue with your pool maintenance regimen without much problems.

Conclusion

By avoiding these simple mistakes, you’re avoiding more maintenance and expenses down the line. Remember, pool ownership is a huge responsibility and it’s better to avoid mistakes as not to make the responsibility even bigger. Don’t worry, once you’ve recognized these mistakes and start to avoid them, you’ll find pool maintenance to be second nature and you’ll know what to expect during the coming months and years.

Products Featured on This Blog Post

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*Please note that you will be using your existing vacuum plate that suits your pool, not necessarily the Poolrite S2500 plate as showcased above. If you have a different vacuum plate, you can see our entire range of Vacuum Plates through the button below.

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 :)

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Post author:

Tom Hintze

Head of eCommerce & Operations at Mr Pool Man,
Co-Founder at Water TechniX

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