Some are some basic tips and tricks on all aspects of your pool to keep it happy and healthy.
Keeping your pool sparkling clean doesn't have to be as difficult as you might think, with the assistance of these hints and tips. The key is regular, routine care. Even if you have a pool cleaner routinely cleaning ze pool, there are still a few things you can do on your own to ensure your pool stays in good condition year round.
A pool should be vacuumed at least every week to keep water clear of debris and reduce the amount of chemicals you need to add to it. Daily vacuuming can reduce staining and chemical use due to the quick removal of leaf and other biological matter.
If you manually vacuum your pool, work off a straight line grid like you would mowing your lawn. A slight overlapping pattern will prevent any missed sports. Click here for a guide on how to Manually Vacuum Your Pool.
If you prefer to sit back relax and watch a machine do all the work, take a look at our pool cleaner selection.
Regular brushing of the walls and tile helps minimize algae build up and calcium deposits so they don't fester and become larger problems.
The material your pool walls are made of dictates what kind of cleaning tools you should use. Select a stiff brush for plaster-lined concrete pools and a softer brush for vinyl or fiberglass walls. For tiles, use a soft brush to prevent scratching or degradation of grout.
Skimming the pool's surface with a skimmer shovel every few days is one of the fastest ways to keep your pool clean. Use a long-handled net to remove leaves, bugs and other unwanted items.
Cleaning out skimmer baskets and pump baskets at least once a week also helps circulation and lowers chlorine demands. Simply remove the plastic basket and shake it out; spraying the inside with a hose can help dislodge stubborn objects.
Types of Pool Filters and Maintenance
There are two kinds of pool filters: cartridge and sand. While there are different maintenance procedures for both, all require periodic cleaning depending on the type of filter and how often a pool is used. Cleaning the filter more often than recommended can actually hinder the filtration process. A clean filter is less efficient than one with a mild amount of dirt in it because the dirt helps trap other particles, which removes debris from the water.
SEE ALSO: The Best type of Pool filters!
However, you don't want to let the filter get too dirty. A sign that it's time to clean is an increase in pressure on the pressure gauge.
Sand Filter Maintenance
A sand filter tank is made of metal, concrete or fibreglass and contains a thick bed of special-grade sand. While filtering, dirty water from the pool comes in through the filter's inlet pipe, which leads to the water distribution head inside the tank. This dirty water is forced through the sand.
If the water flow is slowed by dirt and debris, pressure gauges at the filter inlet and outlet give the pool owner an idea of the blockage level inside. If the inlet pipe has more pressure than the outlet pipe, there is collected debris in the sand. You will then need to backwash the filter which is an easy process taking only a few minutes.
The coarseness of sand traps debris particles and over time, the sand will become smooth and round. This sand should be changed every five years. Contact a pool professional to change the sand or you can choose to do it yourself.
SEE ALSO: How to backwash your sand filter!
Swimming pool filter cartridges work by allowing water to pass through a very fine filter surface. This paper filter surface captures any impurities that attempt to pass through and hold them until you clean the filter cartridge or replace it.
Cartridge filters have more surface area than sand filters. This allows for fewer clogs and relatively easy maintenance. Cartridge filters also operate at a much lower pressure than sand (provided that the cartridge element is kept clean). This causes less back pressure on the pump so you have a greater flow of water through the system allowing higher efficiency.
SEE ALSO: How to choose a cartridge filter!
This system is easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive. Basic cartridge maintenance can be performed by simply rinsing off your cartridge with a garden hose or soaking them in detergent such as Napi-San over night, repeating this every 2 weeks in summer and 3-4 weeks in winter when nobody is swimming in the pool. Cartridge filter elements should be replaced every 3-5 years. Check out our range of Cartridge Filter Replacement Elements and Cartridge Filter Tanks!
Checking Water Levels
A lot of water will be lost throughout the swimming season largely because of evaporation and normal wear and tear, such as swimming, splashing and exiting the pool. When you remove debris with your skimmer throughout the week, that's also a good time to check the water level. Ensure it doesn't fall below the level of the skimmer, otherwise the pump could be damaged. If the water is low, use a garden hose to bring it up to safe levels. If you're going away, a device such as an Aqua Level can be used to maintain optimum water level.
If you drain your pool to perform maintenance or once the swimming season has passed, be careful to not let the pool sit empty too long. As a general rule, it's best to leave water in a pool throughout the winter because the weight of the water counteracts with forces from the ground pressing up against the pool from below. Be careful whenever you're emptying a pool, as they can pop out of the ground if not counteracted properly, especially fibreglass pool that are predominantly a shell.
Pool blankets are a great way to reduce water and chemical evaporation in your pool and to keep the debris out. Sunlight naturally evaporates chlorine from your pool water, so feel free to switch your chlorinator down a notch/dose the pool with a little less chlorine if you're using a blanket.
Pool water should be tested regularly to make sure it's clean and healthy. Chlorine and pH and your two main levels you're looking at, followed by Alkilinity, Hardness and Stabilizer, which all go hand in hand. The pH scale is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity that runs from 0 to 14. A reading between 7.2 and 7.8 is ideal; this range is safe for swimmers and helps sanitizers work at top efficiency.
You can monitor your pool's pH level with a pool water test kit. There are many kinds of testing kits available - most homeowner versions are either reagent kits or test-strips. Reagent kits aren't too difficult to use. You take a sample of pool water, then add liquids or tablets to it. The water changes colour, indicating its chemical balance.
Test-strips work differently. When you submerge them in the pool for a few seconds, dyes they contain cause them to change colour. Next, match up the strip to a colour chart to determine the pool's pH level. Use this information to gauge what kind and how much of the chemicals your pool needs.
Is your pool green? Algae problem? Click here for a guide on how to fix that.