As a quick foreword, we’re actually guilty of these bad habits ourselves, but we are doing our best to break them! We swear! Once we get into the swing of pool maintenance, we start to think that we have a pretty good handle on things and start being complacent and start to develop bad habits that cost us money in the long run.
Eyeballing Pool Chemicals
This is one of the worst habits we can develop when it comes to pool maintenance! Some people talk about pool maintenance like it’s an art, we disagree! It’s more of a science than it is an art. Why do we say this? Well, pool chemical balance is an exact science, we add X amount of chemicals to get the Y effect that we’re looking for, it’s that simple. It’s not really negotiable and when it comes to pool chemical balancing, we’re looking for consistency! By adding a scoop here, a scoop there, a cupful here, a cupful there, yes, it may work sometimes, but this habit can actually mess up your pool chemical balance and you may end up with problems that will cost a lot more than the time saved by eyeballing your chemicals.
Improper Test Kit Handling
Again, the keyword here is complacency. When we get into the groove of doing something too often, we tend to think that nothing can go wrong. Here are some ways that we mishandle our test kits and cost us money in the long run.
- Not covering test kits after use - Whether it’s a test strip or reagents, leaving your test kit container (or reagent bottles) exposes them to air and moisture which “uses them up” and will give you inaccurate test results.
- Leaving your test kits out in the sun - Yes, it’s poolside testing and it’s a bit unavoidable to expose your test kits to the sun, but we should limit test kit exposure to sunlight as much as possible. Try to do your tests in a shaded area and store them properly immediately after use.
- Handling test kits with wet hands - A single drop of pool water (or any liquid) that falls into your test strip bottle can ruin all of the strips inside! And the bad part is, we won’t notice it until the next time we open up the bottle!
Backwashing On a Schedule
This is only applicable to sand filter owners so if you have a cartridge filter installed, skip on ahead. Basically what happens is when we just get into the groove of automatically backwashing our sand filters every X number of weeks without taking into consideration the actual pool usage or the pressure gauge reading. Remember, sand filters actually work better with a little bit of dirt in them and backwashing them when they don’t need to be backwashed not only wastes water but also reduces the efficiency of your sand filter as well!
Running the pump for just enough time
Remember all of the pump run time recommendations that we have presented over the past months? It’s important that those are just recommendations for the MINIMUM amount of time your pump needs to run to ensure that your water is properly filtered out. Don’t fall into the trap of just running your pumps for the bare minimums to save money. When it comes to running your pool pump or if you have a timer, it’s best to add on 10% to 20% more time to compensate for usage or for unusually hot days.
Hint: You can never over-filter your water! The more you run your pump, the better!
Pro Tip: Scared of running up your electricity bills? Grab an ECO-friendly variable speed pump like the Water TechniX Pump Dual and save on your bills while ensuring that your pool water is fully filtered each and every single time!
Leaving Cleaners in the Pool
This is something that we do quite often, especially with suction pool cleaners or automatic pool cleaners, especially when we’re not expecting the pool to be used any time soon. What usually happens is that we put in our automatic pool cleaners, set the pump on a timer and leave it there. This isn’t something that our suction pool cleaners are designed for. Yes, they’re designed to withstand pool chemicals when they’re being used, but no matter how sturdy our cleaners are, they’re not designed to be left in the pool for days at a time!
Not accounting for temperature when balancing
This goes back to the LSI or Langelier Saturation Index when it comes to balancing our pool. During normal times or when the temperature is somewhat stable for months, we can largely ignore the water’s temperature when we’re balancing our water to ensure that our water stays neutral / non-corrosive / non-scaling. But when the winter time comes, we’re looking at extended periods of low temperature which will tend to swing your LSI level to the corrosive side.
The science is a little bit complicated on this one but we’ve gone deeper into winterizing your Australian pool here which you can reference when the time comes.
Chasing chemical levels
This final item is quite the opposite of all the previous items. While all of the other bad habits deal with complacency, this final bad habit is one that happens when we’re TOO FOCUSED on our chemical levels. There’s a reason why pool chemical levels are given in ranges. It’s very hard to hit the exact (to the decimal) chemical levels in our pool, especially pH levels where the numbers go up and down on a logarithmic scale. So if you’re guilty of this, loosen up! Allow for some variance (as long as it’s within range) and spend more time enjoying your pool! Too much pool balancing can use up a lot of money and time! Or else, you'll spend all of your time figuratively chasing your own tail!
Want to know more about pool chemicals and their recommended levels? Check out Mr Pool Man's Ultimate Guide to Pool Chemicals here.
Small changes to bad habits (or developing good habits!) can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in maintenance costs for your pool. You know what they say, every little bit adds up! We don’t realize it when it’s not brought to our attention, but once we’re aware, then we start seeing how much our bad pool maintenance habits can actually cost us!
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Happy swimming :)