Imagine diving into a cool, sparkly pool and letting all your troubles wash away. Doesn’t it sound dreamy? Now imagine doing the same in a public or community pool in your neighborhood. It still sounds incredibly refreshing, but certainly has its cons – a pool full of people, worry of hygiene and not being able to complete a lap without bumping into a fellow swimmer! Having a pool at home is definitely a privilege. It is a great investment that ensures hours of fun in the water on a hot summer day without having to worry about swimming in a crowded pool.
However, maintaining a pool at home is often perceived as daunting and time-consuming, hence dissuading many from installing one. Maintaining a clean pool at home is definitely not that difficult, especially if you weigh in the benefits. A few simple parameters and steps kept in mind are more than enough to ensure a cool, clean and sparkly pool at home!
The main requirement to ensure the long life of a pool is to ensure regular and timely cleaning and maintenance. All pool types are different but require similar basic maintenance. This article explores some tips and tricks that every pool owner can undertake easily to ensure a clean, blue and sparkly pool.
1. Always ensure circulation:
Circulation is one of the most important requirements for a pool. A skimmer, strainer, pump, filter and drain consist of the major components of a pool’s circulation system. This system ensures the proper circulation of chemicals and water. Run your pool pump often to ensure the proper circulation of water, preventing dirt and algae from sticking onto the surface and ensuring that the water is clean and of good quality.
2. Skim constantly:
Skimming your pool with a net or skimmer may seem like a trivial and time-consuming task, but it is the highly effective method of ensuring the cleanliness of a pool. Leaves and other substances that normally float may submerge and sink to the bottom and become harder to retrieve. Regularly clean out the strainers and baskets to keep the filter clean.
3. Weekly vacuuming and brushing:
Invest in a good quality vacuum and use it every week to vacuum the surfaces of the pool. This cleans the pool and reduces the number of chemicals to be put into it. Apart from vacuuming, it is essential to brush the surface of the pool. The material of the brush depends upon the material of your pool walls. Use soft brushes for tiles, vinyl and fiber walls to effectively remove grout without scratching. Stiff brushes work best for concrete pools and effectively remove calcium and algae deposits on the pool surfaces.
4. Clean the pool filter:
Cleaning your pool filter is essential. An increase in the pressure between the flow meter and pressure gauge is a sign of cleaning the pool filter. If the difference reaches 4.5 – 6.8 kg per square inch, it is time to clean the filter. However, cover cleaning your pool may be counterproductive. Ensure that you don’t clean the filter more than recommended because a certain level of dirt in the filter is essential to trap in debris and grout with ease, keep the pool clean and sparkling.
5. Check water levels regularly:
It is common for the water levels of the pool to go down due to evaporation, swimming, splashing etc. While cleaning out the pool, check the water level to ensure the health of the pump. If the level is low, try filling it with a hose or pipe to restore levels. While cleaning out the pool, ensure that you do not leave the pool completely empty for too long.
6. Regularly check pH levels:
The pH level of the water indicates the acidity or alkalinity levels of the water. If the level is between 7.2 -7.8, the range is safe and sanitary. The pH levels can be measured with ease using a pH level testing kit available in shops. Either regent kits test kits can be used either by submerging it into the pool water or by taking some sample water and adding the tablets or liquid testers into it.
7. Shocking the water:
The pool water over time can have build-ups of ammonia or nitrogen. This results in a strong odor given out from the pool that many associates with a strong chlorine smell. Super chlorination is a great method to get rid of this smell. Adding a large amount of chlorine into the water is called ‘shocking’ to bring it back to regular chlorine levels. It may seem counterproductive, but super chlorination is an effective cleaning method. The frequency of the shocking treatment can be determined from the manufacturer’s manual.
8. Check for leaks:
Leaks are uncommon in pools but not unavoidable. A simple test with a bucket enables one to check for leaks at home. Fill a plastic bucket (without a handle) with water three-quarters full. Mark the water level on the outside of the bucket. Allow the bucket to float in the pool for two to three days. If the water inside and outside of the bucket has gone down to the same level, it is due to natural evaporation. However, if the pool level has gone down more than the bucket water level, it is due to a leak which you can get fixed by a professional.
Installing and maintaining a pool at home is definitely a rewarding process, it may seem long drawn and expensive but is definitely worth it. Understanding and implementing simple steps and procedures definitely eases the process and ensures a clean pool that is ready for a refreshing swim.