If you love your safe swimming pool but shudder at the term “pool care,” you aren’t alone. When prospective pool owners are considering whether or not to invest in a backyard pool, they always think of laps, pool parties, and fun with their loved ones, but very few people ever sit and fantasize about how they’ll clean a swimming pool. Unfortunately, one of the costs–both in money and time–that comes with having the best pool on the block is the care it takes to keep it looking, smelling, and feeling good. While we can’t promise to make your pool maintenance tasks into fun activities that rival the rest of your pool time, we can help you understand how to keep your pool in good shape efficiently and with the least amount of worry and stress.
Why Pool Maintenance Is Such A Big Deal
New pool owners sometimes have trouble understanding why so much emphasis is put on pool care. To put it simply, standing water’s natural state is like a dank fetid swamp, and no one wants that in their backyard. Clean, natural water that is safe to swim in is always moving. Even with lakes, the wind moves the surface, and rivers, springs, and creeks, whether above or under the ground, constantly circulate the water. Other bodies may have higher salt and mineral content that keep the water looking fresher, although this doesn’t always translate to water you’d want to swim in.
Make no mistake: no matter how natural your landscaping, your backyard pool is an unnatural body of water that needs to be kept healthy by external means. This usually includes regular or continuous filtration, chemical interventions, and the use of tools and good ‘ol elbow grease to keep nature at bay, so your pool doesn’t turn into a biological nightmare. For us, safety goes beyond preventing accidental drowning injuries that come from a lack of poolside safety barriers. A safe pool is one that your family can enjoy without risking their health.
The Three Cs Of Pool Care
When you’re trying to learn how to properly take care of your pool, you’ll see the three Cs of pool care mentioned a lot. That’s because if you take care of them, you’re most of the way there.
- Circulation -Circulating water stays fresher, but in a pool, that circulation does so much more. Many pool pumps cycle your water through a filter while dispersing chemical additives evenly throughout, marrying the three Cs to better keep your pool water safe and healthy.
- Cleaning – Keeping your swimming pool clean takes more than just circulating the water. You have to put in the elbow grease to prevent dirt, grime, and algae from getting a foothold on your pool’s structure and installed accessories.
- Chemistry – Not all threats to your pool’s water can be scrubbed away or defeated by keeping the water moving, and that’s where chemistry comes into play. Modern pool chemistry is a refined process that uses applied technology to help you better manage bacterial and microbial hazards in your water without leaving behind heavy chemical odors or causing odd hair and skin reactions.
The Fourth C
You may not have heard of the fourth C in the equation, and that is because it gets forgotten the most. Consistency, however, is just as important as the other three to maintaining your pool’s health and safety. Without a consistent, methodical approach, corners will be cut, perseverance will slip, and steps will be forgotten. Find the right pool care schedule and routine that fits your lifestyle, and stick to it. Schedule it in your planner, set reminders on your phone, or print out some old-school checklists. Do whatever it takes to make consistency part of your clean swimming pool routine until it becomes second nature, and when something does slide or go wrong, you’ll be in a better position to identify it, react to it, and get your pool back on track.
Run your pool pump every day. Some pumps are designed for continuous operation, while others should only be run for a set amount of time per day. One rule of thumb is to run your pool pump one hour per ten degrees of temperature for the day’s high. This moves your water through the filtration system and helps keep it from sitting at rest and stagnating. This can be done even if you don’t intend to use or open your pool for the day, and many pool owners choose to place their pump system on a timer.
Twice A Week
At least twice a week or as needed, you’ll need to check and empty your skimmer baskets and skim your pool’s surface for twigs, leaves, or other floating detritus that may have entered your pool area. After you’re done, check your pool’s water using a test kit and ensure its chemical concentrations are within appropriate levels. Don’t forget to repeat the process after any big rainstorm, pool party, or other events that offer a greater risk of pool water contamination.
Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite part of pool care, how to clean your swimming pool. Start by brushing the walls of your pool from top to bottom, then vacuum the bottom of your pool. You will also want to clean along the water line to help prevent algae and staining. Many pool owners choose to use an automated pool cleaner that manages these tasks for them daily, but you will still want to use some of your weekly pool care time to ensure the job is done thoroughly.
Once your pool is clean, shock your pool by giving it a heavy dose of sanitizer and add any algaecide or anti-staining chemicals according to their manufacturer’s directions. Inspect your swimming pool safety equipment for any signs of wear or damage. You may also have to do this after a heavy rain, when you’ve entertained extra guests, or your pool has accumulated more debris than usual after heavy winds.
Periodically And As Needed
Some pool care tasks just aren’t needed as often as others. That’s where these come in. Every few months, you’ll want to schedule a little extra time for some swimming pool area TLC. That doesn’t mean you will always need that time, but you don’t want to rush these jobs either.
- Clean or Change Your pool Filter Medium – If you use a cartridge-type filter, that means changing the cartridge, but for non-cartridge filters, you should periodically backwash the filter medium or when you see the pressure flowing through your pump rising above manufacturer recommendations.
- Check Your Pool Fixtures – If it screws down, bolts on, or otherwise affixes to your pool or the pool area, check it out. Look for signs of wear, loose fittings, splinters, or rough edges that could cause cuts.
- Inspect Your Safety Equipment – One important part of pool care is to regularly check the accessories protecting your pool from unauthorized access. Swimming pool fences should have poles that sit securely in their deck sleeves, taught material without rips and tears, and the gate should swing closed on its own freely, latching in the process. Safety nets should have clips and anchor points that are strong and hold solidly, twine and cord that is pliable and in good condition, and tensioning springs that tighten your net and hold that tension securely. Each can be cleaned with a gentle detergent and a soft-bristled brush, and your local installer should be contacted immediately if any signs of damage are noted.
Get Your Custom Pool Safety Quote
We’re passionate about protecting our neighbors in the communities we live and work in, that’s why there’s always a local installer “right down the road”. When you schedule a no-cost, no-obligation quote, we’ll take measurements and tailor a plan to fit your pool’s safety needs. Then you’ll get a detailed, written estimate for an informed decision. Protect your friends, family, and pets with a safer swimming pool area. Request your free quote from Lifeguard on Duty today.