Top blog articles
Irrespective of whether you have a budget above ground swimming pool or an expensive in-ground pool with all the bells and whistles, you cannot deny that having a swimming pool in your backyard is both a luxury and a joy.
However, just investing in a pool doesn’t mean it will take care of itself. With the luxury of pool ownership comes the responsibility of regular maintenance. Let your pool maintenance schedule slip, and you’re going to have to deal with algae buildup, unbalanced water pH levels, and among other things, a pool no one will want to hang out by.
Here is a checklist breaking down how to clean a pool that you ought to add to your essential weekly maintenance schedule.
Removing leaves and floating debris
This is something you ought to actually do on a daily basis. Clear out insects, leaves, and other floating debris from the surface of your pool using a telescopic pole attached to a leaf skimmer net. The reason this ought to be done regularly is that if the debris sinks to the bottom of the pool, it may stick to the bottom, becoming more difficult to remove and possibly even resulting in staining.
Read more: Best robotic pool cleaners
Cleaning pool walls
Over time, algae and other debris tend to accumulate and settle over surfaces such as your pool walls, floors as well as structures such as slides and stairs. If not cleaned regularly, this makes the pool looks extremely unkempt and uninviting.
To clean off these deposits, you will need to use a pool brush and scrub the walls and structures thoroughly. Be sure to brush the sediment towards the main drain, so that it can be easily vacuumed out.
Vacuuming the pool
Once you’re done brushing the walls and fixtures of the pool, a lot of debris will settle down at the bottom of the pool. The next step is to vacuum the pool.
The way an automatic pool vacuum works is that all you need to do is turn it on and set it in the water. The cleaner will automatically suck out all the sediments at the bottom.
There are three types of automatic pool vacuum cleaners that you could choose from, in case you haven’t already invested in one.
- Robotic vacuum cleaners work separately from your pool’s filtration system. These are the most energy-efficient of the three options.
- Pressure vacuum cleaners require a pressure line from your pool’s filtration system in order to be able to move and vacuum the pool floor. These models require a pool pump as well as an external booster pump in case your pump dries out.
- The most affordable of all three options is the suction vacuum cleaner. This cleaner either has a skimmer net or a dedicated suction port and uses the flow of the water from the filtration system to keep your pool debris free.
Cleaning the skimmer
Another cleaning activity that needs to be carried out every week, if not more times, is cleaning the skimmer. Keeping the skimmer free of the debris it cleans from the pool will allow it to operate with maximum efficiency.
The easiest way to do this is to check the skimmer every time you remove debris from the surface of the pool. Another tip to ensure the skimmer functions optimally is to ensure the water level is always less than halfway up the skimmer. If the levels are more than the halfway mark, the skimmer may not be able to effectively collect debris.
Apart from the skimmer, the drain, pump strainer, pump, and filter are the important components of your pool’s circulation system. All of these are important to ensure your pool water is filtered properly and that the chemicals used to maintain the pH levels work properly.
A simple way to make sure every aspect of the filtration system is in good working order is to run the pump for a duration of time every day without fail.
Read more: How to reduce water level in pools
Filter system maintenance
There are three popular kinds of filtration systems that swimming pools use: sand, cartridge, and vertical grid filtration systems. Irrespective of which one you have installed, the purpose of these systems is to keep debris and particulate matter from entering the pool water.
Check your pool’s filter at least once a week and clear out any dirt that may be stuck to it. If your pool is used extensively every day, then at least once a week, backwash the filter. Otherwise, backwash it every time the filter gauge reading shows 8-10 psi higher than normal.
Water testing and adding chemicals
There are a lot of methods you could test the pH level of the water in your pool, from using expensive testing kits to simple color-changing strips. Irrespective of what method you use, testing the water after you clean the pool is essential.
Ideally, the pH level in your swimming pool should be 7.2 or below. If you find the pH level to be higher, you will need to add a pH decreaser like muriatic acid (a gallon at a time) to bring the levels down.
Another test you will need to do is a CYA test to check free chlorine levels in your pool water. This level will help you decide how much chlorine you need to add when you shock your pool.
Your pool also needs regular shock treatment. No, that does not mean using electricity. It refers to adding a measured amount of chlorine to the pool water in order to deter the growth of algae, bacteria, and other organisms.
There will also be daily additions of sanitizers and chemicals in your pool water to control bacterial growth and keep it healthy.
Pro tips on how to clean a pool:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions accurately while shocking your pool. Too much chlorine can be harmful to your health.
- Buying chlorine in bulk works out cheaper than buying small quantities repeatedly.