A Guide to Essential Pool Maintenance
Having an in-ground pool in your backyard is a dream for many families, bringing opportunities for quality time, having fun or relaxing together. Your swimming pool is a big investment, however, so of course you want it to last for years to come.
Keeping your pool clean through regular maintenance is the key to having beautiful clear and safe water and keeping all the mechanical parts free from damage.
Regularly cleaning your pool will also keep it looking great and free of algae and other contaminants that could cause irritation or sickness.
Pool maintenance doesn’t have to be time-consuming or hard if you follow a regular routine and do the small but important tasks regularly.
Why is Pool Maintenance Important?
Consistent pool maintenance will keep your pool and its systems free from items that can cause blockages in the water filtration system. Having a good pool maintenance program in place will ensure the water is safe and healthy for everyone. Maintaining your pool with a regular cleaning schedule is important for many reasons including:
- Keep your poolscape safe and appealing. A few minutes cleaning up debris from your poolside and removing tripping hazards from the area will help prevent contamination of the water and keep the area safe.
- Clean water is safe water. Bacteria and organisms can grow rapidly in untreated and dirty water which can result in health issues such as irritated skin (swimmers itch), eye, ear and throat infections and even an upset stomach. Balancing the chemicals in your water regularly is key to preventing this unwanted side effect.
- Pool mechanics will last longer and perform better. Cleaning filters, pumps and other parts of the filtration system will ensure they not only perform better on a daily basis but last longer too.
- Save money on repairs. A well-maintained pool and related equipment require fewer expensive repairs and/or replacements.
Most importantly, if you have a good pool maintenance routine, you can relax and enjoy your in-ground pool even more as you will know that your water is clean and safe for your entire family.
The Three C’s of Pool Maintenance
The requirements of pool maintenance can be broken down into three main areas which are commonly referred to as the three C’s of pool maintenance:
Circulation: To keep pool water clean it must circulate through a filtration system to remove debris and germs and ensure chemicals are evenly distributed. Still, dirty or cloudy water is a sign your pump or filter is not working properly and needs attention.
Cleaning: While your filters do a great job at catching debris, they can’t do all the cleaning. Regularly cleaning the surface of the water as well as the walls and floor of the pool will remove excess dirt as well as removing algae growth before it causes damage.
Chemicals: Pool chemicals are an essential part of pool maintenance. PH, alkalinity and sanitizer (chlorine) levels should be tested and adjusted daily to help prevent mould, algae and bacterial growth.
The Basic Pool Maintenance Tasks You Should be Doing
The following daily, weekly and as needed maintenance tasks will ensure you are keeping your swimming pool clean and healthy:
- Skim leaves and debris from the surface of the water. This prevents debris from falling to the bottom of the pool and clogging the filters.
- Run your pump for at least 8-12 hours a day to keep water circulating – automatic pump timers are really helpful for this task.
- Test your water with a test strip. Add chemicals to adjust if necessary. Chlorine levels should be between 1 and 3 ppm, pH levels between 7.2 and 7.8, and alkalinity levels between 80 and 120 ppm for most pools.
- Brush sediment, mould and algae build up from pool walls, ladders, steps, slides and any decorative features submerged in the pool water.
- Use a pool vacuum to suck up as much debris from the bottom of the pool as possible. Manual and automatic pool vacuums are available.
- Clean any debris from skimmers and returns.
- Check your filter. Remove any obvious debris and backwash when the gauge reads 8-10psi higher than normal. Check out swim university’s step-by-step guide to cleaning different types of pool filters.
- Carry out a chlorine shock treatment regularly, and especially after heavy use, high temperatures, heavy rains or if swimmers complain of sore eyes. A shock treatment raises chlorine levels quickly to deal with higher contaminant levels.
If you’re worried you might forget part of this maintenance schedule, use this printable pool maintenance checklist from Gardennerdy to help you stay on track with your cleaning tasks.
More Tips for a Clean and Safe Pool
While not part of a regular maintenance routine, these tips may help to make keeping your pool clean a slightly easier task:
- Use a pool cover during winter or if the pool won’t be in use for a few days. This will prevent debris falling in and prevent too much water evaporation.
- Reduce the amount of debris falling into the pool by keeping trees and other plants near the pool trimmed back.
- If you don’t have time for pool maintenance, hire someone to do it for you.
- Keep your pool area safe. Make sure the pool is properly fenced in and that there are no tripping hazards around the pool area.
As you have seen, maintaining your swimming pool is important for keeping it clean and safe for swimming. By following this basic maintenance routine and simple tips, you can keep your pool in great condition all season long!
Ottawa Home & Garden for All Things In-Ground Pool
At Ottawa Home & Garden, we know that an in-ground pool and poolscape will likely be one of the biggest investments you make to your home, and we want you to keep enjoying it for years to come.
When we design and install your in ground pool, our experts will ensure the proud new owner understands how the pool works, where the different parts of the system are, how to clean them and can even recommend products.