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Pool time is a quintessential part of summer, so it’s crucial that you keep it clean! Yes, adding pool chemicals will help keep it clean to a certain extent, but there are many other areas of your pool that you must keep in mind when it comes to protecting your investment sparkling and safe.
Swimming pool maintenance can seem like a daunting task but breaking it down into easy, achievable steps can allow you to spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying swim season poolside. Whether you have an above-ground pool or an inground pool, regular maintenance will be essentially the same.
Every pool has the same basic components that need your attention: water, interior, filters, skimmers, and returns. Creating a schedule for your pool maintenance can help you keep track of key tasks required to ensure your pool stays clean and in top shape.
Here’s a breakdown of pool to-dos and how often they should be done:
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- Run the pool pump. It is recommended that pool pumps run as often as possible, but at minimum, pool pumps should run at least 10 to 12 hours a day. Running your pool pump consistently helps circulate the clean water in your pool and can help prevent algae growth.
- Skimming. Skimming your pool daily using a skimmer basket will help prevent any debris from sinking to the bottom.
- Clean the pool deck. Believe it or not, the state of your pool deck can affect the cleanliness of your pool. Taking time to sweep away debris will help keep it from getting into the pool and will save you a ton of time and frustration.
- Maintain water level. If your pool’s water level is too low, it can lead to severe damage to your skimmer by drawing in too much air to your filtration system. This can lead to having to replace your pool’s filtration system which can be costly. Having too high of water level can also damage the skimmer. Your skimmer helps maintain the cleanliness of your pool. Checking your pool’s water damage daily will help prevent expensive repairs and keep your pool safe. Another great way to help maintain your pool’s water level and keep debris out is investing in a pool cover. Covering your pool when not in use or in preparation for a inclement weather is an easy way to preserve your pool.
- Test the water. Check the pH levels and chlorine levels in your pool at least twice a week and balance them as needed. Using a photometer water tester or water testing kit will make testing your pool’s water chemistry easy and will give you lab-quality results quickly.
- Vacuuming. Whether you are using a manual pool vacuum or an automatic pool cleaner, it is recommended that you vacuum every other day. Staying committed to doing this consistently will also save you time and effort.
- Brushing. Using a pool brush to brush the walls, ladders, and corners of your pool at least twice a week will help prevent scale and algae from forming.
- Disinfect the pool deck. We mentioned cleaning your pool deck already, but you shouldn’t stop there. Disinfecting your pool deck will help prevent bacteria and algae from growing and ruining your pool deck. How often and how much you use will depend on what your pool deck is made of.
- Test water alkalinity. Working as a pH buffer and checking your pool water’s alkalinity can help prevent drastic spikes in basicity or acidity.
- Test water. You should test water hardness and stabilizer levels at least twice per season.
- Pool shock. Shocking your pool occasionally will help keep your pool clean. Do so after a big pool party or storm.
- Clean your filters. Pool filters are one of the most important aspects of keeping your pool clean. How often you clean your filter will depend on what type of pool filter you have.
3 Most Common Pool Filters and How Often They Should Be Cleaned
- Sand Filter: The only way to clean a pool sand filter is to reverse the water flow aka backwash the filter. This should be done at least once per week. Add more sand media as needed.
- Cartridge Filter: Pool cartridge filters must be cleaned by hand using a powerful filter cleaner. After spraying or soaking the filter with the cleaner, use a garden hose to clean the cleaner and debris off the filter. Apply lubricant to O-rings, if necessary, or replace the O-ring, if needed. Cartridge filters should be cleaned every three to six months.
- D.E. Filter: Also known as diatomaceous earth filters, D.E. filters must be backwashed, and the filter’s tank must be flushed. When ready, add just the right amount of D.E. powder to the filter while the pump is running. D.E. filters should be taken care of every four to eight weeks.
Having a pool is fun, but just like any large investment, taking care of it properly will help make it last. Staying on top of these pool care basics throughout the summer can save you time so you can spend more time enjoying your pool!
Cartier Kirby is a National Air Filtration Association Certified Air Filter Specialist at FiltersFast.com, the #1 online filtration retailer in the United States. Cartier has over 10 years of experience in the filtration industry and is known for her passion and extensive knowledge about every aspect of air filtration. Cartier currently serves as the Vice President of Strategy, Compliance, and People at FiltersFast.com.