Basic Pool Maintenance
Simple steps to keep your pool attractive and clean
By Kaye Morris
Relaxing in a lawn chair by the pool is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, but maintaining the pool is often a worry and hassle to homeowners. Pools are a delicate balance of nature and machinery; and with the proper steps, they create no additional work for the homeowner. A clear understanding of basic pool maintenance allows you to spend less time maintaining the pool and more time enjoying it.
- What You Need to Know
- Having a pool means cleaning it and the basic supplies you'll need include a quality pool brush, a pool vacuum, a skimmer net and chemicals to keep your water sparkling clear and bacteria-free.
Check the water level in your pool and make sure it reaches the appropriate mark on the skimmer. Add water as often as necessary. In hot climates during the summer, you may need to add water every day. If no water is entering the filtering system, it can cause your pump to seize.
Empty skimmer baskets as often as necessary. If you have a heavily landscaped yard, or high winds and a neighbor who does, you may need to empty skimmer baskets every day, especially in the fall and spring.
Brush the sides, steps and bottom of the pool with a brush a couple of times a week to loosen dirt and pollen. Depending on the type of pool coating you have, dirt and pollen can permanently stain the pool if left in place for too long.
Skim the top of the pool with a net to remove leaves and other debris that the skimmers have not collected. Attach a vacuum skimmer to clean the bottom of the pool. Good models may run several hundred dollars, but they make up for the cost in efficiency and time saved.
Test your water for chemical balance on a weekly basis. If you live in a hot climate or your pool is used on a regular basis, check the balance more often. If you don't have a kit for checking your pool water, most pool supply stores test your water for free if you bring a sample in. They also make recommendations as to which chemicals to use to restore the balance in your pool.
Check the lubrication of your pool pump and add lubricant as needed. A dry pump can seize. Pools contain different types of filters, each with different maintenance requirements. Read the manufacturer's maintenance requirements for your filter and follow the instructions for cleaning and replacement.
Cycle the water in your pool for the appropriate amount of hours per day. Cycling the water keeps the pool clean and helps prevent algae from forming. A good guideline is to cycle the water one hour for every 10 degrees of temperature, but sometimes adjustments need to be made for humidity. Check with your local pool company for recommendations specific to your geographic region.
About the Author
Kaye Morris has 20 years of real estate development experience and is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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