The Basics of Maintaining Your Pool
A swimming pool is a fun amenity for homeowners, but it does require dedicated care to keep the water clean and clear and the equipment operating smoothly. The basics of pool care include managing the pump and filtration system, monitoring water levels, and maintaining proper water chemistry. While this may seem like a lot, once you get into a routine with your pool’s maintenance, you should be able to care for your pool in just a few hours a week.
The cartridge filter on pools should be cleaned at least every 4 months, or if the pressure begins to rise above 10lbs psi over the average pressure. Since you should run your pump and filter on a daily basis for at least six hours during the summer, it’s important that you monitor it regularly. Your pool installer can show you how to read the filter pressure gauge to ensure you clean it at the right times. Your pump basket collects leaves and other debris from your pool on a daily basis. You should check your basket weekly if you notice reduced water flow and more debris in the pool than normal.
You can use an automatic pool cleaner to make cleaning the pool easier, but you will need to keep your pool cleaner free of debris by checking it every week or every other week. Manually brushing your pool helps extend the life of pool plaster and reduces the need for chemical treatment.
Since you should perform general cleaning on your pool weekly, this is a good time to also assess water levels. It’s important to monitor water levels to make sure you don’t have a leak or other problem. The water level should reach half way up your tile, or three inches below the top of your tile line. Ideally your water level should be half way up the skimmer throat to ensure proper skimming of the pool water surface.
Remember that normal evaporation will change the level of your pool’s water, and this is perfectly fine. It’s when you notice many inches of water missing on a daily or weekly basis that you should have a professional look at your pool.
Chlorine is an important chemical in water chemistry to help keep the water clear and healthy. If you notice that your pool is cloudy or green, you might need to adjust the chlorine levels. In some cases, you will need to shock your pool with high levels of chlorine, stay out of the pool when the chlorine levels are high, you can return to swimming when the chlorine and chemicals have returned to normal levels. With proper maintenance, your pool should be ready for use any time you want to swim.