water-chemistry-testOne of biggest reasons why some home owners hesitate about getting a pool in Houston is that they’re afraid of all the pool maintenance work that comes with it.

And this is true. If you want your pool to last you a long time, you need to be diligent in its maintenance. The misconception is that it is a lot of work. If you know what you’re doing, it shouldn’t take you longer than an hour a week. Here are some pool maintenance tips to get you started.

Mind your debris: Litter in and around your pool is not just an eyesore. It also compromises the cleanliness of your pool’s water. Cleaning the area around just takes a few minutes.

In a week, your skimmer basket would have gathered some debris. Open it up and empty it. Pick up floating debris and those around the pool area.

You may have trees and bushes around your pool. Make sure their leaves don’t get tracked back into the pool area. Consider trimming them away from the pool. Or, you may want to update your yard’s look with some “hardscaping.”

Vacuum: Now, it’s time to turn it up – the vacuum, we mean. First, make sure you have a clear sight of your pool’s floor. Direct the side jets of your pool downward so that the surface is steady. Connect the hose to the vacuum. Fill the free hose end using one of the jet nozzles. After a few seconds, you’ll see water pouring out of the vacuum. Submerge the vacuum head and connect the other end of the hose to the skimmer. Now, vacuum. You can usually cover one end to another with one pass. It takes just 30 minutes.

During this process, if your hose floats, it means there’s a hole on it or the filter is full.

For a complete clean, attach a nylon or steal brush to your vacuum pole.brush the sides of your pool for algae and other growth.

Correct the chemicals: The first step here is to correct the pH levels of your pool water. If it’s above 7.6, correct it with some muriatic acid. If it’s below 7.4, correct it with soda ash.

Then, let’s see about the chlorine. If the alkaline level is less than 90 ppm (part per million or if chlorine is below 1 ppm, dissolve an alkalinity increaser (such as baking soda) or chlorine into a bucket of water and then mix this into the pool water.

Empty the filter bag: The final step. That’s it. You’ve got a clean pool.