Each pool is different, and so are the maintenance needs. But they all share one common trait—they all require regular, routine care. It’s the key to a longer pool life. Even if you rely on a pool service company to take care of your pool maintenance, you still need to take on a few tasks on your own to ensure your pool stays in good condition for years.
Steps to Stress-Free Pool Maintenance
Step 1: Skim Debris
When it comes to pool service, NJ and many other states have to be vigilant with leaves, twigs and insects. Skim your pool’s surface by hand every other day to ensure fast and easy cleaning. After all, floating debris will eventually sink to the bottom, increasing the difficulty of removal. Use a long-handled skimmer to scoop up those unwanted items. Clean out your strainer baskets at least once a week to improve circulation and lower chlorine requirements. Simply remove and shake out the plastic basket. Use a hose to dislodge any stubborn debris
Step 2: Brush Walls and Tile, then Vacuum
Any pool service company will tell you that a weekly brushing of the walls and tile will do wonders. This helps minimize algae buildup and calcium deposits so they don’t become a larger problem down the road. The cleaning tools you use will depend on the type of material of your pool wall. Use a stiff brush for plaster-lined concrete pools and a softer brush for fiberglass or vinyl. For tile, use a soft brush for tile as well to prevent grout damage. Using a putty knife, pumice stone or a 50-50 mixture of water and muriatic acid are excellent options.
Successful pool maintenance also includes vacuuming at least once a week to maintain clear water and reduce the amount of chemicals required. If you have a manual vacuum, use the same technique you would use vacuuming a carpet. Move it back and forth, slightly overlapping each stroke. Be sure to check the filter each time you vacuum, and clean it if needed.
Step 3: Clean the swimming pool filter
Whether you have a cartridge, sand or diatomaceous earth filter, periodic cleaning is required. For pool service, NJ residents and anyone in areas surrounded by trees, the pool filter should be cleaned often—but more often than recommended by a professional pool service company may wind up hindering filtration. Believe it or not, a clean filter is actually less efficient than one that has a small amount of dirt, which helps trap and remove debris from the water. If you notice an increase in flow between the pressure gage and flow meter, it’s time to clean the filter.
Step 4: Hire a Pool Service Company for the Heater
Occasionally, calcium scales end up building up inside the tubes of a pool heater, restricting flow and preventing water from heating adequately. If this happens to your pool, hire a professional pool maintenance company. Your unit may need to be disassembled for tube cleaning with acid or a wire brush.
Step 5: Maintain Water Level & pH
When you perform your skimming throughout the week, check the water level. Don’t let it fall below the level of the skimmer, which may be a sign the pump could be damaged. Low water? Use a garden hose to bring it up back up.
Also, test your pool water regularly to ensure it’s clean and healthy. Monitor your pool’s pH level with a testing kit. A reading of between 7.2 and 7.8 is ideal on the pH scale.
Step 6: Super-Chlorinate the Water
Did you know that organic contaminants can build up in your pool overtime? Ammonia or nitrogen can interact with your pool’s chlorine to form chloramines, which give off that potent chlorine odor. To get rid of that harsh odor, super-chlorinate, or shock, the pool water back to normal chlorine levels during your regular swimming pool maintenance.
Step 7: Winterize the Pool
If you live in an area that experiences temperatures that drop below freezing, you’ll need to winterize. Use an air compressor to blow out water from your pool’s plumbing. Drain as much water as possible from the heater and filter. Disconnect the heater, pump and chemical feeders (store and clean the feeders). Finally, clean the pool as you would during your pool maintenance. Then, cover the pool to keep out debris.
Every pool service company will tell that following these simple steps for swimming pool maintenance will lead to smooth sailing when you open your pool for the next swimming system. A little regular effort leads to a whole lot of enjoyment!