5 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Pool
There is no better way to cool off on a hot summer’s day than taking a refreshing dip in a sparkling, clean swimming pool. But your pool needs constant attention to make sure it stays clean and healthy. Otherwise, bacteria and fungi can render your pool unsafe. Follow these five tips to maintain a safe and healthy pool all year round.
Skim the Leaves
Leaves and other debris will occasionally find their way into your pool, especially on windy or stormy days. They can clog the filter and even damage your pool pump. You can buy a pool skimmer from your local pool dealer to skim the leaves and other debris that are floating on the surface of the pool.
Scrub the Pool
Algae, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the bottom and sides of the pool. Drain your pool once a month. Scrub the sides and bottom of the pool with a pool brush to remove algae and any other stains that appear on the surface. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the concrete, tile, or fiberglass surface.
Pro tip: You can keep your pool clean in between brushing by investing in a pool vacuum. It will suck up any rocks and pebbles that sink to the bottom and dirt that accumulates on the sides of the pool.
Clean the Pool Filter
The pool filter traps debris and small particles like dirt and sand, so they don’t clog the plumbing and damage the pump. When the screen fills with leaves and dirt, it becomes less efficient and more challenging to maintain a clean pool. Your pool filter either has a basket or a cartridge filter. Check the pool filter weekly. If you have a basket filter, remove it and hose it down to get rid of any debris and dirt. Then insert the clean basket back into the screen. Also, you should backwash the filter once a month to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned. This is done by turning off the pump and opening the backwashing valve until the water runs clear.
Pro Tip: Upgrade to a pool filter cartridge. Cartridge systems can remove smaller particles from the pool (as tiny as 20 microns) and require less maintenance. They generally don’t need backwashing, and they need cleaning about once per month. Cleaning a filter cartridge is as easy as hosing it down to dislodge trapped particles.
Check the pH Balance
Your pool needs a variety of chemicals to kill any bacteria, fungus, and other contaminants. And they need to be at the right pH balance to maintain a pool that is safe, comfortable and healthy for swimming. You should test the water weekly. Pool testing kits are available at Pool Works. Then fill the kit with a water sample. The water will change colors to let you know which chemicals, if any, to add to your pool.
Shock the P ool
Occasionally you may notice that the water in your pool is cloudy or murky, especially after heavy rains. Since the pool is contaminated, it is no longer safe for swimming. It will need to be shocked to return it to a normal, healthy state. Shocking is accomplished by slowly adding more chlorine than usual into the return line. You can also purchase a shock kit that makes the process simpler.When the pool water is crystal clear, and in proper pH balance, it is safe for swimming.