Having a swimming pool at home is not just about relaxing during hot days. The swimming pool requires regular maintenance to keep its condition intact. Proper maintenance not only keeps the water clean, but also prevents the water from becoming cloudy. Learning some DIY maintenance tricks is necessary to keep your pool condition proper, even before calling pool maintenance service.
Keeping the pool clean from dust and particles is not enough. You must keep the water pH in perfect balance, between 7.2 and 7.8. This is to prevent the forming of algae, which can turn the water cloudy, slimy, and dirty. Balanced pH also controls the water’s clarity, and prevents swimmers from experiencing skin problems caused by excessive pH level.
You also need to pay attention bacteria level in the water. Balanced pH and proper chlorine application are important to kill dangerous fecal bacteria and germs, which can cause diarrhea or even worse diseases. Maintaining alkaline level in 80-120 parts/million (ppm) is also important, to keep the water from becoming acidic and corroding various pool parts.
Finally, make sure you check other components, such as the filter, tiles, and stairs. Clean the filters regularly, and check for cracks or wear-and-tear. Even if you cannot do everything alone, knowing some DIY tricks will save the time and money.
Steps of Standard Swimming Pool Maintenance
Conducting regular swimming pool maintenance is not hard. You can use several hours on the weekend to finish the job, especially if your pool is not too big. Proper steps to maintain a swimming pool are:
Disposing debris and trash
The easiest first step is removing large particles. Use a pool net to remove leaves, twigs, petals, trash, and other unwanted debris from the water surface. Empty the skimmer baskets and throw away all the debris so they cannot come back. Trim or cut branches, bushes, and other plants that may be responsible for the debris.
Vacuum the pool
All swimming pools have nozzles to connect pool hose. Use this vacuum after removing debris. Depending on your pool size, the entire vacuum process may take around 30-40 minutes, or even more. Additionally, you need to scrub the side of the pool, to remove algae.
Balance the water chemical
Once a week, check your water chemical level. If the pH is above 7.6, use muriatic acid to lower it. If under 7.4, add soda ash. If the alkaline level is below 80, pour alkaline increaser or baking soda into a bucket of water, let it dissolves, and pour it into the pool water.
Clean the filter
The first step of filter cleaning is backwashing. It means turning the filter valve to let the water run “backward”, redirecting flow to bring dirt and other particles back into the waste line. Afterward, turn off the entire filter system and clean its basket from lint, hair, and other clogging materials.
Pour chlorine into the water
A home swimming pool should have chlorinator. You pour chlorine in a certain amount (based on water volume) into chlorinator, and this tool will “introduce” the chemical slowly into the water. Add the chlorine at night, because sunlight reduces its ability to kill algae and germs.
Ideally, these steps should be done on the weekly or biweekly basis. However, you need to call an expert cleaner to perform annual full cleaning, to make sure that the pool is in top condition.
How to Prepare Pool before Winter
If you are not going to use the pool before winter, make sure to keep it in good condition before closing it. Run the filter for 48 hours to remove all dirt and debris. Reduce the water volume until it reaches 150 mm below the skimmer. Check the chemical levels to make sure they are balanced. Clean the pool like the above steps, and lubricate all the plugs, rings, and valves.
All equipment that uses water flow, such as sanitizing, filtering, and pumping must be drained to prevent damage. You must also apply algaecide, to prevent algae from forming. Use expansion plugs to blowing out water from the plumbing system. Once every part is cleaned, cover the pool with a tarp or other cover type.
DIY Hacks to Clean Swimming Pool
Finally, there is nothing wrong with a little hack to clean your pool. For example, if you are worried about oil from sunblock lotion, float several tennis balls on the pool to absorb it. Meanwhile, old pantyhose is great to clean the skimmer quicker. Put it in a pocket inside the skimmer, so you can pick it up to collect debris.
Baking soda works wonder in various pool cleaning hacks. If you want to scrub off grout lines between tiles, but afraid of getting the cleaning chemicals into the water, you can mix baking soda with water to create a cleaning paste. Even if it pours into the water, it will not cause any negative effects.
Regular maintenance is important to keep your swimming pool clean, and DIY steps can save you money for professional service. Make sure to follow the recommendations when using any chemicals, to prevent health risks during the cleaning session.