Having a pool to relax in after a long work week is enriching. However, keeping up with routine swimming pool maintenance isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t know where to start. Owners must monitor the pool’s pH level, maintain the filter system, and more if they want to keep their swimming pool in prime condition.
Luckily, the pool specialists at 1 Pool Care put together a brief guide to help new pool owners understand all the ins and outs of swimming pool maintenance.
1 Pool Care are pool service Perth professionals, WA’s number one choice for swimming pool maintenance and repair services. Our team breaks the maintenance process down to its simplest terms, making it easy for novice pool owners to understand. Continue reading to learn how to maintain a pool correctly so you can enjoy it for years on end.
Understanding Swimming Pool Components
Before learning proper swimming pool maintenance, you must understand the pool’s main components. Swimming pools consists of four main parts:
- The Filter System
- Returns and Skimmers
The Pool Filter System
The filter system is one of the most important aspects of a pool. It removes all the dirt, debris, and bacteria lurking inside it. The pool’s pump keeps the water circulating as the filter catches any contaminants lurking within it, creating crystal-clear water that’s safe for swimming.
Pool filters come in many forms. Some work well with saltwater pools, while others support traditional swimming pools. However, they only differ by the media they use to filter the water.
The most popular filters include:
- High Rate Sand Filters
- Cartridge Filters
- Diatomaceous Earth Filters
Returns and Skimmers
Returns and skimmers are the second largest pool component. Skimmers are small holes along the pool walls that pull water into the filter. They also push the water through the filter as it cleans it.
Returns push the filtered water back into the pool, providing clean water for the owner to enjoy.
Both returns and skimmers require routine cleaning to work at their optimal efficiency levels. When dirt, debris, and other pollutants obstruct them, it prevents the water from flowing correctly, resulting in unsanitary, murky water. It’s best to backwash and clean the systems at least once a week to ensure they function optimally.
Maintaining your pool walls is a vital part of pool ownership. Algae and bacteria tend to latch onto pool walls when the water doesn’t have the proper chemical balance, making it unsafe to swim in. The contaminants can also take a toll on the pool’s walls if the owner doesn’t handle the issue swiftly.
To prevent algae and bacteria, pool owners must scrub the interior walls and remove any pollutants residing in the water (debris, leaves, etc.) every other week. If you don’t want to clean the walls manually, you can purchase a robotic cleaner that handles it automatically. There are self-cleaning pool systems available as well.
Maintaining the correct chemical water balance is essential if you want your pool to remain clean and safe. However, many novice pool owners struggle to find the perfect balance. Luckily, there are water testing kits that make balancing pool chemicals easier. Beginners can also use the chemical guide listed below to help them through the process.
It’s important to note that the following guide is specifically for a specific fibreglass pool type. It’s best to talk to the guys at 1 Pool Care to find the correct measurement for your pool.
pH Level- pH levels indicate how much alkaline or base the pool water is. You want a pH level to ensure your pool equipment doesn’t rust and that ensures the chlorine is working effectively. A pH level also prevents swimmers from experiencing eye or skin irritation. Try keeping your pool’s pH level around 7.2 to 7.8
Total Alkalinity- This chemical keeps the pool’s pH level balanced. You need to keep it between 80 to 120 ppm.
Chlorine- Chlorine sanitises the pool, eliminating troublesome algae and bacteria. Try keeping the pool’s chlorine level around 1.0 and 2.0 ppm. However, 3.0 ppm if the pool water temperature is above 26 degrees celsius
Stabiliser (Cyanuric Acid)- The stabiliser protects the pool’s chlorine from sunlight and UV degradation and will help the chlorine from being burned off too quickly.. Keep the stabiliser’s value around 20-50 ppm for optimal results but will be dependent on the chlorination system that you have installed.
Salt (for salt chlorinated swimming pools only)- If you have a saltwater pool, keep the salt levels around 3000 to 6000 ppm. However, some chlorinators demand lower salt levels.
Calcium Hardness- Calcium helps safeguard the pool’s walls. It’s best to keep the calcium hardness around 155 to 450 ppm.
T.D.S (Total Dissolved Solids)- Always keep the pool’s T.D.S level less than 1,500 ppm.
Phosphates- You need to keep your pool’s phosphate level between 0 and 0.2 ppm. Never let the phosphates grow above 0.2 ppm if possible.
Water Balance- The ideal water balance lays between 0 and -0.2, according to the Langlier Saturation Index.
As stated before, it’s best to talk to the guys at 1 Pool Care to find the perfect chemical balance for your pool.
Water testing kits can also help you find the correct balance. They are easy to use and make the process much easier.
To use a water testing kit, fill one of its containers with your pool’s water and wait until it changes colour. Compare the water’s colour to the colour chart provided in the test kit to see if you need to make chemical adjustments.
Experts recommend testing pool water at least once a week during the swimming season to ensure everything is up to par. Once swim season ends, you can reduce testing to once a month.
Pool specialists also advise testing the water after heavy rainfall or refilling the pool. Outside water throws the pool’s chemistry off, resulting in murky water.
for more information on cleaning your pool please read – How to Clean a Pool Without Emptying It
Maintaining The Circulation System
Pool water must constantly circulate to ensure it remains safe and clean. Your pool’s circulation system (pump and filter) should run continuously to ensure the water remains crystal-clear. If it doesn’t, the water stagnates, transforming your once beautiful pool into a hotbed of bacteria and other unwanted pollutants.
On average run your pool’s circulation system between 8 to 12 hours a day at a minimum during the summer months.. This gives the system plenty of time to circulate and filter all the water at least 1 -2 turnovers.
Maintaining The Filter System
Your pool’s filters play a crucial role in the circulation process. That’s why you must clean your pool’s filters and skimmer basket regularly to keep it in favourable condition. Clean everything at least once a week to ensure everything continues operating smoothly.
How to Clean Your Pool’s Filter System
To clean your filter system correctly, turn off the filter and take off the cap. Take the skimmer basket out and remove all the debris. After that, place the basket back into the filter and turn it on.
You also need to backwash the filter system at least once a month. This helps clear idle water and unwanted debris from the filter system’s pipes, improving their overall efficiency.
To start the backwashing process, turn the filter’s MPV (multiport valve) to the backwash mode. This reverses the water flow direction, pushing water and debris through the waste port. Continue running backwash mode until the water becomes clean and clear.
After that, turn off the filter and return it to the rinse setting and continue running the water for around a minute or two or until the water is clear. Place the Multiport valve back to the Filter position when you have finished and put any programmes to the original settings.
Cleaning The Pool
Pools require routine cleaning to stay in pristine condition. It’s a vital part of swimming pool maintenance and can increase your pool components’ longevity if you remain diligent. Although it’s all right to miss a day or two, it’s best to clean your pool daily if you want the best results.
How to Clean a Pool
Every pool owner needs at least a net skimmer and a pool brush to clean their pool efficiently. Use the net skimmer to clear debris off the pool’s surface and the brush to rid algae and bacteria from its walls and floor. You can also buy an automated pool cleaner to do most of the work.
Sometimes removing algae and bacteria isn’t easy. You’ll occasionally encounter a stubborn stain that refuses to come off no matter how hard you scrub.
In this case, combine some baking soda with a bit of water and apply it to the stain the best you can. After that, thoroughly scrub the stain until it disappears. The concoction won’t harm the pool’s vinyl or tile and makes removing irksome algae stains a breeze.
Automatic pool cleaners also make the cleaning process much more manageable. Although they don’t alleviate your pool cleaning duties, they lighten the workload and make the process less time-consuming. Just make sure the automatic pool cleaner covers every inch of your pool, including the walls.
Sometimes oils from hair products discharge in pool water and gather above the surface. To prevent this, add a few tennis balls to the pool’s skimmer basket to absorb the oils. You can also wrap the skimmer basket in fine denier tights to capture tiny particles plaguing the water.
Swimming Pool Maintenance Supplies
Swimming pools require more than skimmer nets and brushes. You’ll also need to purchase some pool cleaning supplies and chemicals for your swimming pool to reach its full potential. Below are some essential swimming pool supplies you’ll need to maintain your swimming pool correctly.
Shock- Swimming pool shock oxidises natural water pollutants like bacteria and algae to eliminate them. It’s a powerful chemical that often requires people to stay out of the water for 12 to 24 hours after application. Experts recommend adding salt and shock at the beginning of swim season and after heavy use.
Sanitisers- Although most people associate pool sanitisers with chlorine, it isn’t the only one available. Many people find chlorine’s smell repugnant and prefer using other sanitisers like bromine to reduce algae and bacteria growth. Many pool stores also offer natural sanitisers to people looking for a more organic solution.
Balancing Stabilisers and Chemicals- Homeowners must monitor their pool’s balancing chemicals to ensure the water remains in tip-top shape. Many things like rain, sunlight, evaporation, and oil can unbalance the pool’s chemical levels, reducing the water’s quality. Use a water testing kit to check your pool’s chemical levels at least once a week.
Algaecides- Much like shock, algaecides eradicate algae and hinder build-up on pool walls. They play a vital role in swimming pool maintenance since algae clog filter systems and decrease water quality. Many pool algaecides also prevent future algae growth, giving you a crystal-clear pool for several weeks, if not longer.
Stain Removal and Prevention- Pool water often leaves unsightly stains along the pool’s sides, leaving them looking ugly and discoloured. This is due to the numerous metals like copper, iron, and cobalt within the water. Applying a pool stain remover to the affected area will erase the blemish, restoring the sides of your pool. You can also use a stain prevention chemical to prevent them from reforming.
Chemical Kit- Keeping track of all the necessary pool chemicals is no small task. Luckily, you can use a chemical kit to help you measure your pool’s chemical balance. They are easy to use and help you adjust the pool chemicals accordingly.
Helpful Resource – What Pool Chemicals Do I Need
Tips for Staying on Track with Swimming Pool Maintenance
Many inexperienced pool owners feel overwhelmed or intimidated when they learn what goes into swimming pool maintenance. However, there are a few things you can do to help you stay on top of your daily routine.
Below are a few helpful tips and tricks to make staying on top of pool maintenance more effortless than ever.
Create a Swimming Pool Maintenance Schedule
Creating a swimming pool maintenance schedule is one of the best ways to keep up with your daily, weekly, and monthly chores. It helps you stay organised by laying out your routine in an orderly fashion. Whether you list your tasks in a large calendar or enter them into your phone, you can’t go wrong with a pool maintenance schedule.
Ask a Friend to Maintain Your Pool When You Are on Vacation
Most people go out of town occasionally and can’t take care of their pools while on vacation. In this scenario, the best thing to do is to find a close friend or neighbour and ask them to maintain your pool while you’re away. If they agree, provide them with a brief maintenance guide that includes the following tasks.
- Empty the skimmer baskets
- Clean the pool’s surface
- Check the filter pressure
- Backwash the filter (if necessary)
- Test the water and chemical levels
Try to find someone who understands how to maintain a pool correctly. The best candidates have prior pool maintenance experience or have a swimming pool themselves. People who know the ins and outs of pool maintenance will keep your swimming pool nice and clean until you arrive back home.
Buy a Pool Pump Timer
If your pool pump doesn’t already have a timer preinstalled, you may want to consider purchasing one. You can set the timer to run your pool pump every 8 to 12 hours, ensuring your water remains crystal-clear year-round. They also lighten your workload since you won’t have to remember to turn on the pump every day.
Maintain a Reasonable Water Level
Pool water constantly fluctuates, making it hard to keep an ideal water level. Heavy rain increases the waterline while excessive use and evaporation reduces it. The ideal water level is about halfway up the skimmer’s opening.
If your pool needs more water, use a garden hose to add more. It usually takes a few hours to accumulate, so stay patient when filling your pool and don’t forget to turn the hose off.
Removing excess pool water is a bit more complicated and usually requires a submersible pump or the waste feature on a high rate sand filter. Many pool supply and home improvement stores rent out submersible pumps for a modest fee. Once you acquire a submersible pump, set it in the pool and use it until the waterline reaches a reasonable level.
If you don’t want to remove the water yourself, you can call a professional swimming pool maintenance service to handle the extraction process for you. It’s the best way to ensure your pool reaches the proper water level and takes some stress off your shoulders.
Contact 1 Pool Care for Professional Swimming Pool Maintenance in Perth, WA
If you want the best swimming pool maintenance Perth, WA has to offer, contact 1 Pool Care. Our team has vast experience maintaining all pool types, giving them the skills they need to overcome even the most demanding pool projects. Whether you have an oversized saltwater pool or a traditional lap pool, 1 Pool Care can handle all your swimming pool maintenance needs.
Don’t trust inexperienced pool companies with your beloved swimming pool. Contact the swimming pool experts at 1 Pool Care by calling 0456 75 75 75 and see what the team can do for you today!