Brush, brush, brush, you can never brush your pool enough, if you skimp on anything don’t let it be brushing your pool. It’s the single most important part of your pool maintenance.
Don’t leave your pool full of play toys and small things that could get sucked into your automatic pool vacuum or into the skimmer box and block water flow reducing your pools filtration and circulation. Its best and safest to remove floating pool items when you are done swimming and store them away in a secure location.
If you have a water test kit, use it, test your water at least once a week so you can see how pool water chemistry fluctuates and changes day to day or week to week. Get a better understanding of what effects it has on your water balance and water quality
Check your pool water level at least once a week, twice in summer. If its low add water.
If there is bad weather and a lot of leaves and debris blow into the pool, try to remove as much as you can, with your pole and net, and empty the skimmer basket if its full. Heavy organic loads will consume your pools available chlorine at a high rate as the chlorine tries to oxidize the matter, in most cases waiting until your pool service comes that week will be too late and your pools health will suffer a devastating blow.
If you see something, say something, don’t be afraid to call text or email your pool service if you think something looks odd, water dripping, cloudy turbid water, green water, algae on the steps or wall, a piece of equipment that doesn’t turn on, don’t wait until your service day to tell your pool service about it. Most of these could be the beginning of a bigger problem, It's best to catch it while it’s still a small problem. Your pool service will thank you so will your wallet.
If you have a gate or fence around your pool or to your back yard, keep it closed at all times. Your gates should be self-closing, self-latching to prevent pool accidents.
Last but not least, make it easy to get into your back yard. Leave an adequate path from the gate to the pool. Climbing over and around items with all of our heavy gear and service carts, hoses, poles, chemicals and equipment thru bushes around trash cans over obstacles to get to your pool, is not fun. It may not seem like a big deal to you , but for us it is. Thanks in advance and remember, Life is better by the pool.
Water temps are in the mid 70’s, it’s almost Memorial Day which is the industries checkpoint for the beginning of the swim season. Are you ready? Is your swimming pool ready? Here are some tips to guide you and your swimming pool into tip-top condition to last you thru the summer swim season.
Walk around your pool, look for potential problems or hazards, Make sure all of the suction outlets on your pool and spa have a secured drain cover over them. Trim back trees and bushes. A clean back yard promotes a clean pool. Hose down the deck, away from the pool ! Use your skimmer / leaf rake / net and pole as well as your manual vacuum to remove any leaves, dirt and debris from the pool. Remember as it gets warmer your pool will see a higher level of evaporation than it did in the winter and spring, be prepared to add water more frequently if you don’t have an automatic water leveler.
Check all of your pool equipment, turn on everything! Heater, lights, air blower, salt system, pumps, if you have a pool and spa combination exercise the valves to check for leaks, check all of the equipment for leaks and for equipment that’s not coming on or running properly, if something seems wrong turn it off and call a professional to come evaluate it and or repair it. Don’t wait until the day before you want to use it as it’s a very busy time of year for swimming pool professionals and you might have to wait several days before they can get to you to repair your heater, your lights or pump. If you have an automatic pool vacuum make sure its working properly, your local pool retail shop stocks parts for all major brands and if your vacuum needs a tune up, they will be glad to help you get it tuned up.
Clean your filter and empty your skimmer and pump strainer baskets. If you are not comfortable taking apart your pool filter, call your local pool professional and have them do it, typical cost is under $100 for a thorough cleaning and change filter tank seals, it saves you the homeowner from getting dirty and wet.
Balance your swimming pool water chemistry, use a quality test kit, I recommend the Taylor Technologies Troubleshooter test kit K-1004, Test strips although convenient are not very accurate and not recommended if you have them left over from last season. You can also take a water sample to your local pool retailer to check for hidden problems such as phosphates, cyanuric acid levels, alkalinity level and if you have a salt system check the salt level to make sure it’s in the 3000-3500 operational range. They will also give you recommended dosages of chemicals that are out of balance on your pool.
Shock your pool prior to swim season, preferably at night when the sun is setting because pool shock is a non- stabilized oxidizer and the suns UV rays will deplete it quickly in the middle of the day. Turn on your filtration system add the appropriate amount of shock ( typically calcium-hypochlorite), then brush your swimming pool and run your filter for 10-12 hours typically overnight.
Last but not least adjusting your swimming pools filtration and circulation time. As the temperature outside rises your filtration time needs to rise also, those swimming pools that were running 4-6 hour filtration cycles in the winter and spring, will need 10-12 hours in the summers hot weather. As bather load increases chemical demand will also increase so be prepared by having the chemicals you need ready and waiting. Be sure to store them in a safe secure location well ventilated and away from children.
This is the most common question homeowners ask me, and it’s the most basic one. Weather someone is new to being a pool owner or a veteran pool owner, I’m often asked. Where should I keep the water level.
For pool owners that have an automatic pool water leveler this is a set it and forget it situation baring any problems with your automatic leveling system which should be checked monthly by your pool service. Often we find the older auto fill systems have worn or broken parts and the float needs replaced the more recent ones are more durable and sustainable.
Ideally for best results you want your pool water level 1/3 to ½ way up the skimmer throat. This is the opening in your tile where the surface debris is skimmed or sucked off the surface. Water level too high and the water flow is slowed down to the point that debris can pass right by the skimmer opening without being sucked inside and filtered.
Too low of a water level and the pump will lose its prime and you are risking possible damage to your pool pump from overheating and running dry, a very costly repair. You also will experience unhealthy swimming conditions from lack of circulation and filtration. If you have a salt chlorination system your salt cell will only produce chlorine with consistent flow high enough to trigger the flow switch. All of which will lead to an algae bloom. If you are unsure where to keep your pool water level, please don’t hesitate to ask your pool service or a pool professional.
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