Swimming Pool Maintenance
Summer is almost here, but is your pool ready for party time? Here are 10 tips to ensure your pool is safe and well maintained.
It’s time to get your pool out of hibernation mode: there are summer pool parties to be had! Any pool owner knows consistent hard work is a necessary part of keeping your pool safe, clean, and sparkling blue. Nobody wants to swim or lay by a pool that’s beginning to collect scum and algae. Thankfully, while pool maintenance must be done regularly, it’s not difficult, and if you know what you’re doing, you can easily maintain the clean standards of your pool.
10 Tips for Swimming Pool Maintenance
Skim debris from your pool regularly
If done often (we’re talking daily), this job shouldn’t take longer than five minutes. Hand skimming leaves, twigs and other debris is the easiest and fastest way to keep your pool looking clean and beautiful. It’s crucial to do this regularly as, over time, these twigs and leaves will sink to the bottom of the pool and be much harder to get rid of. Also, remember to clean the basket or net you used to skim! If you want a costlier but less maintenance option, you can purchase a robotic skimmer.
Clean your pool filter and skimmer basket
Your filters are like your roof gutters. They’re there to collect all the gunk and nasty stuff, but if you leave them to overflow, then you’ll face disaster. An overflowing basket will put increased pressure on your pool’s pump and impede the proper filtering your pool needs to do to keep it sparkly and blue. As well as dumping out the content, remember to clean your basket with fresh water to remove excess bacteria. When you’re cleaning it, it’s also an excellent opportunity to look for any signs of wear and tear as a damaged pump or skimmer basket can have similar adverse effects on your pool’s cleanliness.
Vacuum and scrub your pool
So, you’ve nailed skimming the top and emptying the skimmer bucket, but there’s still one crucial pool cleaning task that must be enacted regularly. Just like you vacuum your house weekly, your pool needs the same level of attention. There are different types of pool vacuums; some are automatic – just set and forget – and some are manual that will require a bit of extra work. As well as vacuuming, any lasting residue or marks should be scrubbed off the bottom or side of your pool.
Is your pool fencing and gate safe?
Remember, good maintenance of your pool includes the surrounding area, not just the body of water. Having a functional, well-maintained pool gate isn’t an option, it’s the law. There are strict Australian regulations that you must comply with for your swimming pool gate to be lawful, including the height of the gate, the height of the lock, the distance from the ground, visible signage ad more. Jim’s Fencing offers pool safety inspections and issues pool safety certificates for fences that meet Australian standards. If your pool fence is not up to scratch, you’ll be able to work with them to find a fencing solution that helps to keep your family and guests safe around your pool. The most common pool gate materials are tubular aluminium and glass. Each offers its own distinctive benefits – tubular is more affordable, whereas glass fencing creates the illusion of a more expansive space. Phone 13 15 46 to discuss your options or to arrange an obligation-free quote.
Clean the area around your pool
It’s not just important to ensure the area around your swimming pool is clean from an aesthetic point of view, it can be a safety issue too. Check that the area around your pool isn’t slippery and make sure that there are no items around the pool fence that could allow a child to climb over the fence to gain access to the pool area.
Balance your chemicals
What keeps your pool such a beautiful aqua colour? Chlorine, of course! This is a sanitiser that stops bacteria and algae from growing in your water. Other common pool chemicals to be used are cyanuric acid, which blocks the sun’s UV rays from zapping away all your chlorine too quickly, and calcium chloride, which helps prevent damage to your pool tiles and metal. All sorts of other chemicals may be required for your pool depending on the location, climate, current state of it, and if it’s heated or not, but an expert at a pool shop can help you find your perfect combination. The most important thing you need to keep on top is testing your pool water weekly to ensure it is bacteria-free. You can buy your testing kit at your local pool shop, dip the stick in the water, and adjust your chemicals as needed to get the correct reading.
Deep clean after a party
After hosting a party, or a large number of visitors, your swimming pool will need some serious TLC. Shampoo and conditioner, sunscreen, natural skin oils – it’s all going to funk up your water and the chemical levels in your pool water. If your swimming pool is looking dirty, you may be able to occasionally ‘shock-clean’ the pool by adding three to five times the average chemical amounts and filtering through the pool. For a fun tip, try dropping a tennis ball into your pool to help absorb excess oils floating on the surface.
Top up the water level
Your swimming pool’s water level will fluctuate throughout the season based on rain, excessive use, and the sun. As a goal, you want to keep the water level to about halfway above the opening of your skimmer – this will allow debris to filter out easily. If your water level is too low, you can top it up with a hose – keep an eye on it to overfill. If your water level is too high (the skimmer is wholly submerged), you can leave it, despite slightly affecting your pool’s cleaning ability. Having a too-full pool won’t have any adverse effect other than your skimmer’s inability to work properly. You can choose to lower the water level, but it will be more work than it’s worth in most cases.
Prepare your pool for winter
Your swimming pool may not get used very much during the wintertime, but you need to
‘winterise’ it properly to ensure you don’t let bacteria build up throughout the season. Firstly, blow out excess water in the pump system, so it doesn’t freeze over during winter and cause damage. Next, before you cover it, test the water and make sure the chemicals are all balanced – it’s beneficial to super chlorinate your water to last over a more extended period. When it’s covered, keep an eye on it and regularly check to see if there are any holes, tears or other damage in the cover – this could allow bacteria to get through and leave you with a murky, green pool.
Get your pool professionally serviced
Even though it’s crucial that you learn the weekly cleaning that your swimming pool requires, it’s still of great benefit to get an annual service from a professional pool cleaner. As well as the water (which you’ve been doing a great job of keeping clean), they can check out the pump, filters, heaters and other fiddly elements that is better left to professionals.
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