Our DIY Swimming Pool Maintenance Guide for a Better, Easier Summer

Our DIY Swimming Pool Maintenance Guide for a Better, Easier Summer

There are around 10 million residential swimming pools in the U.S.

This proves we’re crazy about swimming pools, but do we know how to care for them?

If you’re unsure, you’ve come to the right place. Here is our swimming pool maintenance guide, where we cover everything from routine cleaning to the best pool shock treatment you can use to ensure your pool is ready this summer.

Take Care of Your Pool Filter

Like kidneys remove toxins from our bodies, pool filters eliminate impurities like grime, leaves, and even small pool toys.

For DIY pool maintenance, turn off the filter, remove the cap, lift out the basket, and take out any debris. Aim to do this once a week.

You should give your filters a deep-clean by soaking them in a 10% solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate) in a five-gallon bucket of water. Soak them overnight, rinse them off, and leave the filters to dry.

Once a month, sanitize the pipes connected to your filter system by “backwashing” it. Set your filter to this setting, turn on your pump, and let it run until the water turns clear.

Clean Your Skimmer Basket Weekly

Skimmers keep your pool’s surface clear by catching debris before it falls to the pool’s floor.

They suck unclean water into the filter and push pristine water back into your pool. To clean your skimmer basket, find the access panel on your deck, open it up, and dump the contents.

Check Your Pool’s Chemical Levels

Your pool’s chemistry determines how effective your chlorine is. You must check its chemical levels twice a week during summer and once a week in winter.

The pH level should stay between 7.2 and 7.8 to prevent skin or eye irritation. As the pH rises, chlorine becomes less effective so you must add extra.

A fantastic way of controlling your pool’s alkalinity is by using baking soda, known as sodium bicarbonate. Measure 1.25 pounds of baking soda to raise the alkalinity by 10 parts per million and pour it into the skimmer.

To avoid cloudiness, let the baking soda circulate, which takes up to 10 hours. Re-test your water and repeat if necessary.

Keep in mind that chlorine is 50% active when the pH is 7.0 and 10% effective when it reaches 8.0. Use a testing kit to determine your pH level by filling the vial with pool water and adding the testing kit solution.

After a minute, the water will change color, revealing the current chemical level. You must then adjust accordingly.

Shock a Cloudy Pool

A murky swimming pool is a sign of bacteria, algae, and dirt. The best way to solve a cloudy pool is by using pool shock, powdered chlorine that drastically raises chlorine levels for a short period.

Shocking a pool tackles ammonia and nitrogen that makes your pool cloudy and stink of chlorine.

Wear protective goggles, gloves, and pour the pool shock into a five-gallon bucket of pool water and stir. Keep the pool pump running and pour the bucket around the edge of the pool.

Leave the pool shock in for six hours, and don’t use the pool until the chlorine levels drop below 5 parts per million.

Monitor the Water Level

Maintaining a correct water level is necessary to pool care, so your skimmer works. If the opening’s submerged, it won’t be able to catch floating debris or dust from the surface.

Your water should be halfway up the opening of your skimmer. If it’s too low, use a garden hose to top the water up. And if the water is too high, rent a pump from a home improvement store to drain the excess. It’s a common issue after a rainstorm.

Remove Any Algae

It’s important to clean the pool’s sides to prevent an algae outbreak. Scrub the sides every other week and look out for any algae growth.

For stubborn spots, fill an old sock with chlorine and let it soak the spot for a few hours, so it eats away at it. Then use a scrub brush to remove any residue.

To clean algae completely, another alternative could be a system that comes with advanced filtration techniques like the Dolphin Escape. The ultra-thin filters present in this unit will catch tiny algae to large leaves. 

Use a Tennis Ball to Absorb Oils

A top tip of pool maintenance for beginners is using a tennis ball to remove oils.

When swimmers exit the pool, they leave behind suntan lotion and natural oils produced by their skin. Simply throw a tennis ball into the pool, and the fibers will absorb the oils, so it doesn’t stay on your pool’s surface.

Power Wash Your Pool’s Deck

No pool cleaning guide is complete without looking after your deck.

Power washing removes rust and stains, so your pool deck shines. Start by sweeping the deck to remove debris, then set the power washer to medium. Repeat the process until the surface is spotless.

If you’re planning to install a travertine pool deck, learn more here.

Schedule a Yearly Appointment

Still not completely sure how to take care of a pool? Then call in the professionals.

Even if you are sure, an expert should check out your pool’s pumps, filters, and heating systems to ensure they’re in good condition.

You should hire an expert once a year, and before the appointment, consider your pool. Are there any leaks in the piping? Notice any odd smells coming from the water?

Mention any problems with the expert, so they know where to start.

That’s Our Swimming Pool Maintenance Guide

There you have our swimming pool maintenance guide.

It’s important to check your pool’s pH to ensure there’s the right level of chlorine, clear your skimmer, filter, and shock your pool when it’s cloudy.

To ensure your pool’s well-maintained, hire a professional to service your pool once a year, especially before winter, so everything’s working.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, check out our articles on Real Estate.


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