Five Ways to Keep Your Pool in Shape
I have no reason writing anything about pool maintenance. A while back, my pool was the color of the Okateehachee Swamp. Where is that you say? I made it up. It sounds like an Indian name and I used to teach social studies. Who is going to believe you? Anyway, my pool was bad. It had gone from green, to dark green, to black. Mutant tadpoles hid under the carpet of leaves on the bottom and water bugs came up every once and a while for air.
The only thing you really need to know about getting an ugly pool clean is how much bleach it will take to kill every living thing in your pool. Forget about scrubbing off the green. That’s not going to happen. Drop a nuclear bomb of chemicals in the pool so that anything left in there turns white and transparent. Then, scoop out the leftover and enjoy.
Pool owners know how much work it takes to keep a pool happy and healthy. Pool season will arrive quickly and you do not want your swimmers standing on the side while you are rescuing a pool from neglect. Also, nothing takes away from the asthetic pleasure of a backyard more than a pool that has turned into a science experiment. By following these five simple steps, you should be able to keep you pool clean and blue with less than an hour’s worth of work each week.
Leaf litter will collect on the surface of your pool and can easily be removed before it sinks and becomes a matter for the vacuum. Skim the surface of the pool for floating litter and debris. Make sure to dump the waster away from the pool so the wind does not blow it back into the water. Litter that has sunk to be bottom can also be an easy job for a skimmer. If your vacuum has a skimmer basket attachment be sure to clean that out as well.
If your pool does not have a screen enclosure the trees and bushes nearby will give off pollen, flowers, and leaves into the pool. Keep them trimmed back and consider replacing them with less messy varieties, or integrate more hardscaping around your pool deck.
The average pool requires about thirty minutes of vacuuming. Move slowly across the water in overlapping parallel lines. If the pool is too wide for one line, then clean it half at a time. If your vacuum is lacking suction power then your filter or screen may need to be cleaned. If your hose is floating, that may be an indication that it has a leak.
Next, brush off any algae that appears on the side of the pool. Use a stainless steel brush for concrete pools. Remember that the idea is to circulate the algae, not physically remove it. Let the chemicals do the work.
Clean out the hair/lint catcher in the pump and the filter. shut the system off, then close the skimmer valve in front of the pump to hold the water in place so the system won’t need repriming when it starts up again. Unscrew the trap’s lid and remove the basket, emptying it into the garbage. Next, remove the lid from the filter reservoir and remove the filter. Hose it off with a high pressure spray until all of the algae and litter are removed.
Test and correct pool chemistry weekly. Adjust pH first—with muriatic acid if it’s above 7.6 or with soda ash product if it’s under 7.4. If the chlorine is below 1 part per million (ppm) or alkalinity is less than 90 ppm, “shock” the water: Dissolve chlorine and/or alkalinity increaser (baking soda works in a pinch) in a bucket of water and toss in.