The Three C’s of Proper Pool Maintenance
Proper maintenance is essential for your pool to ensure you can use it whenever you want and preserve the longevity of your investment. Although maintenance can seem like a pain in the neck, what is the point of having a pool in your backyard full of sludge?
From cleaning leaves and debris to ensuring that chlorine levels are kept stable, there are several things you’ll need to do to keep this outdoor feature clean and healthy. As a beginner, understanding the Three C’s will help you get started – cleaning, circulation and chemistry.
This is the most basic step, but you’ll have to invest in some swimming pool equipment to get it done. It consists of brushing the surface, skimming the debris on top of the water and vacuuming the walls and bottom. Here is a list of what you’ll need.
That is the first piece of swimming pool equipment you’ll need to buy to be able to perform basic cleaning. Made from fibreglass or aluminium and available in a range of lengths, a tele-pole is necessary for brushing, skimming and vacuuming. These poles are attached one to another to form a long pole, so how many to get will depend on the length you need.
You’ll need a good brush to scrub the walls of your pool. This will help prevent staining, algae and scaling, particularly around ladders, steps and crevices.
Skimmers and Leaf Rakes
Another important addition to your cleaning equipment, a skimmer net or a leaf rake is a tool that you connect to the tele-pole. A net is a tool that you run along the water daily to collect floating elements while the deep leaf net is meant to collect debris from the bottom of the pool and should be used an hour before vacuuming.
You shouldn’t allow organic debris to accumulate at the bottom because excess of it increases the need for chlorine and depletes chemicals that should be in the water to fight dangerous pathogens and organisms.
Vacuuming is necessary to remove debris that can impact circulation and deteriorate your pool. The special vacuum comes with a suction brush attached to a house that you connect to your pole and guide around the walls and along the floor.
If you prefer, you can invest in a pool robot to do the vacuum work for you. These are fully automated systems that don’t need input from humans.
You have two options to choose from – electric or hydraulic. Electric robots operate using either batteries or mains power and are designed to brush and vacuum at the same time. Hydraulic models are designed to be connected to the filtration system and have the ability to move around and collect dirt.
The circulation of the water is crucial. It will be difficult to maintain your pool if the water isn’t moving, the pump isn’t running, and the filter isn’t filtering. After all, algae thrive in stagnant water, which provides the ideal setting.
The filter, skimmer, pump, and other components make up the circulatory system. Your water quality will be impacted if any of these are malfunctioning.
As a rule of thumb, the longer your filtration system runs, the cleaner the water will be, which also means the less time you’ll spend scrubbing, skimming and balancing your water. If running your filter continuously isn’t practical, consider letting it run at least 10 to 12 hours per day.
You’ll need to run your pump a little bit longer each day if you live somewhere with a warmer climate. Consider getting a variable-speed pump as it can operate at a lower speed throughout the day, saving money and energy, and creating less noise.
Keep in mind that if your pump uses a cartridge filter, it will need to be cleaned regularly. When your pump’s basket becomes clogged, it makes it harder for your pump to cycle the water. In addition to putting stress on the pump’s seals, this can also decrease the life of your pump.
Chemistry plays a key role in preserving the purity of your water. When your water is properly balanced, you’re less likely to battle issues like hazy water, green water, or a buildup of hazardous germs. A dependable testing kit is required to test your water and balance the contaminants.
Ideally, you should test your water once a week. Most supply stores of pool equipment sell user-friendly test kits that indicate when chemicals need to be added to the water to achieve water balance.
You’ll want to keep your pool pH of about 7.5. pH levels too high or too low then can lead to different issues in pool maintenance, such as equipment corrosion due to increased green algae growth.
pH is not the only thing you’ll have to watch out for. Low levels of calcium hardness can also lead to damage to your pool’s vinyl liner or plaster finish. On the other hand, too high calcium hardness will make it difficult to remove calcium deposits. Balance is key here.
You’ll want your water alkalinity to be around 120 to 150 ppm. If it’s low than that, the water’s pH could be affected, and stains could appear on your surface. If it’s higher, cloudy water can happen.
Keeping the chlorine levels stable is important to ensure that the pool stays clean. Chlorine serves to break down harmful bacteria and sanitise your water. You can buy chlorine in sticks, granules and tablets.
One of the reasons that water becomes green and cloudy is due to high levels of phosphate. In addition to contributing to algae growth, high levels of phosphate also make it more challenging to ensure proper chemistry.
You will be on the right path to maintaining crystal-clear water and preventing problematic algae growth if you adhere to these fundamental steps. Setting up a routine and acting quickly if you notice discolouration, cloudy water, scaling, or other warning signs are crucial.