Do it Yourself Pool Cleaning & Care

Precise pool chemistry and physical cleanliness are very important parts of proper pool maintenance. Following a specific routine on a weekly basis will ensure your pool is maintained to the highest standards. Once this process becomes a routine endeavor, it may be accomplished quickly, yet yield maximum results. The effects of a well-designed maintenance routine are certainly cumulative. Performing four simple water tests on a scheduled basis ensures proper pool chemistry. Physical cleanliness involves removing dirt and other undesired objects in the skimmer basket and along the walls and bottom pool surfaces.

  • Pool test kit
  • PH-raising chemical additive
  • PH-lowering chemical additive
  • Chlorine
  • Stabilizer (conditioner)
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Safety glasses

Pool Maintenance Routine

Backwash the pool filter. This cleanses the filter so that it will continue to collect foreign debris efficiently. It also prevents contaminants from adversely affecting the chemicals that may be added after subsequent testing is performed.

Collect a water sample for several chemical tests. Draw the sample from a depth of at least 12 inches. Check the pH level using the pool test kit, and by following the pool test kit instructions provided. PH is a very important component of correct water balance. It is actually a measurement of how acidic the water is. If the water is too acidic, metal will corrode faster and cause staining. If the water is not acidic enough, calcification occurs, causing cloudy water. Adjust the pH to approximately 7.2 by adding the correct quantity of either pH-raising or pH-lowering additive.

Check the free chlorine level using the pool test kit. Not enough chlorine results in the growth of algae and bacteria, as well as cloudy water and poor sanitation. Too much chlorine causes eye, nose and skin irritation, among other things. The best chlorine level to try to attain is 2.0 parts per million (ppm). Add enough chlorine granules to bring your chlorine level back to this level.

Check the alkalinity level with the pool test kit. If the pH and chlorine levels have been properly maintained on a weekly basis, this step will rarely identify a need for an alkaline adjustment. The target range for this measurement is between 80 and 120 ppm. In a well-maintained pool, this measurement will very rarely vary by much. If necessary, add acid or sodium bicarbonate to bring your levels back to 100 ppm average.

Add a small quantity of stabilizer, after pH, chlorine and alkanility have been tested (and adjusted if necessary). This component (cyanuric acid) protects the chlorine levels in the pool from rapid depletion due to ultraviolet rays and sunlight exposure. By keeping the pool stabilized, much less chlorine will need to be added on a weekly basis, amounting to substantial savings during a typical pool season.

Check the skimmer basket for leaves and other foreign debris. Large foreign debris, such as pool toys, can substantially impede the flow of water, causing damage to the pool pump. After cleaning out the skimmer basket, completely brush down the sides and bottom of the pool with a stiff pool brush. This will prevent any unwanted growth from forming, especially in out-of-the-way, shady areas.

Tips and Warnings

  • Weekly chemical adjustments as well as weekly brushing will keep your pool in excellent condition. Once stabilized correctly, minimal amounts of chemicals must be applied to keep the maximal condition static.

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