When the sun is up and the air is too thick to breath, there’s nothing like the blessed cool blue of your private pool. If you’ve only just recently become a pool owner, you may be weighing your options: should you hire someone to juggle your pool chores or can you do this one yourself? Taking care of a pool isn’t hard, provided you’ve got a checklist to follow.
Your Pool Maintenance Attack Plan
Most pools don’t require a lot of care, but if you don’t keep up with a regular maintenance schedule those easy and manageable tasks will become annoying chores— or a big pile of broken pool equipment. Neither one is an awesome future prospect.
Instead of a looming disaster, you can look forward to plenty of happy years floating without a care in the world while drinking lemonade on your unicorn raft with a simple checklist that looks like this:
Check water level. Pool water isn’t special, it evaporates in the heat just like other water. If it’s been raining a lot your water level might be too high for your equipment to run properly. Either way, a quick visual can help you tell if the water’s in the right place. Make sure you know exactly what level the water needs to be at in order for the pool to work properly.
Scoop out floating debris. Grab that long-handled fishnet and scoop out anything that’s floating in your pool without authorization. This will be one of the easiest jobs when taking care of your pool.
Clean out the basket. You can’t just sweep all the pool debris into the basket and hope no one notices. When the basket is full, your water circulation is limited, just like when a filter is dirty. So, take it out and make sure it’s as clean as possible.
Clean the deck. The dirt and grime on your pull deck won’t just naturally disappear, it will probably end up in the pool. If you do not clean the deck, that gross dirt will end up getting in your lemonade you drink in the pool.
Vacuum the pool bottom. Remember that debris you were supposed to scoop out most every day (and may have neglected a bit)? Well, you get another chance to do it today. Pick one day a week to really clean your pool with the pool vacuum. It’ll help prevent staining and keep your water cleaner. You do not want to go in a pool with tree branches at the bottom, do you?
Shock the pool. You need to shock your pool water on a regular basis. Since it’s not an actual free-flowing water source like a stream or even a lake, it’s easy for algae, bacteria and other microscopic critters to grow. Raising the chlorine level to 5 or 10 ppm will kill off what ails you. A DPD test kit can help detect levels of combined chlorine — you can break it up by shocking the water to a level 10 times the tested level when combined chlorine exceeds 0.3 ppm. This is a vital part of having a clean and healthy pool to enjoy.
Check pool chemistries. Your pool is a complicated stew of H, O and lots of impurities. Some of these are not good your health, others are just really not great for your equipment. Regular chemistries can tell you the situation when it comes to pH, total chlorine, alkalinity, calcium and cyanuric acid. Make sure to figure out the saturation index to ensure it’s safe to go in
Look for tears in the liner. A torn liner is not a great time for a pool owner. You’ll be leaking water if you don’t fix it up as soon as possible. Vinyl pools can be a great option for many homeowners, but they come with a hidden cost — the effort it takes to patch them and keep ahead of any holes that may appear.
Clean your filter. This may need to be done more often than once a month, but cleaning that pool filter is everything. When your pressure gauge is 5 to 10 psi higher than normal, it’s time to improve the water flow by getting all the debris out of the filter.
Clean your skimmer. Using a scrubbing sponge and soap, clean the scum and dirt out of the skimmer’s throat and well. Cleaning the skimmer well will also make your pool look attractive and appealing.
Clean the pump room. Your pump room is where all the real action takes place. Whether it’s part of a pool house, a kitchy cabana or under a plain little cover, keep it clean and free of debris in case you have to take the pump or other equipment apart in a hurry.
Check all pump seals and safety equipment. Your pump, filter and safety equipment need to be in good working order all the time. Check each item, tightening bolts or replacing parts when they start to get old and used up. While you’re at it, make sure your pool gate latches properly to avoid potential future issues.
Would You Rather Be Using the Pool or Cleaning It?
Some people are cleaners and some people are floating around in the pool-ers. If you’ve tried to keep up with pool maintenance and simply can’t, or just don’t want to use your limited leisure time scooping leaves out of your glistening waters, stop by for a visit with your HomeKeepr community. Your Realtor knows a pool guy — and he’s awesome! All you have to do is let him know you need a hand.