12 Swimming Pool Maintenance Tips For New Pool Owners
In this blog post, I"ll be covering some Basic Swimming Pool Maintenance Tips EVERY New Pool Owner should be aware of!
There’s nothing like a refreshing dip in a swimming pool on a hot day!
When people get a new pool, they spend the initial days living out their fantasies of spending the weekends lounging in the water with an exotic cocktail in hand, hosting posh barbecue parties, doing water-yoga for stress relief and so on.
However, after the initial wave of excitement has ebbed a bit, new pool owners are confronted with an aspect of pool ownership that they had not given much though to before... pool maintenance.
A pool is comforting, inviting and invigorating only if it’s well looked after. Green or murky water is certainly not a way to impress your friends...
Check out these 12 easy and practical pool maintenance tips that you can try out immediately. They’ll ensure that your pool is always squeaky clean, with sparkling water.
12 Swimming Pool Maintenance Tips
1) Shower Before You Swim:
The idea is to take a quick 2-minute shower before entering the pool (Many communal pools have this policy). Just a quick body rinse can help to get rid of most of the dirt, mud, oils, skin lotions, sweat etc.
By preventing dirt and chemicals from entering the water, you can keep it cleaner for longer.
This is especially effective if you have kids around the house as they can make a pristine pool murky in just a couple hours of playtime.
2) Buy an Automatic Pool Cleaner:
As cheesy and "clickbaity" as it sounds, Just doing this ONE thing will reduce your pool maintenance worries by at least 50%.
As a swimming pool owner now for as long as I can remember, I can 100% testify to this fact!
There are various models in the market catering to various budgets, requirements and pool sizes. All manufacturers provide a warranty on their pool cleaners, making this a sensible investment.
Most automatic pool cleaners are usually easy to set up and once you put them into the water, they are more or less automatic (Unless you buy an awful model that keeps on getting stuck!)
You can sun bathe for a while as the pool cleaning bot scrubs and filters all the dirt and grime. Newbies usually have a hard time picking the right pool cleaning robot – there’s loads of features and a bunch of jargon to contend with.
Some pool cleaners can climb walls while others cant. If you get one that cannot climb walls, you’ll have to scrub them yourself. Some can do walls but struggle with stairs.
So please DO NOT buy a pool cleaning bot unless you’ve read our reviews! You’ll thank us later.
We did the research for you, and recommend the #1 Top Rated Automatic Pool Cleaner on Amazon.com - the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus:
BUT - If your pool tends to collect a lot of debris (leaves, bugs, etc) on top of the water, we'd suggest going with a pressure side cleaner such as the Polaris 360.
The Polaris 360 not only cleans the bottom of your pool, but it uses your pools return water to create a suction vortex which essentially pulls junk from your swimming pool into the bag attached to the top of the device.
Unlike many pressure side cleaners, a booster pump is NOT required to use it, as it uses your swimming pools pumpfor circulation!
Check out the Polaris 360 on Amazon, here.
3) Use A Net To Remove Debris:
Do this every couple of days. It takes less than five minutes for a small to medium sized pool.
A skimmer can be used to eliminate debris off of the pool surface as well as the bottom.
Even a fine mesh net will not be able to remove pollen and bacteria but it does prevent leaves, pebbles, insects and small twigs from clogging the filter.
A clogged filter is inefficient and may drive up power bills.
Just a handful of leaves can make an otherwise clean pool seem unkempt. So even if you do have a cleaning bot, this is an importance aspect of pool maintenance.
Here's my favorite Pool Net, on Amazon.com.
4) Clean your Skimmer Basket:
Remove the skimmer lid, pull out the basket and empty all the debris into a bin. Once you’ve done this, give the basket a thorough rinse and put it back in place.
You’ll be surprised at the amount of debris and dirt that accumulates in the skimmer basket, even if you clean out all visible debris using a net on a regular basis.
5) Clean Motor Basket:
You must do this both before and after scrubbing the pool (manually or with a robot).
Please make sure that the motor is turned off before removing the basket.
- Take off the lid
- Remove the basket
- Clear debris
- Wash down thoroughly using a water hose
If a motor basket is clogged, it impedes proper flow of water. This can affect motor life, efficiency and cause higher power consumption.
6) Chemical Testing & Balancing:
It is not enough to clean the physical debris, algae etc. Pool water should have the right chemical balance to deter harmful bacteria from breeding.
It is highly advisable to invest in a chemical testing kit – it’s the only sure-fire method for maintaining optimal pool chemistry.
Don't worry, you don’t need a degree in chemistry to test and balance pool water.
Most pool water chemical testing kits come with easy instructions.
That being said, here are some key parameters that new pool owners should be paying attention to:
FC – Free Chlorine
1-3 ppm (parts per million)
CC – Combined Chlorine
Br – Bromine
PH – Acidity/Alkalinity
TA – Total Alkalinity
CH – Calcium Hardness
220-350 (May be lower for vinyl/fibreglass pools)
CYA – Cyanuric Acid
2800-3100 (Depends on specific brand of the salt system used)
Here are some useful links for Chemical Testing Kits on Amazon.com:
7) ‘Shock’ Once In A While To Kill Bacteria:
Shocking refers to radically changing the chemistry of a pool for a short time, in a bid to kill off excess bacteria. Conventionally, shocking means elevating chlorine levels to above normal but Chlorine-free pool shocking methods have also become available now.
Usually, water shocking treatment is used for public pools but it is also beneficial for private pools, especially after a pool party or a weekend of frolicking in the water.
Pool owners can ‘shock’ their pools using various proprietary solutions. These are inexpensive, effective and do not affect the pool liner as long as usage instructions are followed carefully. In some cases, shocking takes as little as 15 minutes and the pool is then ready to swim in.
Pool owners should consider shocking their pool a couple of times every season.
Here are some useful links:
Pro tip: Shock pool at night as this leaves plenty of time for the water to return to the acceptable chemical concentration. Your pool may need to be shocked less often if using an ozone system.
8) Use an oil absorbing sponge:
Hair products, sun tan creams, skin lotions etc contain oils that float on top of the pool water and form a slick layer. (The body secretes its own oils too).
As gross as this may seem, it’s just the reality of swimming pools.
This problem has an easy fix though. Drop a couple of oil absorbing sponges into the water and boom, bang, bomb - your problem's solved!
They’re dirt cheap and available in various shapes such as turtles, stars etc.
If you don’t have a specialized sponge, throw a tennis ball or two into the pool. The fibers absorb oil and you can also play catch. (Although, you might not want to, as you now know what their true purpose is).
9) Prepare For Winter:
You can skip this step if you live in California, Texas or someplace else where the Sun shines all year round. However, it is important to cover the pool for winter and to drain all the pipes.
You might want to consult a professional on preparing the pool for winter, at least for the first time you do this.
(It is better to plan out all the details such as a pool cover before constructing the pool.)
10) Keep Pool Deck Clean:
People use the deck to get into the pool. So essentially, the pool water is only as clean as the deck. Keep deck sparkling clean by giving it a thorough wash every once in a while.
11) Keep water levels in check:
Ideally, the water level should be halfway up the skimmer. It may rise or fall rapidly at times, such as after a bout of rainfall. If the level is too high, you’ll have to drain or pump out some water.
Do remember to check and adjust the chemical levels as water level fluctuation affects their concentration.
12) Hire a pro once a year
Have a professional pool technician take a look at your pool at least once a year. Do this even if you feel that it’s not needed. Consulting a professional helps to fix and repair small issues before they balloon into serious (read: expensive or dangerous) problems.
If you ever feel lazy about executing these basic pool maintenance tips, consider this:
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 2.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.
In this context, having a pool is a privilege so please take good care of it 🙂
Please do let me know if you have any questions, and don't forget to share this post if you found it useful! 🙂
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Jeff L. & The RoboticPoolCleaners.org Team