If you are fortunate enough to have a swimming pool in your home, you should know that keeping it sparkling clean will ensure that it is always inviting, revitalizing, and ready for use any day. Cleaning and maintaining your pool regularly also helps keep the water balance (proper pH levels, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and total dissolved solids), saving you both time and money.
It is easy to establish a maintenance routine that you can adhere to while enjoying a cool dip. Here are a few tips to help keep your pool balanced and sanitized:
- Keep the deck and surrounding area clean
Clear the surroundings of the pool – garden, deck, or tiles – of any dirt and leaves that can accumulate. This will prevent debris, dirt, and algae from getting into the pool.
- Check the performance of your equipment
Besides keeping an eye on the quality of the water, it is important to routinely assess the performance of pool equipment. For instance, low pressure can indicate clogging, while high pressure can indicate a broken filter.
- Fill up the pool routinely
It is important to maintain the level of water in the pool by placing the hose on the edge rather than inside the water, so you don’t forget to turn it off.
- Empty skimmer baskets
Full skimmer baskets can increase the load on the pump, reducing water circulation in the filtration system. Failure to get rid of leaves and debris in the skimmer basket can promote the growth of algae and discolour the water (making it cloudy) by using up copper ions in the water.
- Rake away any leaves and debris
Besides cleaning the skimmer basket, use a leaf rake to remove any big leaves and debris that can affect the balance of the water (pH), contributing to algae growth.
- Vacuum the pool
An automatic or robotic pool cleaner helps to remove smaller particles in the water. Before this, you may want to brush the walls and steps of the pool while the pump is running to loosen dirt and get it caught in the skimmer.
- Clean the filter
When the pressure increases by 50 kPa above the “clean filter” pressure, consider cleaning the filter. You may also backwash if the pool is very dirty.
Finally, check the pool chemistry once or twice a week during the summer and once every one or two weeks in the winter. The recommended chemical ranges should be as follows:
- pH: 7.2 – 7.8
- Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Chlorine residual: 1.0 to 2.0 in summer with ozone and up to 3.0 without
- Calcium hardness: 250 – 450 ppm
- Cyanuric acid or conditioner: 30 – 50 ppm
- Phosphates: <0.5 ppm
If the levels are not in the appropriate range, balance the water according to a Snap Pool Balance Chart.