You have leaped and brought the ocean to your back yard with your new outdoor swimming pool! Outdoor pools are an excellent investment, not only for the family but for the value of your home as well. The only thing you need to worry about now? The pool maintenance that comes with it seems like a daunting task now, but if you go about it the right way, you won’t need to worry about a thing. Keeping your outdoor pool maintained will create a cleaner, healthier, and more enjoyable swimming experience. It will also help you avoid any costly maintenance related issues with your pool in the future.
So, let’s talk pool maintenance, or better yet, let’s start with the basics of your pool, so you know what you can expect. There are all kinds of pools out there, in-ground, above-ground, square, round, ova, but they all have a few things in common. They all have a filter system, skimmers and returns, walls or liners, and water. Each of these plays a vital roll in the health of your outdoor pool, so it is crucial to understand each one and what you can do to keep them in the best condition.
Your pool’s filter system is one of the most vital parts of your pool. Its primary role is to keep the water circulating, avoiding stagnant water, which can grow algae and other nasty stuff. It keeps the water flowing by pumping the water out of the pool through skimmer baskets. Once it has been pre-filtered by the baskets, it goes through the primary filter and then back into the pool. For best results, you should keep your filter system running at least 6-8 hours a day. It would be best if you also kept the skimmer and returns maintained.
Skimmers and Returns
So now you know how your filter system works to keep your pool maintained. The filter system is one of the most expensive parts of your pool, so you need to be able to protect it with the help of the skimmer. The skimmer is the square part you see at the water level in most pools. Water gets sucked through the opening and fed into the pump, and then back into the pool through the return, once it has been filtered. Simple, yes, but you need to clean the skimmer as often as possible, once a day or more! There is a basket inside the skimmer that will block any large debris from making it into the filter system, but if the basket gets blocked, the pump will not receive water, which could cause your pump to burn out. Remember, pumps are expensive, and this is a straightforward way to avoid replacing yours.
What would an outdoor pool be without that sparkly blue shine we have all come to love? Well, it is not the water that gives us that beautiful blue glow; it is the liner! And yes, you must maintain this too. Don’t worry; it’s not as hard as it looks. All you need to keep your outdoor pool’s liner maintained is a pole skimmer and a pool brush. Start by using the pool brush to clean the bottom and edges of the pool, try to kick up as much of the debris at the bottom as you can, which will make skimming it out easier. Once you have finished scrubbing the liner with the brush, grab your pole skimmer and grab as much of the debris as you can, and that is it!
Last, but certainly not least is the water. Without water, we wouldn’t have pools to maintain. It may seem like the easiest part of your pool to maintain; it’s natural. Well, yes, but pools are not, and you need to make sure the water in your outdoor pool is always at its best. The water in your outdoor pool is more than just water. It is a balance of chemical agents that are in place to ensure your swimming experience is clean and healthy. These pool chemicals need to be perfectly balanced to work correctly, which takes regular testing. Pool supply stores will sell testing kits, which will tell you the levels in your pool. They will also sell you the chemicals and treatments needed to change the levels if they are not ideal. These test kits also determine if your pool is too acidic or basic by testing the PH levels to determine if the Alkalinity is at a prime level, which helps avoid big jumps in PH levels.
There is one more thing you can do to help keep your outdoor pool in tip-top condition. It is called a ‘Shock.’ Shock is a treatment that sanitizes everything. All you need to do is dump it in and turn on the pump. The best time to do this is at night, and that is for a few reasons. First, it is not healthy to swim while the shock treatment is still in the water, and second, the sun can take away from the effectiveness of the procedure. Once you start, leave the pump on for 8-12 hours. It would help if you shocked your pool every month or two, or when you notice it is getting dirty or cloudy.
Now you should have a basic understanding of how to maintain your outdoor pool. It is not all cut and dried for every pool, and you will figure out which method works best for you and learn your tricks along the way. Here are a couple more tips and tricks you can utilize. First, create a schedule and stick to it. You may want to write it down and put it on the fridge or put it in your phone calendar. Whatever helps you. Second, get a pool cover! This protective device will save you so much hassle when it comes to keeping debris out of your pool; you can even get solar covers that will heat your pool! So good luck with maintaining your new outdoor pool!