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Swimming Pool Maintenance 101

Relaxing poolside view of a terrace with red umbrellas and modern patio furniture on a sunny day.

Keeping your swimming pool clean this summer isn’t as hard as you might think. No matter what kind of pool you have, regular maintenance is required. Even if you hire a service company to take care of your pool, some things you have to do on your own to ensure your pool stays sparkling clean. Here are six things to do when servicing your pool.

1. Clean Baskets and Debris

Man using a pool skimmer to clean leaves and debris from the surface of a sparkling blue swimming pool on a sunny day. The skimmer has a long pole and a flat net attachment. Ideal for pool maintenance and cleaning to keep your pool looking pristine all summer long.

Use a hand skimmer or leaf skimmer to scoop out debris every few days. Debris will eventually sink to the bottom making it harder to clean out later. Skimming your pool helps increase the pool’s circulation system and also reduces the amount of chlorine that you need to add to your pool. Strainer baskets need to be cleaned out at least once a week, this will also help reduce chlorine demands. Simply remove the plastic basket from the side of above ground pools and in the deck of in-ground pools and shake it out.

2. Brush, Vacuum, and Wash the Tiles

Pool vacuum cleaner has a long hose and a cleaning head that can be attached to the end. The hose is attached to the skimmer basket or a dedicated vacuum line to suck up debris from the pool floor and walls. The vacuum cleaner is specifically designed for cleaning swimming pools and can help remove dirt, leaves, bugs, and other debris from the water, keeping the pool clean and clear.

Brush the walls and the tile to help reduce algae buildup and calcium deposits. Algae and calcium can build up quick, it's recommended to do this once a week. Use a stiff brush for plaster-lined concrete pools and a softer brush for vinyl and fiberglass. You can also use a mixture of water and muriatic acid to brush away at the tiles. Use a soft brush for the tile to prevent scratching. Vacuums work back and forth over the floor's surface sweeping up debris, just like a carpet cleaner. There are many different types of pool vacuums you can choose from. Find the right vacuum for your needs. Vacuuming your pool every week will help keep the water clear and reduce the amount of chemicals you need to add to it.

3. Clean the Pool Filter

Keep your pool clean and safe with a reliable pool filter system. Our blue and white pool filter system efficiently removes debris and contaminants from your pool water, ensuring crystal-clear swimming all season long. Easy to install and maintain, this pool filter system is a must-have for any pool owner.

Filters remove dirt and debris that enters the pool. There are three different types of filters, sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth filters, each one has specific maintenance procedures, but all of them need to be cleaned periodically. It's possible to clean a filter too much, so limit how often you’re cleaning them. When you see an increase in flow between the pressure gauge and the flow meter when the difference reaches 10 to 15 pounds per square inch, it's time to clean the filter.

4. Check the Water Level

A blue tiled swimming pool is being filled with clear blue water from a blue garden hose. The pool is surrounded by a concrete deck.

Over the course of the summer the water level in your pool will lower, due to splashing, evaporation, and exiting the pool. Check the water level when you clean the pool to ensure it doesn’t fall below the level of the skimmer. If the water gets too low it can damage the pump. Use a garden hose to bring the water back to a safe level. It's recommended to leave water in the pool during the winter because the weight of the water counteracts with forces from the ground pressing up against the pool from below.

5. Balancing pH Levels

A pH testing kit for a swimming pool. The pH testing kit is an essential tool for maintaining proper water chemistry in a pool, as it allows pool owners to easily monitor the pH level and make necessary adjustments to keep the water safe and comfortable for swimmers.

pH is the measure of acid and base in the pool water. Use a test strip to monitor the pool’s pH levels. Corrosion of the pool surface can happen when the pH levels are more to the acid side of the scale. If the levels drift too far to the base side of the scale, cloudy waters, deposits, and scaling can occur. pH levels should be tested on a weekly basis. Keep the pH level around 7.5. You can use a pH increaser to bring up the pH and a pH decreaser to lower the pH level.

6. Shock and Algaecide the Pool

Chlorine tablets sitting on the side of a pool for maintenance and cleaning. These tablets help to sanitize and disinfect the pool water, and are a crucial part of pool upkeep.

Shocking your pool, or super chlorinating the water, adds a large amount chlorine to the pool to combat the natural contaminate buildup of ammonia and nitrogen. Pools need to be shocked once a week and others can go much longer. Follow manufacturer’s instructions when shocking your pool. Use an algaecide after shocking the pool to prevent algae from starting and growing in the pool.

With your pool deck and pool cleaned and well maintained it's time to sit back and soak up the sun rays, but remember to wear sunscreen! Head into your local Do it Best store for all your pool supplies, including fun floats and toys!