Summertime is here and you’re ready to get out and enjoy your pool! But wait, is your pool ready to be enjoyed? If you haven’t kept up on the best things for outdoor pool care, you’ll spend your summer battling it instead. To help you keep your pool sparkling, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about pool care. Read on for a simple guide to outdoor pool care, and make this one a summer to remember!
How to Maintain an Outdoor Pool
A pool is a wonderful addition to any home, especially during hot summer days. But you won’t benefit from a pool unless you’re keeping it properly maintained! The best things for outdoor pool care are regular maintenance steps. From daily to weekly chores, you’ll want to follow these tips to keep your pool sparkling.
Skim Off Leaves and Debris
Pool maintenance involves both daily and weekly responsibilities. One of the daily tasks is skimming your pool. Use a long-handled leaf skimmer to gather up leaves, insects, and any other debris floating on the surface of the pool. The goal is to remove debris before they sink to the bottom of your pool and may create stains.
If you have trees near your pool, you may consider trimming them back to reduce debris in the pool water. Luckily, skimming the pool surface takes just a few minutes and keeps the water looking clear. It will also prevent expensive clogs from ruining your filtration system.
If you have kids, you should do a check for toys that have landed at the bottom of your pool. These toys can get sucked into the vacuum or filtration system, causing costly repairs.
Brush Sediment from Pool Walls
The next task is a weekly chore. While you may skim and treat your pool, algae and small bits of debris can gather on the walls of your pool. They can also settle in pool fixtures like lights, ladders, and slides. Brush the pool walls and fixtures carefully each week to remove dirt and prevent the spread of algae.
Use a pool brush to remove dirt that has collected on the sides and bottom of your pool, as well. Be sure to brush sediment toward the main drain so it can be vacuumed up easily.
Vacuum the Pool
Once the algae and sediment have been brushed from the walls, you will need to follow up with vacuuming. When you vacuum right after brushing, you’ll clean up sediment and any other debris or leaves that have floated to the bottom of your pool. You can use an automatic vacuum or a manual one.
Check Filter and Backwash As Needed
Check your pool filter weekly, removing any debris that has gathered within. The three most common types of filters are sand, cartridge, and vertical grid DE. These filters screen out debris and particles from your pool water, keeping it clear. You should clean and maintain your filter according to the manufacturer’s directions based on type.
If you’re using your pool regularly during the summer, backwash the pool filter weekly. If you aren’t using the pool much, backwash it when the filter gauge reads 8-10 psi higher than normal.
Test Pool Water and Add Chemicals
Depending on how often you are using your pool, you should test your pool water as frequently as every day. If you’re not using it as often, you should still check your water weekly to avoid a chemical imbalance that can cause bigger problems. Add chemicals as necessary, following the manufacturer’s directions.
If you’re using your pool a lot in the summer, you will typically add chemicals to the water daily. These pool chemicals can include various kinds of disinfectants and sanitizers. Adding them to the water helps to control the growth of certain kinds of algae and bacteria in the pool water.
Chlorine & Shock
Pool chemicals are an important part of keeping your water sparkling and clear. During the warm summer months, algae can quickly bloom and turn your pool green. Each use exposes your pool water to new bacteria and microbes.
Liquid chlorine and granular shock both have the same active chemical that sanitizes your pool. However, the major difference is the strength and the way you use each product. Liquid chlorine is less costly, unstabilized, and comes in liquid form. Granular shock is stabilized and comes in a solid form that dissolves in your pool.
Read on for tips on the appropriate use of chlorine and shock.
How Often to Shock Your Outdoor Pool
It’s often recommended to shock your pool once a week. If you don’t do it every week, you should at least do it every other week. This is necessary to maintain your pool’s water chemistry.
However, you should not try to shock your pool with regular chlorine tablets. Though pool shock is made from chlorine, pool shock chemicals are much more highly concentrated. Proper shock treatments are designed to raise the chlorine level of your pool quickly.
How Often to Put Chlorine in Your Outdoor Pool
During the swimming season, you should check the chlorine level at least twice per week. The ideal chlorine level should be between 1 and 3 ppm. If the level is below 1 ppm, you should add more chlorine.
While you want to make sure your pool water has enough chlorine to battle bacteria and algae, you want to maintain healthy, safe levels. Excessive exposure to chlorine can cause sickness and injuries. Most common are rashes, coughing, nose or throat pain, and eye irritation
There are some additional steps you can take if you’re focused on the best things for outdoor pool care. You may find that trusting a professional to do the heavy lifting of the maintenance steps mentioned above. However, these are simple tips any pool owner can follow.
Showering Before Swimming
Showering before swimming is a simple step that helps keep your pool clean. A pre-swim shower can also minimize the irritating, smelly substances formed in pool water when impurities introduced from the bodies of swimmers combine with chlorine. Many people identify that smell as the smell of chlorine, but it’s not a “necessary evil.”
When chlorine mixes with our bodies’ organic matter it can create a more toxic agent called halogenated by-products (HBPs). However, showering helps remove sweat, lotions, sunscreen, bacteria, and organic matter. This means the chlorine in the pool won’t have to work as hard, and more illnesses can be prevented.
Covering Your Pool
Even in the summer, leaves and other debris from nearby trees and plants can get into an uncovered pool. If you want the convenience of being able to use your pool without skimming daily, covering it overnight can help you achieve this goal. Especially if your pool is near trees and other potential sources of debris.
Some pool owners worry that covering their pool will impact their water’s clarity. But simply covering your pool at night will not make the pool go green. However, because covers will warm the water, they can accelerate algae growth. If you’re using a pool cover, you should check your water and chemical levels daily to prevent out-of-control algae growth.
Hire a Great Pool Company
At this point, you may be realizing that pool care may be a bit more technical ~and time-consuming~ than you first thought. That’s why hiring an experienced pool cleaning company is the easiest way to keep your pool clean and safe all summer long.
The Pool Butler is a full-service swimming pool service and maintenance company based in the metro Atlanta area. Our expertly trained staff will keep your pool looking great with our signature white-glove service. Reach out today and enjoy a sparkling clean pool tomorrow!