Beginners guide to pool Maintenance – pool care made easy

Swimming pools are a great place to spend time with your friends, and family. If you’re a pool owner then I’m sure you’re well aware that this this can easily change if you don’t have a good pool maintenance routine.

Pool maintenance doesn’t always have to be a challenging task. With a few tips and tricks you’ll have that pool water sparkling again.

Know your pool parts

In order to keep your pool up and running successfully you need to know about some crucial parts of your pool.

So let me break it down for you. In the actual pool itself, there are three main parts.

  • Skimmers ( usually two or more) these work by collecting any floating debris before it hits the bottom. Such as leaves, grass, sticks, bugs and oily surface residue.
  • Main drain this is what drains the water from your pool and feeds it through your filter and heater (if you have one) via a series of inlets and pipes
  • Returns your pool returns work by simply returning the refreshed water after it has been through the filtering system to your pool.

Ok so now we’ve got that part sorted let’s get a little deeper.

Pool pump

This is pretty much the heart of your swimming pool which pumps and circulates water around the pipes and walls of your pool. It pulls the water through the drains and then pushes it though the filtering system.The water is then returned all clean via the pool returns.

Pool filter

pool maintenance

There are three main types of pool filters

  • Sand filter – A sand filter works by using sand as the filtering method so water can pass though the sand easily. However any particles smaller than the sand can have trouble getting filtered out.
  • Cartridge filter these filters contain a polyester filter cartridge which water is pushed through catching the smallest of debris (these filters work significantly better than sand filters)
  • Diatomaceous filter (DE filter) DE stands for diatomaceous earth which is rocks made of fossilized remains of billions of microscopic algae like organisms called diatoms. Filtering your pool with DE gives your water that real sparkle. DE can remove the tiniest of contaminants leaving your water so clean. A clean you simply cannot achieve with sand or Cartridge filters. These filters are considered to be the more premium of the three options.

Heaters

Now not every pool will have a heater, it all really depends how you like your water and what climate you live in. I know where I live it would need to be heated all year round which would hike up the power bill for sure!

There are three main types of pool heaters.

  • Solar heaters work by collecting heat from the suns rays though an array of polypropylene mats that are placed between two feed pipes. As water is pumped through the mat it is heated and returned to your pool.
  • Heat pump (electric) a heat pump pool heater works by collecting circulating water into its tank with help from the pool pump. It then warms the water using air from outside which is converted into hot gas heating the water. The heated water is then returned to the pool. Electric water heaters would be the more popular option today because they are easy to use, and energy efficient.
  • Gas – gas pool heaters use either natural gas, or propane. The pump circulates the water throughout the pool and water is drawn into the heating system. Gas is burnt in the combustion chamber making heat which is transferred to the water which is then returned to the pool. These heaters would be considered the most powerful of the lot. They are perfect for pools that are not being used regularly. Gas pool heaters can make your swimming pool warm quickly.

Now that we’ve covered the pools main parts and their jobs, let’s move onto some more important information to help you succeed at keeping your pool up to scratch.

Circulation

swimming pool maintenance

Circulation is absolute key to keeping your pool fresh. You cannot afford to let anything settle in your pool, that is when things start to grow and can result in cloudy pool water. Pool circulation is taken care of by your pump and is essential to keep things moving though the pool pump, and pool filter system.

Now I know it’s not economical to be running your pool pump all hours of the day and night, but your pool pump needs to be on at least eight hours a day. If you have a pump with variable speeds it will save you money on power, but the longer you have your pool pump on for the better.

Beware of dead areas in your pool where water is simply not travelling to. Areas like pool steps, corners, and ladder are all hot spots for still water. Check these areas routinely and make sure you take extra care there when cleaning.

Swimming in your pool regularly is also great for pool circulation and is free.

Keeping your pool filter clean is another crucial step in optimizing pool circulation. The more water that can pass through your filter the more water that can circulate around your pool.

If your pool has bad circulation you will certainly know about it. Algae will start to grow, your pool will become cloudy and cause you a truck load of issues in the long run. So being onto it with you pool circulation will go a long way and save you money trying to fix problems with chemicals down the line.

Cleaning

inground pool maintenance

No matter what your pool is going to need regular cleaning so get used to it, and embrace it. You should take pride in your pools hygiene and enjoy the satisfaction of having the cleanest pool in your neighbourhood.

Firstly you need to make sure you have the right equipment for the job.

  • Telescopic pole, this is simply an extendable pole that you can attach various cleaning tools to. Like a brush, net, or sponge.
  • Net or skimmer, your net or skimmer attaches easily to your telescopic pole. Your net is for scooping up any floaties in your pool or any debris you can catch with it. The more the better.
  • Brush, your brush also can attach to your telescopic pole and is used for scrubbing any dirty patches off the interior of your pool.
  • Pool vacuum, a pool vacuum is used to suck up and debris on the floor of your pool. There are two types of pool vacuums a manual or a automated vacuum. Manual pool vacuums are only really recommended for smaller pools or spas. They can also be handy for spot cleaning larger pool. However an automatic vacuum is the way to go if you have a larger pool…….
  • Robotic pool cleaner, these are considered the do it all of pool cleaning products out there. While they are not a necessity they are certainly worthwhile investing in if you can. You simply plug them in and away they go. They take the least physical effort and don’t require any of your pools pumping or filtering system to drive them. They  have their own filter bag that needs to be emptied after each use but that’s pretty much it. They can have your pool clean in a matter of hours. They are a bit pricey but worth every penny.

Now you know what equipment you need to clean your pool let’s dive in to your cleaning duties.

Daily cleaning tasks

Daily tasks include checking for and skimming out any debris in your pool. The less time debris is in your swimming pool the better. This can lead to bacterial and discolouration issues. You don’t want to give that debris the chance to sink and stain your pool or clog up you filter. Also check your water level at a glance and gate if you have one.

Weekly cleaning tasks

These tasks need to be done weekly without fail but it does not need to be complicated. Make a schedule and stick to it, you may want to adjust it here and there once you get more experience and a good feel for your pool.

Brush your pool walls and fixtures to remove any dirt or algae.

Vacuum your pool once you have given it a good scrub any sediment that has been loosened can now be vacuumed up along with anything else on the floor of your pool.

Clean out your skimmers once a week or more if you feel necessary. You want to get any debris out to make sure your skimmers are fully functional.

Keep an eye on that water level you don’t want it to be more than halfway up the skimmer. This ensures they can collect surface debris efficiently.

Check your filter remove anything that has gathered inside and backwash the filter if needed. Once a week for backwashing is recommended if your pool is in regular use.

Test your pool water frequently I would suggest at least twice a week or more depending on usage. Add appropriate chemicals when needed. Chemicals should be added to your pool regularly to control the growth of any bacteria or algae growing in your pool. The more frequently you check your chemicals the easier it is to manage the pH of your pool. If you let it get too far out it can be very tricky to bring back.

Regular shock treatments are also a good idea especially after a party or heavy use, just to give your pool a deep cleanse every now and then.

Monthly cleaning tasks

Check your pump or any other running gear for leaks or any parts that need to be lubricated. Also check your cover and fixtures for any wear and tear

So there we have it, with this information on board you’re well on your way to becoming an expert at pool maintenance. So chuck your togs on, and enjoy that crystal clear water.

If you’re you’re having issues with green pool water, then check out our full troubleshooting guide here.

The Morris's

The Morris's

Hey, we're Lana and Cam the creators of this site. We love to spend time together as a family, and time in our pool. We're here to bring you the best info on pool care, pool cleaners, and other great pool related products.

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