A home swimming pool is something that many of us dream of having at one point in our lives. However they come at a price, both in terms of initial construction cost and ongoing maintenance costs. If you have just had a swimming pool built in your back yard or are about to buy a property with a swimming pool, knowing how to look after it correctly is vital as it will help to extend its lifespan and increase the amount of use to pool gets every year. If you are a new swimming pool owner, read on to find out a little information on how to maintain and care for you swimming pool.
In every relationship chemistry is important, and the chemistry between you and your pool needs to be spot on. There are a range of chemicals that need to be added to your pool water in order to find the right chemical balance. You need to check your pools chemistry on a regular basis and as a rough guide once a week during the winter and twice a week during the summer is sufficient. Frequent checks will allow you to make small adjustments to the water quality which is preferable to large shifts in the chemical balance. The pH level is perhaps the most important factor to measure as it will dictate the efficiency of other chemicals in the pool. As an example, at a pH of 8.5 chlorine is only 10% active. By maintaining a pH of between 7 and 7.5 chlorine will be between 50% and 70% active.
Alkalinity is another factor that will need to be checked regularly and you should aim to keep this between 100 and 140 parts per million (PPM). By letting the alkalinity in your swimming pool get too high or too low you can seriously affect the water balance and a sanitizer’s ability to work efficiently.
Filters & Skimmers
There are three main types of filter. These are sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. Each filter will require different levels f service. A cartridge filter is perhaps the most efficient and will require less attention than the other two. Both sand and DE filters will need to be backwashed every few weeks; however doing this too often can have a negative effect on the filters performance. By monitoring the pressure gauge of you filter on you should only need to clean it once the pressure rises 8 – 10 PSI from clean.
Skimmer baskets and hair and lint posts work to collect the larger debris that can usually be found in pools. The hair and lint post can be found in the pump so it’s important that you switch the pump off prior to checking. If these two collection points are not checked and cleared regularly the result can be poor circulation. As circulation is key to a healthy swimming pool, poor circulation can result in substantial problems.
As circulation is the key to a low maintenance swimming pool the pump will play a large part in keeping everything flowing nicely. Not running the pump for long enough is a common mistake made by many pool owners. If you have a good circulation system then you should aim to run you pump for one hour for every ten degree in temperature. It’s good practice to switch off your pump to clean the hair and lint pot and then to run if for the correct amount of time. E.g. 20 degrees Celsius equates to a running time of two hours.
Brushing down the walls and floor of your swimming pool is one of the more mundane tasks that you have to undertake on a regular basis. However, it’s important that it’s done as it will help to stop algae issues from developing. It’s also essential to prevent tiles becoming calcified, if this occurs you will need to hire a specialist to resolve the issue.