We all want to swim in water that looks great, feels clean and invites us in. Chlorine pool maintenance is not that hard, really, unless you let yourself get behind, or algae begins to take over your pool. Cleaning up a pool is a different job than regular pool maintenance, and trust me when I tell you that pool maintenance is way easier than pool cleanup.
Weekly pool cleaning and maintenance during swim season will go a very long way in keep your pool looking and running great.
So here’s a very quick rundown of the maintenance items you’ll need to address on a weekly basis. I say weekly, because you should address all your pool’s chemical needs as well as regular cleaning at least once per week, and if your pool is out under the stars, it’s also collecting things like dust, pollen, leaves, twigs, bird poop and more on a continual basis.
I set a precise day of the week for regular pool maintenance. That way, when it’s time, it’s time. No ifs, and, or buts. Set your day and time and stick to it. letting it swing a day this way or that way is okay, but the less strict you are, the easier it is to get lazy about regular pool maintenance and the easier it will be for your pool water quality to drop.
Just a couple of tools are all you need: primarily a skimming net and a wide brush. You can also get specialty brushes for different applications, but you won’t really need anything special if you perform pool maintenance regularly.
Use the skimming net for leaves, floating bugs and whatever else you can grab with it.
Use your brush for general cleaning of dirt and grime, and to prevent algae from building up. I usually engage the main drain before brushing and brush towards the main drain. Brushing your entire pool can be a lot of work. I usually brush it more than once a week, but in smaller time frames.
Finally, while it probably isn’t an absolute necessity (to me it is), you may want to invest in a vacuum of some sort. There are automatic vacuums that work really well, and manual ones that can help you get the job of vacuuming your pool done very quickly. I have a Hayward Pool Vac. I love it. Expensive, but it saves a lot of time and crawls your entire pool several times in just a couple of hours.
The entire water circulation system as a whole distributes chemicals and filters your water to keep it clean. Run your pump long enough each day to make sure the water is properly filtered and keeps everything clean and in good condition.
Check and clean as needed:
Although I am not a proponent of weekly filter cleaning, You should get a very good handle on how efficient your filtration system is before you let it go for any long periods of time. The best way to learn about your pool filter’s efficiency is to clean it least twice a month – at least until you feel very good about how often you are doing it.
The three most popular types of filters are sand, cartridge, and vertical grid DE. They all filter out particles from your pool water. Because of the 3 types of filters mentioned, and all have different requirements, you should follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning.
Weekly testing is the very minimum I would test the water – especially during swimming season. If you are going to have a pool party, test the water the day before, and the day after, the party.
A quick note about shocking your pool…regular shock treatment helps keep your pool water clear and kills bacteria and algae before they get a chance to grow. Even when your chemicals are in balance, it’s a good idea to shock your pool at least once a week.
Maintaining your pool water chemistry is a matter of checking it with typical test strips or with a testing kit. I have always used the strips. Here’s an added tip: you can take a sample of your pool water to almost any pool supply chain in your neighborhood and they will test it for free. It’s a great way to check yourself as you learn how to read your testing method.