How to Maintain Your Pool Yourself- Without Paying a Fortune

pool cleaning supplies and equipment

For many homeowners, having a pool is a dream come true, but the thought of maintaining it can be a total nightmare.

Pools are trickier than they seem. They need to be at the right pH level and have the right mix of chemicals in order to stay clean. They require a lot of time and attention, not to mention a significant financial investment. 

The cost of maintaining a pool becomes even more expensive if you choose to hire a pool cleaner. Luckily, you don't have to rely on someone else to clean your pool!

All you have to do is learn how to maintain your pool yourself - and these seven simple steps can help.

1. Learn How to Test the Water 

The most important things to understand about pool maintenance are pH balance and total alkalinity.

Ideally, your pool should range between 7.2-7.6 Standard Units. When the pH measurement is higher or lower than this, you need to bring it back within the ideal range by adding chlorine, shocking the pool, or doing some other intensive cleaning. 

Total alkalinity is a bit different. This measurement tells you how resistant the water is to changes in pH. The ideal alkalinity level ranges among pools of different materials, so be sure that you're comparing measurements in your pool with the accurate standard. 

2. Keep up with Regular Chlorination  

Another measurement to keep a close eye on is the amount of chlorine in your pool. Chlorine is critical to cleaning - it helps kill bacteria, prevent algae growth, and keep the pool water clear.

But, too much chlorine can be unsafe to swim in. 

To make sure chlorine levels are just right, check the chlorine balance every few days. If you need to add more, you can choose between liquid chlorine and chlorine tablets. Keep in mind that you may have to wait a day to use the pool if you're adding a lot of chlorine at once. 

3. Shock Your Pool from Time to Time 

Shocking is also necessary for water clarity and cleanliness, but it's not a pool maintenance task you need to do very often.

The best way to tell whether you need to shock or not is to measure the difference between total chlorine and free chlorine. When the difference is more than 1 ppm, you need to shock the water to balance the chlorine and wait a few days for the water to settle. 

4. Check the Filters 

In between testing the water, adding chlorine, and/or shocking the pool, you can rely on the pool filters and water pumps to keep things clean day-to-day. The one caveat to this is that these tools also require maintenance. 

Pool filters should be replaced every few weeks and checked on a regular basis. Checking the filters allows you to identify and remove any large foreign objects like fallen debris or dead animals. This is especially important if your pool doesn't have a screen around it.  

5. Avoid Stagnant Water 

Pool filters help clean the bottom and the top of the pool, whereas pool pumps maintain a steady circulation throughout the entire pool. Stagnant water is more likely to become dirty than water that is constantly flowing.

Pool pumps don't need to run 24/7, though. 

Many pool owners set their pumps to run a few hours throughout the day or into the evening. Plus, regular use of the pool encourages a good amount of water circulation, which can potentially reduce how long your pump runs each day. 

6. Don't Forget About the Basics 

Testing the water, adding the right amount of chlorine, and even remembering to change the filter are pool maintenance tasks that take time to learn and feel comfortable with.

On the contrary, the basics - like skimming and brushing - are simple things that anyone can do, but some pool owners often forget or neglect. If you see foreign objects floating around in your pool, don't wait for the filter to clean them. Grab your skimmer and do a few swipes along the surface of the water.

Then, use the brush to clean the walls of the pool and help pull dirt to the bottom. This will make it easier for your electric cleaner to pick up items it may miss, and it can push small objects toward the pool floor's filter. 

7. Create a Maintenance Schedule 

The final pool maintenance tip to keep in mind is the importance of creating a maintenance schedule.

Between all the testing you have to do, regular cleaning tasks, and long-term upkeep needs, a schedule can help you ensure you're checking all the boxes. It can also be a big help in keeping everyone safe by minimizing any confusion of when the pool was last shocked or when chlorine was added. 

Basically, the maintenance schedule is to long-term pool care what a cost calculator is to planning the build of a pool. It's your guide for all the associated tasks that go with pool cleaning and helps you budget your time to make sure you get all the enjoyment out of your pool possible, without ever missing a pH check or filter change.  

Everything You Need to Know About How to Maintain Your Pool Yourself 

From the moment you decide to build a pool or move into a home with a pool, you're committing to maintaining this part of your property. This can seem like a big task if you've never had to worry about how to maintain your pool yourself, but it's actually easier than it seems!

Focus on learning the basics, create a maintenance schedule for the more complex cleaning tasks, then keep up with each task day-by-day. Before you know it, you'll be maintaining your pool like a pro! 

For more pool cleaning tips and tricks, click here.  

 

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