The Basics of Swimming Pool Maintenance
It may not be exciting, but basic swimming pool maintenance is the key to countless delightful summer days. To keep your pool sparkling, clear, and safe, follow these guidelines.
Skim the pool daily.
Use a pool skimmer to get leaves, dirt, and other debris out of your lovely pool. Make sure the skimmer basket is clean, too.
Deep clean the pool weekly.
First, clean the walls and floor of your pool. You can use a brush or vacuum, starting at the shallow end and working your way to the deep end. If your pool manufacturer allows it, there are automatic pool vacuums – sort of like underwater Roombas – that you can set to this task.
Test the water weekly.
Using TestSure’s 4-in-1 pool test strips, check four measurements to ensure your pool water is clean and safe:
Our test strips measure the acidity of your pool water. You want a pH measurement between 7.4 and 7.8, close to the same measurement as human eyes and mucous membranes. If the pH is off, the water could burn your eyes or erode your equipment.If the pH in your pool is too low, you can aerate the water by turning the water jets on and pointing them toward the surface. This lowers the carbon dioxide level of the water, raising the pH. You can also try a product like soda ash.If the pH in your pool is too high, add dry acid or muriatic acid. Try a small amount first – about half or three-quarters of package instructions – and retest a few hours later.
This is a measurement of alkaline substances in the pool water. If the alkalinity is kept balanced, you’re less likely to have pH issues. You want an alkalinity measurement between 80 and 120ppm.If your alkalinity measurement is too low, use baking soda. You can buy it from a pool supplier or a grocery store, but a pool supplier’s product will include instructions. If the alkalinity measurement is too high, use dry acid to increase it.
- Free Chlorine
Your pool should always be chlorinated so it disinfects itself. You want a level between .5 and 1.5ppm. If you need to raise your chlorine level, use chlorine tablets, liquid shock, or powder shock. To lower it, leave your pool uncovered in direct sunlight, or drain some of the water and refill.
You only have to worry about this measurement if you have a spa or hot tub, because bromine doesn’t break down in hot temperatures like chlorine does. If the bromine level is too high, dilute the water.