Having a pool in your backyard can make summer afternoons a blast. If you don’t take proper care of your pool, however, it can easily become a nasty mess—anything but the perfect hangout on a sunny day. Here are six important tips for keeping your pool in top condition.
One of the most important parts of pool maintenance is keeping debris out of the water. Floating debris not only looks ugly, but will eventually sink and can reduce the efficiency of your pool’s circulation system. Use a hand skimmer to remove floating leaves, grass clippings, and other debris from your pool every few days. If a nearby tree seems to keep dropping leaves into your pool, consider pruning it to cut back on your skimming workload.
Superchlorinate the Water
The nasty chlorine smell found in poorly-maintained pools isn’t caused by chlorine itself—it’s the result of chloramines formed by the interaction of built-up contaminates and old chlorine. Keep your pool smelling fresh by periodically “shocking” the water with an entire bucket of chlorine. Consult manufacturer instructions for details.
If you live in a temperate environment, you need to winterize your pool to prevent serious damage. Just draining the pool isn’t enough—you need to use an air compressor to blow out any residual water caught in the pool’s plumbing. Remove and drain the heater, chemical feeder, pump and filter. Give the entire pool a final cleaning and cover it to prevent debris from building up during the winter.
Properly Open Your Pool Again
Once swimming season comes around, clean the area around your pool before removing the cover to prevent debris from falling in. Reconnect everything you disconnected in the fall and fill the pool. Shock the pool and keep the pump running all day until the pH levels have balanced.
Use a Pool Vacuum
Vacuuming the bottom of your pool once a week will keep the water clean and reduce the need for chemicals. An automatic vacuum does all the work for you, but if you’ve got a manual one, be sure to cover every inch of your pool’s floor—use it the way you would a lawnmower, working in zigzags until you’ve covered the entirety of the bottom of the pool. Attach a brush to the vacuum pole and use it to clean the pool walls—a nylon brush if you have tile like that found in Edge Leisure swimming pools, a stainless-steel brush if it’s a concrete pool.
Fencing for your pool can be critical for safety if you have children of your own or young neighbors close by. Even though a heavy duty, sturdy fence may seem like the best choice for protection, a removeable mesh fence can actually provide better safety because they are more difficult to climb than metal ones.
Maintaining a pool can be a lot of work, but the pay-off is always worth it. To keep your pool in top condition, follow the above tips and heed any instructions in your pool manual.