As a swimming pool owner if you want a pool that sparkles like a diamond basking in the desert sun, there’s three things you must know about proper swimming pool maintenance.
In this article I’m going to break down each of these essential points and explain why they’re so important.
Swimming Pool Maintenance Success Tip #1: Water Circulation. Think of your pool as a big bucket of water. Without adequate circulation and water movement it quickly becomes a safe haven for bacteria and algae.
Without proper circulation any chemicals added to the water essentially because meaningless. Anything you add to the water isn’t circulated, which in turn, causes your free chlorine levels to quickly become depleted, your pH levels get elevated as well as your Total Alkalinity levels. These are the 3 most important items to manage and if they get out of whack, that causes a spiral reaction and it’s never pretty.
If you don’t winterize your pool, run your equipment for 6 hours during the off season (when it’s too cold to swim) and 8-10 hours during the summer months. As a general rule of thumb, you want your pool to cycle all of the water at least one time during the swimming season. Anything less than that can lead to less than adequate water circulation and create chemistry issues.
Swimming pool Maintenance Success Tip #2: Filtration. Filtering your swimming pool water is essential to fight pathogens and remove foreign particles from your water and keep your pool sparkly clean.
There are 3 main types of filtration systems. Sand filters, DE filters and cartridge filters. Each of them have their own maintenance needs, but don’t worry – the process is pretty simple and straight forward. For sand filters it’s as simple as backwashing the filter. Adjust your backwash valve to the backwashing position or adjust your multi-port valve appropriately and let the water run for 90 seconds or until the water coming out of the backwash is clean and clear. Backwash your filter anytime the pressure exceeds 5 PSI greater than normal operating pressure. You can also backwash your filter on a weekly basis, regardless of the filter pressure reading. You cannot over-backwash your filter.
For DE filters, the process is slightly more time consuming. Inside your filter dome, you have filter grids. These need to be removed and hosed down with a high pressure water hose. If you have a pressure washer you can also use a good degreasing agent and mix it with the water. Use a very mild solution like 4 parts water to one part cleaner. I’m generally not a fan of getting a DE filter cleaning product from the larger pool supply retailers as the pricing is astronomical and you likely have something that will work just fine under your kitchen sink right now. You can also use a mild muriatic acid mix (3 parts water to 1 part muriatic acid) as well as your dishwashing detergent (just be sure to thoroughly rinse the grids to ensure there’s no detergent residue when you’ve completed the job).
Finally, you have cartridge filters. For proper swimming pool maintenance if you have this type of filter, the process is similar to cleaning a DE filter.
Remove the cartridge(s) from the canister and thoroughly hose it down. If you have a high pressure water hose, you can also use a mild muriatic acid mix or standard dishwashing detergent. Heavily spray the cartridge until it’s visibly clean and reassemble the filter unit. With a DE filter or cartridge make sure there’s no leaks at the o-ring when you turn on the equipment. Always make it a practice of running the equipment for 3-5 minutes after reassembling it to ensure there are no leaks – mainly focus on the center of the filter dome where the o-ring resides.
Effective Swimming pool Maintenance Success Tip #3: Water Chemistry. Balancing your chemistry levels is an essential variable when it comes to properly maintaining your swimming pool. When any part of your water chemistry is off, it can cause a chain reaction only causing the situation to get worse (and require more effort and money spent to rectify the problem).
The 3 main areas of water chemistry to focus on are; your free chlorine levels, Total Alkalinity and pH. Your free chlorine levels should be 1-3ppm during the summer months and on the lower end of that range during the winter months. Your Total Alkalinity should be in the range of 110 to 130 ppm.
Your TA essentially acts as a buffer for the pH to prevent wild and extreme swings in the amount or strength of hydrogen in your swimming pool water. Your pH level should be between 7. 4-7. 8. Any higher or lower than that can lead to the water irritating your skin, calcium buildup in your piping as well as along the water line and can prematurely corrode your swimming pool equipment. It can lead to damaged o-rings and if you have a heater, it can cause internal damage to that as well.
Test and take corrective action on your water chemistry on a weekly basis for proper swimming pool maintenance. Follow these 3 essential steps for sparkling swimming pool water that will have your friends, family and neighbors rendered speechless when they see your stunningly beautiful oasis!
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