Summer is officially here and that means sitting by the pool, going swimming and having pool parties! Before you jump in, what pool maintenance tasks do you need to do to get your pool ready for summer?
We will cover: what equipment you will need, what to do to get your pool open, how to keep your pool maintained throughout the summer and how to maintain your pool after pool parties.
Have the Right Equipment
Any job can only be done well with the right tools. Here is what you will need to have to maintain your pool:
- A telescoping pole – this will help with skimming, brushing and vacuuming every corner of your pool.
- Vacuuming equipment – whether this is a robotic pool cleaner or a more simple system, this is something you will need.
- Vacuum hose – this will connect to your vacuum head to give it suction
- Skimmer – to get large debris off of the top of the surface of your pool
- Pool brushes – It is good to have at least a standard pool brush, one for smaller stains that is smaller, and one for algae.
- Water testing kits – You can get those at any pool supply store.
- Liquid testing kits – For when you want to do a more indepth test of your pool’s water.
- Water testing strips – for when you are rushing
- Chemicals – see here which ones you may need.
- Chlorine – to keep your pool clean.
- Algaecide – hopefully, you never have to use it but when you have algae, this is what you will need.
Getting Your Pool Ready
To get your pool ready for the season, you need to do a number of pool maintenance tasks. Some you will have done when you did your pool spring cleaning, but you will want to do them again to see if anything has changed.
You need to do the following:
- Check your water levels
- Check your pH and chlorine levels
- Inspect your pool equipment
- Clean your pool
Check your water levels
Again, you would have checked your water level during your spring cleaning. However, you may find that your water levels are low again.
If you find your water is a little low, you can just add more from your garden hose until it reaches the desired level.
Check your pH and chlorine levels
Your pools chemical levels are affected by a number of things throughout the spring. Therefore, you will want to check them again.
Test your pool water BEFORE adding any chemicals. Once you know what your pool water is currently like, then you can add chemicals.
It is a good idea to have your water tested by a professional. They will have the experience to give you the exact amount of chemicals that you need to add and will usually perform this service for free.
Inspect your pool equipment
If any of your pool equipment needs to be repaired, you want to know as early as possible. Ordering replacements could take time and you want your pool open as soon as possible.
Check and run your filter, pump, and skimmer. Of course, if you are using a pool cleaning professional, they will check that for you.
Clean your pool
Give your pool a GOOD clean. That means brushing the walls, ladder and stairs, vacuuming the entire pool and skimming the surface.
Pool Maintenance Throughout the Summer
As we have mentioned, there are many benefits to keeping your pool well-maintained. These include:
- your pool looks better
- it is safer
- your family will not get sick from dirty pool water, including
- skin irritation
- Swimmer’s Ear – an infection of the outer ear canal that causes irritation, redness and swelling in the ear
- respiratory infection, which includes accompanying muscle pain, chills, fever and headaches
- stomach cramps
- you save money on chemicals
- your pool equipment lasts longer
To get those benefits, you have to put the work in. There are eight tasks that should be part of your weekly pool maintenance schedule.
- Keep the water clean
- Clean the Pool Walls and Surfaces
- Check your pool pump and filter
- Check your water levels
- Check your pH level in your pool
- Check your chemical composition of your pool
- Shock treatment and algaecide
Keep the water clean
This one can be done more regularly, but at a bare minimum should be done weekly. Skimming the surface of your pool regularly is going to extend the life of your pool filter, so the more you do it, the longer your filter will last!
Clean the Pool Walls and Surfaces
Use a long cleaning brush to scrub the walls and surfaces of your swimming pool. Another option is to use a robotic pool cleaner.
This is an incredibly important part of your summer pool maintenance. If neglected, you are going to have leaks, damaged tiles and algae growing in your pool.
Vacuuming your pool is very important but there are a few options as to how you do it. A robotic pool cleaner is the easiest way, but you can also use an automatic pool vacuum or a long hose with a vacuum head.
Check your pool pump and filter
Your pool pump and filter are the most important piece of equipment to keep your pool running well. You want to check them often to make sure they are running as they should.
You will also want to clean your filter on a regular basis, although not weekly.
Check your water levels
As your pool gets used, you will be losing water: those cannonballs make quite a splash! It is so imporant to make sure that you are checking and refilling your pool as needed.
Of course, low water levels can also indicate that your pool has a leak. If you find that your pool water levels continue to get lower, that may be an early warning for a more serious problem.
Check your pH level in your pool
Your pool’s pH level is really important to keep your pool in good health and to keep your family from getting sick. Add the correct chemicals as needed.
This is essential that you do each and every week. However, unless you are hosting pool parties (see below), you should not do this any more than once per week.
Check your chemical composition of your pool
This is where you are going to be looking at your chlorine levels in your pool. If it is too high or too low, you will need to address that before swimming again.
You should have a chlorine level of 1-3 parts per million. This level is safe for the eyes and skin of anyone swimming in your pool while keeping it clean.
Shock treatment and algaecide
Finally, you need to either do a shock treatment or algaecide to keep your water clean. This is essential – no one should swim in a green pool!
Pool Maintenance After a Pool Party
One perk of having a pool is hosting your friends and family during a pool party. If you are able to have a gathering, it does mean that there is a little work afterwards to maintain your pool.
Here is a brief overview of what pool maintenance you need to do following a pool party.
1. Clean the Bottom and Surface
If there are any solid objects that are visible, quickly clean those up using your pool skimmer. Then, give your pool a good vacuuming to get any dirt off of the floor.
2. Shock the Pool
Next, you will need to shock your pool with chlorine. This will prevent your pool from developing algae.
This does not apply to salt water pools.
3. Brush Your Pool
Your guests are going to be using more than just the water in your pool. They will also be touching your pool walls, ladders, slides, stairs, and any other eaccessories you have.
4. Check the Chemical Levels
It is so important to make sure your pH and chlorine levels are within their correct ranges. You can get a test kit at your local pool supply store, or this is something that your pool cleaning professional will do.
5. Clean Around Your Pool
Your guests have been around your pool so you will have to look at the mess they left too.
Should You Hire a Professional?
As you can see, getting your pool ready and pool maintenance is a lot of work. It may be that you simply do not have time for all of the tasks that we listed above.
Another concern that you may have is about the more technical aspects of pool mainteance. There are also mistakes that can be made in maintaining your pool that you would like to avoid.
If that is the case, you may want to consider hiring a pool maintenance professional to clean your pool. You can sit back and let someone else do all the work to make sure your pool is sparkling clean all year long.
However you keep your pool maintained, have a great and safe summer with your family.