As a (hopefully) responsible adult, you probably have a routine for maintaining things like your home and your vehicle. So why not your pool?
Time is not a friend to pools – and neither is the Winnipeg weather – but you can hold back both with regular checks to keep everything in top shape.
And we do mean regular. It might be tempting to skip a cleaning or ignore the fact that your filter is older than the internet, but leave it too long and small issues will quickly become big problems. Poorly maintained pools are full of fun surprises like dirt, stinky water, leaks, and other headaches.
Don’t let it get to that point. Your grandmother was right – a stitch in time does save nine. Or, in this case, a timely pool maintenance regime saves you a ton of time, stress, and money.
Maintaining your pool equipment
As every pool owner knows, the pool is just the start. From filters to pumps, your backyard swimming hole comes with a lot of equipment. Preserve your gear, and extend its lifespan, with a little bit of TLC on a regular basis.
Brush your pool liner and fixtures – this keeps debris and dirt from building up on your pool surfaces
Check your pool filter – whether you’re using a sand, cartridge, or DE filter, you should check it at least once a week to make sure it’s not in danger of getting clogged up. Backwash it if necessary to clean it out.
Clean your pool liner – Do this at the start of the season, when water levels are low, or whenever it gets dirty. Use a vinyl linen cleaner, avoiding harsh cleaners and sharp scrubbers as these can damage the liner.
Clean your pool filter – Pool filters are generally pretty durable so you don’t have to stick to a strict schedule when it comes to cleaning. If you’re using your pool a lot in the summer, you’ll probably want to give it a clean once a month. It’s also a good idea to give it a clean after a period of heavy rain or if there’s a lot of debris in the pool.
Use your skimmer – Your pool filter can handle a lot, but debris can clog it up so it’s better to scoop these bits and pieces before they make it that far. Use your skimmer to quickly remove things like leaves and insects from the surface of the pool as needed.
Cleaning your water
A clean pool starts with good water chemistry, and that doesn’t just happen. Your pool is a delicate balance of different chemicals and if they get out of whack they can really damage your liner and ruin your swim. Stay on top of what’s happening below the surface to keep your water fresh all season long.
Test your pool water’s pH – If your water gets too acidic or too alkaline, you need to know about it so test at least once a week. Too acidic and it can corrode your pool liner, not to mention irritating skin and eyes. Too alkaline and it’ll produce unpleasant scaling. Ideally, your pH should be around 7.5. If the pH is too high, you can lower it by adding dry acid or muriatic acid. If you want to increase the pH, use soda ash or borax.
Sanitize your water – It’s not just the kids that love your pool, bacteria is pretty fond of it too. Keep these microscopic critters at bay by regularly sanitizing your water with chlorine or bromine tablets. You should also add an algaecide to your routine to stop algae forming.
Shock your pool – perhaps you missed a few cleanings, maybe the pool got used more than normal. Whatever the reason, you’ve now got green, slimy goo hanging out in your water. This is algae and it needs to be eradicated as soon as you see the first signs of invasion. Do this by shocking your pool i.e adding chlorine to top up your Free Chlorine levels.
More pool maintenance tips & tricks
Make a schedule, and stick to it
Now that you know what should be included in your pool routine, it’s time to make a plan. If you’re one of life’s hyper-organized people, congrats, you can skip this part. But if you’re like the rest of us, read on.
Start by getting a calendar – either an old-school paper version, or a virtual app – and making notes of when you should be testing your water and/or looking over your equipment. Think seasonally too, setting aside a chunk of time to open the pool in spring and close it in winter. If your calendar’s looking too full, delegate. You can always assign roles to pool helpers, if they’re swimming in it, they can help with its upkeep!
Invest in an automatic cleaner
We generally recommend that our clients use a robotic pool cleaner. This handy gadget allows you to clean your pool without running the filter (thereby extending its lifespan) and uses powerful suction to speedily remove any gunk from the bottom of the pool.
Make a winterizing checklist
Summer care is important but if you really want your pool to last a lifetime, you need to make sure you’re winterizing like a pro. Follow these steps to close it for the season and keep everything protected during the colder months:
- Test and balance your water
- Clean the pool
- Shock the pool
- Add a dose of algaecide
- Run the pump for 24 hours
- Drain the pool to lower the water level
- Turn off/remove equipment
- Plug and cover the pool
For more advice on pool care, download our Keys of Pool Care Guide. And if you still can’t find the answer to your queries or concerns, just ask. We know it’s weird but our team genuinely enjoys solving pool problems so make us happy and get in touch today!