A swimming pool in the back yard can be a real source of enjoyment for the family. Along with all the fun, comes a fair amount of maintenance. It’s not a whole lot of fun, but it must be done – just ask the pool owner who neglected the maintenance and discovered a nasty algae problem, which took a lot of work to remove. Here are the necessary chores to keep the pool clean:
Attend to the pool chemistry.
If the pool chemistry gets out of balance, it can cause the algae problem mentioned above. Check the pH often, and then adjust the chemicals as needed. Sites like Poolcenter.com have testing kits which make the adjustments fairly simple. The process is going to involve some kind of chlorine product, so make sure to have a safe place to store the chemicals out of the reach of kids and pets.
Regularly brush the pool.
At least once a week, use a brush on pool surfaces. A long telescoping brush works well for the task. Taking care of brushing prevents the buildup of bacteria and sediment that can lead to nasty algae problems. This chore is the one that requires some effort and is a real work task – for that reason it is easy to overlook or avoid. Make it part of the regular Saturday morning chore list, and it won’t get forgotten. For motivation, go ask the pool pros what it takes to get rid of an algae problem.
Clean the pool filters.
The filters in the pool are similar to the filters for the air conditioner. They need to be cleaned about every 4 to 6 months, or they don’t work as well. Remove the filters, clean the debris from them. It’s suggested not to use a spray nozzle, because it can drive the debris deeper into the filter. Use a solution of 10% muriatic acid to soak the filters, then rinse, let them dry, and put them back in place. Do remember to use rubber gloves and eye protection for this process.
Clean out the leaves.
If the pool is surrounded by trees, it’s inevitable that leaves will blow in and congregate in the pool. Use a leaf net to remove leaves before they can deteriorate and contaminate the pool. There are times when leaves might need to be cleared several times a week. In the fall or during times of high winds – that’s a good time to take a look at the pool, and use the leaf net whenever it’s needed. The more frequently the leaf net is used, the less work it will be. It’s not fun to clean leaves after they have formed a carpet on the surface of the pool.
Clean the pool pump.
The pump for the pool is intended to collect hair, lint and debris when they accumulate in the water. If the pump basket is not cleaned or gets clogged, it won’t work as well. Pool pros say that cleaning the pump is one of the easiest ways to keep the pool clean. To clean the pump, first shut it off. Then the basket is opened and the debris removed, which doesn’t take too long. Then the pump must be re-assembled and put back into place. Finally, when the pump is restarted, make sure it has “re-primed” and is circulating water – otherwise an expensive expense might occur when the pump burns out.
Taking the proper steps on pool maintenance items and replacement parts is the best way to keep the pool clean. A big part of pool chores is making sure they are done regularly. Once finished, reward yourself by jumping in for a refreshing swim.
Carol Atkins has 3 kids with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely black Labradors. When she’s not working out with aqua aerobics in the family pool, she spends hours watching the kids and dogs play and have fun. She is also a dedicated runner, and diligently training for her first half marathon. She currently writes for Poolcenter.com.