If you’re searching for instruction on pool maintenance for the average person, then you’ve come to the right place. This beginners’ guide will provide you specific directions for saltwater and above ground level pool maintenance…
Whenever any of us has thought about getting a swimming in our backyard, the first thing that comes to mind is the amount of maintenance. Which is why, if you have a swimming pool or have recently installed one, do make sure to place a cover on top. Whenever the pool is not in use, this technique will save you a lot of time, energy, and money.
Although it may seem difficult, cleaning and maintaining a swimming pool is simple when you have the right tools and guidance. If you have a saltwater (below ground) or an above ground level swimming pool, the following article will give you instructions about the maintenance procedure.
Let’s take a look at basic saltwater swimming pool maintenance.
Your Swimming Pool
Where freshwater pools have chlorinated water, saltwater pools have saline water present in it. Both these pools need the same standard of maintenance and care, with only few minor variations. You always have to keep in mind that while maintaining a pool, any kind of pool, the steps need to be followed religiously. The first step of this swimming pool maintenance guide is understanding the water level. What this means is, you need to decide exactly how much water does your swimming pool need and can hold. Because when you make this calculation, we can estimate the measure of salt added into the pool. The exact ratio of water to salt is set as, 1 million part water to 3,000 parts salt concentration.
With this measurement, you can barely even get the salty taste in the pool. This way, you can easily enjoy the saltwater pool without having to subject yourself to burning and itchy eyes. On the other hand, you will have to make sure that you get this ratio correct because if salt drops in the swimming pool, the production of chlorine will stop, and the growth of bacteria will begin. In order to avoid this situation, you need to test the water (on regular intervals) and make sure that the salinity of the water is at the correct level. You can read more about saltwater pool chlorinators for swimming pool maintenance for any additional information. Also, there are salt testing kits available in local pool shops that will help you check the salt level.
As we discussed earlier, the ratio of water to salt needs to be correct at all times. You can also add 2,500 to 3,000 parts per million (salt to water) to keep this ratio accurate. Try not to go over or under this figure. The reason for this is, the measurements have been perfected and any alteration, on any part, will affect the pH balance of your swimming pool. Now, you may be concerned if the saline water would actually taste salty or not. The answer to that is – No; you would barely even notice the taste of salt in the pool. However, if the taste is strong, use the salt testing kit immediately. You can also install a saline water indicator in your swimming pool. This indicator will read out the measurement inside the pool. Whenever the level of salt increases, turn the knob on the indicator which will decide exactly how much chlorine is inside the swimming pool. This will also help to increase the chlorine level and keep up a balance in the swimming pool.
Most of the types of swimming pools are constructed in open, it is obvious that it will have to face the issue of dead leaves, bird droppings, insects, pollens, granules, and many such things. These things can be easily removed with the help of a skimmer basket. You can clear up the debris on the surface of the water. You can use tile cleansing agents to clean the pool tiles. Also, if the water stays for a long time at one place there is a growth of water plants which can decay in the water and the most commonly grown plant is swimming pool algae. To get rid of them and to restrict their growth, you need to treat your pool with algaecide every week. Apart from maintaining the pH balance, using algaecide, and removing dirt and debris out of the pool, you need to empty the water and clean the pool manually. Brush the entire swimming pool so that all the dirt comes out of the walls and tiles of the pool. Then with the help of a vacuum cleaner, clean the entire pool properly.
Important Troubleshooting Instructions
Always check the salt readings in your saline water indicator. This can be your either daily or weekly chore. If anybody enters the pool and complains about burning eyes, uncomfortable skin sensations, and/or high chlorine scent, immediately check the chlorine levels of the pool. DO NOT take these signs lightly. Usually, high chlorine scent indicates that the chlorine level is very low (not because it is too high). You need to check the pH of the swimming pool (buy a pH testing kit) to make sure the readings are correct or not; for saltwater pools, the pH level should be maintained between 7.2 and 7.8 only. Have everyone in the house and guests, who use the pool, know these readings so that there are no complications. If you find any variances but the indicator’s control knob says everything is alright, you may have to check if the control panel is working correctly or not.
Two weeks after adding chlorine to water, the remnants of the interaction between chlorine and the pool waste can be removed by a process known as ‘oxidation’ or ‘shocking’ . The by-products of chlorine, called chloramines, are produced when an insufficient amount of chlorine is used to disinfect the pool. The filthy odor which people mistake for chlorine is not of pure chlorine, but of the chloramines. The unpleasant odor can be countered through ‘super-chlorination’ of the swimming pool with a dose of 10ppm (part per million) of calcium hypochlorite or ‘cal-hypo’ or ‘bleaching powder’, every two weeks in summer and every week in winter. During winters, swimming pools are hardly used, so it’s important to cover the pool properly, particularly in areas where the mercury level drops to zero or below. There are various kinds of heavy-duty pool covers that can be operated manually, semi-manually, or automatically. When the winter season ends, the covers can be removed, and after proper sanitization and ensuring that the pumps and filters, or even the ‘saltwater chlorinator’ is functioning properly, you can enjoy your swimming pool for yet another summer.
Above Ground Pool Maintenance
Apart from the saltwater (underground) swimming pools, above ground pools are also common these days. As there can be limited space in your backyard, a smaller, more compact pool can be installed. Above ground pool deck ideas and plans are an excellent addition to any home for outdoor entertainment during summers. Although upholding the above ground pool can be a challenge for many, it is not impossible. If you keep pushing the task for a longer time, it will only be more difficult for you. So, let’s not waste anymore time and take a look at the basic above ground swimming pool maintenance instructions.
Your Swimming Pool – Pump & Filter
The most important part of above ground pool maintenance is the pool’s pump. The reason is it cleans any/all debris out of the pool as it circulates the water through its attached filter. Circulating the water inside the pool helps prevent bacteria growth. During summers or when the pool is being used, keep the pump running for at least 8 to 10 hours each day for optimal performance. In addition to that, you have to clean the filter as well. They need to be backwashed and the cartridge filter needs to be changed as well when they get dirty. Most of the above ground pools have small cartridge filters that don’t do an accurate job. In such a case, the best way is to see if you can get a bigger sand filter and pump for your pool.
pH level of the pool water has to be checked at least once a week to make sure that this level is maintained between 7.2 and 7.6 only. Again, these readings have to be perfected. If the pool water is anywhere outside the range, under or over, the chemicals in the pool won’t be much effective. As you use the pool on a daily basis, contaminants get added to the water. To oxidize any contaminants which can be present in the water, “pool shock” has been used to free the chlorine in the swimming pool and keep the water clean. Along with contaminants, pool shock also kills algae. Maintain the range of 10 ppm chlorine in the pool and buy test strips to measure chlorine and alkalinity of the pool water. For every 10,000 gallons of pool water, you need to add 1 bag of shock each week. You can either write down the measurements in some place or be responsible to take care of the measurements yourself.
Proper Maintenance Instructions
Each time the pool is being shocked, you have to use the vacuum and run the filter for about 8 hours a day. If you notice that the appearance of pool water seems slightly cloudy, run the filter continuously till the water is clear. Add algaecide, once a week, to make sure no algae growth takes place. As a weekly cleaning task, you will have to scrub all the sides of the pool and make sure that whoever enters the pool has clean feet. Don’t drain the pool as it will dry the liner as well, otherwise you may have to replace the liner altogether.
These were some instructions on pool maintenance for dummies. Regular maintenance will extend the life of your swimming pool considerably. This way, you won’t have to spend a lot on unnecessary maintenance done by a professional. Preserving a clean and healthy swimming pool for you and your family requires few simple responsibilities.
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