Having a pool in your backyard is a godsend during those scorching hot summer days, but it takes time and effort to prepare your pool before it is ready for use. You have to stay on top of the water balance and any build-up on the surface to ensure that it’s safe for people to swim in. It can seem overwhelming, but the moment you take that first dip into the cool water, you will see that it is worth all the effort. Here are some tips to help you keep your above-ground pool clean and well-maintained.
Add the Right Chemicals
Before you start, you need to make sure you have all the required chemicals to clean and treat your pool. This includes pool clarifier, sequestering agent, pool shock treatment, chlorine tablets or granules, stabilizer (cyanuric acid), algaecide, and pH, alkalinity, and calcium increasers. Don’t forget to wear your personal protective equipment like gloves, safety glasses, and respirators. You’ll be dealing with potentially dangerous substances, and thousands of people each year are treated by medical personnel for any injuries caused by pool chemicals. Be sure to take the proper precautions before using them.
Use a Good Pump or Filter
Your pump and filter are important components to keeping your pool clean. Without them, the debris and chemicals in the water can cause it to be unsafe to use. Pumps circulate water, pushing it through a filter for cleaning before returning to your pool. You should run them 24 hours a day to properly circulate and maintain a good water flow. At the very least, run them for 12 hours every single day.
Test the Water
Test the water’s pH balance, calcium hardness, alkalinity concentration, and any heavy metals that can cause stains. You’ll need to know how much to adjust these levels once you begin adding the chemicals. According to The Pool Stain Removers, the correct pH level should be 7.2-7.4, 80-120 ppm for the alkalinity, and 200-400 ppm for the calcium hardness. They also recommend purchasing a water testing kit in order to make sure you know what you need to adjust in order to maintain balance. You should also test the water’s chlorine and chloramine levels to know if you need to give your pool shock treatment.
Shock and Balance the Water
A pool shock treatment will get rid of chloramines (combined chlorine) and kill any algae, bacteria, or other organic waste in the water. It will make your pool cleaner and safer to swim in. Add in the pH, alkalinity, and calcium increases as needed until you’ve balanced them properly. If your pool needs more chlorine, stabilizer, or algaecide, use those as well. You should let your pump and filter run for 24 hours so the chemicals will get mixed in and evenly distributed throughout the water, as well as getting rid of any remaining debris during the process.
Scrub the Surface and Skim the Water
Use a pool surface cleaning brush or vacuum to get any build up off the sides and from the bottom of your pool. Get a pool skimmer net so you can scoop out any leaves or other floating debris from the water. Doing this regularly will prevent external elements from altering the chemistry of your pool, so you won’t have to shock, balance, or add in chlorine and other cleaning agents as often. Ideally, you should do this every single day, but don’t go for more than a few days without scrubbing and skimming your pool; otherwise, it can start to cause problems, like rust and stains. Keeping the water balanced will also cut down on the amount of cleaning required to maintain your pool.
Winterize Your Pool
You should maintain your pool throughout the winter as well by taking the necessary steps once the summer is over. Remove any equipment like ladders, hoses, pumps, and filters from your pool. Clean the equipment thoroughly, and drain your hoses and the tank on your filter. Test and balance the water as you normally would, during the summer, and add in a winter chemical kit. Once you’re done, put a cover on your pool so debris doesn’t clog it up. It will also prevent the elements from harming the water balance.
Having an above-ground pool is great, as long as you maintain it regularly and keep it from getting too dirty. It takes a lot of work to maintain a pool, but remember why you do it — to go for a refreshing swim when it starts to get too hot outside. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a clean and well-maintained pool all summer long.