When you live in a warm climate, such as here in Australia, you’ll soon appreciate the benefits of having a swimming pool in your backyard. At Best Home Ideas, we know that it’s great for relaxing at the end of a busy day and adds even more fun to an outdoor barbecue party. Also, if you have water-loving dogs, such as Cavoodles, they’d probably enjoy dipping in with you on warm summer days.
However, there is the problem of regular maintenance to ensure your pool stays clean and usable. Here’s our rundown of the most essential tips you’ll need:
1. Using a Pool Skimmer
This is one of the easiest maintenance chores. It aims to remove the leaves, twigs, flies and anything else that may be floating on the water’s surface. You can reduce the amount of debris by designing your garden with pool-friendly surroundings. To remove pool litter, take a long-handled pool skimmer with a wide net for greater coverage. Then simply work your way across the pool by skimming debris off the water.
Empty it into a bucket then dispose of it in an area of your garden where it can’t directly blow back in. This task is best done daily or at least every time you’re about to dive in the pool. If you neglect floating debris, it eventually sinks to the floor of the pool. It then decays and can permanently stain the flooring.
2. Remove Algae
An important part of pool maintenance is removing algae. The spores of these simple plants easily blow into the water. In sunlight, the warmth encourages them to multiply fast. They can appear in different colours such as red, brown or green and stick like glue to any hard surface in your pool. Swimming in algae-ridden water can be harmful and make you feel ill.
Acoording to Ray Brosnan, the co-owner of Brosnan Property Solutions, a property maintenance company, the remedy is to use a truly good and quality pool brush once a week to dislodge them. Every area of the pool needs to be brushed, and it’s best done in the pool’s direction’s drain.
Another helpful tip is to brush everywhere after chemical treatment to disperse them effectively.
3. Pool Vacuuming
Regardless of how thorough your pool skimming technique becomes, debris will always find its way to the bottom of your swimming pool.
The most effective way to remove it is with a pool vacuum. There are two versions to choose from. A hand-held pool vacuum is relatively inexpensive because you do all the work.
It consists of an extending pole with a vacuum head at the end. This will include a hose and a vacuum plate that lets you connect it to the skimmer. Operating it is easy as you work around the pool with the multiport valve positioned at ‘filter’. After a long break, such as during the winter months or a vacation, you’ll need the higher ‘wash’ setting.
This powerful suction takes out some of the water as well as the debris, so it’s helpful to have a hosepipe adding fresh water at the same time.
Alternatively, you could invest in an automatic pool vacuum. It might cost a little extra, but once you’ve adjusted the settings, you can relax beneath a pergola and watch it clean the pool on your behalf.
4. Circulating Pool Water
When the water in your pool is static, it’s termed stagnant water. Even a few hours in favourable conditions can cause your pool to be full of bacteria, viruses and parasites. They can leave you with the potential to develop pool-related illnesses. But keeping the pool’s water circulating properly should help keep these unwelcome intruders at bay.
You’ll need a filter, pump and jet to move the water. You’ll also need to keep this equipment in tip-top condition. Investing in a pump with variable speed control can be helpful. It means you can let it run all day at a low speed, which uses less power and therefore costs less. Once or twice a week, turn off the pump to give the skimmer baskets a thorough clean. Make sure they fit correctly when replacing them.
Pool filters need regular attention to prevent the pool’s water from becoming murky. There are usually three versions of filters to choose from. Diatomaceous earth filters, or DE for short, might need less frequent cleaning than glass or sand filters. These need a meticulous clean once every two weeks. Whichever type you choose, the cleaning regime is similar for all of them.
- Find the multi-port valve, turn it to the ‘wash’ setting and allow it to operate in this mode for several minutes.
- Turn the valve to the ‘rinse’ cycle. Repeat these two steps while lowering the amount of backwash time.
- Ensure the amount of DE powder is at the appropriate level when you’ve finished.
Every three to six weeks, cartridge filters should be soaked in a cleaning solution before thoroughly rinsing.
5. Essential Chemicals
Every swimming pool requires chemicals to keep it invitingly hygienic. You must test the water once a week or every few days if it’s in constant use. The pH level should be between 7.0 and 7.6 to achieve a good balance. Lower readings mean the water is too acidic, which can increase the rate of corrosion for the pool and its equipment. Higher pH levels indicate the water is alkaline. This leads to cloudiness which stops additives such as chlorine from working correctly. You’ll need to adjust the number of chemicals to get a balanced pH reading.
Sanitisers must be included. Bromine costs more, but it’s much gentler on your skin than chlorine, the most popular sanitiser. It’s recommended that once a week, you include a specific sanitising product that’s concentrated. Factors such as green water, inefficient heating pumps and excessively noisy equipment indicate your pool requires specialist maintenance.
A swimming pool in your backyard can be a lot of fun, but it does require attention. There are many products available to help your pool achieve the healthiest conditions. If you’d like to enjoy your pool rather than perform the constant regime of essential chores, many companies are offering regular pool maintenance.