General Pool Care Guidelines
Maintaining a swimming pool can either be a chore or something that you can easily handle. Like most things, what you put in is what you get back, and swimming pools are no different. A little time every day goes a long way and pays huge dividends in the life and care of your pool. Below is a basic set of guidelines that, if you follow them, will make your pool time much more enjoyable.
* Take a look at the water and notice the clarity and color. You can tell a difference.
* Test to be sure you have sufficient chlorine and add if needed.
* Test the pH and make any adjustments (up or down) that may be needed.
* Open the lid of the skimmer and clean any debris that may have accumulated.
* Use your pool net to remove anything that might be floating on the surface of the water.
On a weekly basis:
* Turn off and clean any pump baskets that have accumulated material during the week.
* Brush the pool walls, steps and benches and use your vacuum (or pool cleaner) to pick up debris from the pool floor.
* Check the filter pressure and backwash/clean the filter if needed.
* Check the TA (Total Alkalinity) level and make any needed adjustments required.
* Test the CH (Calcium Hardness) to maintain the proper calcium levels needed for your pool (Plaster, Vinyl, Fiberglass).
* Check the water level in the pool and add or remove as needed.
In warm weather or any time that there has been substantial water replacement:
* Check the CYA (Cyanuric Acid) level and add if needed. Remember that proper amounts of CYA are helpful, but too much cause problems! Add slowly!
* If you have a SWCG, test the salt level and add more if needed. Add salt slowly as well, and allow to assimilate into the water before adding more.
* If you are use borates in your pool, check the borate level and adjust as needed.
This will get you started, but remember that not every pool reacts the same way. As time goes on and you become more familiar with your pool, you will find that some of these items can be done less often, while others might need more frequent attention. How frequently you need to do some of the tasks will vary by season and certain items in your pool. A pool with a lot of aeration (like a raised spa or waterfall, for example) will tend to have a higher acid demand than one that does not, as this will cause pH to rise. Pools with SWCG’s will also require more acid than a pool chlorinated with liquid chlorine. Again, time and attention will show you what your pool needs.
Before long you will be able to look at your pool water and see how your pool is doing. Water color, if the water is sparkling or dull, or obvious build up on your tile or plaster can tell you instantly if there is a problem that needs your attention. By looking at the water every day you will be able to watch for small variations in clarity and color. Like the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect”, and you will see that with just a little bit of practice you will be able to see these subtle variations in your water, and you will be able to react to them before they become a big problem.