Pool Maintenance Fundamentals

To ensure your swimming pool stays clean and healthy, it's essential to follow a regular maintenance routine. We've provided straightforward steps in this guide, making it easier for you to keep your pool crystal clear and enjoy a relaxing experience. Remember the three key aspects of pool care: Circulation, Cleaning, and Chemistry.

  • 1. *Circulation:*

    - Operate the pool pump for 8-12 hours daily.
    - Backwash or clean the filter if pressure exceeds 10-15 psi.
    - Regularly clean the skimmer and pump basket.
    - Ensure that jets are directed in a circular and downward manner.

  • 2. *Cleaning:*

    - Brush walls, steps, ladders, and areas with low circulation on a daily basis.
    - Skim the pool surface daily to remove debris.
    - Vacuum the pool weekly or use an automatic cleaner for efficient cleaning.

  • 3. *Chemistry:*

    - Test the water 1-2 times per week.
    - Balance pH and alkalinity levels.
    - Maintain appropriate sanitizer levels.
    - Shock the pool bi-weekly to ensure proper water chemistry

  • To maintain the aesthetic appeal of your pool, ensure
    continuous water movement and effective filtration, regularly clean up debris
    and eliminate stagnant areas, and maintain a balanced water chemistry. The
    initial and crucial step in achieving a clean and clear pool is to ensure
    proper water circulation.

Operate the Pool Pump

Timeframe: 8-12 hours daily

To put it simply, the longer your filtration system runs,
the clearer your water will be, reducing the need for extensive algae scrubbing
or constant water balancing. If running the filter around the clock isn't
feasible, target 10 to 12 hours each day. In warmer climates, consider slightly
extending the pump runtime. Investing in a variable speed pool pump is
advisable as it can run at lower speeds, offering cost savings, energy
efficiency, and quieter operation throughout the day.

Backwash or Maintain the Filter as Needed

Timing: When the gauge indicates an increase of
approximately 10 psi from the standard level

If your pump gauge registers a pressure 10 pounds or more
above the typical reading (usually 10-15 psi for a clean filter), it indicates
the need to backwash the filter. For cartridge filters, the equivalent action
involves cleaning the filter cartridge.

Maintain the Skimmer Basket

Frequency: 1-2 times weekly

Regularly clearing the skimmer and pump baskets is crucial
for effective pool maintenance. Clogged baskets force the pump to work harder,
potentially shortening its lifespan and stressing pump seals. Moreover,
creatures like frogs may become trapped in the skimmer, necessitating timely
removal. We recommend cleaning the skimmer once or twice a week, depending on

To clean the skimmer basket, simply turn off the pool pump,
empty the removable basket beneath the skimmer lid, and then replace it.

Occasionally, clean the pump basket on your pool pump,
though less frequently as the skimmer typically captures most debris.

  • Cleaning Schedule: Vacuum weekly, and brush and skim daily. 

    Moving on to the second aspect of effective pool maintenance
    involves a trio of tasks: brushing the pool, removing surface debris through
    skimming, and performing a weekly vacuuming. Regular manual upkeep is inherent
    in pool ownership unless you have the convenience of a robotic pool cleaner
    that can handle these tasks for you.

  • Brushing

    Regularly using a pool brush to scrub the walls is essential
    in preventing algae, stains, and scaling. Pay close attention to potential
    "dead areas" like steps, ladders, crevices, and areas beneath the
    skimmer to maintain a clean pool surface.

  • Surface Skimming

    Gently gliding a net or leaf rake across the water's surface
    effectively eliminates sizable debris. This not only enhances the pool's
    appearance for swimmers but also prevents debris from settling at the pool
    bottom, potentially causing unsightly stains.

  • Pool Vacuuming

    Ensuring a thorough pool cleaning involves vacuuming to
    eliminate debris that may impede circulation and harm your pool. Employ a
    vacuum head, hose, and pole connected to your skimmer via a vacuum plate.

  • Testing Frequency: 1-2 times weekly. Shock Treatment: Everytwo weeks.

    Maintaining proper water chemistry is pivotal for a clean
    pool. Balanced water reduces the likelihood of problems such as cloudy water,
    green discoloration, or the accumulation of harmful bacteria. Hence, having a
    reliable testing kit is a fundamental tool in your pool maintenance arsenal.

  • Water Testing and Chemical Balance

    For optimal results, conduct weekly water testing. Simplify
    the process with a test kit that indicates whether you need to adjust pool
    chemicals for water balance. Most pool supply stores offer user-friendly test
    kits or test strips, providing key chemical insights. Keep these essential
    ranges in mind:

    - pH: Aim for a pH around 7.5 to prevent equipment corrosion
    and excessive green algae growth.

    - Calcium Hardness: Maintain a balance of 200 – 400 ppm to
    avoid damage to your pool's finish or liner.

    - Alkalinity: Target a total alkalinity of 120 to 150 ppm to
    prevent pH fluctuations and surface stains.

    - Chlorine: Ensure stable chlorine levels using sticks,
    granules, or tablets to sanitize pool water effectively.

    - Phosphates: If your pool appears green and cloudy, high
    phosphate levels may be the culprit, making algae growth more likely and
    complicating chemical maintenance. Refer to our guides for detailed information
    on pH, calcium hardness, alkalinity, chlorine, and phosphates.

Shocking Frequency: Every 1-2 weeks.

In addition to maintaining balanced pool chemistry, it's
advisable to shock your pool weekly or bi-weekly. "Shocking" involves
saturating your water with sanitizer to eliminate bacteria, contaminants, and
organic matter. For a detailed guide on how to shock your pool in six easy
steps, refer here.

Generally, the frequency of shocking depends on your pool
usage. Consider shocking more often after periods of heavy use, or in response
to specific situations such as:

- Following an intense storm

- After a spill or unexpected contamination

- In the aftermath of an algae breakout

  • In conclusion, adhering to these fundamental steps will set
    you on the path to maintaining a pool with crystal-clear water and steering clear
    of troublesome algae growth. The crucial factor is establishing a consistent
    routine and addressing any signs of discoloration, cloudy water, scaling, or
    other issues promptly. If the responsibilities become overwhelming, consider
    hiring a Pool Service Professional. For a reasonable fee, they can handle all
    necessary tasks during bi-weekly visits to your home.

    We trust this guide has added a touch of ease to your life.
    Explore our related maintenance articles or use our search function if you have
    further questions!