Tips to Maintain Your Pool

A pool is an attractive and entertaining home feature, yet failing to maintain it can lead to costly repairs. To ensure your pool remains ready for backyard barbeques and summer dips, keep pace with the following:

Remove Debris: Skim the pool regularly for leaves, petals, bugs and other debris floating on the surface. About once a week, remove the waste that collects in the skimmer basket so it doesn’t flow back into the pool or cause blockages. It’s also wise to invest in a pool vacuum to clear all debris that sinks to the bottom.

Test Chemicals: Use a test strip weekly to measure chlorine, alkaline, pH and cyanuric acid, and then balance each accordingly. A balanced chemistry will ensure your pool is safe for swimmers, and prevent surface staining and equipment corrosion.

Keep It Chlorinated: Chlorine prevents the buildup of bacteria and algae that can eventually turn your pool green (and into a mosquito magnet). Depending on your pool size and type, there are a number of chlorination options including tabs, liquids and granules. Consult your local pool supply store to find out which method is best for your needs and time investment.

Maintain Filter System: There are three types of filters for swimming pools: sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth (DE). To prevent clogging and maintain the flow rate, the filter must be cleaned or backwashed at certain frequencies, depending on the type and manufacturer. Your pool pro can help you identify the type of system and explain how to maintain it.

Homeowners can consult professionals at local pool supply stores to learn which products and chemical levels are appropriate for their pools. Once mastered, most regular pool maintenance can be completed in 20 minutes a week or less. Time-strapped homeowners may want to opt for a pool service that handles all cleaning and maintenance for a monthly fee, which includes the cost of chemicals.