A pool may be a luxury, but you must properly care for it to enjoy it for a long, long time. It sounds a little tricky at first, but once you establish a routine for the pool maintenance, it becomes a natural part of owning a pool.
How to Maintain a Pool
Maintaining your pool begins with the obvious things, like leaves and debris in the water. Make sure you skim the pool every so often to remove leaves and other unsightly things from your pool.
In fact, as soon as you see leaves or other visible debris, skim them off the surface. Wait too long, and such things might sink to the pool’s bottom, making thorough cleaning more difficult.
1. Cleaning Pool Filter and Check Pressure Gauge
If you have a skimmer, clean it out regularly, at least once or twice a week. Other pool equipment, like heaters, pumps, and chlorinators, require regular cleaning too.
Keep a close eye on your filter’s pressure gauge. Clean it every 2 to 6 weeks as needed. When the gauge rises above 5 pounds, it is time to clean the cartridge of dirt and debris. Most water filters have a transparent cap to let you know when you should clean the filter.
Shut off your pump, remove the lid, and then the basket before cleaning your filter. Hose out the basket and then reinsert it into the pump. Make sure you replace the lid tightly and turn the pump back on.
2. Use Chemicals to Keep the Water Clean
Testing the water’s pH and adding the right chemicals ensure that your water is clean. You might get away with not adding chlorine to your pool for a day or two, but chlorine keeps viruses and bacteria from growing in your pool.
Luckily, you can buy water-testing kits from pool stores, which come with a nifty booklet letting you know which chemicals to add. Always follow the instructions on these kits for best results, and always dispose of old filter baskets properly. The optimal pool water pH is usually 7.2, slightly more basic than neutral.
3. Keep You Pool Level at the Right Level
You can maintain an optimal pH by adding the right amount of chlorine to your water and keeping an optimal water level. Any present debris will float around when your pool water moves and eventually find its way to your skimmer door. Without properly-leveled water, the debris cannot get through the door.
Ideally, keep your pool water at the halfway height of your skimmer doors. If the water is too high, the skimmer door may not be able to open, and debris will stay stuck.
4. Keep the Pool Surface Clean
You may need to drain the water and scrub the pool walls and steps every so often. If you see any cracks in the tile surrounding your pool, repair them as soon as possible. Regular cleaning should prevent cracks from forming too soon.
Time-wise, cleaning out a pool should take 45 to 90 minutes, especially if you do it regularly and prevent large amounts of buildup.
Understanding Pool Costs and Maintenance
No matter what size pool you get, maintaining one can become costly. Between buying all the cleaning and safety materials, you are looking at lots of time and money invested in this particular luxury.
How Often to Clean a Pool
Depending on where you situate your pool, weekly or even daily cleaning may be necessary. For example, if your pool is under or near trees, you may need to skim the water daily. Living in an area with heavier rainwater can also require you to clean and test your water more often.
If you use your pool more often, you will want to clean the water more often since you or multiple people can dirty up the water faster.
Average Cost of Pool Materials
Once again, you will need to set aside some money every month to maintain your own pool.
Chemicals, for example, can cost around $30 a month, testing kits are $15, and filter replacement cartridges are between $15 and $75.
Granted, you could always hire a professional pool cleaner, but that could cost you almost twice what you would pay as a DIY pool cleaner. On average, a DIY pool cleaner could spend about $100 per month on cleaning materials, while a cleaning company could cost $100 to $150 for a weekly clean. A monthly clean may be less costly at around $80 to $115.
If done right, DIY pool maintenance can help your pool last a long while. You may need to play around with different chemicals or even have a pool company inspect your pool with expert advice. Either way, there is an easy way to keep your pool clean and running like clockwork.