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Swimming Pool Maintenance How-To

Posted a few years ago by Rosie Wood - No Comments

If you are thinking of installing a pool, or have just purchased a house with a pool, you may be wondering what is involved in swimming pool maintenance. Well, there is a bit. However, if you set up a schedule, it shouldn't take you more than an hour or two a week.

Chemical Testing
You will need a chemical test kit, including:

You may also need these chemicals to add to your pool:

  • Sodium carbonate (pH up)
  • Sodium bisulphate (pH down)
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Calcium chloride flakes
  • Cyanuric acid

Please make sure to keep these chemicals away from your kids and pets!

  • Maintain chlorine level (Daily)
    Free chlorine is the chlorine which is used daily to keep your pool clean. Free chlorine should never fall below 1.0 ppm. This is the safe level to make sure that harmful germs and algae get killed.
  • Shock dose (Every 14 Days)
    Use a shock chlorine to bring the pH up to 6-10 ppm. Never mix the daily chlorine with your super chlorinate – always remove tablets from the skimmer before adding your shock super chlorine.
  • pH Test (Daily)
    Test the pH daily. Chlorine should keep the pH within a standard range. The standard pH you are aiming for is 7.4. If the pH rises above 7.6 or falls below 7.2, the chlorine will not work properly. Sodium carbonate raises the pH; sodium bisulphate lowers the pH. When changing the pH of your pool, you will need to add the chemicals slowly, once a day until the reading is back within the normal range.
  • Total Alkalinity Test (Monthly)
    The reading you are aiming for with the alkalinity test varies depending on the chemicals used in your pool. It should be: 100-200 ppm for stabilized chlorine pools; 80-120 ppm with calcium hypochlorite; or 120-150 ppm with sodium hypochlorite.
  • Calcium Hardness Test (3 times a season)
    The calcium hardness test should read above 350 ppm. To raise the hardness, add calcium chloride flakes. Calcium hypochlorite as your everyday sanitizer will help to keep the hardness above 350 ppm.
  • Stabilizer Test (Every 14 Days)
    The stabilizer test reading should be a minimum of 30 ppm and a maximum of 160 ppm. This acid helps to prevent the chlorine from being broken down by sunlight. Raising the stabilizer level is done with cyanuric acid. Lowering the level is done by adding fresh water to the pool – there is no chemical to lower the stabilizer reading.

Hardware Cleaning
On top of chemical cleaning to keep the water fresh, the hardware should be cleaned.

  • Cycle Time (Daily)
    Each day, your pump should run for one hour per 10 degrees of temperature. Not running the pump enough will cause problems. It is better to overdo it, than not run it enough. 4 hours a day should be good enough in most places. If it is really hot where you live, aim for 5 or 6 hours a day. When the pool is being used, the pump should be running continuously, on top of the daily pump time.
  • Filter (Every 14 Days)
    Back-washing the filter should be done once a fortnight. This involves reversing the flow of the filter to catch all of the dirt which has collected.
  • Skimmers (Weekly)
    Take out leaves and any other obstructions once a week.
  • Vacuuming (Weekly)
    Vacuuming should be done once a week. It removes solids which aren't floating. This doesn't need to be done if you have an automatic pool sweep.
  • Brushing (Weekly)
    Brushing removes algae which can discolor the pool. Especially focus around the steps, and lights where there is less water movement.
  • Tide Marks (Weekly)
    Get rid of tide marks because they can be a breeding spot for algae. You can get special cleaners for this purpose.

Rosie Wood - Author Biography

Rosie has DIY experience fixing up houses for herself and her family. She's been responsible for Painting, Tiling, Deck Building, Old Floor Maintenance, and home decoration. She brings a woman touch to our website, helping handymen and handy woman with DIY projects for their home.

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