Six simple tips to help keep your pool sparkling clean all summer long.
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Most people wish they had their own pool, but few realize the amount of work needed to maintain it. If you rely on luck to keep it sparkling, you may wake up one morning to find that it's suddenly too nasty to swim in or your pump needs an expensive repair. Here are six tips to make sure your pool stays sparkling even during heavy summer use.
Check Your Water at Least Weekly
Check your water weekly during swimming season. Heavy use, summer rain storms, and stray lawn chemicals can all quickly throw your water out of balance. Even if your water seems fine, you may wake up one morning to find it cloudy, green, or full of algae. Regularly test your water, and immediately make any necessary adjustments to keep your water sparkling.
Don't Skip Skimming
It may be tempting to let leaves or other debris float into your drain. Don't do this. Not only do you risk your drain or filter getting clogged, but the leaves also may not make it there in the first place. If they sink, they'll begin to decay and give off chemicals that affect your water quality. They'll also be much harder to scoop out than when they were sitting right on the surface.
Rinse Off Before Entering
If you've been doing yard work or are dirty from a game of football, skip the temptation to jump straight into your pool. While it might cool you off, any dirt or chemicals that were on you will now create extra work for your filter and pool chemicals. Even if your pool seems so big that it wouldn't matter, it only takes a little to throw your entire system off balance.
Keep Your Filters Clean
To keep your water fresh, your filters need to be fresh. In addition to making sure skimmers and drain covers remain clear, periodically check the actual filter located inside your pool's pump area. Depending on the brand, this may either be something that you replace every few months or something that you clean out using a hose. Be sure that you're familiar with the cleaning schedule needed for your pool's specific filter, and remember additional cleaning will likely be needed if you use your pool heavily during the summer.
Store Chemicals Properly
Your pool will probably need some sort of chemical dumped into it weekly, and it may seem easy to keep everything close by. This will likely be a mistake that could prevent your chemicals from doing any good. Moisture and temperature changes from being left out in the open can quickly kill their effectiveness. To keep them at maximum strength, they need to be kept in a cool, dry place such as a garage or shed. It's also important to keep dangerous chemicals safely out of the reach of children and animals.
Keep a Proper Water Level
Rain is a cheap way to refill your pool, but make sure you don't ignore your water level expecting rain to do all the work. If your water is too low, it may not be reaching your skimmer or other drains. Not only will this keep your water from being cleaned, but it also risks damaging your pump if it's only sucking air. Use a hose to top off your pool if it gets too low during a dry spell.
Too much water can be just as bad. A high water level can keep a floating skimmer from taking in water, and it also probably means that a lot of water has recently been added to your pool. Just encouraging your kids to jump in and splash a lot can lower it by a few inches or you may need to siphon it. When you're done, recheck the chemical balance to make sure it hasn't been affected by the water changes.
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