One of the most daunting tasks for new pool owners is understanding proper pool maintenance for beginners. As you become experienced with your pool’s needs, you’ll grow beyond the basics, but the articles available that show you the right way to keep your pool maintained seem to place equal importance on all aspects of swimming pool maintenance, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed by the process. It doesn’t have to be that complicated, but it does take planning, consistency, and effort to keep your pool and its water healthy. We’re going to take a look at how to keep your pool up properly from a beginner’s standpoint so you have a solid foundation of good swimming pool safety and care habits to build on.
Breaking It Down To The Three C’s
You’ll hear the three C’s mentioned a lot in pool care because they are the most important factors, and adhering to those as your mantra will keep your pool maintenance for beginners focused and successful. Circulation, cleaning, and chemistry will do more for your pool’s health than any other swimming pool maintenance activities, and they lay the groundwork for your routine. Let’s take a look at these three C’s:
- Circulation – Still water stagnated, but circulating water helps keep the chemicals of your pool properly distributed, moves your water through filtration, and makes it more difficult for algae to gain a foothold. Your pool pump is designed to keep the water moving in a continuous loop, bringing water in from the pool, forcing it through filtration material, and then returning it.
- Cleaning – While filtration helps scrub your water, it’s up to you to manually remove larger debris and leaves, vacuum dirt from the bottom of the pool, and ensure your powered filtration systems are doing their jobs–including the care and maintenance that keeps their systems running.
- Chemistry – Treating your water keeps it fresher by using chemicals to keep bacteria in check, control algae growth, and condition the water for safe swimming by adults and children alike.
Combined, managing these three items account for the vast majority of your swimming pool maintenance for beginners, making them the perfect place to start.
Ensuring Proper Pool Circulation
Your pool needs water to circulate through it, ideally for a minimum of 8-12 hours a day. That’s why you should always take note of “dead areas” away from your pool’s return jets and fine-tune the jet’s aim to eliminate those areas. When your pool pump’s PSI starts to run higher–about 8-10 PSI over normal–it’s working harder to move water and needs some help. In most cases, this means the filter media is becoming clogged. For cartridge-type filters, just turn off the pump, remove the cartridge, and hose it off. For sand filters, you’ll need to follow your manufacturer’s backwashing instructions. Whichever method is appropriate, this removes trapped particulate from your pool’s system. This should also be done after any heavy rain, if you’ve had a larger amount of pool guests, or if you suspect runoff or other factors may have led to increased pool contamination.
If the filters have recently been cleaned but the pressure is spiking or has dropped inordinately low, check your pipes and tubing. Ensure you don’t have any blockages and that all valves are set correctly. If the system is properly set and your pressure range is still not within normal parameters or you have verified circulation is no longer sufficient, it’s time to get a pro involved, as pump motor repair goes beyond swimming pool maintenance for beginners.
Cleaning Your Swimming Pool
At least weekly, you’ll need to make time to clean your pool as part of your swimming pool maintenance schedule. If possible, set aside a minimum of several hours and make this a weekly routine, so your pool is always ready to go when you’re ready for a swim. Brush any leaves and debris off your swimming safety pool cover before opening your pool up. Surface debris, such as leaves or paper trash that have entered the water, can be collected with a skimmer net, and a net on a long pole can grab non-floating debris from the bottom of the pool. A vacuum attached to your pool’s skimmer and pump can easily remove sand and dirt from the pool’s bottom. Using a brush, you will want to scrub the pool at the waterline, especially in areas where circulation is diminished. This removes any forming algae and helps reduce the risk of discoloration from chemical buildup.
Once you’re done in the pool, clean the surrounding deck area, making sure you direct any dirt, dust, or other contaminants away from your pool’s water. The less debris you get into the pool, the less you have to go back to remove again later. Ensure the pool area, its features, and the pool accessories are all clean. On most pool-side furniture as well as removable mesh swimming pool safety fences, a light detergent and soft-bristled brush can be used to scrub any problem areas, such as calling cards left by birds or squirrels, while gentle spraying from the garden hose will handle the majority of the work for you.
Acing Your Applied Chemistry
This is the swimming pool maintenance for beginners that seems to worry people the most. Modern pool chemistry is a far cry from the old days of balancing, rebalancing, and balancing levels again, each with an hours-long wait between them. In no time, you’ll have it down to an art form on your bi-weekly chemistry checks. If you happen to suspect your pool has been subjected to increased contaminants, whether from a dust storm, rainy stretch, or toddler pool party, you can check as needed in addition to this every two-week minimum.
We’ve gone into managing your water quality in-depth before, and it still holds true. Start with your alkalinity. Once it’s within the proper range, move on to balancing the pH level before adjusting the hardness and, finally, the sanitizer levels. Your pool chemicals and test kit will give you the proper ranges for the chemical types you’re using, but going in order will save you a lot of tweaking and headaches. Proper circulation will disperse these chemicals throughout your pool’s now clean water, finishing out your three C’s of successful pool maintenance for beginners.
You’ve tackled the lion’s share of your swimming pool maintenance, and along the way, you’ve also put yourself in a good position to keep an eye on the rest. As you work with your pool on maintenance day, you’ll be in a position to spot maintenance issues, such as cracks, missing tiles, or loose deck boards. When cleaning out the pool area, you had the opportunity to spot signs of wear and tear on equipment, loose or missing electrical cover plates, and more. Finally, while cleaning your pool fence or sweeping off your swimming pool safety cover, you were able to verify you didn’t see any rips, tears, signs of weathering, or other damage. Your gate’s latch let you in and out of the pool area, and you would have noticed if it hadn’t swung closed, latching behind you. Just by handling the three C’s consistently, you’re putting yourself on the right track for responsible pool management that also helps reduce the risk of both common injuries and accidental drownings.
Pool Safety Pros
If you find your swimming pool safety cover, net, or removable mesh fencing does need service or repair, contact your local All-Safe Pool installer. They’re passionate about protecting their neighbors and can help you get the right parts to protect your swimming pool from unauthorized access. If you want to add protection to your pool in the form of a modern ASTM-compliant pool fence or safety cover, a no-cost, no-obligation estimate can give you budget-friendly options that are tailored to your needs. Find out how affordable peace of mind can be. Schedule your free quote with All-Safe Pool today.