Swimming pool season is upon us. As the temperature warms up and you’re getting ready for the summer, keep in mind some basic in-ground pool maintenance tips that will keep your pool clean and sparkling all summer long.
Swimming pool maintenance 2-3 times a week:
Check your pool’s pH and chlorine levels. Do this at dusk, at least four hours after all swimmers have left the water and at least eight hours after a storm. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on your testing strips. If necessary, add products to restore the levels.
Look carefully at your water for clarity, color and visible contaminants. Empty the skimmer and pump basket. Remove debris on the bottom with a leaf scoop, and remove floating leaves from the water surface.
Vacuum the pool. Brush the sides and bottom of your pool to loosen dirt and debris that may cling to the pool finish.
Swimming pool maintenance once a week:
Apply a surface cleaner to your pool walls at the waterline to clean off stains and keep your pool looking fresh. Use a pool brush to rub the cleaner into the wall, dip the brush into the water, and scrub the walls under the water surface.
Shock the pool water, especially if the chlorine is below 1 part per million (ppm) or alkalinity is less than 90 ppm. This means adding a large dose of chlorine to the pool to eliminate algae and other contaminants. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the amount of shock to use. It varies based on the chlorine product and the amount of water in your pool. Shock the water at dusk, allow the pump and filter to run overnight, and avoid swimming for at least 24 hours after shocking the pool.
General pool maintenance tips:
Run your filtration system as much as you can afford during the summer, and check that the water level is high enough for the pump to operate correctly. When the water cycles continuously, it’s less likely to get dirty.
If you have trees and bushes nearby that shed pollen, blossoms, and leaves into the pool, consider trimming them back or replacing them with less messy varieties. You can also use more hardscaping around the pool.