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Swimming Pool Maintenance For Beginners

Having a pool can open up a variety of delightful opportunities. Parties, barbecues, family get-togethers and social gatherings can all be enhanced by the installation and utilization of a privately owned pool. But to take full advantage of this feature, it’s important to ensure its cleanliness and safety, thus allowing it to be continually enjoyed by everyone. Here, we have presented you with a guide to help keep your pool looking cool and inviting all year round.

Circulation: Running the Pump

The pump is at the heart of your pool’s circulation system, taking pool water and sending it through a filter, thus extracting any dirt, dust and debris. After filtration, the water is sent back into the pool, ensuring it’s full of nothing but clean H2O.

To ensure the pool continues to work properly and look good, you must run the pump regularly. Generally, the rule is that for every 10º of temperature, you run the pump for 1 hour. If you aren’t sure, consult a pool professional. The pump running time can also depend on other factors, including:

  • Piping size
  • Pool size
  • Swimmer load
  • Pump Size

If your pump isn’t running, then the water isn’t being filtered, so it’s best to call in a professional to fix the pump.

The Filtration System

The water filter removes debris and dirt from your pool, unsurprisingly making the filter itself the most important part of the filtration system.

Backwashing sand or DE filters too frequently often stops the filter from working effectively, which also means that you’re wasting water. An average filter would generally require backwashing once the pressure gauge rises 8-10 psi from clean.

To understand the role of the skimmer and pump basket, consult a pool professional or owner’s manual for information relating specifically to your pool.

The three different types of filter:

Sand

Dirt is removed from sand filter by reversing water flow (backwashing).

Cartridge

When the pressure gauge shows an increase of 7-10lbs, dirt will be removed from a cartridge filter by manually cleaning them.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Cleaned by backwashing the filter when pressure rises by 7-10lbs. When the filter has been backwashed, a new DE must be fitted to coat the grids present in the filter.

Testing the Pool

Swimming Pool Test Strip

During the summer, the pool’s pH should be tested 2-3 times a week, and once a week in the winter. Test strips are a quick and simple way to check the condition of your water. You can either conduct these tests yourself, or call a pool professional to do it for you. The water should be balanced in accordance with the following levels:

Test Range
pH 7.2-7.6
Total Alkalinity 80-120 ppm
Calcium Hardness 200-250 ppm (Concrete Pools)
Calcium Hardness 175-225 ppm (Vinyl Pools)
Free Chlorine 1-3 ppm
Free Bromine 3-5 ppm
Metals: Copper 0 ppm
Metals: Iron 0 ppm

It’s important to note that you must always read the label and follow instructions on testing kits, strips, or any other pool maintenance product. Never mix products together. If you’re unsure as to how to use certain products, then consult a pool professional.

Taking Care of Common Pool Problems

Cloudy pool water 

Try to figure out what’s causing this problem by testing the pH. If it isn’t showing between 7.2 – 7.6, then try to balance out the pH. If that doesn’t work, it could be that the filters and pumps aren’t filtering effectively, so these would need inspecting. They may just need cleaning, so hose them off and use the appropriate cleaning products. If they’re broken, consult a pool professional to have them repaired or replaced.

Algae 

This can be controlled by regularly shocking your pool. To remove spores from the sides of the pool, scrub the surfaces with a pool brush. After the pool has been shocked, apply an algaecide to keep it under control. If you’re unable to remove it yourself, even after a few attempts, call in a pool professional.

Green pool water 

This is a sign of algae, so cleaning, brushing, scrubbing and shocking is  necessary and should be repeated, as directed, over several days to rectify the problem. If it still isn’t clean after following this process, call a pool professional.

Foam 

Cheap chemicals, personal hygiene products, too much algaecide or plumbing problems can all contribute. Scoop as much foam out as possible with the skimmer and discontinue the use of the possible culprit and request that everyone who wishes to use the pool rinses off before getting in. It would also be worth testing the water to ensure all levels are adequate. 

Stains 

Brown stains are often caused by metal in your water supply. To rectify this problem, add an acidic citrus-based cleaner directly to the stain and scrub it with a brush. For larger, more stubborn stains, try a complete brushing and shocking to remove them.

Leaks 

A cracked pipe can cause leaks, so call a professional to come and repair or replace it. If this isn’t the case, then check for water evaporation. This can be done using the bucket method. You could also try running your pump and check for bubbles around fixtures and jet fittings, then inspect them to see if they need repairing or replacing. If you’re still unsure as to what is causing the leak, call a pool professional to help identify and subsequently fix the problem.

Here at Morehead Pools, we’re dedicated to providing our customers with pools, spas and water features that are out of this world. With over 50 years of industry experience, we’re proud to be the area’s most reliable and trusted business in the world of outdoor living. As a full-service operation, we can also offer pool renovation, commercial pool construction and even repair and maintenance services. If you’re looking to transform your yard into an outdoor paradise, get in touch with us today – we’re always happy to help.

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