Step 1: Test the water. You should test the water at least once per week, but twice per week is actually recommended. You can use the strip test or the liquid. Either one will be just as accurate to test the pool water chemistry.

Step 2: Adjust the water chemistry. Once you have tested the water, you want to make any adjustment to the water chemistry to balance the water. Start with the Total Alkalinity, then the Ph level, and lastly the chlorine. These are the main three to test regularly. The Calcium Hardness, Total dissolved solids, and the Cyanuric Acid tests can be done monthly, and adjusted accordingly.

Step 3: Clean the pool weekly. It is recommended to brush the wall of the pool wall, surface, and steps every week. This keeps dirt from developing into the plaster. If you have an automatic pool cleaner for the surface cleaning, then brushing the walls and steps must be done weekly. Check the skimmer basket(s) on the deck and empty the baskets as needed weekly. Also, check the pump basket and empty that one as needed. If your pool has trees or plants around it, checking the skimmer and pump baskets will need to be not at least twice a week in the fall and winter due to fall leaves and greenery.

Step 4: Add any water enhancers. There are many enhancers that can be used to add a little extra help to pools. Enhancers are those chemical additives that can make the pool’s enhancement even better. Many enhancers are used weekly for sparkling clear water and as a preventative, while other are added monthly as a preventative. Reasons to consider enhancers are: cloudy water, phosphate removers, scum line preventers, stain and scale preventers, metals present, and oily, smelly water.

Step 5: Clean the Filter. Cleaning the filter regularly improves your pool’s efficiency. Regardless of the filter you have, it is recommended to clean, or backwash at least once a month regardless of the filter pressure. Cleaning the filter also helps extend the life of your cartridge(s). If you have a D.E. or diatomaceous earth filter, it is recommended to take the filter media completely apart and clean them every six months. Inspect you filter media for holes or tears whenever you get the chance, and replace immediately, as holes and tears will affect water filtration. If you have a sand filter, it is recommend that after 7 years, the sand should be replaced in the filter. If you have a cartridge filter, you should replace the cartridge(s) whenever the bands are broken, or when the filter pressure is still high even after cleaning.

Step 6: Enjoy your backyard oasis.