Hot summer days can be excruciating without your mini oasis, a.k.a; your above-ground swimming pool. Dipping into that cool, fresh water is a welcome respite from a long day at work or for your kids after school. Keeping that sanctuary fresh and clean enhances our pool experience and helps the pool itself. Therefore, it is imperative to know how to properly maintain your above-ground swimming pool for a clean, fun swimming experience in addition to the longevity of your pool. Diving into maintenance costs and repairs might seem daunting, but it’s simple and relies on four pool maintenance ideals. Before setting up a maintenance schedule, the first and the best thing is to do preliminary research on your pool model. What are the basic parts of the pool, and what do they do? Then, ensure you’re well acquainted with the parts and their functions for a more straightforward maintenance routine.
What are the Goals?
Water circulation is vital to your pool’s safety and cleanliness. Moving water is healthier, meaning water circulation is key to safe swimming. Pools with bad water circulation suffer from issues like cloudy water or pool algae. Running your pool pump and filter system helps minimize the risk of similar problems. Pumps should ideally run all the time, but sometimes budget can get in the way of that. Running your filter for at least 10-12 hours daily will sufficiently circulate your water. In addition, frequently backwashing your filter, or forcing all the nastiness built up in your pool filter, is imperative to good water quality and circulation. It can’t circulate if contaminants and dirt block it in the filter!
Clean Pool Interior
A clean pool interior is just as crucial as water circulation and quality. Some tools you’ll need to keep your pool clean are a net skimmer, a pool brush, and a pool vacuum. From leaves, mold, and random small animals to sunscreen and hair product residue, a lot can build up on your pool liner. Therefore, cleaning should happen every week.
Next is cleaning your water or monitoring your water chemistry. The most important thing about monitoring water chemistry is a water testing kit! It’s great to know what’s in your water, what isn’t, and what next steps need to be taken to ensure all levels are correct! The three main aspects of pool chemistry are: 1. pH levels pH levels are the measure of how acidic or basic something is. Low pH levels = acidic whereas high pH levels = basic. The best sitting point for your pool’s water is 7.4-7.6 pH. 2. Alkalinity Alkalinity is a block for big pH spikes, keeping your water’s pH regulated. The ideal range is 100-150 ppm. 3. Sanitizer levels Sanitizer levels talk about the amount of chlorine, bromine, etc., in your pool water. These levels differ depending on the type of sanitizer you choose.
Keeping a schedule helps break down your maintenance into bite-sized tasks and makes the entire thing less intimidating. This also helps ensure that basic upkeep and imperative action items aren’t forgotten. The best part about a schedule is that once you’ve got your pool cleaning routine down pat, adding more significant tasks to get your pool ready for the winter season is easier.
Maintenance Routine Outline
The best way to keep your above-ground swimming pool clean, fresh, and long-lasting is to follow a regular maintenance routine. Having the right tools, mindset, and consistency is the best way to tack these action items!
Daily Maintenance Action Items
1. Test the pool water
- Your pool’s pH level should be between 7.4 and 7.6
- Test the chlorine level to ensure it’s between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm
- The water level in the pool should be around mid-skimmer height
2. Empty the skimmer and pump baskets 3. Check your filter’s pressure and ensure your pump is working correctly 4. Skim the surface of the water
Weekly Maintenance Routine
1. Test alkalinity to make sure it’s between 80 and 120 ppm 2. Dose your pool with algaecide, clarifier, and metal control (to the appropriate levels for your pool size) 3. Add chlorine tablets 4. Shock your pool water at night before bed 5. Ensure pressure is at the correct level. If it rises upwards of 7-9psi, backwash and clean the filter 6. Deep clean your pool interior
Maintaining your above-ground swimming pool takes a bit of research and prep work initially, but it becomes easier and easier over time with practice. Understanding your pool and giving it the best care it can get allows you to relax in a fresh, clean pool and pride yourself on your regular maintenance routine. If you ever need help or decide pool maintenance is too much of a hassle for everyday life, always call a professional and learn what you can to help in the future! Three cheers for beautiful pools and relaxing days in the sun!