Once you make all those big decisions surrounding your new pool, the next thing requiring your attention is pool maintenance. If you’ve never before owned a pool or had to think about pool maintenance, this can seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry: by starting strong and establishing good habits and routines, pool maintenance can quickly become a way of life, allowing you and your family to enjoy plenty of pool time for many years to come.
Daily Task: Skimming
Skimming the pool should become a daily activity. Really, it won’t take long; it will, however, prevent problems. Simply skim any leaves or other types of debris off the water’s surface. The goal here is not only to keep your pool water looking clear and clean but also to prevent debris from getting caught up in your pool’s filtration system. In addition to a traditional skimmer basket, you can easily remove finer debris by stretching old panty hose over a skimmer net or used window screen. When the panty hose become too dirty to be of use, simply throw them away and use another old pair.
Daily/Bi-Weekly Task: Scrubbing
The second pool maintenance task requires a bit more elbow grease — but thankfully, it shouldn’t need to be done thoroughly more than twice a month. However, some spot scrubbing should be done on a daily basis, whenever you notice any algae growth. Just take a standard scrub brush, and scrub away at any areas that require attention. (Even areas that don’t show obvious build-up should be scrubbed bi-weekly to prevent algae.)
For stubborn growth, you can accomplish this task without having to scrub too hard. This time, use an old sock, and soak it in chlorine. Then let it sit on the troublesome area for a couple hours before scrubbing. The chlorine will essentially do the work for you, eating away at the algae.
Pool floors also need to be scrubbed periodically. We recommend a robot vacuum designed for pool floors. (One that’s in the middle price range that has rave reviews is the Polaris Pool 360.)
Weekly/Monthly Task: Clean Out the Filter
Your pool’s filter functions in a way similar to your body’s kidneys, removing impurities so that your pool can function optimally. On a weekly basis, make sure to clean out your filter basket. This involves four simple steps: turn off the filter, remove the filter cap, lift out the filter basket, and remove any debris.
On a monthly basis, be sure to clean out your filtration system’s pipes. You can accomplish this by backwashing. In order to complete this task, set your filter to “backwash” and remove the leaf basket. Clean out the basket, and then turn on the pump, allowing it to run until the waste pipe produces clean water. (Make sure not to turn the filter on and off too often, though. Doing so may cause mechanical cracking.)
You may want to put your filter on a timer, making sure it runs for at least 6 hours every day.
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