Here are some simple tips for keeping a hassle-free swimming pool. It’s not as difficult or as costly as most people think.
There is something primal associated with how homeowners feel about that small body of water they keep in their backyard. The following is a format and some simple steps on how to have the prettiest pool in the neighbourhood, with the least amount of cost and effort. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not. With the correct information and a quick trip to the local pool store, anyone can have a consistently beautiful swimming pool. The essential thing to remember is that having a routine maintenance schedule is not only important, but it’s also absolutely crucial.
When thinking about swimming pool surfaces, there is only one choice. Years ago, almost all swimming pools were surfaced with a Marcite plaster. Marcite worked well, but most homeowners felt that it deteriorated too quickly. These days pool builders are using exposed aggregate surfaces. Exposed aggregates are more desirable for a few reasons. They harden into a very durable finish, are less likely to affect water chemistry, and exposed aggregates come in various colors. Aggregates are a little more expensive initially but will save money in the long run.
Understanding the basics necessary for crystal clear and healthy pool water is not that difficult.
Sanitizing and Water Clarity
The most effective product for sanitizing is “stabilized chlorine.” The simplest way to deliver stabilized chlorine into the pool is through an automatic chlorinator. They can be purchased at a local pool supply store and are plumbed directly into the water line after the pump station. Stabilized chlorine comes in tablet form and should be used, for an average-sized pool, (12,000 gallons) at about one tab per week. Chlorine feeders accommodate several tabs and can be regulated to dispense the proper dose weekly.
Using stabilized chlorine eliminates the hassles associated with liquid and granular. Plus, stabilized chlorine remains in the pool water for a more extended period. It is also necessary to “shock” the pool for that added jolt of sanitizing, but it is only done every couple of weeks with stabilized chlorine. Shock is purchased as a single application at any pool or hardware store.
Keep Swimming Pools Free of Debris
Automatic cleaners are by far the best choice for vacuuming the pool, and most people claim they couldn’t do without them. There are many brands on the market; it’s a matter of personal preference. An automatic cleaner keeps the pool clean, cuts down on algae, and helps the water to maintain balance. Unfortunately, most automatic cleaners do nothing for surface debris, so it is necessary to skim the top with a skimmer net every once in a while.
The types of algae that affect a swimming pool differ, but the most common are mustard (looks yellowish or rusty-green) and black algae (dark green hue and usually gets into cracks and crevices). Both can be staved off with a regular dose of algaecide added once a week.
These are the ABCs of pool care, and taking these simple steps gives pool water a crisp blue appearance and ensures it is healthy for swimming. Another practice that should be part of the pool maintenance routine includes keeping the mechanics in good working order. O-rings should be in good condition, filters regularly cleaned, baskets checked, and so on. The standard “run time” for a pool is one hour for every 10 degrees air temperature (i.e., 80 degrees/ 8 hrs.) A timer on the pump eliminates even having to think about it.
It is also highly recommended to keep a basic test kit on hand to monitor the chlorine and Ph levels. For the other chemical testing necessary (alkalinity, calcium, stabilizer, and metals in the water), take a small water sample (about 8 oz.) to the local pool supply store. Here they will have the equipment and expertise to help. Many of the pool supply stores propose that pool owners bring in a sample weekly to ward off any potential problems.
Pool ownership can and should be pure family fun and not time-consuming or an ongoing expense. With the right help and a consistent routine, the swimming pool should be hassle-free.