The Pretoria Swimming Pool Guru
There’s nothing like a swimming pool to turn a basic backyard into the ultimate staycation destination. Of course, if you want to keep your swimming pool beautiful, clean, and healthy, you’ll need to know how to care for a pool.
New to swimming pool care? Wondering how to take care of a pool? No worries. Read on for the basics of proper pool maintenance.
Pool Water Testing for New Owners
To keep your swimming pool clean and avoid future issues with algae, corrosion, and buildup, it’s critical to test your water regularly. A good rule of thumb is to test your pool water two to three times a week during the summer, and once a week during the winter.
If you choose to test your pool water yourself, a good testing kit is essential. Look for easy-to-use strips that allow you to test the following:
This is the measure of acid and base in the pool water, and it’s important to maintain just the right balance: If the pH of your swimming pool water drifts too far toward the acid side of the scale, corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment can occur. If your pH is too far toward the base side, your pool can be at risk for scaling, deposits, and cloudy water. Ideally, you want to maintain a pH of around 7.5. You can use a chemical increaser or decreaser to adjust your pool’s levels as needed. Be sure to follow the label directions for the proper amount of the products to add based on test results and pool size.
Calcium Hardness –
This is the amount of dissolved calcium in the pool water. Low calcium hardness levels can cause plaster finish etching and shorten the life of vinyl liners. High calcium levels can result in calcium deposits on the pool surfaces as well as equipment. The proper range for calcium hardness in pool water is 200- 250 parts per million (ppm) for concrete pools and 175-225 ppm for vinyl pools. Your pool professional can advise you on the best method for treating your pool if you encounter high calcium hardness.
Total Alkalinity –
To ensure that your swimming pool’s pH remains stable, you should maintain a total alkalinity of 120-150 ppm. Low total alkalinity can not only result in pH bounce and fluctuations but it can also encourage corrosion and staining. High total alkalinity also can cause the pH to fluctuate; it can also cause cloudy water and scaling. To lower total alkalinity, follow the directions from your pool professional. To raise total alkalinity, an alkalinity booster is recommended.
The most common types of metals that appear in pool water are copper, iron, and manganese. The presence of these metals can stain your pool’s surfaces and discolor your swimming pool water. If metals are present in your pool, use a stain and scale remover on a regular basis. You should also try to determine the source of the metals –The Pretoria Swimming Pool Guru can help you identify some likely culprits.
Pool Chemicals you will need!
Being new to swimming pool water chemistry doesn’t make you a dummy – but if you’re looking for a beginner’s guide to chemicals, start here
.A true workhorse of pool maintenance, this pool cleaner chemical breaks down bacteria and sanitizes your pool water. Stabilized chlorine products are protected from sunlight degradation and are an ideal means to keep your pool clear and clean. Most stabilized chlorine products are available in a variety of forms, including chlorinating tablets, skimmer sticks, and granules. Your pool professional can determine the best form and type of sanitization program for your particular needs. A free chlorine level of 1-3 ppm should be maintained in the pool at all times.
Shock Treatments – Shocking your swimming pool on a regular basis is an important part of keeping the pool water clear and clean. Swimmers and the environment add waste and debris to the pool that must be eliminated in order to prevent problems such as algae and cloudy water.
Algaecide – Preventing algae is the key to an enjoyable pool. Algaecides act as a backup to your normal sanitization program and prevent algae from starting and growing in the pool. Algaecide should be added after every shock treatment.
Pool Pumps Keep Water Circulating
One of the most important parts of your swimming pool is the pump. The pump is what keeps your swimming pool water moving, pushing it through the filter to remove dirt, leaves, and debris.
The great thing a pool pump is that, for the most part, it doesn’t require a lot of work: All you have to do is turn it on and let it run. Most pool professionals recommend that you run the pump for one hour for every 10 degrees of temperature – but this can vary depending on other factors, like the size of your pool, the size of your pump, and how much you use your pool.
Running your pool filter regularly will keep your water clean and clear – and it’ll help prevent labor-intensive maintenance later on.
Filters Keeps the Pool Water Clean
The job of the filtration system is to remove any undissolved dirt and debris from the pool water. There are three types of swimming pool filters:
Sand Filters –
Inexpensive and easy to operate, sand filters remove dirt and debris through a process called “backwashing,” which basically means flipping a switch to reverse the water flow. All you have to do is check the filter’s pressure gauge. If the gauge indicates a 7- to 10-pound increase over normal operating pressure, it’s time to backwash.
A few things to keep in mind if you’re considering a sand filter:
- Sand filters are more efficient when they are slightly dirty, which means you shouldn’t backwash more than necessary.
- Sand filters should be cleaned at least every season with a filter cleaner.
- You should completely replace your filter sand every 2 years or so.
Although a cartridge filter costs a bit more upfront than a sand filter, many swimming pool owners feel that it’s worth the extra money. Cartridge filters remove more dirt and debris than sand filters, and they don’t require backwashing. Instead, you simply remove the cartridge when it becomes too dirty and hose it off.
The Pretoria Swimming Pool Guru can help you, contact us today