One of the joys of having a backyard swimming pool is being able to take a dip in cool, clean water whenever you want. However, everything from a thunderstorm to a few extra swimmers can throw off the balance in your pool.
Keeping up with a regular maintenance schedule helps keep your pool in top condition and prevent problems. For example, if the chemistry in the pool water is not balanced, it could lead to damage to your pool and pool equipment as well as irritation to swimmers’ eyes and skin.
Here’s a checklist of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks for you to follow.
Daily or Several Times a Week Maintenance
Note the water level. Keeping your pool water at the right level is essential for your skimmer to work correctly. If you’ve had a heavy rainfall, you may need to siphon or pump off some extra water. If your water level is dropping, it may be due to evaporation, or it may be a sign that you may have a leak.
Check pump and filter. When the filter pressure gauge shows normal pressure, the water is flowing well through the filter. If it indicates lower pressure, your baskets may be full, or you could have closed valves. If the pressure is high, the filter may be dirty, or a valve may be partly closed.
Test the pH and chlorine level. You should test these levels at least several times a week with the goal of maintaining a pH range of 7.2 to 7.6 and a chlorine level of 1-3 PPM.
Secure fences and gates. Ensure the fence around your pool is sturdy and all gates are locked when the pool is not in use.
Inspect pool cleaner. Depending on how much your pool is used, it’s a good idea to run a suction or robotic cleaner two to three times a week. A pressure cleaner can run every day in a two to three-hour cycle. Check the bags on your cleaners.
Remove debris. Use a leaf rake or long-handled skimmer to remove floating material and check skimmer baskets for debris.
Clean the pool deck. Make sure your pool deck is free of debris. Clear away leaves and grass, and trim back any plants that may be in the way.
Brush the sides and the floor of the pool. This process dislodges the algae and improves the efficiency of the chemicals that are used in the pool. It’s a good idea to move the brush towards the drain so that the vacuum can get any debris you dislodge.
Vacuum the pool with a pool vacuum hose if you are not using a robotic vacuum
Backwash the filter if needed.
Check calcium and Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels. Aim to keep calcium hardness levels in the 200 to 400 PPM range. CYA levels should be 40 to 80 PPM. (Tri-Chlor tablets have CYA in them.)
Inspect the pool liner. If you have a vinyl pool, look for holes and tears and repair them as soon as possible. (Check for cracks and other signs of wear and tear in other types of pools.)
Clean the filter. Use chemicals to clean your pool filter.
Check your diving board, ladders, and slides to make sure they are safe and secure. Tighten bolts if necessary.
Inspect the area around your pool. Soft spots or uneven grass growth around the pool can indicate a leak. Also, landscaping might shift and sink due to unwanted underground water movement.
Clean the slide and diving board. Use cleaners designed for this purpose to avoid contaminating your pool water.
Examine pool and pool deck for wear and tear. Replace any broken tiles and seal any cracks. Remove any algae growth or other potential problems.
Deep clean the filter. According to the manufacturer’s guidelines, DE filters should be disassembled and thoroughly at least once per year. Replace cartridge filters every 12 to 18 months.
Inspect the seals on the motor and pump. Also, remove and lubricate O-rings using silicone grease and Teflon pool lube. (Don’t use Vaseline, which can damage the rubber rings.)
If you are new to swimming pool ownership, this list may seem a bit overwhelming. It does get easier over time as you develop a routine and get used to performing the tasks. Some homeowners prefer to do the work themselves, while others choose to hire a service to perform pool maintenance for them. It’s up to you.
A home swimming pool can add a lot of pleasure to your family’s life. But, just like your home and your car, a pool requires regular upkeep in order for it to operate smoothly. Please let us know if you have any questions about this list or your swimming pool.