How to Maintain Your Above Ground Pool
Being a pool owner comes with its fair share of work. There is no denying the fact that there is work that needs to be done to keep your pool swimmable.
We will try and break this down for you into daily, weekly, and monthly requirements.
Broken up this way, you can plan out what needs to be done, and it may be worth delegating a few of these tasks to those little swimmers in your pool!
Part of your daily checklist takes less than a minute to do. When all the steps are written out, it can look quite extensive, but the bottom line is that regular maintenance includes a general awareness of your pool and how it is operating.
Don’t let a few days go by where you haven’t even looked at your pool. When issues come up, they can be handled much easier if they are caught early. Preventative maintenance and early action are the best ways to have a successful swim season. Every day you should . . .
- Look at your pool for debris floating or on the bottom
- Make sure that your water level is mid skimmer height
- Ensure that the pump is turning on and operating
- Make sure your pool cleaner is working (if you have one)
- Empty skimmer baskets
- Make sure that the pool pump is operating according to schedule
If you had a power outage, make sure to reset the timing schedule on your pool pump. You want the pump to run for at least 12 hours a day and to make sure that it is running during the peak sun times. If you have had a higher than usual number of swimmers, it is ok to run the pool pump longer. Pay attention to those sweltering days as well, feel free to up your pool pump running times closer to 18 hours.
Some experts will recommend testing your pool chlorine and pH every single day. In a picture-perfect world, this would be great. The question is, is this a reality for you. If you can figure out a way to test the water twice per week, that would be great. The last thing you want to do is go for several weeks and realize you have not done any tests. The levels could be headed towards some significant issues, and all along, you have had people swimming in the pool. Not a great situation.
When you do those tests, your pools pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6. The chlorine levels should be between 2.0 and 4.0 parts per million (ppm).
For your daily pool testing, you can use a simple test kit like this one.
Now that we have entirely overwhelmed you with your daily requirements, it’s about to get a bit worse.
Each week there are some additional steps you will need to take . . .
- Skim the pool surface
- Vacuum the pool
- Brush the sides of the pool
- Check chlorine level and then add chlorine tablets
- Additional level checks including alkalinity, pH and chlorine
- Backwash the pool
- Add maintenance chemicals like algaecide and clarifier
We like to think of the weekly work as the cleaning. Just as you clean your house (hopefully) and your car (maybe) once a week, you can go ahead and add your pool to this schedule.
Having the right cleaning equipment is essential. Make sure you have a pole, brush, and skimmer net to get the complete job done. People love to skip the brushing part of pool maintenance. It takes a few minutes and a bit of elbow grease, but it can do wonders for preventative maintenance, and it should not be skipped.
Keeping chlorine levels consistent is very important, especially in the hot summer months. If you find that adding chlorine to the pool once a week is not enough to maintain the levels in the middle of the week, you may need to adjust your pool maintenance schedule.
As far as your weekly algaecide and clarifier maintenance chemicals, some products have these combined, and this becomes a quick step in this process.
Don’t worry, this is the last category. Although the daily and weekly pool checks are really the most important, there are a few things that can be done monthly. They include . . .
- Shock your pool
- Check the calcium and cyanuric acid
- Check for algae growing by the ladder of the pool or around the skimmer
- Invest in a vinyl cleaner to scrub the waterline
The monthly pool maintenance steps should not take all that long. Make sure that when you shock the pool, you do it at night and run the pool pump for a solid 24 hours. If you shock the pool in the middle of a summer day, the chemicals will burn off too quickly, and it won’t be a genuine shock. Always check the chlorine levels of the pool before swimming after a shock.
Is There Any Way Around This Maintenance?
There is an interesting product that will help you monitor your pool levels without having to do weekly and daily testing. The pHin Smart Water Care Monitor for Pools will actually test your pool water about one thousand times per week. The results of the tests will be stored within an app that you can keep on your phone or tablet. When the levels drop off, you will be notified so you can address the issues immediately.
This product can save lots of time, and although the initial cost is quite a bit higher than a manual test kit, it could be an excellent option for those who know they won’t test the water enough. In addition to notifications that your pool chemicals are off, you will also get recommendations as to how to get them back to normal. Although you will still be responsible for your pool brushing and vinyl cleaning, this product could cut down on the maintenance steps you have to take.
Daily, weekly, and monthly above ground pool maintenance is a necessary evil. As much time as it will take to stay on top of all of these steps, it can take twice as much to fix a problem. We recommend making yourself a checklist with all of the things that need to occur in a day, week, month and saving it on your phone. Check it often to make sure that you are keeping up. The last thing you want is to have to declare the pool unfit for swimming because you didn’t stay on top of maintenance.
Featured Image: David Gardner, Pixabay