Frequent and consistent pool maintenance will keep your pool ready for clean, safe swimming at a moments’ notice, and will avoid causing issues that require major repairs or maintenance down the road. It’s not just the pool itself that needs regular cleaning; remember to also give attention to your pool equipment and pool supplies. We at Northwest Pools advise the following weekly pool maintenance routine:
1) Quick Clean Up
Every few days, skim the pool surface with a long-handled leaf net to catch floating debris. The more often you do this the better, because it’s easier to catch debris before it sinks to the bottom of your pool. Once debris sinks, it can be difficult to remove and can create stains along the pool’s interior. Another step of quick clean up is to empty the pool’s skimmer baskets, which lessens the strain on your pump by allowing water to pass through easily.
2) Brush the Pool Interior
An important step to pool cleaning is to remove dirt along the sides and bottom of your pool with a long-handled brush. Don’t forget to also brush the ladders and corners of the pool regularly. Brush the dirt toward the main drain where it can be easily vacuumed. This will assist filtration by helping the skimmers collect fine dirt particles that attach to the pool’s surfaces.
3) Clean Pool Filter
Different filters require different types and frequencies of cleaning. There are three main filter types: sand, cartridge, and vertical grid DE. You should be aware of your filter type and the specific directions from its manufacturer for cleaning and maintaining the filter.
4) Vacuum the Pool
Manually operate the pool vacuum or run the automatic pool cleaner every other day. Remember to submerge the vacuum head and hose before hooking the vacuum to the filter. Automatic cleaners are a great investment because they suck up debris constantly and also help with water circulation (see #5 below). If you don’t have an automatic pool cleaner, it’s important that you vacuum frequently, especially if you have algae issues.
5) Check Water Circulation System
A pool’s circulation system includes the skimmer, pump, strainer, drains, and filter. This system keeps the pool properly filtered and helps its chemicals work effectively. Use a timer to run the pump 6-8 hours each day to keep the water filtered (remember to reset the timer after a power outage!). Keep an eye on the pool’s water level: if it’s higher than halfway up the skimmer, it won’t be able to collect debris effectively. This could also cause air to pump into the filter and harm the circulation system.
6) Test Pool Chemicals
Test your pool water at least weekly and add chemicals if necessary, using manufacturers’ directions. A regular shock treatment cleans the water of algae, bacteria, dirt, and other organic matter that has entered the pool. When adding chemicals, remember:
- Don’t add more than one chemical to the pool at a time
- Don’t add chemicals to the skimmer (except DE)
- Don’t mix chemicals together before adding them to the pool
7) Clean Pool Deck
This is a simple step, but one that is often overlooked and can contribute greatly to the safety of your pool area. Hose and sweep your pool deck at least once a week to keep it clean. Debris such as algae or leaves, when wet, can become very slick and pose a slip hazard to those using the pool. A clean pool deck also means less debris entering the water, and cleaner water means less time cleaning and more time swimming!