Debris buildup puts massive strain on pool systems, making it the primary cause of pool water discoloration. This means that cleanliness is the key to sparkling blue pool water. Professional pool cleaning services cost hundreds more annually than simple do-it-yourself methods, so use these tips to keep your wallet thick, and your pretty pool water the envy of your entire neighborhood.
Regular swimming pool maintenance should be scheduled once per month. The first step is cleaning the filter. Then use a pool rake to scoop up floating debris. Step three is brushing. With a brush pointed straight down, scrub the wall tiles from top to bottom. Take your time doing this around the entire pool. Finally, give debris about thirty minutes to settle before vacuuming. Be sure to completely immerse the hose in water before turning on the machine; air intake will damage the vacuum, even in small amounts.
Strong odor and skin irritation are signs that there's not enough chlorine in the water, but pool shock fixes that problem. Chlorine should be up to 3 parts per million parts water. To figure out the water's volume, multiply the pool's length by its width, and then multiply that by the average depth of the pool, measuring in feet. Kits and strips for measuring chlorine are easy to find.
Part of proper swimming pool care is prevention. Suntan lotion and natural body oil really strain disinfectant, shortening its life. Quickly rinsing off doesn't make much of a difference. Swimmers need to scrub with soap vigorously and especially avoid "going potty" in the pool. Younger children should wear watertight pants to prevent fecal matter from entering the water, then into swimmers' mouths and eyes, which could make them sick. Run the filter for 12 hours each day.
Swimming pool chemicals should be checked once per week. Sometimes it's necessary to lower or raise pH in a pool. Signs that the pH isn't right include green water and skin irritation during swimming. The level of pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6 so that the chlorine can work its magic. Testing kits for pH are widely available.
Leaves can jam a pool's skimmer, change the water pressure and strain the system. Empty the skimmer at least once a day and rake pool debris once per week. Try not to plant trees close to the pool. If fertilizing grass, remember that the fertilizer is full of iron, so it may cause the pool to rust. Water the fertilizer immediately to prevent small amounts from getting swept into the pool by the wind. It's pool maintenance like this that leads to glimmering, aqua blue pool water.
If you don't have the time to give your pool the attention it deserves, consider hiring a pool cleaning service. There are probably many great swimming pool services in your city and their employees will take good care of your pool, allowing you to take it easy. Plus, you get the added bonus of having pool boys in your yard (if you're into that sort of thing).
By Shannon Beineke