Home swimming pools are a wonderful luxury that you want to enjoy as often as possible. To get the most out of your pool and avoid costly repairs or dangerous accidents, follow these simple tips for pool maintenance.

Safety First

It’s common sense that water and electricity don’t mix, but not everyone thinks through the hazards of an outdoor pool space. Never use an extension cord near your pool, and never swim during an electrical storm.

Filter Once a Day

Running the pump constantly is wasteful, but all of the water in your pool should be filtered once every 24 hours. This helps maintain the quality and cleanliness of your water. Additionally, you should clean out the pump basket once a week to remove gunk and leaves. You can find more information on filtration systems here.

Maintaining the pH Level is Key to Pool Maintenance

Most pool test kits consist of color-coded strips that you can dip in the water to test its chemical balance. Consistency is key, so make a schedule for maintaining the chemistry of your pool. You should test the water at least once a week, as the right chemical balance is critical to maintaining a healthy, clean, and safe pool for all swimmers.

Handling Chemicals

Once you’ve tested the pH level of your pool, you may need to add small amounts of chemicals to correct the balance. The right approach to handling chemicals is critical to both pool maintenance and safety. Sanitizers such as chlorine and stabilizers such as cyanuric acid are the basic ingredients of pool maintenance, but a pool professional can advise you on specific needs based on your climate and pool type. Remember to store chemicals in a locked area that is cool and dry, and never leave the chemicals sitting out around children or pets.

Cover as Often as Possible

Pool maintenance is made easier by frequently covering the pool. While it’s critical in the winter, covering your pool anytime you won’t be using it regularly is a simple way to keep leaves and debris out of the water. Note that you will still need to test the chemical balance of the water every week, even if the pool isn’t being used.

Vacuum Weekly

While you can use a pool net to catch leaves floating on the surface, you’ll notice dirt accumulating on the bottom of your pool as well. If you don’t have an automatic pool cleaner, you’ll need a pool vacuum head, a telescopic pole, and a long vacuum hose. A pool professional can guide you on the proper vacuuming techniques. Vacuuming once a week is a good rule of thumb unless you have very frequent swimmers.

Clean Around the Pool

Vacuum or sweep dirt away from the edges of your pool. This is an easy way to prevent swimmers from tracking dirt and debris into the water. Also, clear away clutter and objects from around the pool that might cause someone to trip and fall.

Occasional Shocking

After a rainstorm or pool party, you may want to shock your pool by adding a larger amount of chlorine than usual to eliminate pollutants. One clue that your pool needs shocking is if you notice a strong odor emanating from the water, or if you see visible algae or an overall green appearance.

With the above tips, you can easily maintain the safety and fun of owning a pool in the summer. Remember that a professional will always have the best insight into pool maintenance, and the occasional pool inspection is the safest bet for even the most diligent pool owner.

EIB Home Inspections provides professional home inspection services to the greater San Antonio area. Our general home inspection includes a pool and spa inspection. Contact us if you are a home buyer, homeowner, or home seller and would like to schedule our services.