Just like a car, your swimming pool needs regular maintenance and upkeep to be at its best. It’s important to develop a basic understanding of pool maintenance essentials. When you know how your pool works and the best ways to care for it, you’ll be ready to solve just about any potential pool problem that may occur.
Knowing all the basic parts of your pool, and their functions, helps you keep everything running smoothly and makes it easier to resolve issues when they occur. Every pool has four components that require regular maintenance. These include:
- Pool water
- Pool interior wall or liner
- Filter system
- Pool’s system of skimmers and returns
The water in your pool is key to lasting pool enjoyment. Keeping it clean, clear, and balanced helps you avoid costly equipment repairs due to corrosion or mineral build up. It also protects you and your family from contaminants and pollutants. The water source is extremely important. Don’t use water from a well or sand point. We have seen many problems with pools that have used these sources. If you insist on using one of these sources, bring in a sample first before filling.
The walls of your pool liner are in constant contact with pool water, and everything that enters it. Keeping these surfaces in good repair and clear of algae and debris will help keep your pool clean and water balanced.
Pool Filter System
Your pool pump draws water and keeps it circulating. Your pool filter clears dirt and other contaminants from the water. Both protect you and your pool from harm. Without a functioning filter system your pool will soon be a cloudy, polluted, and unswimmable.
Depending on your setup, you might have a cartridge filter or a sand filter. If you have a salt water system you will have a salt water chlorinator.
Pool Skimmers and Returns
Your skimmers pull water into the filter system for cleaning, while the returns push the cleaned water back into the pool. The skimmers and returns work best when they’re clean and clear of obstructions.
As far as pool chemistry goes there are three important parts:
- pH levels: The measure of how acidic or basic your pool water is. High pH levels are acidic, while low levels are basic. The ideal range for your pool is 7.4 to 7.6.
- Alkalinity: Works as a pH buffer and helps avoid huge spikes in basicity or acidity. The ideal range is 100 to 150 parts per million (ppm).
- Sanitizer levels: The amount of chlorine, bromine, etc. in your pool water. Proper levels vary depending on which type of sanitizer you choose.
Visit our showroom to have your water tested to maintain optimal levels of pH, alkalinity, chlorine and other important elements of your pool. Our testing system prints out a step by step printout on how to balance your pool and keep it maintained for the season. In addition, we offer opening and closing services for pools as well as carry a variety of pool pumps, filters, heaters and many other accessories.
No two pools are alike, and you’re bound to encounter pool maintenance challenges specific to your pool as time goes on. But if you’ve got a firm grasp on the four pool components and basic pool chemistry you’ll be well equipped to solve most problems.
If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the shop for expert advice!
Just like pools, hot tubs require many of the same principles when it comes to balancing the water and keeping everything in good working order.
Circulating the water helps keep it free of contaminants by passing it through the cartridge filters.
Depending on the model, your hot tub may have an automatic circulation schedule that ensures it runs once or twice daily. These cycles circulate the water for around 15 to 20 minutes to ensure all the water in your tub passes through the filters. If your hot tub doesn’t have an automatic cycle, make sure you turn it on for 15 to 20 minutes, twice a day, to ensure your water’s been refreshed. The more you run your hot tub, the cleaner it’ll be.
Cleaning your hot tub is a critical part of effective hot tub maintenance. Indoor and outdoor hot tubs are both prone to developing scum, but if your hot tub is outdoors, keep an eye out for debris like leaves and dirt.
A weekly clean with a sponge and some white vinegar on your hot tubs shell and jets will keep things tidy. Use it to scrub away the scum line at the water’s edge as well.
Make sure you clean the inside of your hot tub as often as possible. A weekly clean is essential to hot tub care. Plan to drain your hot tub completely for a thorough cleaning every three to four months, and more often if you’re using it quite frequently and/or having a lot of guests in it.
In order to work properly and effectively, your hot tub filters need a good cleaning regularly. You can do this three different ways:
- Rinse your hot tub filters as often as possible with warm water or your garden hose, especially if you’ve been using your spa more than usual.
- Spray your filters every week or so with a hot tub filter cleaner to provide a deeper clean. Don’t forget to rinse them after.
- Soak your filters in a chemical cleaner every time you drain and refill your hot tub to extend their life and loosen any stubborn particulates. Rinse them thoroughly afterward.
When your filters get to the point where even a chemical soak doesn’t completely clean them, this is an indication it’s time to replace them.
Aim for a pH level of 7.2–7.6. Values below this range will be too basic. The water will reduce your sanitizer’s effectiveness and it will be prone to cloudiness. Values above the range will be too acidic. The water might eat away at your hardware and will likely irritate your skin and eyes.
For alkalinity, shoot for 80-150 parts per million (ppm). If alkalinity gets too high it can cause scaling and cloudiness.
Add the sanitizer of your choice according to the directions on the package and test again to make sure your pH and alkalinity are within optimal ranges.
If you’re using your hot tub after a long period of inactivity or you’ve been using it heavily, it’s a good idea to shock your hot tub to make sure it’s completely sanitized. Make shocking a regular part of your scheduled hot tub maintenance to keep your water safe and clean.
As always, if you need advice or assistance, call our shop to speak to one of our expert staff!