Sparkling blue pools are wonderfully enticing – but they don’t happen by accident. Here’s our guide to weekly, monthly and annual pool maintenance.
• Even if you don’t swim every day, cleaning your pool should be a daily occurrence, insists Peter Shedlock of Swimming Pool Services. Start by scooping out all leaves and other floating debris, and clearing out the basket. You could of course reduce the frequency of this task by purchasing a pool cover, suggests John Grogan of The Parks Pools. As an added bonus, you’ll put a halt to water evaporation during hotter months, and can guarantee child safety too.
• Invest in a decent pool cleaner. This will augment your skimming efforts and ensure that all algae is cleaned off the bottom and sides of the pool – but, says Grogan, you’ll still need to scrub the pool daily, and a dose of algaecide during summer months will keep it looking blue.
• Backwashing the filter is a weekly task, Shedlock notes.
• You should check chemical levels every week too, or the water may become cloudy. This is easily done by purchasing a test strip pack (available at all pool shops); next, place a drop of water on the pack to gauge levels of cyanuric acid, free chlorine, acidity and alkalinity, total alkalinity and calcium hardness. You’ll know from the test what’s missing, but if in doubt, consult your pool shop.
• Peter advises that it’s necessary to do a manual backwash and open up the sand filter every six months.
• Keep an eye out for maintenance chores that should be performed annually, such as checking that the pump impellor is still in good condition and is not blocked with leaves. It’s also a good idea to watch out for declining water levels, Grogan says: although a certain amount of loss is normal during summer, due to evaporation, excessive loss may indicate a water leak.