Summer is in full swing, with heat waves that come and go, leaving extreme temperatures in most of the country. Therefore, swimming pools are your best allies to beat the heat. If you are one of many who has an oasis in their backyard, the chances are that you are enjoying and making the most of it. Some say that a swimming pool can be a double-edged sword if you don’t do the required maintenance to keep it clean.
It is not about having your pool in perfect condition in the early stages of summer; it’s about being fully ready during the whole season. The summer season temperatures typically last until the end of September, and in some years, even into the beginning of October. Therefore, it is imperative to be consistent with an oasis’ maintenance. Keep in mind that the higher the temperature in your water, the chances of developing algae, bacteria and other germs increases, that can get you sick.
Here are some tips that can be of great help when it comes to tuning up your pool during the summer, so you can enjoy a much cooler summer in a safe way.
Skim Out the Debris
Trees, bushes or anything with leaves will blow into your pool. Always use a hand or leaf skimmer to remove any debris. It’s good to do it every other week or whenever it is necessary. Skimming also helps to increase the water circulation and reduce the number of chemicals needed in the water.
Vacuum the Pool Every Week
Hand or automatic vacuums are excellent to remove any debris that is at the bottom of your pool. It’s important to do this task at least once a week. If you have an automated vacuum, program it with a timer so it won’t miss out its weekly clean up. Ensure that there are no spots getting missed. It’s also important to clean the vacuum filter every week so it can work properly.
Usually, it takes 30 minutes for a vacuum to clean thoroughly. If your swimming pool is broader, do one side of the oasis first, and then the other. If there is any algae or other debris stuck to the pool, you may need to scrub with a brush using a chemical pool cleaner.
Clean the Pool Filter
Your pool filter comes in one of three different types: cartridges, sand or diatomaceous earth (DE). Maintenance will vary depending on which model you have, but each one requires periodic cleaning. If your filter is not cleaned on a regular basis, it will not work correctly. The water in your pool may become murky or discolored. If you notice that the pressure gauge and meter increases on your pool filter, you must do the following:
- Turn the valve to backwash
- For a DE filter: empty the filter bag every other week
- For a cartridge filter: remove and hose down
- For a sand filter (not commonly used): consider replacing with the other two filters because it filters water down into your waste system and depends on a storm drain
Check the Chemical Levels Every Week
The best thing to do every single week is to check the chemical levels in the pool water. First, check that the pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.8. The chlorine can lose its effectiveness if the pH levels are higher than 7.8. You don’t want your family and friends suffering from skin or eye irritations.
If the pH balance is higher or lower than the safety range, you will need soda ash or muriatic ash to control the levels. Usually, soda ash helps increase the levels, at least, to 7.2 while the muriatic ash decreases the levels. A professional pool service person can also do the work for you if you don’t have the products available.