Who doesn’t love having a pool in the backyard? Jumping in for a nice refreshing dip, then lounging in deck chairs, wine on the table next to you, before hopping back in again whenever you feel like it. Or, you can have friends over to help them cool down and relax. A pool is an entertaining addition to your property that will never go out of style. Unfortunately, having a pool does come with some a sizable amount of work attached. Nobody likes swimming in, or even lounging by, a pool that’s gotten green or covered leaves. Here’s how you can keep your pool looking crystal clear.
It’s important to get your water tested to ensure there’s a proper balance between it’s total alkalinity and PH levels. If the levels are not well balanced, then your pool will be susceptible to bacteria and algae growth that will make your pool look very unappealing. Your PH level should be tested once every three days at most, and should be between 7.2-7.6 parts per million. For total alkalinity, the level should be between 125 and 150 ppm for a standard vinyl or painted pool.
Chlorine is the chemical that keeps your pool clean and eliminates bacteria and waste caused by anything that can get into your pool, which includes human sweat, sunscreen, and suntan lotions, among other biological waste. The chlorine level should remain constant at about 3 ppm. Too low and it will not have the cleaning power you need, and if it’s too high, it can be toxic to swimmers. If someone in your pool complains of burning eyes or feels sick, then it could be that the chlorine level is too high. If your pool has gone through a lot of use over several days, or if it’s located in a spot where there may be bugs or other organic waste that can fall in, then it’s a good idea to “shock” the pool regularly. Shocking the pool means introducing concentrated chlorine to the water to quickly clean out those toxins to prevent bacteria. It’s important that no one uses the pool after shocking until the chlorine level has gone back down to 3 ppm, so try shocking in the evening after everyone’s gone inside for the night.
Things like bugs, sticks, leaves, and even small rodents can find their way into your pool and into your filter. It’s vital to remove these contaminants as soon as possible. A cover will help, but isn’t a perfect solution. It’s much easier to deal with small amounts, so skim and check your filter as often as every day. If your pool is near bushes, trees, and other plants that may have pieces that can fall into the water, then trim them back as much as possible to prevent that from happening.
Vacuuming gets rid of all the algae and debris that may be building up on the bottom of your pool. You might not see it all, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. After connecting your vacuum, slowly move it along the bottom width-wise, making sure you overlap your path so you don’t miss anything. If your pool is too wide to go all the way across, then do half and repeat the process on the other side. Some prefer to get an automatic vacuum to save themselves the work. This type of vacuum constantly runs while the pool is not in use to make sure that the bottom of the pool is clean at all times.
Getting Someone Else To Do It
It’s quite likely that you’re not the type of person who prefers the lounging aspect of having a pool as opposed to the working aspect. If you’d like to just swim and enjoy your pool without having to worry about keeping it clean, then a professional pool maintenance service might be just the thing for you. The pros will regularly come to test your pool and keep up with maintenance. If your pool is short on a certain chemical, they’ll most likely have it on hand so you don’t have to head to the store to pick some up. It will cost a bit more money in the long run, but will be much better for your peace of mind and also for your sense of relaxation. You can find our favorite pool pros at www.sonomacountypoolandspaservice.com.
No matter whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, you simply can’t get the full enjoyment out of your pool without keeping it clean and welcoming.