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A Guide on Swimming Pool Maintenance and Care

Priya Johnson Jan 18, 2019
Pool staining, cloudy water, itchy eyes, pungent chlorine odor, and spread of several waterborne diseases are the common problems associated to improper maintenance of the swimming pool.
Swimming pools are great to beat the scorching summer heat and are great assets to the property. It's truly a privilege to own a swimming pool in one's very own backyard. However, the privilege comes with a responsibility.
Besides installing the pool and swimming in it, one has to pay constant attention to the maintenance of the pool, for it to be in appropriate condition in the years to come. All pools need to be cleaned regularly, irrespective of the type of swimming pool and whether it's being used or not.
Pools are open water systems exposed to rain, snow, debris, etc. Fallen leaves and various other organic waste materials get collected on the water surface. The debris decomposes, attracts bacteria and spearheads the spread of waterborne illnesses such as cholera, salmonellosis, typhoid, dysentery, etc.
Besides these illnesses, improper swimming pool care and maintenance also results in cloudy pool water, pool staining, algae build up, pungent chlorine smell, and various other problems. By referring to a swimming pool maintenance guide, one can get a clear idea regarding the maintenance of the pool throughout the year.

Guide to Swimming Pool Maintenance

Swimming pool water maintenance is not very difficult to handle, but it is something that has to be done on a regular basis. Certain tasks are to be carried out weekly, while others are to be done on a monthly or yearly basis. Various pool maintenance guides are available in the market which provide elaborate guidelines about the maintenance of the pool.

Chlorine Level

Chlorination is done in order to sanitize the pool. Chemical compounds such as sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite, when added to the pool via a chemical feeder, sanitize the pool.
Chlorination destroys the algal and bacterial forms, thereby sterilizing the pool. The measure of 'free' chlorine that is to be maintained in the swimming pool water is 1.0-3.0 ppm. Bromine is also used to disinfect the pool.

pH Level

The pH level needs to be checked twice a week. pH level is the measure of acidity or alkalinity and its level should be around 7.2-7.6 in the pool water. This is because, it is at this level of pH that chlorine is most effective.
Too acidic water corrodes pool metal equipment, whereas highly alkaline water results in pool water clouding. Muriatic acid can be added to the pool water in order to control the pH. Moreover, one can also make use of baking soda or soda ash to control the pH. This addition of acid or alkali depends on whether the water is too alkaline or acidic in nature.

Check Skimmer Basket

To ensure fresh and circulating pool water, the skimmer basket has to be checked and cleared of debris twice a week.
A leaf net or surface skimmer can be used to clear the pool surface of insects, leaves, bird droppings, and other debris. In order to clear the pool floor of debris, a leaf bagger can be used. Liquid or powdered tile cleansing agents can be used to clean scum lines and rings on the pool tiles.

Shock Treatment

Free chlorine is required in pool water, and not combined chlorine, which is why shock treatment is beneficial. Shock treatment destroys the combined chlorine compounds and increases the level of free chlorine in the pool. Moreover, it destroys the germs and leaves the pool attractive and sparkling. One should carry out this shock treatment once a week.

Algaecide and Clarifier Addition

Once a week the pool must be given a dose of algaecide and clarifier. An algaecide destroys the algae without damaging pool tiles, whereas the clarifier resolves the problem of cloudy water.

Brushing and Vacuuming

Brushes can be used to remove the dirt accumulated on the sides and bottom of the pool. Before vacuuming the pool, one should ensure that the pool has been brushed thoroughly the night before.
This is because brushing causes dirt to come off the pool walls and settle at the bottom of the pool, and can be easily vacuumed the next morning. Before hooking up the vacuum to the filter, the vacuum head and hose should be submerged into the water.
One can carry out these functions alone or can hire the swimming pool maintenance service men, who will come home and carry out the necessary maintenance tasks.
However, one has to remember that these maintenance tasks cannot be neglected and have to be carried out regularly. This is because the substances falling into the pool water and the new oil stains caused by the sunscreen applied by the swimmers, alter the chemical composition of the pool water.
One can invest in a swimming pool safety cover or a solar swimming pool cover, so as to reduce the amount of debris collection on the pool water surface. Moreover, the amount of chemical evaporation is also reduced by these covers. Follow the aforementioned guidelines and one can enjoy a safe and healthy swim in their pool.