Swimming Pool Maintenance Advice Tips

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How do you maintain a pool pump?

Pump Dump

More swimming pool maintenance advice: Say you're a commuter and everyday you pay a toll to cross the bridge to work. Now, let's say that all of the tollbooths are shut down. You'd have wall-to-wall traffic! Cars wouldn't be able to go in or out. That's pretty much the same thing that would happen to your pool water if your pool pump didn't work.

A pool pump's job is to keep the water circulated (this is done so water can run through the filters and surface skimmers to constantly clean itself). A topnotch pump could circulate all the water in your pool in about 8 hours. Pool maintenance for a pump is much like a surface skimmer (the pump also collects debris in a strainer basket and you'll have to empty this basket regularly).

*While you are emptying the basket also check the pump parts to make sure they are all in working order. One broken part could shut down your pool's entire cleaning system.

What is a surface skimmer?

Basket Case

Looking for some swimming pool maintenance advice? None of us have the time or energy to hover over a pool and clean, 100% of the day—that's why pools are designed with surface skimmers. These vacuums built into the side of pool walls suck up debris through a flap (called a floating weir) right into a strainer basket. The clean water then gets circulated out. Though (like a teenager's room) over time, these baskets will collect a lot of junk. You need to empty the basket either once a week or right after a big storm blows a whole mess of stuff in the pool.

To empty the baskets just lift up the access hatch (located at the top of the surface skimmer), remove the strainer baskets, and empty the mess into the trash. Be warned, however, that sometimes small animals (frogs, mice, etc.) find their way into the pool and get sucked up by the skimmer—and sometimes they're still alive.

What do you need to do to prepare your pool for the winter?

Putting Pools In Hibernation

All good things come to an end and summer is no exception. And, when the leaves start to fall and the temperature starts to drop, that would probably be the right time to start your winter pool maintenance.

The most important thing that should be done before anything else is making sure that all the water is out of your swimming pool equipment (heaters, filers, pumps, etc.) Any water left in equipment could freeze up and do a real number on those equipment pipes. To do this, try the following steps:

• Use compressed air or a non-toxic anti-freeze to make sure the pipes are completely dry
• After the drying is done, seal off the surface skimmer area and chlorinate the water again
• Drain the pool water about 18 inches below the coping
• Tightly cover

How can trees harm pool equipment?

Maintain Your Pool Property

Looking to prevent pool problems? When it comes to pool maintenance most pool owners usually just pay close attention to the pool parts. However, problems can be caused by external factors that aren't even near your pool, like plants (more specifically, trees).

Even though trees are a safe distance from your body of water they can still do damage. A tree has height so falling leaves, branches, and flowers can fall on an angular path—right into your pool. One tree might not be bad, however, 3 or 4 trees can reek havoc with your equipment (like surface skimmers and filters), especially after rainstorms. So, you might want to take a look up before you settle on a ground location.

How can I remember to perform pool maintenance?

Clean on Schedule

Many tasks are easier with planning. To make caring for your pool simple, create a regular schedule for performing pool maintenance. Also, making a checklist for the regular care of your pool can make maintenance a breeze. Include the following tasks on your list:

  • Vacuum your pool weekly.

  • Test your pool water frequently. Use pool chemicals as needed.

  • Clean strainer baskets on a regular basis.

  • Keep the deck clear of debris, dirt, scattered pool toys, and other unnecessary objects.
  • Test cloudy water for chemical balance. You may need to backwash.

How can I make the pool reopening process easy?

Easy Pool Reopening

If you've taken steps to ensure proper winter pool maintenance, opening your pool in the warm months should take minimal effort. Actually, the proper reopening of your pool begins when you shut it down for the winter. It begins with simply keeping an eye on your pool over the cold months and watching for problems with high water levels or sinking covers. Be sure to keep an eye out for large or heavy items that may fall into your pool. If you notice large debris, remove it right away.
Remove your pool cover carefully to minimize the amount of dirty water and debris that makes its way into your pool. However, it is expected that some dirty water will get in. Sweep the pool cover off and dry it before storage to prevent mildew. You'll need it in good shape for next winter's pool maintenance.

How do you touch up fiberglass pools?

Fiberglass Facelift

The makeover craze is hitting everywhere. It's become popular with everyone from moms to models. You can't turn on the TV without seeing some sort of makeover-themed show. Even pools are getting into the act.

For concrete pools a re-plastering of the surface every 7 to 10 years does the trick. Though, fiberglass pools (for the most part) have been the exception to this “makeover must” rule (since a fiberglass surface is designed to keep its beauty for the longest). However, from time to time fiberglass pools might need an adjustment. If a small area begins to dull or change colors you can fix it by applying Gelcoat paint to the area. However, if the damaged space is too large to touch up you will have to recoat the entire fiberglass swimming pool. Since you do need to drain the pool to recoat, it would probably be a good idea to call in a “pool maintenance” professional.

How do you maintain a pool heater?

If Things Don't Heat Up

There are lots of things we can get exactly how we want (pizzas, suits, cars, etc.).. Unfortunately, weather isn't one of them. You could have a summer that seems like autumn or a winter that seems like spring. So, if you want to stack the cards in your favor (come swim season) you might want to invest in a swimming pool heater.

Whether it's electric, gas, or even solar they all work pretty much the same way. A series of tubes connected to the machine combines heat with the water, getting the water between 78 and 82 degrees (which is perfect for swimming). When it comes to swimming pool maintenance the heater is at the bottom of the fixing up chain—they can pretty much go for a couple of years without pool maintenance. However, if you find the water isn't heating up as fast or not at all—that's when it's repair time. If you don't have a degree in “Heater Mechanics 101” the best thing to do is call in the pros.

*The problem that's most common with heaters is a calcium buildup that clogs the tubing. To unclog the tubes, clean them out with acid applied with a wire brush.

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Linda Handiak