Summer’s here once again! Time to make plans for another season filled with backyard barbecue parties and long hours enjoying the crystal waters of your swimming pool. Oh, and let’s not forget, setting time to create your pool maintenance schedule.
Importance of Keeping a Pool Maintenance Schedule
Pool maintenance is hardly something that any pool owner can call fun, much less exciting. Maybe that’s why it’s very easy to lose track of your pool cleaning duties. However, if you want to enjoy the cool and inviting swimming pool in your backyard all summer long, you need to make it a point to make sure that your pool is regularly clean and well-maintained.
Lesser time is needed
Creating a pool maintenance schedule gives you a consistent game plan that will guide you on what to do. That means you end up spending less time doing your pool maintenance duties and more time for some pool fun with family and friends.
Prevents potential pool water problems
Summertime is when your pool is most vulnerable to all sorts of problems because of the sweltering temperatures and the throng of swimmers introducing a host of contaminants and debris in your pool’s water like suntan lotion, makeup, falling hair, deodorant, and natural oils produced by the body. These can easily bring about a host of pool water problems like cloudy water or algae growth. Unfortunately, there’s just simply no quick fixes for these kinds of problems
You’ll have no choice but to close out your pool and deal with these pool water problems, which can take several days to do.
By keeping a pool maintenance schedule, you’ll be able to quickly spot these potential pool water issues and address these immediately before they become into full-blown major headaches.
Save money on pool chemicals
At first, this might sound rather ironic. After all, you need pool chemicals to maintain and clean your pool water, right?
When you have a pool maintenance schedule, you’re able to regularly check your pool water’s chemistry on a regular basis and keep an eye on the levels of the different pool chemicals and quickly adjust it by adding the right pool chemical to bring everything back to balance. The amount you need to add is only a fraction of what you’ll need when you skip a few days or weeks of pool maintenance, and the pool chemical levels have dipped to dangerously low levels.
Steps in Creating a Pool Maintenance Schedule
Step 1: Choose the right pool maintenance guide
Before going ahead and writing out your pool maintenance schedule, it’s very important that you have a clear understanding about your pool. Nearly all backyard swimming pools are customized to meet the needs and wants of each and every pool owner, from the kind of pool filter you use to the type of pool chemicals you use to treat your pool. Even the material used to construct your inground swimming pool will affect your overall pool care routine.
Take the time to search through the Internet for pool maintenance guides that best fits your pool the best during the offseason, and read on these guides as much as you can so that you have a better understanding how to best clean and maintain your swimming pool at home.
Step 2: Get the rest of the family involved
There are two main reasons why you should get your family involved in the whole process of planning out your pool maintenance schedule.
First, it will give you a better idea of what are your family’s swimming habits and schedules. Some pool maintenance tasks like shocking your pool or adjusting your pool water chemistry would mean that your swimming pool cannot be used for a certain period of time. Knowing your family’s swimming habits will help you properly schedule these tasks, especially during the summertime since this is when your backyard pool would be used the most.
Since everyone in your family benefits from the long hours of fun and relaxation that your pool brings, it’s only fair that your family also shares in the workload of keeping your pool clean and in good working condition. Sharing the pool maintenance workload with your family also helps speed the work up so all of you can enjoy using the pool much faster. It also provides an opportunity for some family bonding as well.
Step 3: Check your local government agencies
Many government agencies have established specific pool maintenance guidelines, policies, and regulations. Even if you’ve been maintaining your pool for quite some time, it’s always a good idea to still check them to make sure that you’re updated with any changes they may have made.
Make sure that you also contact your local energy board to find out the best time to do any of your pool maintenance and cleaning tasks. That way, you’ll be able to keep your pool clean and in good working condition while shaving off a few dollars from your electric bill.
Step 4: Write down your pool maintenance schedule
The next step is, of course, to write down the actual pool maintenance schedule you and your family will follow. Here are examples of tasks you can tackle on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis:
Daily pool maintenance tasks
Adjust the pool water levels
Take a quick look to see if the water in your pool is at the right level, especially if you or your kids had some friends over for a bit of swimming and after heavy rains. If the water levels are too high, your pool skimmers won’t be able to skim out the debris and contaminants from your pool water. On the other hand, if it’s too low, the skimmers will suck in air, which may cause some damage.
Check the pool water’s pH and chlorine levels
Keeping your pool water’s pH and chlorine levels within the normal levels are important to make sure that your pool water stays clean and safe for swimming. Your pool water’s pH level should be anywhere between 7.2 and 7.6 while its chlorine levels should be between 1 and 2 ppm
Inspect your skimmer and pump baskets
Check your skimmer and pump baskets to see how much debris are in them as well as whether there are any critters or frogs in them, and empty them out if needed. Keeping your skimmer and pump baskets clean would keep your pool pump and filtration system in good working condition.
Check your pool pump and filter
Take a look at your filter pressure gauge to see if the pressure reading is within normal range. If the pressure reading is too high, it’s a good indication that your filter is already dirty and needs to be cleaned. If the pressure falls below the normal range. It could mean that either your water level is too low or there’s a clog right before your filter, which you need to repair.
Run your pool pump
Running your pool pump will help circulate your pool water to prevent algae growth and also get rid of any debris and contaminants in the water. During the summer time, it’s best to run your pool pump for about 12 hours each day. You can split these times so that you can schedule this during off-peak hours so that your electricity bill won’t skyrocket. Just make sure that you fit your pool pump with a timer for this.
Check your pool area’s fence and gates
Shake your pool fence in different areas to check if they are still strong and sturdy, and inspect if some parts of the fence need repair or if there are any spots that have openings where a small child or animal can go through. Inspect the latches and locks to make sure that they’re still in good working condition.
Check your pool cleaners
If your swimming pool is fitted with an automatic or robotic pool cleaner, inspect the bags and empty them out if they are full.
Weekly pool maintenance tasks
Shock your pool
The weather conditions coupled with the frequent use of your swimming pool makes your pool water more susceptible to problems. This is why it’s a good idea to set aside a day during the week to shock your pool to clean your pool from any debris and to get rid of any microbes and organic materials in your pool.
Skim off leaves and debris
Gather up any leaves, insects, and other debris floating on your pool water before they sink to the bottom. This not only makes it much easier for you to get rid of these, but it will also help you prevent these from staining the bottom of your pool, which can take a bit longer to remove.
Brush and vacuum your pool
Brushing the sides and bottom of your swimming pool and vacuuming them on a weekly basis will help get rid of dirt and scum that may have accumulated during the week, which can help maintain good water circulation in your pool and prevent algae growth.
Treat and destroy algae
Algae grow more rapidly during the summer time because of they love the sweltering temperatures. Unfortunately, algae growth can be nearly invisible to the naked eye during its onset. To be on the safe side, make sure that you treat your pool water with pool care products designed to kill any algae that may already be present as well as preventing them from spreading and coming back.
Check your pool water’s alkalinity levels
Regularly checking your pool water’s alkalinity levels on a weekly basis will help make sure that your pool’s pH levels are within normal range so that it’s not only clean and sanitized but also safe for swimming.
Backwash your pool filters
If your pool is fitted with a DE or sand pool filter, make sure that you backwash these every week to get rid of all the contaminants and debris trapped in them to ease the pressure in your pool filtration system and for it to keep your pool clean efficiently.
Monthly pool maintenance task
Deep clean your pool filters
If you’re using a cartridge pool filter, make it a point to give the cartridge a good chemical soaking followed by a good hose down to really get rid of all the trapped debris and contaminants in the cartridge.
Test your water
Bring a sample of your pool water to your local pool supply store to have it tested. That way, you can really see if your pool water’s pool chemistry is balanced and within normal levels, particularly its calcium hardness and cyanuric acid levels. That’s because the warm temperatures of your pool water during the summer time would mean that you may need to adjust the pool chemicals in your pool. Otherwise, you may run into more serious pool problems like staining, scaling, and etching of the sides and bottom of your swimming pool.
Check your pool’s time clock
Power outages are frequent during the summer. These can easily cause the manual time clock installed in your pool system to stop running. Quickly inspect this and reset this if needed.
Annual pool maintenance tasks
Inspect your pool’s plumbing system
Carefully check the different equipment, piping, and fittings for wear and tear. Replace those parts that show signs of damage and wear. Lubricate the o-rings of your pump lid, filter, chlorinator, and valves with Teflon lube. Contact your local pool care company if you’re not quite sure.
Check your pool’s accessories
Do a quick inspection on your pool light fittings, slides, pool ladders, and other pool accessories make sure that their bolts are tight. Replace any bolts and parts that may have rusted or have become loose over time.
Give your pool cleaner a tune-up
Inspect your automatic or robotic pool cleaner and replace any parts that have already worn out from being used on a regular basis.
Step 5: Make your pool maintenance schedule visible
Once you’ve written down your pool maintenance schedule, make sure that you put it some place where you and your family will always see them. That way, you’ll be reminded of the tasks you’ll need to do as well as who’s in charge. There are also several apps that you can download and sync with your phone’s calendar so that you can you can set the alarm for them, especially when it comes to your weekly, monthly pool maintenance tasks.
Step 6: Stay consistent
No matter how meticulous your pool maintenance schedule may be, if you don’t follow it consistently and religiously, it will not do much good in terms of keeping your pool clean and well-maintained.