How To Properly Clean A Swimming Pool

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Modern house with swimming pool (1)

Having a pool in your backyard is awesome for cooling off on those scorching summer days, but keeping that pool water crystal clear and swim-ready? That takes a bit of extra work each week. As the pool owner, you’ve got to be prepared to put in some regular maintenance time.

For starters, you’ll need to remove any leaves, twigs, or other junk from the water using a skimmer net on a long pole. Skim off all that surface debris first. But that’s just the beginning. You’ll also have to brush down the pool walls and vacuum up anything settled on the floor. Making sure the filtering system is running smoothly is key, too.

Once the physical cleaning is done, it’s chemistry time. Test out the water, and you may need to add some chemicals to get the pH levels, chlorine content and everything else just right to keep that water safe and inviting for a dip.

Don’t sweat it, though — this guide covers all the steps for cleaning and maintenance. I’ll give you plenty of tips to make the process easier so your pool looks pristine from start to finish of pool season.

What you’ll need

Pool owners have a wide range of options when it comes to pool equipment. Some essential items are absolutely necessary, without which maintaining a pool would be nearly impossible. 

A typical swimming pool equipment list often contains the following for most pool owners:

  • Telescopic pole.
  • Skimmer attachment.
  • Pool brush attachment.
  • Vacuum and hose head.
  • Pool filter (cartridge, sand, or a DE filter).
  • Pool pump and heater.
  • Chemicals (chlorine, pH, alkalinity, algaecide, metal sequestrate).
  • Optional: Caulk, chemical feeder, automatic pool cleaner.

You can pick up a lot of this pool equipment at your local Bunnings Warehouse. But don’t forget Temu either. Temu’s online store tends to have cheaper options, though quality can vary more than what you’ll find at Bunnings. 

Advanced cleaning tips

Maintaining a clean pool is straightforward if you establish a consistent routine and follow the proper cleaning methods. Regular upkeep is the key to keeping your pool healthy and sparkling. Here are some advanced tips:

1. Skim the surface and empty baskets regularly 

Use a long-handled net or skimmer to remove leaves, bugs, and other debris from the pool’s surface. This should be done every few days. 

Floating objects eventually sink to the bottom, making them harder to remove. Also, the strainer baskets should be emptied at least once a week to improve water circulation and reduce chlorine needs.

2. Vacuum the pool and brush the walls and tiles 

The pool should be vacuumed weekly to keep the water clear and reduce the need for chemicals. Use a manual vacuum and work it across the entire pool surface, overlapping each stroke slightly. 

After vacuuming, brush the walls and tiles to prevent algae and calcium buildup. Use a stiff brush for concrete pools, a soft brush for vinyl or fibreglass, and a soft brush or pumice stone for tiles.

3. Clean the filter regularly 

There are three types of pool filters: cartridge, sand, and diatomaceous earth. Each type has different cleaning procedures, but all need periodic cleaning based on how often the pool is used. 

A dirty filter can hinder filtration, but a completely clean filter is also less efficient. Clean the filter when the pressure gauge and flow meter difference reaches 10 to 15 pounds per square inch.

4. Get the heater serviced by a professional 

Pool heaters generally don’t need much maintenance, but over time, calcium can build up inside and restrict water flow, preventing proper heating. If this happens, hire a professional to disassemble and clean the heater tubes.

5. Check and maintain the water level 

Water levels can drop due to evaporation, swimming, and splashing. When skimming the pool, check the water level and use a garden hose to refill if it’s below the skimmer level. Avoid draining the pool completely for long periods, as the water’s weight helps counteract ground forces.

6. Test and adjust the pH level 

The pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.8 for safe swimming and effective sanitisers. Use a testing kit (reagent or test strips) to check the pH regularly, and add chemicals as needed to maintain the proper level.

7. Shock the pool (super chlorinate) periodically

Over time, organic contaminants can build up and interact with chlorine, causing a strong chlorine odour. To eliminate this smell, shock the pool with a large dose of chlorine, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

8. Check for leaks

If water levels drop faster than expected, conduct a bucket test to check for leaks. Float a bucket in the pool, marking the water levels inside and outside. If the outside level drops more, a leak may need professional repair.

9. Winterise the pool

In areas with freezing temperatures, winterise the pool to prevent damage. Using an air compressor, blow out any remaining water from pipes and equipment, drain the filter and heater, disconnect and store equipment, and cover the pool after lowering the water level.

10. Open the pool for the swimming season

When reopening the pool, clean the surrounding area first to prevent debris from entering. Refill the pool to the normal water level, reconnect equipment, open valves, test and shock the water, and run the pump continuously for a week or more until the water is balanced.

Should you get professional help?

There are some obvious reasons for hiring someone to clean your pool and some practical ones. If you’re unsure how to care for your pool properly and are still learning to DIY it, it’s best to get a professional pool cleaner to help you.

They take care of your scrubbing, skimming, and water testing. That’s 3 to 4 hours a week you get back in your schedule. The pros know how to keep your pool looking its best through routine visits and treatments. 

Their trained eyes also catch potential issues, like leaks, before they become huge headaches. And if you ever have a question, a team of experts is just a call away to provide personalised advice for your specific pool.

But the real beauty of hiring a pool service is how convenient and worry-free it makes pool ownership. No more stressing about when you’ll find the time to do the cleaning next or struggling to get the chemistry right through trial and error.

Some useful resources

Keeping your pool clean and in good shape doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are plenty of handy resources out there to help make pool ownership an easy task. Here are some great resources every pool owner should check out on YouTube:

Summing up

Keeping your pool clean and healthy needs regular work. Cleaning it often and keeping the water balanced is important. Scoop out any floating trash and leaves frequently. Brush and vacuum the sides and bottom routinely to remove dirt and grime buildup. 

Test the chemical levels and adjust them as needed to stop algae growth. You’ll enjoy a sparkling, clear, swimmable pool all season long with steady effort.

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