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Jul 6 2016

The 5 Best Ways to Maintain your Pool for a Healthy, Fun Summer!

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We’re fully into the sun and fun of summer, complete with heat and humidity. If you’re like us here at Crucial, there’s nothing better in the middle of a hot and sticky summer day than a dip in a pool. As a pool owner, you know that there’s a certain amount of responsibility that comes with having a pool. First among those is maintenance. Nobody wants to swim in a pool that has an inch-thick layer of algae floating on top. So let’s walk through weekly pool maintenance and cleaning you should be doing to keep your pool safe and sanitary.

Skimming the Top

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First, you want to skim off the gross floating stuff. Use a surface skimmer attached to a long handled pool pole. The best poles are ones that can be extended as you need them. You may run into some debris, leaves, and other natural droppings that’s submerged. Getting a skimmer with a deeper net helps scoop the hard to reach and the ability to get everything underwater in one pass. As a bonus, you can also retrieve pool toys that are trying to make it to freedom, and potentially stop the frantic crying of your children.

Vacuuming isn’t Just for Carpets

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The second step is to brush and vacuum your pool sides by using special pool vacuums. You want to brush your pool sides and floor to work any algae or dirt free so you can vacuum it up and get it out of there. In general, there are two types of pool vacuums, manual and automatic. Automatic vacuums are great because you can just hook them up and let them run. Some of them even climb walls and stairs and have brushes built in, so you can skip the manual brushing. All you need to do is change the filters after every run.  Once you set them up according to the manufacturer’s directions, you use the long extendable pole to push them around the bottom, sucking up the gunk and debris that you worked loose with scrubbing.

Skimming the Inside

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Next, you should clean your skimmer. If you have an in-ground pool, it’s going to be built in. Remove the access hatch and then remove the strainer basket. For above-ground pools, investing in a skimmer can improve the quality of the water you and yours are swimming in. A skimmer is like a constantly running vacuum cleaner. A good skimmer can keep roughly 500 square feet of pool clean, getting rid of most of the smaller stuff that’s floating in your pool. That includes oils (from sunscreen and people) and small bugs.

Filters, Filters, and more Filters

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The fourth step in weekly pool maintenance is ensuring that your filters are working properly. It doesn’t matter if you have a cartridge filter, sand, or a diatomaceous earth filter, you have to maintain it. Sand filters require backwashing at least once per week to get rid of the contaminants. For filters using diatomaceous earth, or DE, the DE coats the filter and works to get rid of particles larger than 1-3 microns in size. To properly clean it, you need to backwash the filter to remove the older and dirty DE. Cartridge filters should be rinsed and cleaned once per week to remove contaminants. Make sure to rinse in between the pleats. One very important step in filter maintenance is a visual inspection. You have to be sure that the filter doesn’t have any signs of rips or tearing and that the housing is not damaged. If you see any damage, you need to replace the filter element immediately.

The Aristocrats of Your Pool

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The last thing you should do for your weekly pool maintenance routine is to test if you need to shock your pool.  Look for visible signs of algae and run tests for chloramines and bacteria. Chloramines are the end result of free chlorine in the water reacting with other elements in the air and water. These are responsible for the red eyes, itchy skin, and harsh odor associated with chlorine. When your chloramines are at 0.3 ppm or higher, you should shock your pool. Bacteria test strips allow you to detect almost all dangerous bacteria that can be in your water. If you get a positive reaction from your test strip, you should shock your pool.

Shocking your pool doesn’t mean you should tell your pool scandalous jokes. Rather, you need to add chemicals to your pool to eliminate the things that make your pool dangerous to swim in. The procedure is fairly simple but does take attention to detail. In a nutshell, you need to ensure that the pool is at the right pH level. If it’s too high, then you’re just going to waste chlorine when you add it. Read the instructions on the shock that you’re using. Some require dilution and some do not. Add the mixture to the pool with the pump running.

This is your weekly pool regimen to make sure that you’re always going to be swimming in a pool that’s clean and healthy. Of course, in cases of emergency, such as a bio-contaminant in the pool, you’ll need to clean your pool more often; but those are hopefully few and far between. When you’re cleaning, let us help you with our selection of pool tools and cleaning aids. When you get your gear with us, you’re not just getting great prices, you’re getting support and help with any questions you may have as well.

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