In recent posts, I have offered information on how to have your swimming pool clean itself. Basically, this can be done by utilizing three types of technology; one is the in-floor cleaning system; two is having a Venturi skimmer; three is using Ultra violet cleaning systems. I understand that for some folks the upfront cost of installing these items is a bit more than they would want to dish out. However, I think that it is important to understand that overtime these items will pay for themselves. These items reduce chemical usage, increase overall circulation, and reduce heating costs. So, with time the amount of money that you will save will far outweigh the initial cost of the items themselves. That being said, I know that the some will still not want to add those expenditures to the cost of the pool installation, and they will need to know how to properly maintain their swimming pools.
To begin, I want to touch on the importance of water sanitation. As I have stated in a previous post, the failure to maintain your water chemistry can have some adverse effects on your pool as well as yourself. Improper water chemistry can damage the liner, steps, pump, filter, heater, and basically every component of your pool. Granted, this will not necessarily happen immediately, nor will the components become damaged simultaneously, but the fact remains that the longer the water is unbalanced, the faster things will become damaged. In addition to the risk of damaging your pools components and equipment, there are also very real health risks that are involved in having poorly maintained water. (See my post titled Swimming Pool Safety – Recreational Water Illnesses.) A number of health related problems can occur as a result of poorly maintained swimming pool water ranging from skin rashes to diarrhea. In addition to that, if you have too much chlorine in the water, it can cause skin and eye irritation as well. With those things in mind, it is important to have your water tested periodically, and if something is off you must add the appropriate chemicals to bring your levels back to their acceptable ranges.
pH: 7.4 – 7.6
Chlorine: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm
Total Alkalinity: 80 – 140 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 200 – 400
Cyanuric Acid: 25 – 50 ppm
Total Dissolved Solids: 500 – 5000 ppm
To avoid confusion, it is usually best to take a water sample from your pool to your local pool store. They will usually offer water testing, and will be able to tell you what chemicals and how much of them to add in order to get your levels to where they need to be.
A big part of maintaining your pool is to clean it regularly. this includes cleaning out your skimmer and pump baskets, and sweeping the pool to remove any debris. Depending on the location of your pool you may have to sweep the pool frequently especially if your pool is located near trees. (See my post titled Vacuuming Your In Ground Swimming Pool for more information.)