1. Skimming & Basket Cleaning
At least once a week also clear out the strainer basket. It will also help circulation and lowers chlorine demands. You can find a strainer baskets attached to the side of above ground pools. Remove the plastic basket and shake it and spray it with a hose to clean it completely.
2. Vacuuming & Brushing
To reduce the occurrence of algae buildup and calcium deposits, brush the walls and tile every other week. This will keep your pool clean and fresh. You can use stiff or softer brush depending upon the type of your walls.
Stains can be caused by metals in the pool water, rust coming through the wall or by any organic material. To remove organic pool stains, shock the pool and for metallic pool stains use MetalFree and StainFree.
3. Filter Is Your Pool's Kidney
As the filter performs its operation, the debris in the water is gathered in the filter and as a consequence the filter slowly gets clogged and the pressure increases.
If your filter pressure is raised by 20% over your starting pressure, it's time to clean out the debris. If you don't keep the filter's pressure in normal range, it will reduce your water flow and your water can get cloudy. You can backwash to clean sand filter every two week. A cartridge filter needs to be cleaned periodically for optimized performance. It is always a good idea to clean the filter at least once a season, even if the pressure doesn't go up.
4. Check Your Pool Chemistry
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), you should consider following chemical levels:
pH: 7.4 – 7.6
Also known as acidity/alkalinity and it prevent irritation and protect the pool equipment from eroding.
Chlorine: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm
Keeps your pool water safe and free of germs
Total Alkalinity: 80 – 140 ppm
Keeps pH in balance Calcium Hardness: 220 – 350
Prevent plaster damage
Cyanuric Acid: 30 – 50 ppm
Protects chlorine from sunlight and determines the required Free Chlorine level. Properly balanced chemicals will make your pool water crystal clear and having no scent.
5. Heater Maintenance
Out of all pool equipment, pool heaters require least maintenance. Natural Gas Heaters or Propane Gas heaters can work fine without being serviced for a couple of years and electric ones can last even longer. To maintain your pool heater follow manufacturer's manual instructions. If Calcium scales build up inside the tubes of your pool heater, it will prevent water from proper heating. If it happens, call a professional because heater may need to be disassembled to clean out its tubes with a wire brush or acid.
6. Maintain Water Level
Water level goes down mainly in swimming season due to evaporation, backwashing, splashing and exiting the pool.
Keep an eye that your pool water level is half way up the opening of your skimmer otherwise the pump could be damaged. If the water is too low, use a garden hose to add the required amount of water in your pool. If the water is too high, acquire a submersible pump on rent from a home improvement store to drain the extra water. Be careful that your pool liner is not damaged by the pump weight or hire a professional for this purpose.
When you’ve reached the appropriate water level, remember to recheck the chemicals.
Always keep water in your pool even in winter season and never leave it empty because the weight of the water counteracts with forces from the ground pressing up against the pool from below.
7. Shock Your Pool
If your pool has a harsh odor or you had a big pool party, you have to supercholorinate or shock pool water immediately. It's a bacteria that you’ll want to get rid of as soon as possible. Organic contaminants like ammonia and nitrogen buildup in a pool and interact with pool's chlorine and form chloramines. This finally creates a potent chlorine smell. Shock the pool at least twice every season. Follow manufacturer's instructions before shocking your pool.
Shock your pool:
When pool water temperature rises
When free chlorine level goes down
After heavy rains
When pool is heavily or frequently used
8. Find A Leak In Your Pool
First turn off recirculation pump as well as any other auto-refill device you may have. Now take a plastic bucket and fill it with three quarters of water. Mark the waterline inside the bucket and place it in the pool. Now mark the waterline outside the container. Let this bucket float in the pool for 24 hours. If the water inside and and outside has gone down equally then your pool is losing water due to evaporation. However, If the water has gone down more than the water inside bucket your pool has a leak.
To narrow down the possible source of the leak repeat this test while your pump is on. If the water level in the pool is greater with water circulating under pressure, there are more chances that leak is in your pool's plumbing.
Now you are sure about the leak and should call a professional to fix this.
Evaporation mostly happens when your pool temperature is higher than the air temperature.
9. Winterize Your Pool
Pool water left in pipes can freeze and cause damage. To avoid this use an air compressor to blow water out of pool's plumbing. Also drain water from filter and heater. For above ground pools, disconnect the heater, pump and chemical feeders and keep them in a safe place like basement.
Finally clean the pool by skimming, brushing walls and vacuum pool floor, empty skimmer baskets, close skimmer line valve and lower the water. Supercholorinate your pool and finally use a pool cover to keep out debris.
10. Pool Opening In Summer Season
A properly winterized pool can be reopened easily in spring. Drain as much water as possible from top of your winter cover before removing it. You can use sub pump to do so. Don’t forget to scoop or blow all leaves off the cover before removal. Now you can raise the water level back to its normal level using your garden hose. This is around the middle of the skimmer opening.
Now you'll want to reconnect all the equipment including filter pumps, heater and anything else. For above ground pools reconnect the flexible plumbing lines to the pool equipment and skimmer. Please ensure to take out all the winterizing plugs from the pool equipment. A list may consist of your pump, filter, heater, booster pump and pool cleaners. Don’t forget to reinstall each normal drain plug. Remove Winterizing Plugs From Skimmer And Return Lines.
At this point, you will want to start turning most of your pool equipment back on. This includes priming the pump and turning on the circulation and filtration system. Add MetalFree To Prevent Staining. Test your pool water for pH, Total Alkalinity and Chlorine levels using a test kit. Test and adjust calcium hardness. Brush and vacuum the pool. Run the filteration system overnight. Filtration will filter out all the dirt, debris, algae, and bacteria still floating in your pool after brushing and vacuuming your pool. Finally shock the pool.