Every person who loves swimming wants to get into a pool with clean sparkling water and have fun. But, there’s nothing fun about the process it takes to achieve a totally clean pool. Its hard work, but you have to do it anyway. Probably, it is the effort required that has been making you add loads of chlorine and shocking the pool instead of actually cleaning it. Well, your pool may look clean, but is it really clean and hygienic? A dirty pool is a hub of a variety of recreational water illnesses (RWI). Life threating infections you wouldn’t want to risk catching or expose your kids or any other party to, using your pool. Be it an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool.
That’s why I have come up with an in-depth guideline on how to thoroughly clean your pool and keep it healthy and conducive for swimming or simply chilling out. Safe for the right equipment and chemicals, your health is the motivation you need to get started. Now, let’s get on with it. But first, the steps required to do a perfect job come first.
1. Ensure that you have the right equipment and supplies
If this is your first time and you don’t know what you need, I got the inventory prepared. If you are have done this before, just counter check to see what might be missing. You will need:
- Telescopic pole
- A net skimmer
- Pool brush
- A pool vacuum (Preferably a robotic pool cleaner.)
- pH Tester
- Sanitizing chlorine tablets
- Pool shock
For the above-ground pool, ensure that the equipment material is suitable for the pool’s materials to avoid any damage during the process.
Remember to check if your equipment is clean or in good working conditions. Examine your filtration system. Check the pressure gauge. If pressure is lower than normal, that means that the filter system is clogged or broken.
2. Clean the deck first
Most people overlook this step. A healthy pool goes beyond the water and pool walls. This doesn’t mean you sweep and hose down the deck. You have to brush and sanitize it with chlorine water. Hand-brushing can be quite tiresome especially if it is a large deck. You may consider purchasing a pressure washer to make work easier. Cleaning the deck last may result to debris getting into the pool after you have just finished cleaning it. Resulting to zero-work after putting in all the effort.
For the above-ground pool ensure the area surrounding your pool is kept clean as well. You wouldn’t want impurities to get blown into your pool when you just finished cleaning it.
The leaf skimmer attaches to the telescopic pole. There are two types, a bag leaf skimmer and a flat one. You may find the flat leaf skimmer a lot easier to shake off debris. Run it on and below the water surface to collect any debris in the pool. It could be hair, leaves, bugs, twigs or even toys left around by the kids. The skimmer net will help to scoop them all out.
Be sure to purchase a heavy-duty net that will serve you for a long time. Cheaper nets may be of poor quality and hence keep breaking or tearing down. Skimming should be done on a daily basis to keep debris from sinking to the bottom.
After removing all the debris, attach the pool brush to the telescopic pole. Brush the walls of your pool as well as the corners, stairs or any ladders present. They may need more attention since there are present in areas with poor water circulation. This help to detach grime, algae and any other dirt stuck within the surfaces. For a thorough job, consider the type of brush you use depending on the pool’s surface.
A gunite pool will need a brush with stainless steel bristles. A painted, fiberglass or vinyl pool will require a nylon bristles brush. For the unpainted concrete, you can use both types of brushes. Brush your pool at least twice a week.
The pool vacuum will come in handy in cleaning the floors of the pool. There are a variety of pool vacuum cleaners in the market. If you decide to go manual, you will attach the vacuum cleaner to the telescopic pole. However, this can be extremely labour-intensive. It is highly recommended that you invest in a robotic pool vacuum.
The best Robotic pool vacuum.
A robotic pool cleaner is a self-directed, automatic low-voltage vacuum that will not only clean the floor but also the walls and steps of the pool. The popular brands are Aquaboat, Polaris, Dolphin and Hayward. All you have to do is to place in the water and let it do all the work for you. And you don’t have to worry about too much irritating noise.
When getting the best robotic pool vacuum, consider the following:
- Since robotic pool cleaner are fairly expensive, consider one whose value is proportional to the services render. Take the maintenance cost into consideration as well.
- It should have a high cleaning ability especially on vertical surfaces hard to reach. It should effectively pick up all debris from the floor irrespective of size. Particles like sand and grit should be thoroughly vacuumed.
- Be user friendly with simple installation.
- Have a great warranty.
- Low noise level.
- Low energy and chemical usage.
Before making a purchase, consider getting a model size that suits your pool. For the above-ground pool, you will require a smaller model. I would recommend the Aquaboat pool rover junior here. It is not only fantastic in its working but can be used in in-ground pools as well.
Ensure you vacuum your pool at least once per week.
6. Managing chemicals
i. Test your pool ph
The first step should be to test the alkalinity of your pool. On scale of 0-14, the preferred level is between 7.2 and 7.6. If the pH is too high or too low, the water tends to become cloudy and scaling takes place. This can be managed by adding pH reducers and increasers. Proper balancing will keep plaster surfaces from etching, avoids harmful scale formation and keeps your metal accessories and equipment from corroding. Do this at least thrice a week to ensure your pool is safe.
ii. Chlorinate your pool
Add required and the recommended levels of chlorine to your pool. It could be in the form of granules, tabs or liquid. Chlorine sanitization helps kill bacteria, algae and most viruses. It will also help to do away with grease and oils. You can add chlorine to your cleaning equipment to ensure they stay clean and sanitized.
iii. Pool shock
Pool shocking should be done every week without fail. It helps reduce contamination and the need for extra chemicals. Adding a shock product will also help reduce chlorine odour and eye irritation. An additional shock treatment will be necessary when there has been heavy rains, foul odour from the pool, slimy water, swimmers with burning red eyes and during extreme weather temperatures.
Important to note for above-ground pools
Unlike an in-ground pool, this pool doesn’t have the water circulation mechanism. It is therefore important to run an 8-hour filter pump session every day. Especially during day time. The filter pump circulates water throughout the pool and filters it to remove debris and other impurities.
When the pressure rises, backwash the pool. This means to reverse the flow of water then flush it out so that the pool stays clean and hygienic.
Due to lack of a proper water circulation system, you may consider adding an algaecide to the above-ground pool since it is more prone to algae attacks compared to the in-ground pool.
Generally, this is what it takes to have not only a clean pool, but a healthy one. Remember, a dirty pool filter means the water is dirty too. Clean it often to maintain an overall clean system.