Laying poolside is the quintessential way to spend a scorching summer day. It’s easy to imagine the fun that comes with owning a pool—floating in a tube on Caribbean blue waters, family poolside volleyball, romantic moonlit dips—without considering the responsibility that comes with it.
The truth is, owning a pool requires regular upkeep and maintenance: weekly vacuuming, chemical testing, and inspecting various filters, pumps, heaters, and more. By understanding the cost of owning a pool and how to properly care for it, you can learn to avoid the common and costly mistakes that take the fun out of pool ownership.
Here are six easy ways to keep your pool party-ready this summer:
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a chemist to maintain proper chemical levels in your pool. Using chlorine and pH testing strips to clean your pool is straightforward with modern testing kits.
The colors on a testing kit chart represent your pH level, which tells you if you added too much or not enough chlorine. The ideal amount of chlorine and pH is:
If your pool doesn’t match these standards, simply adjust the chemicals or water levels.
Test your pool’s chemical levels at least once a week to keep maintenance work low and the water ready for swimming.
One of the easiest (but most important) pool maintenance chores is skimming the top of the pool every day for leaves, bugs, and dirt. This helps your water circulate correctly and keeps you from having to add chlorine too often, improving pool feel and aesthetics.
Make sure to clean out the strainer basket and scrub the sides of the pool with a brush or pumice stone about once a week to prevent algae buildup. These tiny chores go a long way in keeping your pool clear and bacteria free.
Pool vacuums come in a wide variety of styles and prices, from largely automated robotic cleaners to handheld systems with telescopic poles.
Vacuuming the pool can require a little bit of work to set up, but it is a key ingredient to a healthy pool. The process can be about as fast and simple as vacuuming a carpet indoors once you’re familiar with the equipment.
For safety, make sure to wear protective eye goggles and rubber gloves when shocking the pool. Here are a few tips to help get you started:
Just be sure to wait until chlorine levels are back to normal (anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the kind of shock you used) before going for a swim or you risk serious skin irritation.
If your water level gets too low it could reduce safety and ruin your pool’s pump. Adding water is easy: just grab a hose and fill it up. Be careful not to overfill your pool, though. Renting a pump to lower the water level can be labor intensive and expensive.
Getting a yearly checkup by an expert to make sure all your equipment is working will save you money and keep your pool operating all summer long.
Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:
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