Thursday, May 22, 2014

Top 10 Pool Care & Maintenance Tips

Top 10 Pool Care & Maintenance Tips
Proper routine pool maintenance is essential for the health of your pool!

Top 10 Tips for Maintaining your FL Pool
Sources say, if you don’t maintain your pool properly, you could cut the lifespan of your in-ground pool in half!

In addition to prolonging the life of your pool, proper maintenance and cleaning is necessary to keep your pool a safe place to for your family to swim. A neglected pool can easily cause algae, mold, bacteria, and even E. coli growth!

Pool guys charge you about about 2 times more than it actually costs in chemicals to clean your pool to compensate for labor.  An average pool-cleaning job will run $100-$175 per month depending on season.

You can easily learn to clean your pool and balance your chemicals in 20 minutes or less with the right skills and information.  (Side note, for rental properties, we always suggest having a professional pool company service your pool.  Even with the right instructions and chemicals, tenants are not as likely to properly maintain your pool.)

Seasonal Changes Affecting your Pool 
Of course, as the weather changes and usage increases during the spring and summer months, your pool needs more care in spring and summer than it does in fall and winter.

Pool companies in Northwest Florida typically recommend having your pool serviced every week or biweekly in spring and summer and bi-weekly in late fall and winter. If you are maintaining your own pool, you may want to check your pool chemistry as often as 2 to 3 times per week in summer and once per week in winter to ensure proper pH.

  • 1.  As you are monitoring your pool, take note:

      • Are your returns very weak?
      • Is the in-floor cleaning system working properly?
      • Is the water clarity starting to look bad?
    If any of these conditions exist, it is likely time to clean the filters. Most pools should only need this done a couple of times a year. There are exceptions though based on pool usage, and you should always clean your pool filter after heavy storms. 

  • 2.  Properly cleaning your pool filter requires chemicals. Soak your dirty filter in a 10% solution of muriatic acid or a solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate). Use a rubber trash can. Wear gloves and eye protection. Always add acid to water, NOT water to acid. Rinse until clean and let them dry. It pays to have two pool filters so you don't have to worry about rushing through the cleaning process.

  • Other Routine Cleaning Items 

  • 3.  Clean out skimmer basket(s) weekly, or as needed if conditions exist.
  • 4.  Wipe/clean tile line weekly. This will reduce build-up inside the pool.
  • 5.  Vacuuming the pool is a major component of cleaning your outdoor swimming pool. Vacuuming absorbs dirt, algae, and other yard debris. Your pool may need to be vacuumed daily or weekly depending on your pools exposure to debris and proximity to trees.

  • Maintaining your Pool's pH
    A pool with a chemical imbalance can cause health problems, so make sure you understand your pool's pH before swimming in it.  You can purchase a pH kit that will easily allow you to test and adjust your pool's pH at your local pool store. 

    • 6.  Don’t allow the pH level to get above 8.0
      •  At 8.5, chlorine is only about 10% active. At 7.0, chlorine is about 73% active. If you maintain pH around 7.5, the chlorine will be 50-60% active.
      • Check the chlorinator at least once per week for proper adjustment. Ensure water can properly flow through the chlorinator.  Make sure chlorine tablets are in the Deck-Chlor or Inline Unit, and adjust as necessary to maintain adequate chlorine levels.
    • 7.  Keep the alkalinity between 80-140 PPM. Low or high alkalinity can affect water balance and ultimately a sanitizer’s ability to perform.
    • 8.  Check the total dissolved solids level every 6 months and calcium hardness once a month.
    • 9.  Make sure your pool pump is operating properly. A good rule of thumb is to run your pool pump about 1 hour for every 10ยบ of temperature. Proper circulation is imperative to pool health.
    10.  Other Considerations
    • Keep vegetation, animals, chemicals (like fertilizers and ironite) away from and out of the pool. Nitrates from bird droppings and waste from animals and people are food for algae. 
    • Always keep your pool chemicals stored out of direct sunlight. Keep them in a cool dry place. Do NOT store acid and chlorine right next to each other.
    • The more sun exposure your pool has, the more chemicals it will need.  Chlorine, which keeps your pool from turning green, dissipates in direct sunlight. Slow-dissolving chlorine tablets are a good option or adding cyanuric acid, which helps diffuse the sun’s UV rays and makes the chlorine last longer.
    • If you start seeing any cracks around the perimeter of your pool between your deck and your tile, caulk it with a small bead of clear silicon. Do not allow the water to migrate from inside the pool in and under the deck through cracks at this joint. Call a pool company for a consultation if you see this happening. 
    Proper maintenance is necessary for enjoyment of your pool! 
    If you follow these easy tips for cleaning your outdoor swimming pool, you will successfully increase the life span of your pool as well as your enjoyment of your pool.

    A little easy, inexpensive maintenance can avoid large repair or replacement bills. The products mentioned above can be purchased at your local pool store.

    If you have more questions about maintaining your pool or need a Pensacola Pool Company, we recommend our friends at:
    • Chad Parker Pools~ 850-478-0777~
    Happy Swimming!
    Realty Masters of FL  ~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management! 
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Over 45 apartments and homes for rent in the Pensacola area.
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    1. My grandparents had a pool when I was growing up. We were able to swim, but I've never done the maintenance things myself. It sounds a lot more involved than I thought.

    2. I really appreciate on your post.... and I got an usefull information about the matter... I just tried to write the same post...
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