Having a swimming pool in the backyard is a life-saver for homeowners, especially during the warmer months when the sun is shining bright.
From a soak after a long day at work to enjoying pool parties and barbecues, swimming pools are a great stress-reliever that helps improve quality of life and boosts home value.
However, like every costly investment, swimming pools also require regular cleaning, balancing, and upkeep to stay sparkling and swim-ready.
Neglecting pool upkeep can have severe consequences, including murky water, broken pumps, clogged filters, and algae build-up.
This pool maintenance checklist will teach you everything you need to know about maintaining your swimming pool and avoid costly mistakes.
Should you hire a pool service company?
Every pool is different and so are its maintenance needs. Some homeowners hire pool service companies to look after their swimming pools and keep them in great shape, while others are DIYers and prefer to care for their swimming pools themselves.
If you are more of a DIYer, follow these valuable tips to stay on top of pool maintenance and keep the water clean and inviting and the swimming pool looking great for years:
Test the pool chemistry
Maintaining the pool water balance is one of the most vital aspects of pool upkeep. Poor water chemistry can turn the water cloudy, irritate eyes and skin, and harbors bacteria, leaving the pool unhygienic for swimming.
Pool owners should test the water quality weekly during summers. We recommend using standard pool test strips that quickly & efficiently give you an overall reading of your pool chemistry.
If you don’t know the chemical levels in your swimming pool, it will be almost impossible to properly maintain your water chemistry.
Quick tip: Always keep the pH levels between 7.2 and 7.8 and chlorine concentration between 1-3 ppm to avoid algae growth, acidic water, and damaging your pool system.
Skim surface debris with a net
Use a pool net attached to a maintenance pole to clear the water surface of leaves, bugs, and other debris daily. If not removed regularly, the organic materials settle at the pool’s bottom, making cleaning harder by creating stains.
Skimming is essential to enhance the efficiency of the circulation system and lower the chlorine demand. Yes, most pools come with skimmer baskets that collect surface debris, but manual skimming is still necessary! Empty your skimmer baskets once a week for better pool filtration.
Empty pump basket
The hair and lint pot, or pump basket, is located inside the pump and collects debris that makes its way past through the skimmer basket.
When cleaning the pump basket, make sure the pool system is completely off, and the valves are turned so water is not escaping the pump when opened.
Depending on the pool use and weather, consider cleaning the pump basket every 2-3 weeks.
Clean pool filter
The filter is a vital pool component that works to eliminate impurities from the water. A dirty or clogged filter impacts water circulation and can turn the swimming pool green and cloudy, even with the correct chemical balance.
Sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth (D.E. filters) are the three types of pool filters. Each of these filters has a different cleaning process but requires periodic cleaning depending on the pool use.
Quick tip: Clean the pool filters every three months. If you have a pressure gauge attached to your pool filter, the general range of pressure should be between 10-25 pounds per square inch (PSI).
Check with your pool service company or filter manufacturer to get exact pressure readings for your pool filter.
Check water levels
A swimming pool loses water due to evaporation or while splashing or leaving the pool. Check the water levels regularly and ensure it does not go below the skimmer level.
Lower water levels can cause the pump to run dry and suffer damage, while too high levels can affect the functioning of the skimmer door, leaving debris inside the pool.
Use a garden hose to add water when the level goes down and a submersible pump to drain excess water if it is too high. Do not forget to test the chemicals after the water reaches the desired level. It is usual for fluctuations in water level to off-balance the water chemistry.
Vacuuming and Brushing
Weekly vacuuming deep cleans the swimming pool and reduces chemical requirements. Consistent pool vacuum maintenance will not only collect debris from your pool floor, but it will also collect thin dust caused by organic contaminants that settle on the pool floor.
A good vacuum head and hose will make or break your vacuuming experience. Look for a heavy vacuum head and a vacuum hose with swivel head technology. We use a Pentair Flexibler Rainbow Vacuum Head because it stays glued to the pool floor and allows for extremely smooth movements.
Regularly brush the walls and tiles to remove dirt, grime, calcium deposits and minimize algae build-up. Although it is a tedious task, this is one of the best ways to extend the life of your pool liner.
For small particles that are too light to sink to the bottom of your pool, consider using a flocculant. Super floc-out is a liquid chemical that clumps together and settles small particles which allows your filter or vacuum maintenance to dispose of them.
Shocking or super chlorinating the pool should be a part of every pool owner’s weekly pool maintenance.
Pool shocking is the process of getting rid of bacteria and organic contaminants by adding a significant amount of chlorine to your pool. Be careful and take necessary precautions during super chlorinating.
Shock the pool at night with chlorine-based shock or during the day while using a non-chlorine shocking agent. Shocking is a great way to keep pool water clear and clean.
Use a tennis ball
It may seem odd, but yes, a tennis ball can help keep a pool clean. When swimmers exit the pool, they leave behind oils, including natural body oils, hair products, and suntan lotions. To remove these oils from the water, toss a tennis ball into the water, and its fibers will absorb the oil to make the pool appear cleaner.
Clean pool deck
Cleaning and maintaining the area around the swimming pool is equally essential. Power washing the pool deck a few times during the pool season keeps it shining and removes rust, dirt, and stains that develop on the surface over time.
If you have a salt system, this step is extremely important to avoid the deterioration of your pool deck from the salt.
It is vital to regularly monitor the swimming pool structure to look for cracks, leaks, and other issues.
Keeping the pool well-maintained and clean is essential to enjoy it fully. These swimming pool maintenance tips ensure that the swimming pool does not face any major issues during the swimming season.
While these DIY tips are beneficial, nothing matches the pool servicing, cleaning, and maintenance by a professional pool service company.
Pros have the specialized knowledge, tools, and equipment to check pool pumps, filters, and heating systems and ensure that the pool is in superior shape and all of its systems and equipment are fully functional.
Contact Royal Pool Service, a local pool service company, if you need any assistance with pool maintenance.