Preventative maintenance, just like you would do on your automobile or home, will go a long way in reducing lifecycle cost on your swimming pool. Heed the advice below and save time, money and hassle. None of this is hard; it is just a matter of making it a habit.
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- Clean out skimmer basket(s) weekly, or as needed if conditions exist. The skimmer is installed in the side of the pool and its primary job is to skim the surface of the pool before debris and contaminants become saturated and float down to the bottom of the pool. Everything in your pool enters at the surface of the water, the effective the skimmer is, the more stuff it can skim off the pool the better. There is a round access panel on your deck, open it up and dump the contents of the basket as needed. Keep it cleaned out at all times.
- Check pool chemistry 1-2 times per week during the summer and once per 1-2 weeks in the winter. pH should be kept between 7.2 and 7.8 the lower the pH on this scale the less chlorine your pool will need. Why? Because as pH rises chlorine starts becoming less and less active therefor many consumers just keep adding it. Chlorine at 7.0 pH id about 50% active and at 8.0 is about 10% active. Control pH properly and you will need and use much less chlorine. See chart at bottom optimal pool test results.
- Check your water level when you are out near your pool, is it too high or too low? Your water needs to be right at the center level of your pool skimmer or pool tile for optimal results and performance. If it is low, it can run the pump dry and burn it up, or if too high, the skimmer door will not work properly. That door keeps the debris in the skimmer.
- Clean the hair and lint pot located on the front of the pool pump every couple of weeks or as needed. Turn off the pump to do this and release pressure on the system. This is the basket installed just inside the clear glass of you swimming pool pump. People with any of the various styles of will rarely need to do this. Instead, they will clean out the debris catcher or leaf basket. I highly recommend a leaf trapper, debris removal system on all pools, especially new ones. Get a variable speed or 2-speed pumps sooner than later if you have not upgraded already. The variable speed pump will easily pay for itself relatively quickly. I started using these multi-speed pumps 20 years ago. They are worth the initial expense.
Optimal Swimming Pool Chemical Ranges for Desert Pools
Keep your pool’s chemical readings in these ranges:
- PH: 7.2 to 7.8 (I generally keep it on the LOW end)
- Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 250-450 ppm (The valley has high calcium; as a result, this is not always possible, so don’t drive yourself crazy over it.
- Cyanuric Acid or Conditioner: 30-50 ppm (Remember Tri-Chlor tablets already have conditioner built into it)
- Chorine residual: 1.0 to1.5 pm; up to 2.0 in the summer with ozone, 3.0 without
- Combined chlorine: 0 ppm. By managing pool chemistry right, you will substantially reduce the amount of chlorine needed. Much of it is wasted.