10 low maintenance tips to a sparkling summer pool
Summer hit with a vengeance in many parts of Australia – and with high temperatures predicted for the rest of the season, the country’s swimming pools are going to be in high demand. Which is why it’s vital to maintain your pool to ensure it’s always as ready for a dip as your family and friends.
The warmer weather might make for a more enjoyable swim, but heat, humidity and long hours of sunshine can help algae grow, which compromises your pool water’s quality and look.
“The best defense against algae is chlorine,” says Swimart’s Australasian manager Chris Fitzmaurice. “With ongoing hot weather, pools don’t get the chance to cool down overnight, so the chlorine demand remains high.”
Phosphates, which algae feed on, also affect pool water quality. Phosphates enter pool water from a variety of sources including dust, rain, runoff from lawns and gardens, bird and bat droppings, dogs, top up water and leaves, and chlorine alone can’t eliminate them.
“Water balance is key to a healthy pool and for chlorine to work effectively,” says Chris. “If the pH is too high, chlorine becomes less effective and the water quickly becomes become dull and cloudy. This can be addressed by adding acid to the pool water.
“However, if the pH is too low, the water will start to hurt your eyes and skin and make you feel itchy,” he explains. “It can also etch away the surface of the pool and cause scaling on the exterior of your pool and salt chlorinator. However, this can be fixed by adding ‘buffer’ or alkali.”
Top 10 tips to a sparkling summer pool
Swimart’s professional pool technicians have created a simple 10-point plan to help you maintain your pool with minimal effort over the hectic summer period. That means more time to relax, cool off and enjoy your pool, and less time and money keeping it in peak swimming condition.
- Check your pool’s chlorine and pH level every two days, especially after a period of heavy usage and after a particularly hot day or period of solid rain
- Clean out your skimmer basket and hair and lint pot in your filtration pump weekly
- To re-balance pool water, take a sample from elbow depth away from the pool returns and take it to your local Swimart pool store to be professionally tested
- Use a quality algaecide like Aqua-Health Concide to keep algae at bay
- Operate the filtration system 6-8 hours a day
- Regularly check sanitiser levels, ideally on a daily basis
- Check Total Alkalinity (TA) weekly with a test kit or by taking a sample to your local Swimart store
- Thoroughly backwash your sand or DE filter, or remove and clean the cartridge from your cartridge filter with a hose, depending on pool use
- Maintain the water level at least half way up to the skimmer box opening
- Regularly brush or vacuum pool walls and floor
Going away this summer?
Whether you’re heading overseas for an extended vacation with the family or visiting interstate friends for a few days, then now is a good time to roll out the pool cover. Also known as a pool blanket, covers save water by reducing evaporation and heat loss and keeping leaves and other contaminants out of your pool. They also help preserve the chemical balance of your pool’s water so you don’t return home to green, unhealthy pool water.