Your spouse is grinning from ear to ear. Your kids are bouncing off the walls asking if they can swim yet. Your family is excited because your brand new swimming pool is finally complete. After the thrill of swimming, relaxing and enjoying your new backyard wears off, it’s important to remember that a pool is a major investment that must be taken care of and maintained on a regular basis. Here are 5 basic things you should understand as a new pool owner.
1. Water Chemistry
Maintaining your water chemistry is perhaps the most important part of owning a pool. This ensures your pool is clean, clear and safe for your family to swim in. There are many components to water chemistry, but the ones you will likely deal with the most are chlorine, pH and alkalinity. Below is a chart of ideal levels for your water chemistry.
There are a couple ways you can manually test your water at home. You can use test strips, which come in a plastic bottle, or use a full-scale test kit with color-coded chemicals you use to test the water. You should test your pool’s water chemistry at least 3 times a week.
2. Pool Circulation
It’s important to understand the anatomy of your pool and the way your equipment works to keep your pool clean and clear. The pump is the heart of your pool. It pulls water from the pool, into your piping and through your filter, heater and chlorinator (if applicable) and pushes clean water back into the pool. The only way your pool is getting clean is by circulating through the filter and chlorinator which is why it’s important to run your pump at least 4-8 hours a day, depending on pool size. Increasingly, homeowners are choosing to outfit their pool with an automation system or timeclock to set the pump on a schedule to run automatically. This avoids some of the manual headache of turning it on and off daily.
3. Cleaning your Pool
Keeping your pool clear of dirt and debris can give it a longer life, avoid clogging and reduce the risk of leaks developing. You should keep your skimmer and pump baskets clear of leaves and debris at all times so your pool’s circulation can run without extra effort on the pump. You can burn out your pump motor quickly if the pump is working too hard because of clogging. It’s also important to keep your pool clear of debris that could potentially cause holes in or staining on your gunite. Your pool’s plaster should last on average 15-20 years before you need to resurface, but you can help extend this by keeping the pool clean.
4. Cleaning your Filter
A dirty filter can reduce your pump’s efficiency by up to 80% because it’s difficult for the water to pass through due to built-up dirt and debris. You should clean your cartridge filter every 3 months and your DE or sand filter every month. Cartridge filter elements can be cleaned with just a simple garden hose, although specific chemicals are available to maximize the cleanliness. Sand and DE filters require backwashing to clean, and full-scale filter element replacement every so often.
It is important to always be aware if your water levels are looking low, as well as notice any holes in the coping or gunite. Unaddressed leaks can slowly cause major structural damage that sometimes is unnoticeable until it’s too late. If you think your water levels are slowly dropping or you notice a hole, call your pool professional for a full-scale analysis to avoid full-scale remodeling costs down the road.
At Artisan Pool & Spa, we want to make your transition to your new pool as seamless as possible. Ask us prior to your pool’s install the equipment solutions we can provide to make pool maintenance easier than ever.
Visit artisanpoolandspa.com today for more information.