From opening your pool in the spring to closing your pool in the fall and everything in between, there are a number of tasks that new pool owners have to learn. To help you pick up the process, Tredway Pools is here to offer the ultimate pool care guide for new pool owners.
Pool Opening Checklist
If you decide to open your pool on your own, be sure to clean the pool cover before removing it to keep any dirt or debris that has settled on the cover out of the pool. Check your pool cover for rips or damage. If you see that it needs to be replaced, get a new pool cover ordered so that when it comes time to cover the pool again, you have a cover ready. If your winter cover is in good shape, make sure that it is clean and dry before storing it away for the summer.
Next, remove any winterizing plugs. Refill the pool to the proper water level. Then, test your pool water. You can use test strips, or you can bring a water sample to the store, and we will test it for you. If you’re testing yourself, check the alkalinity, pH balance, and the calcium hardness. The pool filter will also need a good cleaning. In addition, your pool should be examined carefully to see if any problems might have developed over the winter — look for loose tiles, cracks, etc. Then, go ahead and reinstall all of the items that you removed before winterizing the pool.
As always, if you’d rather leave the job to the professionals, feel free to contact Tredway Pools about opening your pool for you. Also, for a list of things to prepare before opening your pool, check out our blog, springtime pool opening checklist.
Pool Care Upkeep
Once your pool is open for the season, pool maintenance is the main task. Weekly pool maintenance is necessary to keep your pool in good working order. Several times a week, you should be checking your pool walls for algae, keeping the pool free of any debris, and checking the water chemistry. Check the water level as well to make sure that your pump can operate correctly. Also, check on your skimmer to make sure it is removing debris from the pool and empty the skimmer baskets frequently.
A pool pump is an important tool. It keeps your pool water circulating. The pump keeps the water moving through the filter. All of the water in the pool needs to pass through the filter at least once a day. Your pump size should be based on the number of gallons of water your pool holds. The pump needs to be able to move all of the pool water through the filter at least once in an eight hour period. To save on electricity costs, set your pump to run during non-peak hours.
At least twice a month, you should be rinsing your pool filter, backwashing, shocking the pool water, vacuuming the pool, and taking a water sample in for professional testing. Keep an eye on your pool equipment (like the pump and filter) to make sure that it is working properly. Make sure that the ladder, handrail, and diving board are firmly attached. Check your pool liner for holes and your pool walls for cracks, depending on the type of pool that you own.
There are different types of filters. Depending on the filter you have, the cleaning methods will vary a little. A cartridge filter can be taken out, cleaned, and put back in. If the cartridge is damaged, it will need to be replaced. A sand filter can be backwashed; but, it will have to be chemically cleaned once annually. A DE (diatomaceous earth) filter can also be backwashed but needs to be chemically cleaned a couple of times a year.
Chemical Pool Care
It’s important that you always have all of the necessary pool chemicals on hand. If you are not sure exactly which pool chemicals you need, contact Tredway Pools. We will be happy to point you in the right direction. And remember to wear protective gear such as chemical-resistant gloves and safety goggles when handling pool chemicals.
If you are looking for an alternative to chlorine for keeping your pool clean, there are other options. One alternative is Biguanide. It not only keeps the water soft but also keeps it clean. With Biguanide, the pH levels of your pool water are not altered. Bioguard® Soft Swim® has a three-step program that not only keeps algae from growing but also sanitizes and cleans the pool water.
If you decide to stick with chlorine, there are several ways that you can make your chlorine last longer. Chlorine stabilizers such as Cyanuric Acid make your chlorine more resilient. Clarifiers help get rid of small particles before they pass through the filter; the filter does not always catch everything. Testing your pool chemistry regularly extends the life of your chlorine. Algaecides also help reduce chlorine’s workload.
Pool Closing Checklist
When it comes time to close your pool, it’s a great idea to have a pool closing checklist on hand. Start by removing any objects from the pool including toys and floats. Inspect your pool cover for cracks and tears. Or, consider getting an automatic pool cover. Automatic pool covers are very beneficial in that they provide added safety. They can also save you money in the long run on operation costs and pool chemical usage. Tredway Pools can install, service, and repair an automatic pool cover for you.
Before beginning the process, make sure that you have all of the necessary chemicals and supplies on hand. Clean the pool thoroughly. Use the skimmer and then vacuum the pool. Check your pool chemistry a few days before you are planning to close the pool to make sure that everything is at the right levels. You can also have us do a free pool water testing for you.
After ensuring that the pool chemistry is right, shock the pool water. Then add an algaecide after making sure that your chlorine is at the right level first. Next, the filter needs to be thoroughly cleaned. If you are not sure of the best way to clean your filter, ask the professionals at Tredway Pools. Lower the water level in the swimming pool to just below the skimmer. Blowing out the pipes with the proper equipment is the next step; you want to make sure that the pipes are free of water so that there is no risk of freezing and cracking. Remove any ladders, hoses, or pumps. The last step is putting the cover on.
If this closing process sounds a bit overwhelming to you, call the professionals at Tredway Pools to schedule your pool closing.
Here to Help with Pool Care
This ultimate pool care guide for new pool owners is a great starting point for learning about pool care. The longer you have your pool, the more familiar you will become with its needs. Some of the things that need to be done will be specific to the type of pool and equipment you have. But proper maintenance is an important key for any type of pool. Contact us at Tredway Pools for all of your pool questions at 260-489-5596.