Ah, the pool. From the The Sandlot to It’s a Wonderful Life, pools have featured prominently in movies and pop culture. Some would argue that they’re as key to the American childhood as peanut butter and jelly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the United States. We really, really like swimming. Taking a swim in a pool on a hot summer day, whether it’s the local community pool, a friend’s pool, or even a baby pool, is the best way to stay cool in the summer.
Should you be lucky enough to own your own blue slice of heaven, you know the ever present and endless drudgery of pool care. The part they don’t show in the movies. The part that includes cajoling the kids to skim the bugs out, constantly checking chlorine and water levels, and finding hapless frogs in the filter. The part that constantly reminds people not to pee in the pool (fun fact: 1 in 5 people have ADMITTED to peeing in the pool). That warm spot you just swam through? Not ideal.
The average person swims in a pool only six times a year. Why? Time? Access? Pool cleanliness? If you’re a pool owner, what should you do to ensure you made a good investment and actually use your swimming pool? Nothing is worse than wanting to take a swim and walking outside to see a green pool.
Luckily for you, we’ve scoured the world wide web and put together a quick list of the most important things you should do to maintain your pool, save money, and enjoy your home.
According to Home Advisor, daily maintenance first begins with skimming your pool. Skimming grabs debris before it sinks to the bottom, causing stains, build up, or clogging your pool filter. The more clogged your filter, the less efficient it will be, the more money you will spend fixing it. Skim by hand or try a robotic pool skimmer, like Skimdevil’s newest model, coming out spring 2020, the Skimdevil Pure. Skimming by hand can take 20-30 minutes and should be done every 1-2 days. Save time and money and invest in that robotic pool skimmer (weird, like the Skimdevil, right?) - bonus points if it uses solar power. :)
Vacuuming. Ever race a friend to the other end of the pool and bump into that creepy long vacuum hose? That vacuum is sucking up anything your pool skimmer didn’t catch and helping to maintain the neutral pH balance of your pool.
- Brush a brush a brushaaaa. Give the sides of your pool a good scrub down about 1x a week. You can brush the sides manually or with a robotic brush/vacuum system.
Investing in an energy efficient pool pump and filter. Your pump and filter shouldn’t be running 24/7. It is suggested that you only run your pump and filter for an average of 8 hours per day. That can fluctuate depending on the size of your pool. Spend the money to invest in a system that won’t run up your electric bill...or run away with your wallet.
- Monitor your pH and keep it neutral—ideally between 7.4-7.6. Let’s take it back to high school chemistry class—a pH of 0-7 is an acid; a pH of 7-14 is a base. If it’s too high drop some muriatic acid in. If it’s too low, drop a base, like a shock treatment, in the pool. If you don’t want to deal with any of this, hire a pool company or talk to a local pool store. They can help you figure out how to regulate the chemical balance of your swimming pool.
- Alternatively? Use a pool cover or retractable pool enclosure. It keeps debris out, warmth in, and slows down evaporation. Losing pool water can throw off the pH of your pool. We know this takes away a big part of the cleaning process, but let's be honest, it's not as pleasing to the eye as an uncovered aquamarine paradise.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but just the quick hits of pool maintenance. There are a lot more deep internet holes of pool threads that you can fall into (see: Reddit) as you search for the perfect system that fits your lifestyle.
Until next time, happy swimming.