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A Beginner's Guide to Swimming Pool Maintenance

By Laci - Updated On: 04/22/20

Regardless of where you live or how frequent it's used, pool maintenance is an important factor in having a
healthy pool. Maintenance can consist of anything from removing debris, balancing water chemistry, or
maintaining the pool's equipment. Your pool requires attention. And while you’ve already got a lot of things
to do this weekend, the cleaning and maintenance for your swimming pool needs to be a priority.

We've compiled all the need-to-know life-hacks to making maintaining your swimming pool easier no matter if you have an inground or above ground pool. We're also calling out the most common pool maintenance mistakes. (Don't do these!)

Here's your scoop... 

MUST HAVE POOL MAINTENANCE PRODUCTS

At Royal Swimming Pools, we make getting started with your pool maintenance quick and easy by beginning your pool on E-Z Pool. Why? Because no one wants to be a chemist on the weekends.With these items, there's no guessing or measuring out multiple products in order to get pristine water conditions.It's just easy. 

E-Z POOL

E-Z Pool is a proven water care program that combines simplicity with incredible water quality in a once-a-week application.Did you catch that? Only once a week! Leaving you much more time to actually enjoy your pool instead of maintaining it. 

This is a specially blended, multi-tasking formula for proactively managing swimming pool water while eliminating the confusion and inconvenience of adding multiple chemicals on a continuous basis.

E-Z Pool can also be used for your winterizing routine come time to close your pool for the season. Which we'll cover more on in just a moment. 

EZ POOL or

Make it E-Z Here!

REVIVE!

Your Royal Swimming Pools install team will have also used Revive! when your pool was initially installed. A multi-action product that uniquely removes phosphates (algae food), metals including copper and iron, scaling carbonates, organic debris and other contaminants that cause cloudy murky water. (Seriously, even if your pool looks like a swamp monster's favorite vacation spot.) See more REVIVE! before and after pictures here.

Royal Swimming Pools easy pool Maintenance

Revive is formulated for use on new pools, remodel/refills, spring openings, abandoned pools, and severe algae cleanups of all swimming pools (like your child's pool party where no one left the pool for 5 straight hours after going through 6 cases of lemonade). Revive! It's compatible with all pool chemicals sanitizers, and finishes. If you get in a jam, reach for your Revive!

Revive! comes in a larger container (shown below) for heavy duty start-up or clean-up needs. But it also comes in a smaller options meant to be used with your weekly E-Z Pool routine to be proactive against pool contaminants. 

Revive or

 

Revive Your Pool Here!

 

MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

WEEKLY

  • Check the water levels to ensure that the pump can work efficiently
  • Test the water and adjust the pH if necessary
  • Test the chlorine levels in the pool water
  • Test and adjust the alkalinity
  • Test oxidizer and stabilizer levels and adjust if needed
  • Inspect the pool water and check for clarity and algae growth
  • Remove any leaves or debris from the bottom of the pool, skimmer basket, and skim the surface of
    the water to remove debris
  • Add the appropriate amounts of weekly chlorine or oxidize pool with one scoop (1/2lb) of E-Z POOL
    per 10,000 gallons of pool water.
  • Check the filter pressure and backwash if necessary
  • If using E-Z Pool + Revive! Weekly, no chock should be needed. Otherwise, shock the pool at least
    once every 2 weeks to eliminate contaminants and restore clarity to the water.


MONTHLY

  • If using E-Z Pool, test and balance pool as needed.
  • Test the calcium hardness and adjust accordingly
  • Test the total alkalinity
  • Clean the filter
  • Inspect equipment such as pump and filter for proper functioning
  • If your pool has a liner, inspect the liner for holes and tears and make any necessary repairs
  • If you have a concrete, gunite, or fiberglass pool, inspect for cracks.
  • Check all other pool equipment including ladders, handrails, diving boards, etc. to make sure
    nothing is loose and it is working properly

Swimming pool maintenance schedule

Shop Maintenance Kits

 

HOW TO TEST YOUR WATER

One of the most important jobs when owning a pool is testing the water regularly. There are 4 main tests to
be performed:

  • pH
  • Chlorine
  • Total alkalinity
  • Calcium hardness

While it is unrealistic to think that most people will test their pool on a daily basis, it is recommended that
you do so once a week at minimum. This will help to ensure clean, healthy water for your pool.

HOW TO TEST YOUR POOL WATER


TEST STRIPS & KITS

Test strips are the cheapest, easiest, and quickest way to test your pool water.

  1. Dip the test strip into the pool and swirl it around for about 30 seconds.
  2. Then compare the colors on the test strip to the colors on the bottle.

While these are definitely easy to use, they also tend to be the least accurate.

There are digital testing kits. These kits are easy to use and popular among health departments. While these are more expensive to purchase, they are the most accurate kits for testing your pool water.

Finally, there are Reagent test kits, where you drop reagents into the water sample. These kits rely on the eye of the tester to make accurate color comparisons

Purchase a Water Test Kit Here


BALANCING PH

pH is the measure of how acid/ alkaline the swimming pool water is. The pH of the human body is 7.2. This
may conclude why this number is also perfect for the pool. When pH drops below 7.0 the water becomes
acidic. Anything above 7.0 is alkaline

  • LOW pH PROBLEMS
    • Low pH can cause your liner to dissolve, corrosion of all the metals associated with your pool (ladders,rails, pumps, filters, valves, etc), staining from the metal corrosion, rapid dissipation of chlorine resulting in having to use more & more, and dry & itchy skin.
  • HIGH pH PROBLEMS
    • High pH can cause scaling or calcium buildup on pool surfaces, waterline and accessories,dull or cloudy
      water,clogging of filter medium or elements,dry itchy skin, and drop in disinfection potential of chlorine
      resulting in algae growth.
  • KEEPING pH BALANCED
    • Use E-Z Pool + Revive! Weekly toensure a balanced pH. If using these items on a weekly basis and not getting a balanced pH when testing contact (800) 407-9964 or info@apiwater.com

 

POOL CLOSING AND OPENING

ANNUAL WINTER CLOSING

  • Balance the water levels: pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness
  • Run the filter continuously for about 24 hours
  • E-Z Pool Winter Dosage: 1lb (2 scoops) per 5,000
    gallons. For best results, run the pump for 30
    minutes prior to closing.
  • Make sure that you have drained all of your pipes and
    pool plumbing as water expands when it freezes and
    can cause your pipes to burst. You can blow the
    water out from these plumbing lines by using a shop
    vac or by backwashing the pool filter.
  • Lower the water levels to avoid freezing and blow out
    the lines to remove any excess water
  • Thoroughly clean the pool by vacuuming and
    removing all debris
  • Remove skimmer baskets, ladders, and other exterior
    pool equipment
  • Place a winter cover or safety cover over your pool.
  • Add air pillows to protect your pool walls as needed
    and use a cover pump as needed.

EZ Pool Winter closing dosage for easy winterizing

Annual Spring Pool opening Guide

ANNUAL SPRING OPENING

  • Net leaves and pump water off of the swimming pool cover
  • Remove the cover from the swimming pool. Clean and fold the swimming pool cover prior to storing
  • Add E-Z-Pool per dosage on the bucket
  • Add water to the pool & start the pump- When the swimming pool water is 3/4 the way up the
    skimmer opening, start the pool pump. The multi-port position on your pool filter should be on rinse
    for about 30 seconds before being switched to the filter position.
  • Net any leaves or debris from the swimming pool - If the pool is dirty it should also be vacuumed.
  • Brush the swimming pool walls and floor
  • Add Revive! !to the swimming pool, in place of shock
  • Circulate the swimming pool pump for 24-48 hrs. - Keep the pump running so that all the water in
    the pool will be run through the filter, cleansing it from any bacteria and making it safe to swim in.
  • Now that the water has circulated, vacuum the pool if it is needed.
  • Check the swimming pool water's pH - Use test strips to check the swimming pool water pH and
    adjust as needed (use baking soda to raise the total alkalinity).
  • Backwash the sand filter or clean the DE or cartridge filter as per instructions.

COMMON MAINTENANCE MISTAKES

MISTAKE #1: DRAINING THE WATER

Do not drain more than one-third of the water from the pool. Draining a vinyl liner swimming pool can cause the liner to dry out or shrink. This would cause far more headaches than solutions and typically results in needing to replace the liner. Draining your vinyl liner pool may seem like a good idea when opening it for the summer, however, you can do all the cleaning and maintenance necessary with the water still inside. Just use your Revive! 

How to Test your pool water


MISTAKE #2: NOT MONITORING THROUGHOUT THE SEASON

So you took all the necessary steps to prep your pool for summer, but you haven’t tested your water in two months. Unfortunately, water testing is an integral part of pool maintenance and must be done at least once a week; if your pool is used nearly every day, you should check the water twice a week. You may need to add more chlorine or E-Z Pool + Revive Weekly and balance out the pH, among other things that could be specific to your pool. Keeping your pool water maintained with regular water tests will ensure clean, clear water all season long.

MISTAKE #3: TURNING OFF YOUR PUMP

When there is no water flowing in your pool (your pump is off), the pool can become a breeding ground for bacteria growth. When your pump is running and water is flowing, your filter is able to do its job and water is not allowed to settle which helps keep bacteria from growing. Sunlight assists bacteria in growing, so especially in the hot summer sun, it is very important to keep the water flowing to ensure bacteria does not have a chance to grow. If you want to save money where you can, leave the pump on for 7 to 8 hours per day (during the daytime) and closely monitor the water to be sure bacteria isn’t growing and that water levels are remaining the same. If there are issues with imbalances, return to a 24-hour pump schedule to be sure the water stays clean. Or save time and money by investing in a pump timer (because they pay for themselves quicker than you may think)!

Shop Pool Pump Timers


MISTAKE #4: IGNORING YOUR FILTER

You must keep your filter clean throughout the pool season. Frequency of cleaning will vary depending on the filter type, amount of pool use, and the number of contaminates in the area. A good rule of thumb is to clean/backwash the filter when the gauge on the filter rises about 10 PSI more than what it was when it was clean. Different types of filters will have different PSI reading when they are clean of any debris. Be sure to note what your filter’s “clean” PSI reading is so that you can clean/backwash the filter at the appropriate time.

BASIC SAND FILTER FUNCTIONS

No, not everyone has a sand filter. But it is the most commonly asked about filtration type and we wanted to cover some ins and outs of having one. 

A sand filter uses a multi-port valve to operate the filter which removes dirt, algae and visible contaminants that enter a swimming pool. You must operate the filter system at least eight to twelve hours per day in order to remove wastes effectively.

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FILTER: Use for normal filtration or vacuuming the pool.

BACKWASH: Is used to clean filter sand. Turn pump off, set multi-port valve to backwash, restart pump for several minutes or until site glass shows clear water. Then rinse filter.(see Rinse below).

RINSE: To clean water inside filter tank. Turn pump off, set multi-port valve to rinse, restart pump and run clean water through the system for one minute. This process should also be done every time filter sand is added or replaced.

WASTE: Use for vacuuming heavy concentrations of dirt directly to waste. This action bypasses the filter bed. It also can be used to  lower the water level or drain the pool to the bottom of the skimmer.

CLOSED: Use for shutting off the flow to the filter and pool. Make sure your pump is off when using this function.

WINTER: Used when closing a pool in areas especially where water can freeze. Be sure to remove all drain plugs from pump and filter system. Winter plugs can be stored in pump basket for safe keeping until spring. Pump and filter must be completely drained as expanding water can cause damage and is not covered under warranty.

RE-CIRCULATE: Use for bypassing the filter tank. It is useful during extended periods away from the pool. This function permits automatic chlorinating systems to maintain proper chlorine levels while eliminating concern over pressure build-up in the filter. This also works well if your sand filter tank is leaking or has cracked.

WE'RE HERE FOR YOU!

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