As a pool owner, it’s critical that you maintain your pool throughout the year, especially if it’s open year-round. However, many pool owners fall prey to the same, easy-to-make mistakes, which results in damage to the pool, equipment and safety of your water. Avoid these four common swimming pool maintenance mistakes this season.
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.
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 2 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 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.
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.
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.