5 minute read

How to Guide for Installing a Swimming Pool

Swimming pool with tools

A swimming pool is an excellent addition to your home. It provides you with a means to exercise, alleviate anxiety and depression and it helps in relieving stress. The beauty of swimming is that it doesn’t have an age limit, making it a great social activity. Additionally, it increases the value of your home.

However, there is more to owning a pool and that is its maintenance. That’s why understanding the basics of pool cleaning methods and hacks will highly pay off. This guide will provide a deeper, step-by-step insight into the cleaning and maintaining of a pool, especially for beginners.

Beginners guide for pool maintenance

There are three main concepts common in pool cleaning. They include:

  • A cleaning schedule

If you often clean a pool, it will become easier to detect a problem as soon as it arises. In addition, it will make cleaning sessions more manageable as there will be little to no dirt.

Some of the essential tools you’ll require for the cleaning sessions are:

  • Pool vacuum
  • Pool brush
  • Net skimmer

A dirty pool poses a risk of bacterial contamination. The contamination is caused by the leaves, twigs and insects that fall into your pool or users of the pool since they carry body residues from shampoos, body oils and hair products.

As a hack, while cleaning, you can either toss a few tennis balls in the skimmer basket or into the pool directly. They help in absorbing surface oils left behind by cosmetics, sunscreens, hair and body oils. Alternatively, you can use baking soda paste as a scouring cleaner to wash the floor and walls of your pool.

You can use an automatic pool cleaner to reduce the cleaning time, but that won’t eliminate regular brushing and skimming. Ensure that you skim, vacuum and brush the pool at least once a week to keep out debris

The more you use your pool, the more frequently you need to clean it. So, below is a pool maintenance schedule divided into four categories. It is a guide to help you understand what to do.

  1. Once a week maintenance task.
  • Shock your water.

 It removes excess bacteria and waste during the deep cleaning session. While cleaning, use a shock chemical; the most common is chlorine. Then, after shocking, make sure to re-balance the water.

  • Brush the walls and clean the floor.

You can clean using a brush for the walls and a vacuum for the floor. To shorten the cleaning time, invest in an automatic pool cleaner.

  1. Twice a week task
  • Use your skimmer basket to catch the floating debris in the pool.
  • Check the water balance.

You can use a test strip to measure the pH level. It should be between 7.2-7.6. Additionally, you should test the chlorine levels. Ensure that it’s not above 3.0 or below 1.0.

  1. Monthly task
  • Check for forming algae.

A small amount of algae is barely noticeable, but it can cause your water to turn green when left alone and unattended. The sight is unpleasant and its presence increases the risk of bacterial infection if it comes into contact with human skin.

At times, you can notice your walls turning a shade of green. It’s common to confuse this with an algae infestation but it can be an indicator of the presence of copper. The build-up is brought about by either low water pH levels or using tap water to refill your pool. Low water pH erodes the copper contained in your system like the filters.

  1. Yearly tasks
  • Inspect your pool system.

Regularly inspect your pool hardware for cracks, leaks, or rust to ensure that everything is in place and working accordingly. Additionally, during the checkups, you should lubricate the O-rings of your filter system(pull and push valve) and pumps.

  • Deep cleaning pool filters.

The cleaning process on your filter will depend on the type of filter in your pool. Deep cleaning will ensure that it’s free from chemical residues for optimum performance.

  • Good water circulation

This process is what separates a pool from looking like a pond. Stagnant water can quickly become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Ideally, the pump should run around the clock. However, this increases your electricity bill. You can let the pump run for at least 10-12 hours per day to conserve power. That is ample time to allow sufficient water circulation.

  • Balance the water chemistry

It is a critical aspect of pool maintenance. However, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Your pool is kept bacteria-free with the help of a pool sanitiser, either bromine or chlorine. In addition, other chemicals are used in combination with the sanitiser. They include:

  • Alkalinity increasers or TA plus
  • Calcium chloride – used to adjust the calcium hardness of the water.
  • Chlorine stabilizer – used when the pool is exposed to the sun.
  • pH decreaser/increaser.
  • Shock treatment.

Main pool components

Whether the pool is a basic outdoor above-ground or an indoor inground pool, they all have four standard components that require regular cleaning. Understanding your pool structure will ensure that it lasts a lifetime with minimal repairs.

  1. Pool water

For the swimming pool structure to be complete, it needs water. Therefore, keeping it clear, clean and balanced will protect you and your loved ones from pollutants and contaminants. Additionally, cleaning the water will save you money since you’ll avoid expensive hardware repairs due to mineral build-up or corrosion.

  1. Filter system

In comparison to a human, the pool filter is its heart and liver. The system is responsible for pumping the water in and out and clearing out any dirt or pollutants in the water, ensuring its safe for use.

  1. A pool interior or liner

All pools must have a liner. They come in different materials concrete, fibreglass or vinyl. As it’s in constant contact with the water, you should clean it regularly to avoid moulds, algae, or debris sticking on the wall.

    2. Skimmers and return jets

The pool skimmers and returns work like human arteries and veins. First, the skimmer takes out the water with debris, hair, and other contaminants through the filter system then, purified water re-enters the pool via the return jets.

How to winterise your pool

Pool owners in the UK have a limited pool time compared to people living along the equator. The open season runs from spring till autumn; then, the pools are closed during winter. If you leave it open and unattended, you’ll have a mess to work with. Additionally, you run the risk of damaging the components in your pool’s internal system.

When it’s one or two weeks towards the winter season, you need to:

  • Deep clean the pool, including backwashing the filter and shocking the water.
  • Lower the water level depending on your cover.
  • Find a fitting winter pool cover and install it.
  • Check your water pump and other pool accessories for leftover water. Frozen water can create significant problems like cracking or spoiling.
  • Empty the chemical feeder.
  • Keep checking the water pH level when not in use for more than two months. An imbalance in pH level can promote the growth of bacteria and algae.

In conclusion, once you get the hang of cleaning the pool, it becomes an enjoyable activity. Otherwise, after cleaning it, have a shower, then proceed to dive into your clean pool for a moment of relaxation.

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