How to Care for a Backyard Pool

Pool MaintenanceIn a lot of ways, owning a pool is like owning a fancy car. Both can be great sources of adventure and recreation, and both can serve as visually rewarding status symbols. At the same time, both require maintenance and upkeep in order to stay in prime condition. In the long run, a pool, just like a car, can either mature or depreciate in value, and it largely depends on how much care you put into it.

Responsible Pool Care

Whether you recently installed a pool or are planning a pool design scheme for your property, you’re probably well aware that, despite all the fun it can bring to you and your family and guests, pool ownership is also a chore to some degree. After all, a luxury car can simply be taken in for cleaning, oil changes and repairs, but pool maintenance will call for some hands-on involvement on your part. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to vacuum your pool, clean the filter and maintain a proper balance of the chemicals in the water.

Basic Pool Area Upkeep

If you’re hoping to keep the maintenance work easy, you’ll need to keep the poolside clean and pick things up around the backyard on a semi-weekly basis. Look over the pool for any debris that may float on the surface. Discard this debris away from the pool area so that it doesn’t blow back to where you found it. Trim back any trees or bushes that might be blowing leaves and branches into your pool. Also consider removing nearby greenery that might be a hinderance to the upkeep of your pool.

Vacuuming a Pool

The process of pool vacuuming can at first seem daunting as you visualize the size of your pool, but it’s not too hard to do once you get the hang of it. In essence, vacuuming a pool is like mowing a lawn, and the process typically takes 30 minutes. When you vacuum your pool, you’ll want to have the nozzles turned downward. This will allow you to see more clearly to the bottom of your pool by preventing bubbles from blowing to the surface. The setup of your vacuum can be done in a few easy steps: you simply connect the vacuum to one end of the hose, place the pole over the water and then connect one of the pool jets to the free end of the hose. Once completed, algae can be removed from the pool sides with a nylon brush. One thing to beware of is a floating hose, which would be a telltale sign of either a weakened suction or a hole in the hose.

Adjusting Chemicals in Your Pool

Sanitation is an important aspect of pool safety, so you’ll need to ensure that the chemicals in the water are balanced properly. To achieve that goal, the chemistry of your pool should be tested on a weekly basis. If the pH is under 7.4, adjust it with soda ash; if it’s over 7.6, adjust it with muriatic acid. When the chlorine drops under 1 ppm, add more chlorine – preferably of the lithium variety – to your pool with a water bucket.

Filter Maintenance

The best types of pool filters are diatomaceous earth (DE) and cartridges. While some older pools are equipped with sand filters, pool owners are advised to replace these with either a DE or cartridge unit. Filter bags should be emptied every two weeks and routinely replaced at 2-3 year intervals. As for cleaning out the pump catcher, you simply unscrew the basket and empty all the lint and hair into the trash. The water level of your pool should be replenished if it’s anything less than half way up the mouth of the well.

As with any community, pool construction in Westchester County is a vast undertaking that, once completed, entails regular intervals of care and maintenance from there on out. To ensure that your investment in a pool remains both a source of pleasure for your household and a boon to the value of your property, it’s important to keep the water balanced, the surroundings neat and the tiles, walls and filters clean on a consistent basis.


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