Your swimming pool is a worthy investment in your home and brings great joy to your family during the hot summer months. Though keeping your pool water crystal clear and sparkling takes some effort. Forming a routine and checking your pool water regularly will take the hassle out of keeping the water clear and hygienic. So putting in a little effort on a regular basis will prevent a lot of headaches in the long run. This article will give you some valuable tips on how to keep your pool water clear this summer.
PH and Chemicals
Chlorine is the most important chemical used to keep pool water clean. In really hot weather it is a good idea to check the chlorine level daily or, at least twice a week throughout the summer. The correct chlorine level for a swimming pool is between 1 and 3 parts per million (PPM). Chlorine kills bacteria so it’s an important part of pool hygiene and keeping the water clear.
At least once week, you should check the PH level with a pool test kit or PH probe. You want the PH level of your pool to be between 7.2 and 7.6. The correct PH level will help prevent irritation to your eyes and skin. It also helps reduce algae growth and keeps the pool water from becoming cloudy or green. If the PH level of your pool is higher than recommended, you’ll need to add pool acid – Muriatic acid or sodium bisulphate are usually used for this. To increase the pool PH level when it’s too low, you’ll need to add an alkaline like sodium carbonate.
Through the summer, you need to shock treat your pool to boost the chlorine level and make sure that germs don’t get the better of you. Some say using a shock treatment once a week is the way to go, though I think this is a little excessive. Adding an extra dose of chlorine or a shock treatment roughly once a month should be fine.
Algae is the pool’s worst enemy. It can creep up on you unnoticed. When algae takes a hold, it’s extremely difficult to get rid of and will turn pool water green if left unattended. Even if you can’t see any algae growing in your pool, you should dose it with an algaecide at least once through the summer. Once you actually see the algae, your job becomes all the more difficult. So this is one case where the term prevention is better than cure is one to abide by.
Use and maintain your pool pump correctly
Circulating your pool water through the filtration system is a vital aspect to keeping the water clear. Your pump needs to run at least 8-hours per day and at the correct pressure. Your pool filtration system collects fine debris in the filters and this helps to keep your pool healthy and perfectly clear.
As the filters collect debris, the pressure will increase as the water flow is restricted. When the pressure is higher than normal, this is an indication that the filter needs to be backwashed. Backwashing the pool filter reverses the water flow thorough it. In doing this, it cleans out the dirt that has collected inside the filter system.
If you’re using a DE filter, you’ll need to replenish the DE after every backwash. Sand filters need the sand changed every few years. There’s no exact rule as to when sand needs replacing and it will depend a lot on how hard your filter works. Cartridge filters will differ according the manufacturer specification and these should be cleaned or replaced as directed.
Skimming your pool
While the pool filter traps fine debris and even algae, it doesn’t always remove large debris like leaves and organic material that float on the pool surface. As these break down, they can turn your pool green and promote algae growth. So it’s important to skim your pool daily or install an automatic pool skimmer that will do the job for you every time the pump operates.
After a storm or heavy winds, it’s vital to skim your pool and check all your chemical levels. Rain water or even the ionic effect of storm conditions can affect your pool’s chlorine and PH levels. There will be large amounts of debris that are blown into the pool or washed in by rain water and this makes it so important that you skim your pool after a storm. Even if you have an automatic pool skimmer, it won’t easily cope with the extra debris that follows a storm, so you’ll have to help things along by skimming it with a net.
Apart from skimming, you’ll obviously have to clean your pool, at least once a week, with a pool vacuum. Automatic pool cleaners will take most of the effort out of keeping your pool clean and clear through the summer.