Cleaning & Basic Care
- Most swimming pools have two baskets that collect debris while they filter system is running. One basket is called the skimmer basket and the other is the pump basket.
The skimmer basket sits in the pool skimmer, which is right next to the pool. The skimmer basket collects anything that is on the surface of the water as the pump is running. The pump basket sits in the pool pump itself. It collects anything that is moving through the pool plumbing, to protect the pump from being clogged.
It is good practice to empty both the skimmer basket and the pump basket every week. You may also want to check on the baskets immediately after a windy day that may have caused a lot of leaves and debris to fall into the pool. When you empty the pump basket be sure to clean the o-ring that seals the pump lid to the pump. If the o-ring is dried out you will want to use a silicone lubricant to keep it from cracking. If the o-ring is in good condition, the pump will seal easily. Do not over t...
- Brushing the walls of the pool is one of the most important steps in maintaining any swimming pool. Brushing should be done on a weekly basis to prevent algae from being able to take hold. While chlorine will easily kill algae spores in the water, the tiny pits and valleys of pool plaster can provide algae a safe haven in which to grow. Fiberglass pools are notorious for developing a slimy layer on the surface of the walls if they are not
Regular brushing will also keep any dirt that has accumulated in the pool from staining the pool plaster or liner. Dirt that is allowed to sit untouched for long periods of time will cause discoloration to the pool surface.
How to Brush a Pool
When you are brushing a swimming pool, be sure that you cover every foot of the walls from the tile line all the way down to the pool floor. If you only brush the areas that you can see dirt you will not be removing the microscopic spores that can lead to an algae outbreak. The easiest way to ens...
Skimming (Netting) a Swimming Pool
- It is important to skim the surface of a swimming pool regularly. No one wants to have to dodge leaves while swimming in their pool. Using a net to scoop debris from the pool is fairly self explanatory, but there is one piece of advice that we can offer from our years of pool cleaning experience. Buy a decent net. Most pool owners use a flat net for their pool. This style of net is really meant for scooping up something that was dropped into the pool. You will never see a professional using this type of net because it is just not practical. If you are trying to remove all the leaves and debris from the surface of a dirty pool, you need a net that can hold it all.
A good pool net is one that is more like a bag with an open end than a flat piece of mesh. These larger bag style nets will be able to collect all the debris from the pool without having to be constantly emptied.
Testing Pool Water Chemistry
- Maintaining proper water chemistry is a very important part of your pool's maintenance program. The only way to ensure that the chemistry of the water is within the proper ranges is to regularly test the water. There are many types of test kits on the market. The style that has been proven to be most accurate for testing chlorine is DPD testing. There are also chemical test strips that will check for many different chemicals at once. These are made for convenience and not accuracy. As a service professional I can only truly recommend using a DPD test kit, but if you want to use test strips make sure that they are stored properly and not past their expiration date.
For Information about the elements of water chemistry as well as how and when to add chemicals to your pool, please see our section titled Water Chemistry Guide.
Here is a guide for how often each element of water chemistry should be checked.
Chemical To Be Tested
Vacuuming a Swimming Pool
- Almost all pools will collect debris on the pool floor. Even pools with automatic cleaning systems often have places that don't stay clean all the time. The best way to remove dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool is to vacuum it up. Manual vacuum heads are made for vacuuming pools. They attach to a pool pole and a vacuum hose, and can be guided by hand to pick up dirt from the pool floor.
Connecting the Hose to the Skimmer
If your pool has an automatic cleaner that operates on suction you can use the same hose that the cleaner uses to vacuum your pool. If you have a pressure side cleaner or no cleaner at all, you will need to plug a vacuum hose into the skimmer to get suction for cleaning the pool. It is very important to remove all the air from the vacuum hose before you plug it into the skimmer. Pool pumps are made to pump water, if too much air is sucked into the pump it will lose prime and stop working all together. To remove air from the hose attach one end of th...