An important part of day to day swimming pool maintenance is running the filtration system, and testing and adjusting pool chemical levels. These two simple steps, along with a dose of pool shock once a week, will ensure a clean and clear swimming pool all summer. A swimming pool owner is typically also a busy homeowner, with several other projects around the house to worry about in addition to the pool. It is important to develop a simple weekly pool maintenance routine, and stick to it. If a simple schedule is followed, maintaining the pool should only take up 1-2 hours of your time (or less), only two days a week. Pick two times during the week that are a few days apart, when you know you will have 1-2 hours to dedicate to the swimming pool. For instance, choose Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening for your weekly pool maintenance. Follow this link to purchase pool maintenance chemicals from our preferred online pool supply retailer.
The pool filter system needs to be run at least 8 hours every day, or as long as it will take your particular pool filter system to turn over the entire volume of water in the pool. This should not involve any attention from the pool owner. Inground swimming pool pumps are typically installed with a timer built into the electrical system, and timers rated for outdoor use are widely available at any hardware store or home improvement center to use with an above ground pool pump. Check the maximum capacity of the outdoor rated timer, if purchased separately, to make sure your pool pump does not overload it.
Twice a week the pool chemical levels should be checked and adjusted as needed. This generally consists of testing the pool pH, pool Alkalinity and Chlorine level. The pH should be maintained at 7.2–7.6, and the Alkalinity should be maintained at 80-120 ppm (Parts Per Million). If these chemical levels are not in range, they are easily adjusted with pool pH Increaser or pH Reducer and Alkalinity Increaser, widely available from any pool supply company. The pool chlorine level should be maintained at 1-3 ppm at all times, using chlorine tablets in an automatic chemical feeder or a floating chlorine dispenser. Under normal conditions the pressure gauge of the pool filter should be checked twice a week, and any cleaning or maintenance performed following the pool filter manufacturer’s instructions. The pump basket and skimmer basket(s) should also be checked and cleaned of any debris. If a large amount of debris falls into the pool (such as leaves in the Fall) the filter pressure and pump/skimmer baskets must be checked more frequently.
Once each week the pool should be “shocked”. This is a quick and easy process that consists of dissolving a highly concentrated form of granular chlorine (called pool shock) in a large bucket of water. The bucket is slowly poured into the swimming pool, directly in front of a return line fitting with the pool filter system running.Under normal conditions the easy weekly maintenance routine described above will keep your swimming pool clean and safe. You should always be on the look out for problem situations that are out of your control. Heavy rains, extended periods of hot sunny weather or large amounts of debris in the pool will require that you break from your easy weekly routine and spend some additional time maintaining the swimming pool.