What’s the proper way to clean your swimming pool
Pool service works best when it gets completed on the same day every week. This way the pool never goes more than 7 days without treatment. Anything longer than 7 days breeds unstable water that is unpleasant to swim in because the chemicals and cleaning are prolonged and inconsistent. Consistent service leads to stable well-balanced pool water, which leads to cost savings in chemicals and longer lasting pool finishes as well as equipment. Especially concrete finishes that line the majority of residential pools.
The best way to clean your pool is with an external vacuum. External vacuums do not require your pool pump to power the vacuum. Why is that so important you ask? Well for starters it keeps your pool filter cleaner; longer. That leads to filters lasting longer which is just another cost savings. With an external vacuum all the debris and dirt get removed from the pool and its circulation system. Traditionally all these debris are vacuumed up and stored directly in your filter. A dirty filter yields high filter pressure which has a direct effect on water flow. The higher the pressure in the filter housing, the harder the pump needs to work to circulate water; over working your equipment leads to replacing motors, pumps, and filter housings, much sooner. Not to mention, the higher the water pressure the longer it takes the pool to physically filter all the water in the pool.
Poor circulated water takes double the amount of chlorine to stay blue as compared to a pool with adequate circulation. Also, the pool stays dirty because the circulation is so low it can’t skim the top layer. The first 10-12 inches of pool water contain the highest amounts of contaminants (bodily fluids, sunscreen, and yard debris) these contaminants diminish your chlorine count (low ppm). That why it’s best to get your water sample used for testing about 1 foot below the surface. Low chlorine ppm is directly correlated with algae and bacteria growth. Pools with the proper circulation can move debris into the skimmer as the debris land in the pool. If the water circulation is poor the debris become waterlogged and sink to the bottom of the pool. This creates the need for a vacuum and someone to run it.
If you haven’t noticed by now there is no escaping the maintenance cost of trying to keep a hole in the ground filled with water (your pool) and the water in the hole blue. The less chemicals it takes to keep your pool blue the better the water is to swim in. Consistency is the key to properly cleaning a pool.
Always start by brushing the tile, this will get all the debris floating on the top where its easiest to net out. Then you net or skim the entire top layer of the pool from end to end. Next, you empty the skimmer baskets and ensure the skimmer or skimmers have adequate flow, it could just be a minor valve adjustment to open the skimmer a bit more. If that doesn’t solve the flow issue its most likely a dirty filter.
Lastly, you want to vacuum the pool, It’s best to start at the shallow end and work towards the deep end. This allows the vacuum to move freely when working your way down the pool. If you start from the deep and work shallow your working up an incline the entire time. This can be almost impossible if the pool has a steep pitch, working from deep to shallow also makes it easier to miss spots because its harder to keep the vacuum in a straight line. Once your vacuuming is complete make your way to the pool pump.
Take a look through the clear sight glass located on the top of the pump basket. If you see any debris turn the pump off and empty the basket inside the pump. Once emptied put the basket back in the pump and close the lid. Make sure you don’t cross thread the lid, also make sure the gasket is properly installed. Without a proper seal the pump will never prime back up and circulate water. It’s always a good practice to wait and make sure the pump catches prime after its been opened. Just flipping the switch back on and assuming it caught a prime can be very pricey. If the pump runs dry for too long it will eventually over heat and stop working.
After you’ve ensured all the debris have been removed and the baskets are cleaned you can test your water and add the chemicals. Quick pro tip- chlorine is heavier than water to if you see some debris you may have missed pour the chlorine in at the shallow end and it will go straight to the bottom taking any minor debris with it. Remember if your planning to drain water do so before you add chemicals because chlorine and acid are both heavier than water so they will be the first fluids out of the drain.