The swimming pool provides our family with hours of enjoyment – watching the kids play in the water, sitting out by the pool in the evening after we’ve barbecued, just relaxing. It’s a place where our family just naturally congregates, and I’m so glad we made the decision to install our pool. But it’s like a car – if you run it, you have to keep up with the maintenance, or things start to break and cause problems. There are a number of items that are essential to keeping our pool in good shape. Here are 4 tips that don’t really take much time, but can make a big difference:
1) Maintain the Pump System
The pump for a pool is like the engine to a car. If you take care of it, the car will run smoothly. Neglect it, and you’re just buying trouble. So my husband Ed checks the pump regularly. He watches the pressure gauge on the pump, and if the pump pressure gets around 8 to 10 psi above normal (some say 15 to 20, but we err on the cautious side), it means the system needs a flush. Ed turns valves and reverses direction of the water, which runs the water through the system in the opposite direction, called backwashing the system. In about 3 minutes, clear water will start coming out of the waste line, signaling the debris has been cleared. He found this article helpful when determining if our pump was large enough.
In addition, we need to regularly clean out the pump. We’re always amazed at how quickly the hair, lint and debris builds up in our pump. Ed shuts off the pump, then opens up the basket that catches the debris. It doesn’t take long to do this, but we’ve been told that it makes the pump motor have to work a lot less. After we restart the pump, Ed checks to make sure the pump has gotten “primed” again, and is circulating water. Ignoring this step could lead to the pump burning out, and we don’t want that.
2) Take the Brush to the Pool
Every Saturday morning, just before he goes out to mow the lawn, Ed will go over the walls and floor of the pool with a brush on a long handle. I think it was his talk with a pool expert at Home Depot that made him so diligent. The guy told him about how much work can be involved if you let algae build up in the pool. It doesn’t take that long to happen, so the best way to keep the pool clean and avoid this is to regularly brush it. It doesn’t take that long, but doing it every week keeps the crud from building up.