Pool maintenance relies on some basic steps that are simple, but effective. You should pay close attention to these steps to help keep your pool looking and performing at its best.

Circulation

The water in your pool must be circulating for the products to work properly. This makes it harder for bacteria and algae to grow. The more water that goes through the filter will make it work more efficiently and effectively. APSP standards call for your filter system to be able to turn your pool water over within 12 hours. It is recommended that your water be filtered for at least 10 hours or more at any given time, preferably, during the day. Some conditions may require you to run your pump longer.

Filtration

The filter is used to keep your water clear and it removes debris. To do this, it is recommended that (for sand and DE filters) the filter be backwashed when the pressure of the water in the filter gets above its normal pressure (see your manufacturer’s handbook). However, backwashing alone doesn’t remove oils or stains, nor can you backwash a cartridge filter. Every filter should be cleaned with a chemical filter cleaner as part of a maintenance program. See the instructions on the particular filter cleaner you are using for proper use. With proper cleaning and care, the sand in most sand filters should be changed every 3-5 years.

Cleaning

Leading pool chemical manufacturers recommend that your pool should be cleaned weekly. You can do this by using a manual vacuuming system or by adding an automatic pool cleaner.

Testing

Another way to keep your pool at its best is remembering to test the water. You should test your pool water at least once a week. The tests are for pH, active sanitizer (available chlorine, bromine, Baquacil, etc.), total alkalinity, calcium hardness, salt (when applicable), stabilizer (when applicable), etc. You can also periodically bring a water sample to your local pool store if they offer water analysis services (usually for a small fee to cover their expenses). They will be able to give you a computer printout of your results with recommendations for treatment. You should also bring in a water sample prior to closing your pool. These tips will help you keep a proper balance and also decrease the risks of any future problems.