For many, swimming pool maintenance is as simple as finding a good, quality pool service and paying them to come by several times a month to make sure the pool is in great working condition. For others, swimming pool maintenance is a daily activity that requires a great deal of care and consideration to get right. For those who do choose to undertake the task by themselves, they may find a pool is one of the most challenging household accessories they will ever own.
Proper swimming pool maintenance begins with striking the right balance of chemicals, especially the pH levels and chlorine. Too strong and you could have problems such as bleached swimwear. Too weak and there could be uncontrolled algae and bacteria growth. The pH level should be kept at a level between 7.4 and 7.6. The chlorine should be kept at 1 to 2 parts per million. Testing kits usually include tests for chlorine and pH.
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If acid or chlorine is too low, more can be added. If acid is too high, there are chemicals that can reduce the pH in the pool as well. If the chlorine is too high, the best strategy is simply to wait. It will only take a day or two for it to come down to recommended levels. Adding water to dilute the acid and chlorine levels is not recommended for proper swimming pool maintenance, simply because it may help reduce one but have a negative effect on the other, making it too diluted. Generally, it is better to at least have the acid or chlorine level correct so that the entire focus can be on the problem chemical.
From time to time, to perform proper swimming pool maintenance, it will be necessary to do a practice called shocking the swimming pool. This practice involves chlorinating a pool to 10 parts per million, if done correctly, to help the day to day chlorine process work most effectively. The higher levels of chlorine oxidizes harmful chemical compounds and frees the chlorine to sanitize more efficiently.
Another thing to watch out for when looking at proper swimming pool maintenance is cloudy water. This is caused by suspended sediments in the water. While there are chemicals available to settle these sediments, the prime goal should be to find out what is causing them. It could be something very serious, such as a deteriorating pool finish. If left untreated, this could cause serious structural issues for the pool.
Among the more typical, daily swimming pool maintenance needs are skimming and vacuuming. Skimming is accomplished by using a net to remove floating debris from the water's surface and should be done nearly every day for outdoor pools. Vacuuming involves the use of a special pool vacuum to remove debris that has sunk to the bottom. In most cases, skimming is far easier and most debris can be removed by skimming, before it becomes water logged and sinks.