12 Common Swimming Pool Service/Maintenance Mistakes
Swimming Pool Service/Maintenance Mistakes
- Not checking your pool’s chemistry often enough: Check the pool’s chemistry twice per week in the summer and once per week in the winter. By doing this you can make minor adjustments to your water chemistry instead of big adjustments that create a wild up and down graph of activity.
- Allowing pH to get above 7.8: At 8.0 pH, chlorine is only 10% active. At 7.0 it is about 73% active. By maintaining pH around 7.4 the chlorine is 55-65% active. Keeping the pH in check will allow you to use to the full potential the chlorine that is already in the pool.
- Not keeping alkalinity between 80-120 PPM: Low or high alkalinity can affect water balance and ultimately a sanitizer’s ability to perform.
- Not checking TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) or calcium hardness on a regular basis. Check TDS every 6 months and calcium hardness every month. These also affect water balance which is different from sanitation, although related. Keep in mind the only way to lower TDS is to partially or totally drain the pool and refill with fresh water. Usually 1/2 drain is sufficient.
- Not cleaning the cells in salt water systems: (chlorine generators). Corroded or calcified cells will produce little or no chlorine.
- Not backwashing the filter: The filter can never reach its full cleaning potential if you allow it to get plugged up. If you backwash on a regular basis, you will produce a consistent powerful flow and circulation. Most filters require backwashing when the pressure gauge rises 10-15 PSI from clean.
- Not cleaning the skimmer basket and/or hair and lint pot in the pool pump often enough: If these are full of debris you will get little flow resulting in poor circulation, potentially creating a big problem.
- Adding chemicals, especially liquid chlorine, during the day: Try to add chemicals in the afternoon when the sun isn’t directly overhead. You will get more out of them.
- Not brushing the walls down often: If your circulation system is subpar, brushing down the walls will help eliminate algae problems.
- Not running pumps long enough: You should run your pump about 1 hour for every 10 degrees of temperature. This assumes you have a decent circulation system. Circulation is the key to a low maintenance swimming pool.
- Not calling your pool professional soon enough: Don’t wait until your pool is green before calling someone in. When a pool is this forgone it usually means the plaster, tile, and circulation systems will also have additional problems. Once the pool starts turning – make that call!
- Pay attention: Too many pool owners put a cover on the pool when school starts and forget about it. Real damage can occur any time of year due to neglect. Take a little time once a week at least and save yourself some money getting it ready next year.