Summer Pool Maintenance 101

Posted on May 30 2017 - 11:58am by Housecall

poolLaying poolside is the quintessential way to spend a scorching summer day. It’s easy to imagine the fun that comes with owning a pool—floating in a tube on Caribbean blue waters, family poolside volleyball, romantic moonlit dips—without considering the responsibility that comes with it.

The truth is, owning a pool requires regular upkeep and maintenance: weekly vacuuming, chemical testing, and inspecting various filters, pumps, heaters, and more. But, by understanding the cost of owning a pool and how to properly care for it, you can learn to avoid the common and costly mistakes that take the fun out of pool ownership.

Here are six easy ways to keep your pool party-ready this summer:

1.    Know Your Chemicals

An under-maintained pool doesn’t just look gross, it can also contain E. coli and other dangerous bacteria. On the flip side, over-chlorinating can cause swimming pool rash and eye irritation.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a chemist to maintain proper chemical levels in your pool. Using chlorine and pH testing strips to clean your pool is straightforward with modern testing kits.

The colors on a testing kit chart represent your pH level, which tells you if you added too much or not enough chlorine. The ideal amount of chlorine and pH is:

  • a free chlorine concentration of at least 1 ppm and
  • pH 7.2–7.8

If your pool doesn’t match these standards, simply adjust the chemicals or water levels.

Test your pool’s chemical levels at least once a week to keep maintenance work low and the water ready for swimming.

Related: The 3 P’s of Poolside Staging

2.    Practice Quick, Daily Pool Cleaning

Pool cleaning is just like house cleaning—doing little chores everyday can prevent a cleaning disaster at the end of the week.

One of the easiest (but most important) pool maintenance chores is skimming the top of the pool every day for leaves, bugs, and dirt. This helps your water circulate correctly and keeps you from having to add chlorine too often, improving pool feel and aesthetics.

Make sure to clean out the strainer basket and scrub the sides of the pool with a brush or pumice stone about once a week to prevent algae buildup. These tiny chores go a long way in keeping your pool clear and bacteria free.

3.    Learn to Use Your Pool Vacuum

How often you have to vacuum depends on how vigilant you are about daily skimming, since dirt and leaves left on the surface eventually sink to the bottom.

Pool vacuums come in a wide variety of styles and prices, from largely automated robotic cleaners to handheld systems with telescopic poles.

Vacuuming the pool can require a little bit of work to set up, but it is a key ingredient to a healthy pool. And, the process can be about as fast and simple as vacuuming a carpet indoors once you’re familiar with the equipment.

4.    Shock Your Pool Twice A Season

Shocking your pool can sound scary, but all it means is adding a high volume of chemicals all at once in order to “shock” the system and kill bacteria. You only have to shock your pool about twice a season to counteract contamination.

For safety, make sure to wear protective eye goggles and rubber gloves when shocking the pool. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • Use one pound of shock per 10,000 gallons of water.
  • Dissolve one pound of shock solution in a five-gallon bucket of warm water before adding it to the pool.
  • Once the shock is dissolved, slowly pour the solution around the pool.
  • Shocking the pool works best at evenings or night. Not only can sunlight dissolve some chemicals and make them less effective, but the chlorine levels can balance out while you’re sleeping.

Just be sure to wait until chlorine levels are back to normal (anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours depending on the kind of shock you used) before going for a swim or you risk serious skin irritation.

5.    Check Your Water Level

Everyday summer play can cause major fluctuations in your pool’s water level. The perfect water level is halfway up the skimmer line.

If your water level gets too low it could reduce safety and ruin your pool’s pump. Adding water is easy: just grab a hose and fill it up. Be careful not to overfill your pool, though. Renting a pump to lower the water level can be labor intensive and expensive.

6.    Call in the Pros

With the above tips, you can take care of most summer pool maintenance by yourself. But, a pool is still a complex system—chemicals, heaters, filters, pipes—and sometimes even the savviest pool owners need an expert opinion.

Getting a yearly checkup by an expert to make sure all your equipment is working will save you money and keep your pool operating all summer long.

27 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Alenda kinder June 6, 2017 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Great well written articles

  2. Guillermo Martinez July 1, 2018 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Wow at first we were shocking pools 3 or 4 times a season but now we know its twice thanks for the heads up. We found this blog very useful.

  3. Joe Gee July 3, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Good information. Enjoy the comments too.

  4. Jason Pan July 21, 2018 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Loved the information presented here. It’s informative and concise, great for beginners and fun to read for pros like us! I just wish that more pool owners understood the importance of pool maintenance and signed up for more of our services. 🙂

  5. Nicolas Morales July 30, 2018 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Most people forget that when it comes to keeping your pool looking good it’s not just about chlorine. The pH levels matter too. Thanks for giving specific details too

  6. Blaine Jared October 23, 2018 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I really like informative and useful blogs. Being in the pool business I see and hear folks tell me the funniest things they do to try to keep their pools clean. Keep up the good work!

  7. Glendale Pool Cleaners February 2, 2019 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    We have just launched our new pool cleaning company, and this article popped up when doing some research.

    Thanks you for sharing some great tips! Keep up the great work.

  8. Little Rock Pool Cleaning February 13, 2019 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Yes, Agreed, thanks for sharing the tips. Blogs like this make life easier for everyone. Pools are not easy to keep clean, we also just started a pool business and enjoy reading all these great articles. Appreciate it!

  9. Tulsa Pool Cleaning February 13, 2019 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    This is some really good info, I am glad that you have this for everyone to read!
    We have a new pool cleaning service based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and love seeing quality information spread to the community. Keep up the great work!

  10. Preston Nixon March 19, 2019 at 3:07 am - Reply

    This is very informative, I am going into pool maintenance business, any info anyone can get is always helpful. Thank you for posting such an informative and helpful blog.

  11. Kim Grundy March 29, 2019 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Appreciate the information mentioned here. It’s crystal clear with many things! I just wish that more pool owners understood the importance of pool repairs and hire the pool repair services. 🙂

  12. Chandler Pool Service March 31, 2019 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    This is a really informative article. It’s great information for new pool owners as well as veterans. Great tips!

  13. Mesquite Fencing Company April 24, 2019 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Good info for those looking to do it themselves. I notice many of my fencing customers could use some of these services..

  14. Barrie Tree Care May 11, 2019 at 2:24 am - Reply

    A very informative article. I have always had an issue with #4 and determining the right amount of chemicals required to keep my pool at the optimal level.

  15. GR Pool Cleaner June 8, 2019 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Great information! We recently started our own pool cleaning and maintenance company and these are tips that all pool owners should know. Thank you for putting this information out there for everybody to read so they can increase their knowledge on how to safely own and maintain a pool. Pool cleaning isn’t the most exciting topic to read or write about but you did a good job keeping the information to the point and very useful. Thanks!

  16. skylar davis June 12, 2019 at 11:13 am - Reply

    thanks for sharing valuable helpful tips. This was a great read and will go a long way into helping maintain my pool.

  17. Nathan Eli June 19, 2019 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Excellent info. You share the right point about swimming pool maintenance. I am reading your blog and I am happy with this information. Thanks for sharing useful info.

  18. Blaine Jarad June 25, 2019 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    This so important for the average pool owner to know. We try to educate our clients with this type of information when we clean their pools and some do appreciate the knowledge we share but most don’t care. They just want their pools cleaned. I enjoyed your blog and took a couple of pointers. Great work!


  19. Pool cleaning Laguna Beach June 28, 2019 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    This is great information for the DIY to keep their pool clean on their own. Luckily many do not know all this so I have a business.

  20. Clay Bolton August 8, 2019 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    We just started our pool service company down in Marin County, and came across this article. I enjoyed how informative yet concise it was, it makes the process seem less daunting. Thanks a ton for the useful article

  21. Reydan Dallas Pool September 2, 2019 at 7:37 am - Reply

    I like the style of maintaining pool especially this summer. great tips that i can use on my services.

  22. Leak Detection Englewood October 9, 2019 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Breaking down the steps! Great starter tips for the new pool owner.

    One thing to add to #5: Check your water level, and if you notice that you are refilling your pool more than once in a while… POOL LEAKS. THEY HAPPEN.
    From foundation to plumbing issues, they happen more than one would hope. Luckily they are fairly easy to detect using the “bucket method”, worth a Google.

    Anyways, envious of you all with a heated pool now that summer is officially over. Thanks for the article, and happy swimming.

  23. Trapper November 10, 2019 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Great article! Taking care of a pool can be overwhelming, but this breakdown simplifies the process into manageable steps.

    Appreciate the rules of thumb for checking the pool chemicals, in particular “shocking” the pool. This information will help any pool owner maintain their pool with confidence. Keep up the good work!

  24. LPC Cleaners November 11, 2019 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    “Pool cleaning is just like house cleaning”. Love this bit of information and oh so true…I’ve had pools and can attest to this! Love the article. Keep it coming.

  25. SR Pool December 1, 2019 at 2:49 am - Reply

    This is a great article for routine pool maintenance. I’m interested to know if anyone here has had success clearing up a pool with significant ash contamination. Fall is wildfire season in Northern California, lol.

  26. sultanmusic December 12, 2019 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Outstanding examples here. We will share this with our agents. Thanks.

  27. Poll Cleaning DF December 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    We have recently started a new Pool cleaning service Company and came across this article. Really appreciate you taking the time to educate us on this, and liked your comment about the importance of checking the water level “If your water level gets too low it could reduce safety and ruin your pool’s pump”.
    Pool cleaning by no means is an exiting topic to write about, but you did an excellent job keeping it illustrative, entertaining and short. Thank’s again.

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