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.

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

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

    Great well written articles

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

    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 -

    Good information. Enjoy the comments too.

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

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    “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 -

    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 -

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

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

    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.

  28. Denton Pool Cleaning January 30, 2020 at 12:47 pm -

    Just starting out as a pool cleaning service in Denton, TX and these tips are great. Most people don’t know what it takes to keep your pool clean and beautiful and you do a good job of being informative. This page will be bookmarked to come back to time and time again. Thank You

  29. Josh January 30, 2020 at 11:02 pm -

    Pool cleaning is not as easy as it seems. Hire a pro if you’re having issues it will save you in the long run!

  30. Shakopee Plumber February 4, 2020 at 11:48 am -

    Nice article, maintaining a pool should be left to the professionals or it will cost you way more in the long run.

  31. Pool cleaning Lubbock February 7, 2020 at 9:13 pm -

    Great introductory lessons on pool maintenance for homeowners. I’m partial to #6, call in the pros.

  32. February 13, 2020 at 12:47 am -

    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!

  33. Fremont Pool Cleaners February 13, 2020 at 3:05 am -

    I think the advice to practice cleaning your pool is great. A lot of pool owners think that they can just figure out how to clean their pool whenever they want. In reality, a pool is sophisticated. People should take their time to learn the intricacies of how to clean a pool.

  34. Car Detailing Perth February 14, 2020 at 1:07 am -

    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.

  35. Learn more about Pipe Relining February 16, 2020 at 10:38 pm -

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

  36. Kristofer Van Wagner March 4, 2020 at 4:01 pm -

    It is lovely to know that a pool heater will not require us to winterize our swimming pool during winter. Seeing how my family and I are avid swimmers, it sounds like a great idea to install a pool heater. I will call the pool contractors soon and will definitely keep the water flowing when it’s winter to prevent the pipes from freezing.

  37. gaberial cottles March 5, 2020 at 6:24 pm -

    We are new in the pool cleaning industry and appreciate the detail you put into your article

  38. Greg March 12, 2020 at 2:53 pm -

    Holy smokes, I didn’t know half of this stuff! I should really start to implement this to my pool haha! Thanks for the guide!

  39. Kelowna Pool Cleaning March 14, 2020 at 2:49 pm -

    Even owning a pool cleaning company, i forget some of these things on my own pool from time to time. I like to have step by step guides like this printed out in my pool room to make sure these tips aren’t forgotten about. Great blog post.

  40. March 16, 2020 at 5:01 am -

    Great info for all us in the industry. Thanks for the article.

  41. Anthony March 24, 2020 at 8:25 pm -

    Great post, thank you!

  42. Pittsburgh DJ Services April 11, 2020 at 4:12 pm -

    This is a great blog! Thank you for sharing. Your site is great and provides great content!

  43. Fence builer April 14, 2020 at 7:16 pm -

    This a phenomenal blog! Thanks for sharing

  44. Pasadena Pool Cleaning April 17, 2020 at 9:30 pm -

    Good article. You explained this in a way most people would feel confident in following. Daily maintenance is key to a healthy pool unless hiring a professional pool service to do regular upkeep.

    Agree that it’s still preferably to have a pro service filter and pump, check for an potential problems a few times each year.

  45. Amarillo, TX Pool Cleaning May 13, 2020 at 12:13 pm -

    This article provided a lot of value for pool cleaning. Thank you for that.

    It is so true — just the simple act of daily maintenance can make a huge difference in the appearance of one’s pool and the water quality.

    As a pool cleaning service provider, while we recommend pool owners to hire a team of professionals, we believe it is important for the owner to also have a (semi) good understanding of how things work. This circles back to daily maintenance.

    Thank you again for the examples you provided!

  46. Arborist Raymond May 14, 2020 at 2:37 pm -

    Owning a pool can make summertime more enjoyable; it can also make the owner work more than regular. Hiring a professional is one good way to go!

    Similar to pool maintaining, having beautiful trees at the backyard also requires regular trimming and care. As a tree service provider, we cannot stress enough the importance of hiring professionals to do the job. It saves time and energy, and money in the long run.

  47. Energy efficient spas May 19, 2020 at 6:20 am -

    It’s a great source of knowledge; I think it will be helpful for lot of people who are looking for learning more about the summer pool maintenance 101. Thank you very much for sharing this article. I agree with all your points that you have stated here, love this blog.

  48. MC Pool Cleaning May 19, 2020 at 7:20 pm -

    This is some great info, I am glad that you took the time to write this since this is very helpful for us since we just started a new pool cleaning service and love seeing quality information spread to the community. There can be a lot of information out there but this is a really good place to start to learn more about pool maintenance. Keep up the great work!

  49. Well Drilling Mobile May 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm -

    Some very good pointers on pool maintenance, the one thing I always for get to do on time is shocking the pool. Gotta keep that on a schedule so one doesn’t accidentally do it too much because they forgot they already did it or too little because they actually did!

  50. Akron Junk Removals June 1, 2020 at 8:23 pm -

    This was some great information on pools! Thank you so much for taking the time on how important pool maintenance is. This is one area I struggle with every year. I feel more confident now after reading this article.

  51. Auto Glass June 1, 2020 at 8:25 pm -

    I have owned a pool for years and never checked the water level. I am so glad you brought this up because it makes total sense! Thank you so much for writing this.

  52. Roofing Toowoomba June 2, 2020 at 5:51 pm -

    Great info. I will update my pool cleaning maintenance habit now.

  53. Vaughan Roofing Company June 3, 2020 at 12:22 pm -

    Owning a pool contributes a pleasant view of the backyard, especially in the summer. But it can be really exhausting to maintain the pool yourself. Similar to roof maintenance, I would definitely recommend hiring a professional to take care of the job. It will bring a breeze to your relaxing time.

  54. Pool Cleaning Amarillo, Texas June 8, 2020 at 4:55 pm -

    Thank you for creating such a helpful article. I am in the pool cleaning business and found many tips that you mentioned throughout your article useful in regards to swimming pool maintenance and cleaning. Many home owners don’t realize all of the maintenance that is required from owning a pool — at least if they want to be done correctly. Without the proper use of chemicals it could be a recipe for disaster. I do have a quick question that I would love your insight on. Do you have a specific pool filter you recommend? I love hearing opinions from others as I am always looking to increase my knowledge and better my business. Thanks again for this information.

  55. Elpasopoolcleaner June 9, 2020 at 5:47 pm -

    Thank you for the information that you shared. I recently started a pool cleaning business and now I come across this article. You gave me some very useful tips and it is nice to read the comments of the other readers as well! Definitely excited to be in the pool cleaning business myself! Thanks again for the great information and keep up the good work.

  56. Deck Builders Davenport June 11, 2020 at 9:54 am -

    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing.

  57. Pool Cleaning Mississauga June 16, 2020 at 3:23 pm -

    This is great content. I just recently launched a pool cleaning business so this information is vital to inform potential customers. Thanks for taking the time to write this!

  58. Pool Cleaning Services June 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm -

    Thank you for the relevant information regarding pool cleaning. Very insightful!

  59. Poltax June 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm -

    Thanks again for the great information and keep up the good work.

  60. Lawn Service June 28, 2020 at 11:35 pm -

    Awesome information, thanks for this post!

  61. Mesquite Pool Cleaning June 30, 2020 at 3:36 pm -

    As a pool cleaning company ourselves, we always encourage our customers to do at least the trivial maintenance themselves.

  62. Pool Service July 2, 2020 at 8:03 pm -

    This is great content. I just recently launched a pool cleaning business so this information is vital to inform potential customers. Thanks for taking the time to write this!

  63. well drilling fayetteville July 2, 2020 at 8:15 pm -

    amazing information. thank you

  64. Tree Service July 14, 2020 at 12:37 pm -

    This is a great post, super helpful. Thanks!

  65. Pool Fence August 14, 2020 at 12:16 pm -

    Make sure that you also have a properly installed pool fence to keep your family safe.

  66. Vinyl Siding August 14, 2020 at 12:19 pm -

    Such important tips. We have so many customers that just neglect their pools to later find that they need major repair work done.

  67. Pool Cleaning Irvine August 17, 2020 at 2:50 pm -

    Great information! Thank you

  68. August 20, 2020 at 5:36 pm -

    This is of very high importance at any property with a pool. thanks!

  69. electrcian service in clarksville August 21, 2020 at 5:44 pm -

    Awesome content, I could use this for our pool in the backyard

  70. Concrete Contractors Omaha August 25, 2020 at 1:35 pm -

    Such a great content. Keep sharing the good work.

  71. Erika LaPoint September 15, 2020 at 12:11 pm -

    Great post!!

  72. Swimming Pool Maintenance September 15, 2020 at 9:20 pm -

    Awesome information, thanks for this post!

  73. Carpet Cleaning Service October 7, 2020 at 10:20 am -

    Thank you for this post, great info!

  74. Kingwood Pool Services October 29, 2020 at 2:43 pm -

    Awesome article! Biggest mistake I’ve seen with friends is they don’t truly comprehend the upkeep needed to keep a pool looking like an oasis. It’s not troublesome upkeep but a little work here and there. Fun tip: the fibers of a tennis ball are great for trapping oils in a pool (think sunscreen, tanning oil, hair gel, etc.)!

  75. Zoe Campos November 16, 2020 at 10:43 am -

    When you said that owning a pool actually requires regular maintenance, I thought about our pool that has been neglected for months. My father covered it around June after the pump stopped working and it hasn’t been used since then. Maybe it would be better to have the pump repaired so we can use the swimming pool again during the summer season.

  76. Angela Waterford March 25, 2021 at 12:02 pm -

    I didn’t previously know that I had to shock a pool twice per season to kill all the bacteria and avoid contamination, so I wanted to thank you for this article. My sister is about to move in to a house with a pool but she doesn’t know a single thing about pool maintenance so she asked for my help. I think it might be helpful if she consults a professional for her pool cleaning and maintenance.

  77. Pasadena Pool Cleaning and Repairs April 3, 2021 at 12:58 am -

    Great information for pool owners. I especially like the advice to hire a professional to take care of the pool. Everyone I know thinks its well worth the cost. Most pool owners are not experts.

  78. Quality Tiler Castle Hill April 27, 2021 at 2:45 am -

    Awesome information, thanks for this post!

  79. Nate May 16, 2021 at 3:49 pm -

    Great post! Love the tips for pool owners. As a new business, it’s always helpful to provide tips for pool owners on what it takes to keep a clean pool so they can enjoy it to the most, as well as what to do on their own and allow professionals to do.