Above ground pools are a fun option for those looking to take their swimming experience above the average. These structures are a lot easier to set up and relocate than in-ground models, making them more flexible.
However, these pools aren’t unsusceptible to dirt, or the clogs found in traditional in-ground types. So, you want to think about maintenance when it comes to above ground swimming pools. For one, it keeps them tidy and ensures a good lifespan, which is needed for a great swimming experience.
Basic weekly tasks like vacuuming, skimming, and chemical balancing can help make maintaining these swimming environments possible with little effort. Other tasks, like inspecting and caring for the structural components, help to prevent expensive repairs down the road.
If you’re in for scoping out how it works, below is a rundown of the 10 best practices required to keep your swimming equipment in shape.
10 Best Practices for Maintaining an Above Ground Pool
- Test the Chlorine Level
The chlorine level of your pool is something you should test daily. Ideally, it should be between 2 and 4 ppm. Chlorine helps to eliminate harmful microorganisms. But again, you want to maintain the recommended chlorine level. Going beyond 4 ppm can lead to chlorine poisoning, which makes your swimming environment unsafe.
There are a lot of untoward consequences that chlorine poisoning can bring to swimmers. These include eye irritation, nausea, red skin, wheezing, sore throat, and burning sensation in the throat, just to mention a few minor cases.
More critical cases can range from bladder cancer to breast cancer and heart attack. What’s more, the water can have a bad taste and odor due to chemical reactions. Click here to learn more about chlorine poisoning.
You just need chlorine test strips to make sure the chlorine level in your swimming water makes it safe for use.
- Test the pH Level
Chlorine level isn’t all you need to ensure a safe swimming environment. It’s also vital to check your pool’s pH level daily. PH levels should be between 7.4 and 7.6.
Keeping the pH level in this range helps prevent corrosion in the base or rails. It also prevents the water from looking cloudy or irritating. Again, it keeps the swimmers safe from a toxic water environment.
- Do Weekly Shock Treatments
Shocking helps get rid of obstinate bacteria, algae, and other contaminants. This involves sprinkling a granular form of chlorine to treat the water.
It is advisable to shock a pool at least once a week, to do it at night so the sun doesn’t dissolve the chemicals, and to leave the pump running all night to circulate the powder.
- Run the Pump at Least Eight Hours a Day
An important part of your pool maintenance is keeping the water running, which is the function of the pool pump. The pump is the center of your pool’s circulatory system.
It is recommended to run the pump for at least eight hours daily. Circulating your swimming water on a timely basis reduces the growth of algae and directs debris to the filter, which fosters disinfection.
It is also ideal to clean out your pump regularly — at least once a week — as pumps can become clogged with debris. This stops the pump from working, thus hindering the flow of water.
Remember to always check your operations manual to ensure your maintenance routine aligns with the recommendations and instructions of the manufacturer.
- Clean the Surface of the Pool
Use a skimmer net to remove debris and insects from the surface of your swimming water daily. A pump basket can also be used to collect debris before it reaches the pump.
A skimmer pulls in debris from the surface of the water before it gets to the filter, which is held in a skimmer basket. Also, ensure to clean out the skimmer and pump basket regularly to keep your swimming water tidy and clog-free.
- Clean Out the Filter Regularly
Whatever kind of filter you might have, as there are several kinds, their function is to capture debris, leaving your swimming water clean. If the filter is not cleaned regularly or gets clogged, the pool can become polluted. Filters should also be replaced regularly, following the manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Brush the Walls and Vacuum Walls if Needed
Your pool walls should be brushed and vacuumed regularly. Take notice of things like broken tree branches, debris from mowing too close to the walls, etc. Also, people should not be allowed to sit on the walls, as this can damage them.
- Winterize Your Pool Properly
Winterizing your swimming equipment when winter approaches will ensure that it is properly protected from frost damage.
You can do this by first performing a thorough cleaning, balancing the chemicals — the chlorine and pH levels — and then adding in special winterizing chemicals.
Next, you’ll need to remove and safely store all your equipment, which includes the filter, pump, skimmer, and other accessories. You’ll also need to drain the water level below the cover. Next, spread an air pillow to protect the water from the harsh winter conditions.
- Consider Replastering or Patching Surfaces for the Next Season
As soon as you spot tears or holes in your pool, you should try as much as possible to fix them, so they don’t tear more and cause much more damage. You could do this yourself with a patch kit.
- Install a Sump Pump
What happens if your pool fails and drains toward your home? It could potentially flood your house or leave your basement susceptible to water damage, mildew, or mold.
It is therefore always a good idea to install a sump pump [https://home.howstuffworks.com/sump-pump.htm] in your basement, which could protect it against any leaks or overflow.
As with any water body, pools require proper care and maintenance to keep the water clean, clear, and safely swimmable.
It’s a lot safer and less costly to foster a safe approach with pool maintenance. Often this works best when you keep to your equipment’s operations manual.
Pool maintenance can seem like a lot until you get around the set requirements. Ultimately, it’s best to keep in mind that your best swimming experience solely depends on how well you treat your swimming water, walls, rails, and maintenance equipment.