Especially on a hot summer afternoon, nothing can be more refreshing than a relaxing swim in your own backyard. Get a couple of friends to join in and you now have a pool party going! Like most pleasures, though, owning a swimming pool demands responsibility on your part. Let’s take a look at some of the steps you should be taking as recommended by the experts at Dolphin Pools.
Check for Loose Fasteners
Loose fasteners on your pool’s ladders and handles are a recipe for disaster. And knowing how such issues tend to go unnoticed till the unfathomable happens, proactive maintenance is key.
Check that the ladders are capable of supporting a fully-grown swimmer with no wiggle whatsoever. Tighten every loose fastener you come across, or else replace accessories that seem beyond repair — showing signs of rust, for instance. Arrange for replacement immediately before someone gets hurt.
Cleaning Your Filter
Its role might be far from glamorous, but there’s just no overlooking its significance. Ridding the water of dust and foreign particles, the filter ensures you always have a sparkling clean pool whenever you want to take a dip. This, of course, is only assured as long as the filter itself is clean. A dirty filter not only degrades the integrity of your pool, but also poses a risk to other critical mechanisms down the circulatory network or cleaning the pool fence on regular basis.
And it’s for this reason experts recommend thorough clean-ups on a regular basis. Be sure to follow the right method for your pool’s particular filtration system:
– D. E. Filters: Diatomaceous earth filters should be cleaned up at least once every 12 months (or more often if you use your pool year-round). In most cases, a backwash followed by a moderate rinse cycle will do; be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedure, though. Also remember to top up the D.E. that was flushed out.
– Sand Filters: These don’t lose as much filtration material when backwashing, so maintenance isn’t as demanding. That said, the sand still runs out its efficiency with use. Change it at least once per year to keep the water fresh.
– Cartridge Filters: Unlike their other counterparts, cartridge filters can be disassembled and cleaned separate from the other systems. This translates to less likelihood of error, but be very careful, nonetheless. Blasting off accumulated dirt and debris with a power washer (like some sources recommend) risks damaging the filtration mechanism.
And for what it’s worth, cleaning solutions always do a much better job. Just spray it on and let the cartridge soak for about half an hour, then hose off the dislodged material using a moderately-powered jet. Give it a close check-up to ensure there’s no damage before putting it back in place. This is good practice for pool maintenance.
Check the Water Chemistry
Specifically, it’s important that you get your pool’s TDS levels checked annually. TDS is short for total dissolved solids; a measure of the amount of soluble substance that’s accumulated over time. These substances can be traced to all manner of sources; body sweat, cosmetics, oils, etc.
So, what’s the fuss about TDS, you ask? Well, your pool is basically a closed system where dissolved material can only accumulate. Once the water gets saturated, its chemical makeup is thrown out of balance, resulting in issues such as:
- Corrosion on metallic parts
- Salty taste, and complaints of skin/eye irritation
- Algae growth despite proper sanitization
These and other problems will usually occur when TDS exceeds 2,000 ppm. Here, the only solution is to drain off the pool completely and bring in fresh water. Routine evaluations could however save you the headache and cost — both monetary and environmental. By getting your swimming pool tested regularly, you give yourself the chance to bring TDS levels back to normal before they get out of hand.
Cleaning Dive/Slide Surfaces
Dive boards and slides are yet another vital part of your pool infrastructure. These surfaces gather dirt, oils, and other pollutants over time; all of which pose a threat to your safety and wellbeing. Make sure you’re not putting your household in harm’s way by cleaning them at least once or twice every season.
Once again, you want to use the right tools for the job. Look for viscous detergents that’ll get rid of the dirt without dripping into your pool (and potentially affecting its chemical balance). Also take care to avoid ruining the finish as you scrub and check that the surfaces are properly rinsed and dry before they’re used again.
Bonus: Call in a Pro
Swimming pools are quite the complex installations, aren’t they? There’re certain aspects of maintenance you might not understand fully, or sure on how to go about. Entrusting such matters to someone who knows them best is only proper.
An experienced pool service company will check that all your equipment is in good shape, and service it in accordance with the recommended maintenance guidelines. They’ll offer plenty of advice too — not to mention checking that you’re doing everything right. Most importantly, though, experts are capable of identifying faults before they cause huge trouble down the road — issues you might not even know existed.
Scheduled annual service visits will prove a worthwhile investment not just in your pool’s wellbeing, but your own peace of mind as well. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.