Have you taken the plunge and invested in your own swimming pool? If so, picking it out and installing it is just the start. The next thing to consider is the pool maintenance you’ll have to carry out to keep the water clean and healthy. Swimming pool maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you keep on top of it and know what to do from the beginning.
This short guide to swimming pool care in Canberra will help you understand everything you need to do to keep your pool swim-ready all year long.
Swimming Pool Care – The Basics
There are several components that you have to keep in mind when it comes to swimming pool care throughout ACT and NSW. Take a look.
The filter system is what keeps your pool water circulating and clean. The pump is the part of the system that forces your water through the pool filter. The filter then catches any debris, contaminants or dirt that could make tarnish the pool water. It can also stop algae and bacteria from growing, and keep your water safe and healthy. If the filter fails, you’ll end up with cloudy and polluted water. Popular filter systems include diatomaceous earth (DE), cartridge filters, sand filters, and chlorinators.
Skimmers and Returns
The skimmers and returns make up the next biggest portion of your pool system. The skimmers are the small holes in the pool’s side that pull water into the filter system. They also push water through the filter itself. The returns push the clean water back into your pool. Good pool maintenance requires that you clean these elements regularly. If not, your water won’t flow correctly, and debris may clog the holes. You’ll need to backwash them once a week to keep them functioning as they should.
Your vinyl, plastic, rubber, concrete or fibreglass pool walls are in constant contact with the water. If the water’s chemical balance isn’t perfect, algae and bacteria grow. For swimming pool maintenance, scrub down your pool walls every other week (with concrete pools). Remove any debris you see in the water. You can do this manually or get a robotic cleaner to do it for you. Alternatively, you can invest in a self-cleaning system. Beware that caring for a fibreglass pool is completely different from concrete pool maintenance.
Swimming pool care involves getting the correct water balance, and this can be intimidating. There are kits to help you get crystal-clear water, but they’ll only help if you know the correct chemical level ranges. If you have a fibreglass pool from Capital Country Pools, your chemicals ranges are:
- Calcium Hardness – Good pool maintenance requires keeping your calcium hardness between 175 and 225 ppm to protect your pool walls.
- Chlorine – This is your pool’s sanitiser, and is used to kill algae and bacteria growth. Ideally, it’ll stay between 1.0ppm and 2.0ppm, but it can range up to 3.0ppm.
- Cyanuric acid (Stabiliser) – For chlorine pools, this chemical shields it from burning off in sunlight. It will dictate how much free chlorine you need. The ideal amount is 50ppm.
- pH – This refers to how alkaline or acidic the water is. A neutral pH will protect your pool equipment from corrosion. You should be aiming for between 7.2 and 7.6pH.
- Phosphates – Ideally, zero or less than 0.2ppm.
- Salt – Chlorinated pools need between 3,000 and 4,000ppm of salt.
- Total Alkalinity – This balances your pool’s pH levels, and you want it to range from 100ppm to 150ppm.
- Total Dissolved Solids (T.D.S.) – Less than 1,500 ppm at an ideal level.
- Water Balance – Zero or slightly negative.
If you’d like more advice on the chemical levels required for healthy pool maintenance in ACT or NSW, contact Capital Country Pools.
It’s a good idea to buy a testing kit if your water refuses to clear up. To test, fill the containers with your pool water and observe the colour changes.Compare the colours to the colour indicator to find where your levels are. Make a point to test your water once a week during the warmer months and once a month in the off-season. If your water levels drop, or if you have a lot of rain, test the water.
Swimming Pool Maintenance and Cleaning
Now that you know about the water chemistry of your pool, and the different parts, we’ll go over how you can perform regular swimming pool maintenance on each system to keep your pool clean, clear, healthy and ready to swim in.
Swimming Pool Maintenance and Circulation
The pool water should constantly circulate to avoid stagnant water. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and having a well-maintained system will help you combat cloudy water and pool algae. Run your filter and pump system every day. The pump filters should run 24 hours a day. If this is adding too much to your utility bill, switch to running them for 12 to 14 hours a day.
Cleaning the Filter System
If you have a dirty system, this will affect how well the water circulates. Once a week, clean your skimmer basket and your filters as part of your swimming pool care routine. Turn the filter off and pull off the filter cap. Lift the basket out and take out any debris before reassembling it and switching it back on.
Once a month, backwash your filter system to help clean the pipes to get rid of any stagnant water or stuck debris. Take the basket out and turn your filter to the backwash setting to accomplish this. The water will flow backwards and pull any debris into the waste port. Run your system until it’s clear before turning the filter off and putting it back to the normal setting and replacing the basket.
Cleaning the Pool
Making a point to clean your pool regularly is a huge part of pool maintenance in ACT or NSW, and will help your systems last for longer. You have several options available to help you clean your pool. A skimmer net will help remove any surface debris, and you can use a pool brush to manually scrub at the sides and bottom of your pool. If you have the budget, investing in a robotic pool cleaner will help automate this part of the swimming pool maintenance program.
Once a week, vacuum, skim, and brush your pool to remove debris, algae, and bacteria. You can make a thick paste using water and baking soda to remove tough algae spots without damaging the pool. Add a few tennis balls to the skimmer basket or pool to remove skin oil and hair product from the water. Putting a pair of fine tights around your pool’s skimmer will trap smaller debris particles.
You should consider investing in an automatic pool cleaner to reduce the time you spend on pool cleaning. The cleaner should reach every area of your pool, including corners and walls.
Swimming Pool Care – Pool Chemicals
The supplies you need to clean your pool will vary depending on your pool type. However, the following will help you battle algae and bacteria to keep your water clear and safe.
- Algaecide – An algaecide will destroy algae growth in your pool water while stopping it from building up on the walls. If you leave it alone, algae can clog the filter and make your water look very cloudy. Growth can also increase when the water is warm. Adding affordable algaecides will kill any current growth while also preventing it from coming back.
- Balancing Chemicals and Stabilisers – Pool maintenance requires you to add water balancing and monitoring chemicals. Rain, sunlight, oils, and evaporation can disrupt the balance of your pool’s chemicals, and you’ll need a kit to find your levels. Test your chemicals once a week.
- Sanitiser – Chlorine is a very popular sanitiser used in pool maintenance, but it has a strong smell. Bromine will keep your water clear and kill bacteria, and there are enzyme-based or natural options available. This is why some people opt for salt pools.
- Shock – Shock is an important chemical that works to oxidise contaminants in your pool water, such as bacteria and algae. It’s a very powerful sanitiser that you should add in after you use the pool heavily or when you first open the pool for use at the start of the season. You’ll have to stay out of the water for 24 to 48-hours after you add it to the water.
- Stain Removal and Prevention – Water stains and lines can cause discolouration to the sides of your pool, and they can be very challenging to remove. Stain removal and prevention pool chemicals can strip these stains away. Cobalt, iron, silver, and manganese are big causes of these stains, and they can cause mineral scaling on the walls. Stain remover will take them away, and a stain prevention chemical will stop them from showing up again.
Capital Country Pools Can Help With Swimming Pool Maintenance
If you’re not sure where to go with your pool maintenance schedule, contact Capital Country Pools. We help pool owners throughout ACT and NSW understand why and how to perform their swimming pool maintenance routine, and our helpful staff are ready to answer any questions you have.