As of this writing (July 21st), we have not yet experienced our first 100 degree day of 2021, but the weather forecasters are expecting that to change in the next week or two. Our average date of our first 100 degree day is July 1st, therefore we are a bit behind schedule this year. We average eighteen 100 degree days per year, therefore we likely have quite a few of them ahead of us. Since weather records have been kept (1898), there have only been two summers in which we did not reach 100 degrees (1906 & 1973).
With that being said, we know that as the temperatures continue to heat up, swimming pool use will continue to increase, and regular pool maintenance becomes even more important.
In order for pools to remain clean and clear, pools require weekly maintenance. When it comes to weekly pool maintenance, there are basically two options:
- Hire us (or someone else) to maintain the pool for you.
- We offer free estimates on weekly service.
- Maintain the pool yourself—or teach your kids to do it!
- I have always maintained my own pool, but a few years ago I decided to teach my teenaged sons to maintain it. It worked out great until they left home to attend college. As far as what age is recommended for maintaining a pool, it really depends on the complexity of the pool and also on the maturity of the youngster. With proper training and supervision, I feel that most teenagers can perform most of the tasks listed below. The exception is adding chemicals—that should really be left to adults, as it can be dangerous.
If you are interested in maintaining the pool yourself, using a checklist if often helpful. Following is a checklist similar to what most area pool companies use in order to keep their pools maintained on a weekly basis.
- Perform a water analysis. Following are the ranges that we recommend for this region in residential pools:
- Test the following weekly
- chlorine—2-4 ppm
- pH—7.2 to 7.6
- Total Alkalinity
- 80 to 100 for calcium hypochlorite, salt, and liquid chlorine pools
- 100 to 120 for dichlor and trichlor pools
- Test the following monthly
- Salt level in a salt pool—2700 to 3500
- Calcium Hardness—200 to 400 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid—30 to 50 ppm
- Total Dissolved Solids—less than 1000 on non-salt pools
- It is a good idea to wait to add chemicals until after the pool has been cleaned.
- Test the following weekly
- Skim leaves and debris off of the pool surface with a leaf net.
- Clean out the skimmer baskets if needed.
- Brush the tile line. If needed, use a pool tile cleaner.
- Clean the pool using a vacuum or leaf vacuum.
- Brush the walls & floor of the pool, primarily focusing on the steps and benches of the pool.
- Clean out the pump basket if needed.
- Clean the automatic cleaner bag and inline screen (if applicable).
- Backwash or clean the filter if needed.
- Add chemicals as necessary (do not forget to super chlorinate as needed).
- Clean the coping and the deck—if not, the debris on the coping or the deck will find its way into your pool.
- Check the water level in the pool and add water as needed.
- Do a safety check on the pool—be sure that gates latch and are in working order, etc.
It is very unlikely that these steps will be followed precisely. You can tailor these procedures to fit the needs of your swimming pool. And remember, to be sure you are on the right track with your water chemistry, occasionally bring a pint of pool water to Gohlke Pools to have it analyzed.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!