A pool is a huge investment, and it's worth every penny when you jump into the crystal-clear water on a scorching summer day. Maintaining your investment takes daily effort during pool season, but it doesn't have to be a huge time commitment. Make pool maintenance as easy and cost efficient as possible with these easy tips.
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1. Add Chlorine After Dark
The sun's heat can weaken the efficiency of chemicals you add to the pool, which means you go through chemicals more quickly. When you need to shock the pool with chlorine, wait until evening to do it. The chlorine will have all night to kill unwanted organisms, and the water is clear by morning.
2. Set Alarms to Test Pool Water
Regularly testing your water is a critical part of pool maintenance. It's better to make small adjustments now than to let a problem grow to the point that you need to bring in professional help to restore the right chemical balance. Set an alarm on your phone for twice a week so you never forget this task. Test after heavy rainstorms too.
3. Clean Tiles With Vinegar
Vinegar may help remove calcium deposits that cling to your pool tile above the water line. Pour a little white vinegar onto a soft cloth and try buffing a section of tile with it. Follow with a second cloth dampened with water.
4. Treat Metal Stains With Vitamin Tablets
Sometimes, brownish or greenish metal stains appear on the walls or floor of a pool. They often happen because something metal, like a hair pin, has been dropped into the pool. Some pool owners say that rubbing a vitamin C tablet or powder over the affected area lightens or removes metal stains thanks to the ascorbic acid in vitamin C.
5. Throw in Tennis Balls
It's best not to think too long about all the oils that accumulate on the surface of your pool water from the people who swim in it. Instead, toss a few tennis balls in the water when it's not in use. As they bob around, they should soak up any oils they encounter. (Just make sure there are no little kids or pets around who will want to dive in to collect those balls!)
6. Discourage Bugs With Dryer Sheets
Nothing ruins a perfect pool day like a buzzing bee that refuses to leave. Scented dryer sheets discourage insect activity, so try tucking them into the landscaping around your pool. If you don't have bushes and potted plants around to hold dryer sheets, try attaching them to garden stakes and plunging the stakes into the grass or dirt around the pool.
7. Run the Pump Most of the Day
Some new pool owners mistakenly believe that not running the pump will save them money. In reality, running your pump can actually be a cost-saving measure. Using the pump too little allows algae and other muck to build up in the water, creating expensive maintenance problems. Run it for at least eight hours or more every day depending on the advice of your pool maintenance provider.
8. Use a Robotic Pool Cleaner
A robotic pool cleaner is a significant investment up front that could pay for itself over time. Letting a robotic cleaner tackle the debris and dead algae at the bottom of your pool saves you valuable cleaning time, and if you're currently paying someone to clean the pool, using a robot instead may save you money by the end of its first summer.
9. Install a Cover
Covering your pool can help you extend its life and can save you money in a few ways. For one, keeping water from evaporating may help you control your water bill since you won't need to top off the pool as frequently. Using a cover also keeps heat in, which is especially important if you pay to heat your pool, and it keeps debris from getting in.
10. Vacuum at Least Weekly
Whether or not you're able to afford a robot to handle pool cleaning, it's a task that needs to be done at least twice a week. Maintaining a pool is so much easier when you tackle small problems before they become big, expensive problems. Regularly vacuuming the pool floor is an important part of maintaining the right chemical balance and keeping your water clear and swimmable.