Depending on how you look at it, you’re either one of the lucky or un-envied owners of a sparkling splish-splash water feature in your backyard. Some are small, some the size to accommodate Olympic freestyle laps; whatever the size of your pool, maintenance is what keeps it healthy and swimmable. Maybe you have a trusted pool serviceman that’s never missed a week, or only comes in the summer, or you don’t have one at all — the key is you need someone to take care of that pool, and here’s how you can be your own pool guy (or gal)!
Transitioning from winter to spring often brings with it lots of rain, even in sunny southern California. It’s important to make sure your pool doesn’t overfill or flood and damage the pool equipment. If you’re getting heavy rain, the pool pump is at risk for being damaged in the floodwater. To remove the pump safely and store it in a dry place, make sure you shut off power to the pool on the main panel first. If the pool pump is submerged and gets sodden, it will most likely need to be replaced. Regular rainfall is usually not an issue or threat to your pool equipment, but flooding and standing water can be a problem. Another preventative measure you can take is to put sandbags around the pool equipment to protect it from any excess water.
Skimming your pool daily for debri like leaves, twigs and bugs is a simple maintenance effort you can make to keep your pool looking beautiful and keeping it well circulated, reducing the need for extra chemicals. If you don’t use the pool in the colder months and don’t want to put in the effort to keep it clean, using a pool cover is a great way to keep debris out of the pool.
Regularly brushing and vacuuming your pool (at least once a week) is an essential part of having a clean and safe to swim in pool. Pool vacuum cleaners can be a bit on the pricey side, although there are affordable varieties, but they are a great investment and can last up to 8 years or more, with possibly needing to replace a part here or there. Brushing the walls, steps, tile and pool floor with baking soda paste works really well as a basic scouring cleaner that won’t damage the vinyl liner or tile when you brush.
Now the last topic we’re going to talk about is the reason why most people hire a pool guy (or gal!) – pool chemistry. It sounds intimidating, and we understand why, but having the information and chemicals you need is pretty much it, and you’re good to do it yourself. There are 4 key elements in Water Balance: pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Cyanuric Acid. You’ll need a pool test strip or kit to know what levels you’re working within your pool water. Lamotte Insta-TEST strips are trusted and easy to use, at a very fair price, and you can find them on Amazon or at your local pool stores. After you’ve tested your water, you’re able to get to work with what chemicals you need and how much. Poolhop.com has a great tutorial and loads of information for those looking to be the master of their backyard-domain and the proud owner of a pool!