You Just Installed a Pool, Now What?

Have you recently installed a swimming pool, but you do not know what to do next? Study proper pool maintenance to keep it fresh and fun for years.

There are few things better in the summer heat than jumping into a swimming pool. A pool is a great source of relaxation and fun. Swimming is also a wonderful form of exercise. It does not stress joints as much as other options. It is also relatively easy for people of all ages compared to many other sports. You can even use your pool to socialize with friends and neighbors. Those are just some of the reasons home swimming pools are so popular in the United States. Having a pool is also far more convenient and private than visiting a city pool or a beach to take a swim.

If you have recently installed a pool in your yard, you are probably ready to reap all the benefits of pool ownership. However, you must also prepare for the work involved in keeping your pool in top shape. A swimming pool is a huge investment. Protecting it with proper maintenance can help it last as long as possible. Here are some important things to know about the supplies needed for swimming pool maintenance.

Why is Swimming Pool Maintenance Important?

One of the most important reasons to maintain your swimming pool properly is to keep it or the deck or slab surrounding it from becoming damaged. The cleaner you keep your pool and the area around it, the longer you, your family, and your guests can enjoy it. You also need to spend time on swimming pool maintenance each week to ensure the water itself stays safe and clean. If the water is not maintained properly, it can become filled with unpleasant items like:

  • Leaves and Twigs

  • Dead Animals

  • Algae

  • Insects

What Do You Need to Maintain the Chemical Balance in Your Pool?

The most important part of maintaining a pool is keeping the pH balanced. It is best to check the chemical balance in a freshwater swimming pool two to three times per week. You can do so with a testing kit, such as those sold at Home Depot. After using the kit to check the pH, add the chemicals required to get the pH level in the desired range.

One of the chemicals used to maintain a freshwater pool is chlorine. In large doses, chlorine is a hazardous chemical. However, small doses are routinely used to kill harmful bacteria in pools and other water sources. You can purchase it from any pool supply store, as well as online retailers. Those same retailers also sell other singular chemicals and products containing chemical mixtures for pH balancing purposes, such as:

What Do You Need to Eliminate Pool Algae?

Algae tends to attach to the liner of the pool. It can often make the liner discolored or slimy. In the latter case, it can cause swimmers to slip while entering or walking in the shallow end of the pool. It can also cause allergic reactions and skin irritations for some swimmers. Preventing algae with regular maintenance is the ideal scenario. You can try to do that with algaecide and properly maintained pH levels. However, some algae inevitably grows in almost all pools, eventually. When it shows up in yours, you need to know how to remove it. 

Eliminating algae starts with eliminating its nourishment sources. Those are small particles of dirt and debris your pool vacuum usually misses. Products like flocculants and pool clarifiers cause those particles to bind together. That makes them easier to remove. 

Aside from chemicals, you can also use physical scrubbing to loosen algae. A small handheld brush or rag can loosen algae from pool walls. However, that algae can easily transfer to areas with moisture in your home, such as your washing machine or bathtub. Limit that possibility by storing pool cleaning products in an outdoor shed or disposing of rags in the trash after use, rather than washing them.

What Do You Need to Check the Temperature in Your Pool?

It is important to keep your pool temperature within a certain preferred range. The average ideal temperature range of freshwater swimming pools in the United States is 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the ideal range from a chemical standpoint because other temperatures can cause more rapid bacteria and algae growth. However, you may prefer your pool a few degrees colder or hotter. You may even require a certain different specific temperature range for an important reason, such as:

  • Due to a Cold Snap or Heat Wave in Your Area

  • For Sports Training Purposes

  • Due to a Specific Medical Condition Affected by Hot or Cold Temperatures (High Blood Pressure, Diabetes Etc.)

You cannot use any standard thermometer to measure pool temperatures. Pool thermometers are designed specifically to be waterproof. They are also meant to stand up to weather and chemical exposure. Most pool thermometers are designed to hang by a rope into the water at the edge of the pool or to float around freely within the pool. Some pool thermometers are basic. Others are designed with fun embellishments, such as figures of ducks, cartoon-like sunbathers, or sea creatures.

What Can You Use to Maintain the Temperature in Your Pool?

The first step in maintaining the temperature of your pool is purchasing heating products. Some pool heaters are intricate electrical devices with various valves and gauges. Others are solar-based heaters, such as systems of black hoses. As the sun hits them, the water inside is warmed. It then flows back into the pool. You can also use products like a solar cover on a daily basis to keep your pool warmer between uses. 

Another way to improve the temperature maintenance efficiency of your pool is to block the wind from the area. Wind drops the water temperature quickly. Planting hedges or trees around your pool area can accomplish that goal naturally. You can also opt to build a wind stop, such as some type of awning or a high fence.

What Devices Do You Need to Clean Your Pool?

A final step in pool maintenance is cleaning the pool regularly. First, purchase an automatic pool vacuum. The vacuum moves around the pool on its own, sucking up leaves and debris. You also need a dedicated brush for pool cleaning. Brushes are often needed to clean stairs, ladders, and handrails. Finally, purchase a pool skimmer. A skimmer is a large net attached to a pole. A telescoping pole is ideal to reach areas of different depths and difficulty levels.