Pool Cleaning: Learn How, When, and Why To Clean Your Pool
The last time we cleaned our pools was yesterday? Last week? Last month? Maybe we don't stay on top of our regular pool cleaning. Life gets in the way and the pool seems to take a backseat to other things. But one thing is true: If we don't clean our pools, the dirt is simply going to get worse. Then what happens? A nasty pool we can't swim in.
By being proactive and taking a few minutes each week, our pool will surely be the envy of the neighborhood. But that certainly takes consistent effort on our part.
Why Pool Cleaning Is Important
Cleaning our pool should be high on our to-do list. It ensures we will always have comfortable water, it protects our equipment, and keeps the water clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. Also, maintaining and cleaning our swimming pool on a regular basis can prolong the pool's life and prevents algae and bacteria growth. Just like taking a shower and brushing our teeth for our maintenance, it's important to clean, brush, and vacuum the pool to keep it looking great. Spending just 20 - 25 minutes per week cleaning and brushing every few days will keep our pool water clear and inviting. That's a good return on our investment.
Pool Cleaning Tools For Everyone
We would never try to paint a room without gathering the right equipment and tools necessary for the job. And we would never have a pool without first gathering the necessary tools and equipment to keep our pool looking perfect.
So let's grab our clipboard with paper and a pen, and take our inventory. Let's see what we have, what we need, and move forward from there. Do we have enough of this and too much of that? Or maybe we don't have any at all. Is our pool cleaning equipment in good shape? Maybe something is missing? No worries, because I have you covered with what you need to have a perfect pool all swimming season.
Wide Mouth Leaf Rake Skimmer Net
This is one of my favorite pieces of pool cleaning equipment. Not only does a good wide mouth leaf rake skim the surface, it makes it so much easier to get the debris off the bottom of the pool. You do have a choice of a flat skimmer, or what you may have seen as a little blue square skimmer. These are great for removing light and small debris off the top of the pool.
How Often Should I Skim My Pool?
You will want to skim and clean your pool daily, or as needed, and especially after a heavy rain or wind storm. This will not only keep debris off the top of the pool, it will prevent it from sinking to the bottom and possibly causing staining of your pool.
A telescopic pole is an absolute must for every pool owner. Attaching brushes, vacuum heads, and leaf rakes or skimmers has never been easier. And with so many options available, you're sure to find the one that fits your situation. A telescopic pole can be extended to different lengths. I suggest purchasing an 8-foot pole that can extend to nearly 16 feet. A longer telescopic pole will allow you to easily clean the entire pool when necessary.
A pool brush is another essential piece of equipment all pool owners should have. Do you need to brush and scrub the pool walls and floor? Do you need to scrub that algae off the pool's surface? Then a good pool brush should be your go-to tool. We have brushes for all occasions, but they really boil down to 2 choices, and that's really all we need. They are:
Nylon: Great for all pool surfaces and for weekly cleaning.
Wire Brush: Reserved only for plaster and concrete pools. Use this brush when you have green pool water, and especially with black algae. Never us a wire brush on a vinyl or fiberglass pool.
It's best to purchase a quality brush. Pool brushes go through a lot of abuse. A quality brush will last longer and the bristles won't wear as fast as the cheaper or less expensive ones.
How Often Should I Brush My Pool?
The more the better, but a minimum would be twice a week. You'll want to thoroughly brush the walls, ladders, steps, and every corner of your pool. Dirt and algae can be lurking in the strangest places, so get into every nook and cranny as best you can. All this brushing will push the dead algae spores, bacteria, and dirt into the water where it can easily get filtered out.
Manually Vacuuming Your Pool
Vacuuming your swimming pool is the perfect way to keep your pool clean and free of dirt and debris. It does take a bit of effort and time, but the benefits are enormous. In the long run, you’ll spend less time worrying about your pool, the pool chemicals in the water will stay balanced, and pool will look cleaner.
How Often Should I Vacuum My Pool?
The answer to this question is on a case-by-case basis. Some pools will require more vacuuming than others. A heavily used pool with lots of debris will need more vacuuming, compared to a lightly used pool with little to no landscaping. On average, you would expect give your pool a good vacuuming about once per week, or when the situation dictates, such as after a heavy rain or wind storm.
What Is A Suction Side Pool Cleaner?
A suction-side pool cleaner is similar to a manual vacuum in that it uses the suction from the pool's intake to suck water in as the device moves around the pool to collect dirt, leaves, bugs, and other debris. The dirt and debris goes into your pool's filter where it can get backwashed or cleaned out. An example of a suction side cleaner would be the venerable Kreepy Krauly.
What Is A Pressure Side Cleaner?
A pressure side cleaner uses the return water from a dedicated booster pump to move your cleaner around the pool to pick up dirt and debris. It has a special bag on top of the cleaner to collect all the debris. When the bag is full, you simply remove the bag, empty it, reattach it to the cleaner, and place the cleaner back in the water.
My opinion is pressure side cleaners are the better of the two options, but not all pools are equipped or plumbed with a dedicated booster pump to run a pressure side cleaner. If your filtration system was plumbed for a dedicated booster pump to be installed, a pressure cleaner would be right for you.
Robotic Pool Cleaner
A robotic pool cleaner could be a great alternative if you're a little leery about using a suction side cleaner, or if your system is not plumbed for a pressure side cleaner. Robotic cleaners are a self-contained unit that uses a low voltage source of electricity, requires no booster pump, no special plumbing, and works independently from the pool's main filtration system. They use approximately the same amount of energy as a standard light bulb and can adapt for all pool shapes, types, and finishes.
The one downside is the price. If we want convenience, we're going to pay for it. They cost more than suction side and pressure side cleaners, and cost more to repair if something goes wrong.
How To Become A Pool Cleaning Pro
If you're lucky enough to own a swimming pool, you're going to get pretty good at keeping it clean. Yes, it does take time and effort, but as the saying goes, "We get out of it what we put into it."
Preventative maintenance is the key to many things, and our pools are no exception. Prevention means no emergency trips to the pool store or panic buying chemicals. The key is to stay on top of our pool cleaning. Let's cultivate some good maintenance habits so our pool is always clean and inviting for our family and guests.