Best Pool Supplies You Need To Have
You have a pool and you want to take care of it, but you need the best pool supplies. Where do you start? What do you need? What does your pool need? Before going to the pool store and spending a week's pay on things that may or may not work, check out this list of what every pool needs.
Pool Supplies That Every Pool Owner Should Have
Pool maintenance is not difficult, but it does require commitment and persistent effort. It's easier and much less expensive to keep a clean pool than it is to bring your pool back from an algae bloom. Having the right tools, equipment, and mindset can make your pool life more enjoyable.
1. Pool Water Test Kit
Testing your pool water is one of the most important aspects of pool maintenance. It's suggested to test your water twice per week with a good test kit. I use and recommend the Taylor K-2006 pool water test kit. It's the best kit on the market and will give you the actual numbers you need in order to maintain your pool properly. The TF-100 test kit is also worth a mention.
Test strips are easy and affordable, but can never give you the chemical numbers you need. Invest in a good pool water test kit, and your pool will be much happier.
2. Pool Shock
While shocking a pool, or pool shock, is actually a process rather than a product, we'll keep the customary vernacular. Shocking your pool simply means to maintain a high free chlorine level long enough to kill organic matter in the pool such as algae spores and bacteria. You can use liquid chlorine or calcium hypochlorite for your weekly chlorination. Both work very well and will give you the results you demand.
3. Wide Mouth Leaf Rake
This is an invaluable piece of pool equipment. A wide mouth leaf rake can handle all of your debris scooping jobs. It's just as comfortable getting debris from the top of the pool as it is scooping out leaves and sticks from the bottom of your pool.
From gobs of dog hair to bugs and the occasional rock, a wide mouth leaf rake is a must-have.
4. Manual Vacuum
A manual vacuum is an essential tool for cleaning your pool. The vacuum is designed to reach every corner of your pool. It's great for general overall cleaning, vacuuming up dead algae, and for those smaller spots as well. Most vacuum heads are sold separately from the hose, so make sure you budget for a pool hose.
5. Pool Cover
A quality pool cover can save you tons of headaches and heartaches later on. When choosing a good pool cover, the most common are:
You'll need a cover for your pool in the Winter and your pool deserves to be protected. Winter pool covers will not only protect your pool, they'll also double as a safety measure that helps prevent accidents.
A solar cover is sometimes called a solar blanket. This cover can be cut to fit your pool and easily lies on top of the water when your pool is not in use. It acts as insulation, keeping the heat in your pool, keeping pool heating costs down, and can raise the temperature of your water by 15 degrees. They also prevent evaporation, can decrease the amount of chemicals your pool uses, and keeps dirt and debris from getting into your pool.
Clearly, it's one of your pool's best friends.
You can place a leaf cover on top of your Winter cover to make Spring pool opening a little easier, or use it as a stand-alone cover. While not an essential piece of pool equipment, it sure does come in handy if you have a lot of trees and leaves around you pool.
6. Telescopic Pole
A good telescopic pole was my best friend on my pool route. Where I went, it went. From pool to pool, skimming the water's surface and pool's bottom, vacuuming, sweeping, you name it. If I needed it done, I trusted my telescopic pool pole.
A quality telescopic pole is one of the absolute essential tools you should have by your side. And the name says it all: telescopic. You can use it at its regular length of about 8 ft. and when fully extended, it can go to nearly 16 ft. or more, depending on the kind of pole you decide on.
It's versatile, tough, and ready to take on any pool challenge at a moment's notice.
7. Pool Brush
How can you sweep you pool without a good brush, right? A quality pool brush made from durable nylon is great for weekly maintenance and sweeping, and is also needed if you have a dreaded algae bloom. Sweeping with a nylon brush keeps the dirt in the water where it can easily get filtered and backwashed out.
For plaster and concrete pool owners, you may want to look into getting an algae brush. An algae brush contains stainless steel bristles that can easily sweep algae away. It can certainly save you a lot of time, and is absolutely needed for black algae.
8. Equipment Storage
Oh, how many backyards have I been in where I've seen chlorine bottles, pool hoses, and empty containers of acid just thrown around and left on the equipment pad. I recently had a pool inspection where 3 full jugs of chlorine were left out in the sun. Check out the picture below. Wasting money and chemicals is never fun.
Your pool chemicals, tools, and equipment need a home, and that home is a dedicated storage area. By having a dedicated storage area or shed, it keeps your chemicals dry and out of direct sunlight, lengthens the life of your pool equipment, and keeps children and animals from getting into your investment.
Chlorine left outside is wasteful.
9. Safety Barriers and Alarms
While our pools are fun, it's our responsibility to make them as safe as possible. Safety starts on the outside of the pool. Pools are very attractive to children and animals, especially on those hot Summer days. It's recommended that layers of protection be installed such as:
- Proper fencing around your pool. Most dedicated pool fences should be at least 48" inches high.
- All doors on your safety fence should be self closing and self latching.
- All access doors and windows leading to the pool area should have dedicated alarms. These alarms will sound if someone tries to enter into the pool area through the house.
- Pool water alarms and motion detectors. This will alert you if something or someone falls into the pool, or someone enters the deck area.
10. All-Purpose Cleaner
An all-purpose cleaner is one of those cleaners that all pool owners should have. It's usually a liquid and is used to effectively remove dirt, grime, and stains from a variety of surfaces. Some all-purpose cleaners will need to be diluted, while others are an easy "spray and wipe" and you're finished product.
As a cheaper alternative, you can make your own all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant. Simply mix water and bleach, or use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect surfaces. This saves time and a trip to the grocery store.
How To Become A Pool Supplies Pro
There is certainly no shortage of pool supplies when you walk into your pool store. Go online, and the selection is even larger. But what does your pool really need in order to make it perfect? Of course, everyone has their opinions and one is just as valid as the other.
As you move forward in your pool owner journey, you will certainly gain more knowledge, experience, and of course your pool supplies, tools, and equipment, will grow. Let's start with the basics in pool supplies, and move forward from there.