What You Need to Know for DIY Pool Maintenance

by Laurie Smith

Having a swimming pool is a luxury. Taking are of one not only requires a little bit of money, but also a fair amount of time. It's no wonder that many people don't mind spending a little more each month just to get a pool man to keep their pool sparking clean.

However, not everybody wants to take the easy route. Many people take pride in and enjoy being able to maintain their own pool. If you are just looking into how to begin this, then you'll find this guide helpful. Although we won't go into a lot of detail, we'll cover the most important tips so that you'll understand what DIY pool maintenance entails.

1. Adding Water To the Pool
Believe it or not the water in your pool slowly evaporates. How much depends on a lot of factors such as pool size, climate, and if you have pool covers on your pool or not.

Regardless of these variables, you'll need to make sure the water levels are high enough. If the level drops enough, you risk your pool liner getting damaged.

Fortunately, this is not the most painful task and only needs to be done every 2-4 weeks. There is some slight variation, but overall this holds true for most people.

2. Cleaning, Brushing, Skimming
This is the most annoying part of pool maintenance! If you're maintaining the pool yourself you'll not only need to buy some tools to do this, but these steps require a lot of work!

You'll need to skim the surface to get rid of debris, brush the pool walls, and finally sweep the pool floor. Fortunately, there are automatic pool cleaners that can help you clean the pool floor and walls, both of which require more work than simply skimming the surface with a pool net. However, you can also get an automatic pool skimmer if you don't want to skim your pool yourself as well!

3. Maintaining Chlorine levels
Like with the water level and pH balance, you'll need to consistently add some chlorine. We recommend using easy to use chlorine tablets. Using about 3 pounds weekly should do the trick, and is a necessary step to make sure your pool remains clean and safe for swimming. Chlorine kills bacteria, and having not enough can
cause algae blooms.

4. Balancing the pH
The ideal pH balance for a swimming pool is 7.4, which is slightly basic. The pH of a pool changes constantly. Even though it doesn't rapidly change, it will slowly shift higher or lower depending on the environment.

For example, adding water to the pool, chlorine, and even debris will change the pH level. There are various ways to balance the pH (such as adding baking soda if you want to raise the ph).

If you ignore this step there could be some annoying consequences! Typically algae will grow in pools that are poorly balanced. If the algae growth escalates out of control, it can be tough to get rid of on your own. Although it's totally possible, it'll make your pool a site for sore eyes and render it unswimmable!

5. Cleaning the Pool Filter
Pool filters help filter your pool water to make sure that there isn't a ton of debris going through your entire pool. They help remove bugs and leaves from the water, making it more sanitary and easier to swim in.

However, pool filters do require a little bit of attention. How often and how you clean your pool filter depends on the type of pool filter you have (sand, cartridge, or DE). It's easy to know when you need to clean it though.

You just need to check at the pressure gauge of the pool filter, which will give away when it needs some love. How much varies, but the amount is usually around 8-12 PSI.

You'll need to do this step about every 1-4 weeks. Older filters may need more frequent cleaning, so expect to check more frequently after a few years.


Although there are a lot of intricacies in maintaining your pool, this simple list will help you to understand the basics of what pool maintenance requires. Instead of seeing this as one stop article for your maintenance needs, we encourage you to research each point further and in more detail.

Equipment for pool maintenance:

  • Automatic pool cleaner
  • Automatic pool skimmer
  • Pool Cover
  • Pool net
  • Algaecide
  • Chlorine Tablets

    Please let us know if you have any questions. We'd be happy to answer them in the comments below!

    This article was written by Laurie Smith, owner of Ultimate Pool Guide

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