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By Platinum Team May 25, 2022

10 Tips to Maintain Your Pool This Summer

It’s that time of year. Temperatures are toasty! If you’re a lucky homeowner with a pool, you’re likely spending LOTS of time in it.

To keep your pool in top shape during prime swim season, we recommend the following: 


  1. Skim Debris

One of the fastest and easiest ways to keep your pool clean is by skimming the pool’s surface every few days. Yep, it really does make a difference! Skimming significantly increases the efficiency of the pool’s circulation system and lowers the amount of chlorine you’ll need to add to your pool. 

Bust out that long-handled net (aka hand skimmer or leaf skimmer), and remove leaves, bugs and other unwanted floaters. All of that debris eventually sinks and becomes harder to remove, so the sooner you tackle it, the better off you’ll be. 


  1. Clean Out Baskets

Don’t forget about those strainer baskets! These guys are in the pool deck of in-ground pools or attached to the side of above ground pools.

Make cleaning out strainer baskets part of your routine at least once a week. Getting all that gunk out of there helps circulation and lowers chlorine demands too. 

Simply remove the plastic basket, and shake it out… away from your pool, of course 😉 Spraying the inside with a hose can help dislodge stubborn objects. 


  1. Vacuum the Pool

A pool should be vacuumed every week to keep water clear and reduce the amount of chemicals you need to add to it. 

There are many types of pool vacuums – whether automatic or manual. If you have a manual design, work it back and forth across the surface of the pool, as you would if vacuuming carpet. Slightly overlapping each stroke can help ensure you get good coverage.

And, check the filter each time you vacuum, and clean it if necessary. 


  1. Brush Walls and Tile

Brushing the walls and tile is important to do weekly as well! This helps minimize algae buildup and calcium deposits, which may otherwise fester and become problematic. 

What cleaning tools should you use? Well, that depends on the material of your pool walls.

  • Plaster-lined concrete pools: Select a stiff brush.
  • Vinyl or fiberglass walls: Use a softer brush. 
  • Tiles: Use a soft brush to prevent scratching or degradation of grout. A pumice stone, putty knife or a half-and-half mixture of water and muriatic acid can also work well. 


  1. Clean the Pool Filter

There are three kinds of pool filters: cartridge, sand and diatomaceous earth. While there are different maintenance procedures for each type, all require periodic cleaning depending on the type of filter and how often a pool is used. 

An unexpected point – cleaning the filter more often than recommended can actually hinder the filtration process. Wait, what?! It turns out that a clean filter is less efficient than one with a mild amount of dirt in it. Why? The dirt helps trap other particles, which removes debris from the water. 

That isn’t an excuse to let the filter get too dirty though 😉 You’ll run into other issues if you do. A sign that it’s time to clean is an increase in flow between the pressure gauge and flow meter. Clean the filter when the difference reaches 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kilograms) per square inch. 


  1. Professionally Service the Heater

Typically, pool heaters require the least maintenance of all pool equipment. Gas heaters may work fine without being serviced for a couple years, and electric ones can last even longer. Consult your manufacturer’s manual for specific care instructions. 

Sometimes, calcium scales build up inside the tubes of a heater and restrict flow, preventing the water from heating adequately. If this happens, recruit the help of a professional (like our team here at Platinum!) because the heater may need to be disassembled and have its tubes cleaned out with a wire brush or acid. 


  1. Check and Maintain Water Level

During the swimming season, a lot of water is lost – largely because of evaporation and normal activities (swimming, splashing and exiting the pool). 

When you remove debris with your skimmer throughout the week, that’s a good time to check the water level too. Ensure it doesn’t fall below the level of the skimmer; otherwise, the pump could be damaged. If the water is low, use a garden hose to bring it up to safe levels. 

A bonus pointer: If you drain your pool to perform maintenance in the off season, don’t let the pool sit empty too long. It’s best to leave water in a pool throughout the winter because the weight of the water counteracts with forces from the ground pressing up against the pool from below. 


  1. Maintain the pH Level

Pool water should be tested regularly to make sure it’s clean and healthy. The pH scale is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity that runs from 0 to 14. A reading between 7.2 and 7.8 is ideal – safe for swimmers and helps sanitizers work at top efficiency. 

You can monitor your pool’s pH level with a testing kit. One type of testing kit is a reagent kit. You take a sample of pool water, then add liquids or tablets to it. The water changes color, indicating its chemical balance. 

Another common testing kit is a test strip. You submerge this strip in the pool for a few seconds, and it will change color. Match up the strip to a color chart to determine the pool’s pH level. You can use this information to gauge what kind and quantity of chemicals your pool needs. 


  1. Super Chlorinate Water

Organic contaminants like ammonia or nitrogen build up in a pool over time. Massive amounts of such contaminants can interact with a pool’s chlorine to form chloramines, which give off that potent chlorine smell that many people associate with pools. 

To get rid of this harsh odor, it’s necessary to super chlorinate — or shock — pool water back to normal chlorine levels. While it may seem counterintuitive, adding a large amount of chlorine to a pool can make the undesired odor go away. 

Some pools should be shocked once a week, while others can go a significantly longer time. Follow manufacturers’ instructions before super chlorinating your pool to get the best results. 


  1. Find and Repair Leaks

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine if low water levels are due to evaporation or a leak. You can discover leaks in your pool by conducting a simple bucket test. 

Fill a plastic bucket three-quarters full of water. On the inside of the bucket, mark the water line. Place the bucket in the pool, then mark the water line on the outside of the container. (If the bucket has a handle, remove it to allow for better stability while floating.) Let it float for two or three days. 

If the water inside and outside the bucket has gone down the same amount, your pool is losing water due to evaporation. However, if the pool water level has gone down more than the water inside the bucket, your pool has a leak. That’s your cue to call a professional to have it patched.


If you need help taking care of your pool or other home systems, we’re here to help! Reach out to us at 602.733.5000.