23 November 2015
Make sure your pool maintenance goes swimmingly
One of the joys of having your own pool is being able to swim on a whim – whether that’s an early morning invigorating dip to pep you up for a busy day running the family or luxuriating in the pool after a hectic day running your business empire! Whatever your favourite time for a swim, you’ll want to be greeted with sparkling water that looks, feels and smells great.
Like many pool owners you probably have a service engineer who visits a few times a month to give the pool a full service, but in between you can play a role in keeping your pool in peak condition, even if it’s simply being observant to minor changes and reporting them to your engineer straightaway.
For example, a tile that’s fallen from a pool wall could be symptomatic of an emerging problem such as a crack in the pool structure. Getting the tile checked immediately will reveal if there is an issue that can be fixed quickly to avoid escalation into a major problem. As the adage goes: ‘prevention is better cure.’
‘Little and often’ is our philosophy for taking good care of your pool. If small things are overlooked they can snowball into significant problems which could result in the pool being out of action just when you want to swim. It will also lead to unnecessary expense with the service engineer having to spend more time at your home during a routine visit.
Apart from keeping an eye on the general appearance of your pool, here are a few areas to look after in between the professional service visits – it’s an excellent idea to ask your service engineer to run through these steps with you when the pool is first commissioned or if you need a refresher:
- Filter strainer baskets – these collect debris and prevent them from entering the pool. The baskets can become clogged and inhibit water flow and filtering capability, so check regularly and contact the service team if you have any concerns.
- Vacuuming – to keep the water clear and the use of chemicals to a minimum, vacuum your pool weekly. There are plenty of pool cleaners on the market and an automatic one will make the job that much more efficient.
- Walls and tiles – using the correct type of brush for the interior of the pool, brush carefully to protect these areas from algae or calcium build-up.
- Filter – the cleaning required depends on the type of filter in use. While cartridges should be cleaned out and replaced every 1-2 seasons, DE and sand-based filters require periodic backwashing to keep them clear of debris. As dirt builds up in the filter bed, it will reduce the flow of water into the pool, so the filter should be regularly backwashed (a process by which the water is pumped backwards through the filter media). Check the pressure gauge weekly, and look out for an increase of 8-10lbs, as this is an indicator that backwashing is needed.
- Water chemistry – getting pool chemistry right is a delicate balance to ensure the pool water is healthy. Read this blog which explains what the chemicals in your pool do.
- Skimming debris – although we’re not currently in the outdoor pool season and skimming the pool water for debris isn’t pertinent right now, do clear away all the leaves and branches that fall around the pool area during the autumn/winter period. Come spring, when it’s time to open your pool, the area will be nice and clean in readiness for the engineer to re-open the pool straightaway.
Finally, one practice that can cause problems is leaving toys or other objects in your pool when it’s not in use. Always remove such items when you finish in the pool because they harbour bacteria which can affect the water chemistry. Also, they can become caught in the pool cover and be sucked into the skimmer, disrupting its performance.
While certain tasks are straightforward enough to do yourself, do leave the more technical jobs, such as looking after heating and electrical equipment, to the professionals – another adage we believe in is ‘better safe than sorry.’
When it comes to pool cleaning, servicing and maintenance, the most important thing is that your pool is cared for regularly. This will ensure that you and your engineer spot small issues early and stop them becoming problems that prevent you using your pool.
If you have any questions about caring for your pool or spa call Chris Walker, Head of Servicing at London Swimming Pool Company - 020 8605 1255.