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How to Properly Maintain Your Own Pool

After your pool has been completed, you have to decide on the best way to keep it clean, safe and fun for everyone to enjoy. The easiest way to maintain your pool is to hire a reliable pool maintenance professional to do most of the maintaining for you. MC&R Pools currently maintains over 60 pools in the Sioux Falls area.

If you prefer to maintain your pool yourself or if you want to be sure that your pool is being properly maintained, you will need to adhere to a maintenance schedule. The following is a good guide.

WEEKLY MAINTENANCE:

•  Brush* the entire surface of the pool, including any tiled areas.
•  Manually vacuum* or brush any dirt and debris, which has not already been removed by your cleaning system, toward the main drains.
•  Net any debris off the surface of the pool water.
•  Clean out the skimmer and pump baskets.
•  Check the filter pressure to determine if backwashing or cartridge cleaning is necessary.
•  Test the levels of chlorine, pH and alkalinity.
•  If the pool has a chlorinator, check the level of chlorine and add as needed.

FILTER MAINTAINENCE:

•  Cartridge Filters – when the pressure gauge increases 10 psi above initial, tear down the filter by removing the cartridge element. Clean thoroughly.
•  D.E. Filters - every 6 months, or whenever pressure gauge reads “dirty,” tear down the filter by removing the grids. Clean thoroughly.
•  High Rate Sand Filter – backwash when pressure increases 7-10 psi above initial. Clean or replace sand media annually.

BEYOND WEEKLY MAINTAINENCE:

•  Every month, the waterline ceramic tile and grout should be cleaned using a tile cleaning solution.
•  Every month, if the pool has a salt chlorinator, check the salt content level.
•  Every month, inspect the mastic for cracks and separation. Repair or replace any damaged mastic.
•  Every 12 months, have a complete pool water analysis done by a professional pool company.
•  When necessary, “super chlorinate” or “shock” the pool water after heavy usage or a heavy rainstorm.

* Brushing Your Pool
Brushing is an important part of the initial “new pool” cleaning process but, even after your pool is clean (and even if you own an automatic cleaning system), it is important to occasionally brush your pool to remove the dirt that will adhere to the wall and floor. When brushing your pool, start at the top of the walls on the tile line and work your way down to the bottom of your pool or spa. Please be careful while brushing because allowing plastic edges of the brush to scrape the surface may cause marking of the plaster. Using steady, firm strokes, always brush the dirt toward the recirculating drain, overlapping your brush strokes.

* Using Your Vacuum Cleaner
Many pools may not require a vacuum cleaner when an automatic cleaning system is installed, however, there are always those special times when heavy use of the pool, wind storms or children throwing dirt or debris into the pool may overtax the cleaning system. The vacuum works as part of the filter system and is attached through the skimmer. The pool water, along with dirt and leaves, are drawn through the vacuum and flow through the normal filter system. Leaves, and other large objects, are caught in the strainer basket and small particles are removed in the filter.