A private swimming pool represents the height of luxury. It’s a great way to cool off during summer, and it’ll allow you to have bags of fun while keeping in shape. But to get the best from your pool, you’ll want to put in place some regular cleaning procedures. After all, there’s nothing more likely to take the fun out of the backstroke than a thin film of greenish slime sloshing into your mouth.
Cleaning a pool might, at first glance, seem like a complicated procedure. But it’s actually several simple ones rolled together. Let’s examine each and see what’s required to get the job done.
Chlorine, as we all know, is added to pools to kill harmful pathogens and keep the water transparent. Usually, we want the chlorine level to be just a few parts per million – less than 3, but more than 1. Of course, the level of chlorine we need to kill all the bacteria in the pool is far higher than this – but most of us would find these levels intolerable. But you can temporarily raise the chlorine concentration using something called a ‘shock treatment’.
There are several kinds of shock treatment available. Most will need to be left in the pool for eight hours before it’s safe to swim again, so administer them overnight and cover the water up. Larger pools will require more chlorine – so follow the packet instructions to the letter.
The pH level of your pool will determine how effective the chlorine is at killing those pathogens. You want your pool to be slightly alkaline, at around pH 7.5. You can adjust this by adding sodium bisulphate or sodium carbonate to raise or lower the pH.
What about Salt Water Pools?
If you’re running a saltwater pool, then it’s worth occasionally checking the salinity levels. This is done using a hand-held device called a refractometer, which shines a light through a sample of water. These can be gotten from RS components.
If your pool isn’t sufficiently chlorinated, you might see green algae forming around the sides. You can address this by applying a dedicated algaecide, or by looking for a shock treatment which kills algae.
Your pool’s filters are designed to remove those tiny bits of debris that might find their way into the pool. When the filter becomes blocked, the water will start to become cloudy. If you’re savvy, you can spot the problem before this happens, as the pool’s pressure will rise slightly.
There are some pieces of debris (most notoriously dead insects) which are too large for your filter. Get rid of these by skimming daily – especially during summer. This takes a few seconds, provided that you haven’t left the bugs to build up. Make a habit of it, or rope one of the kids into doing it for you.