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How To Maintain A Pool. Should You Hire A Pool Maintenance Service?

Updated on November 5, 2012

Professional Pool Maintenance

For many first time pool owners, maintaining a pool is a major undertaking. Pool water is not as simple as it looks. Even those who have owned pools all their lives are barely scratching the surface in understanding what is involved in proper pool maintenance.

Should you hire a pool maintenance service?

Absolutely! To maintain a pool to its optimum sanitization level, while keeping the PH level within the best range as to prolong the life of your pool plaster, equipment, and of course your eyes and skin a professional service is a must. The Pool Service business is not a "business" for no reason at all. You must however, use judgement when hiring. Make sure that you are hiring real professionals who take their work seriously. Many people believe that they can do the job themselves, and to some extent, they may be able to keep the pool relatively presentable, but a professional service will make the water sparkle, and feel cleaner due to optimum sanitization.

There is a lot involved in pool chemistry and overall pool care. The maintenance of the pump, vacuum and baskets, filter, ect. To really appreciate the true beauty of your pool, prolong the life of the plaster and equipment, it is mandatory to have a pool vacuum, and a real professional service to start with.

Your pool water needs to be at its optimum PH, sanitation level, alkalinity, and hardness in order to feel clean, look good, and not do any damage your pool plaster or equipment.

I have seen pools that have a mottled plaster shell due to calcium permeating through the shell. When water is low on calcium, and the person who maintains the pool does not catch it, this will ruin the beauty of the plaster shell. The water makes an effort to gain calcium to stabilize itself, and actually draws calcium it out of the plaster shell, leaving ugly large spots all over the pool walls.

Optimum Pool Water Balance

A brief description of the very basics.

Optimum sanitization or chlorine level should be between 1-3

PH should be at 7.2- 7.8; Because if PH gets too high it will be too far off natural body chemistry and will result in stinging eyes, and if its too low, the water will be acidic witch will also result in stinging eyes. Furthermore, the PH plays a role in the effectiveness of your sanitization potential. If It its too high, the sanitizer will not work as efficiently.

Alkalinity should be 80-120. If its too low, PH bounce is likely to occur. Alkalinity acts as a buffer to PH.

Chlorine Stabilizer should be 30-50. Without stabilizer the chlorine will dissipate quickly.

Professional pool services will guide your pool toward optimization by using a saturation (langlier) index.

Why a Vacuum and a Service?

I have heard many people saying, "I have a pool sweep,and therefore I am covered." The reality is you need a vacuum and a service. Having a clean pool is actually a full time job, and the service will maintain the chemicals, manually remove all debris, brush the tile, inspect the equipment, replacing any worn parts, and keep the vacuum in optimum condition.

I have memories from childhood when my friends did not have a pool service, and their vacuum would be covered with dirt, and barely running. It really took the pleasure out of swimming because the pool was never thoroughly clean, as in having a service spend the time to get the pool perfect. People are busy and simply do not have the time to maintain their pool on a weekly basis.

The vacuum makes good use out of the pump. Without one, you are simply running the pump without any visual benefit of having the bottom of your pool powerfully pick of fine debris, and relatively large leaves. A service will keep the vacuum running. As is to be expected, the vacuum will become jammed or locked up from the many things it is continually picking up, and more often than you think, rats, and other small creatures will become caught in the vacuum, making it necessary to take the bottom out of the machine and removing the rodent. Those who have a pool service have no idea how many creepy things like this are happening in their yard.

The Hayward Navigator is the most versatile and effective vacuum on the market. There are many good vacuums, but the one that is overall the most dependable in all situations is by far the Navigator.

A rat trapped in the bottom of a pool vacuum
A rat trapped in the bottom of a pool vacuum

Calcium Buildup

Skarlet's photos
Skarlet's photos

How to Break Down Calcium

Depending on where in the world you live you may have calcium buildup around the edges of your pool. Notice this beautiful pool above has white washed tiles to the left of the spa. This is where the water pours from the spa into the pool, and years of the water splashing on the tile has caused thick calcium deposits on the tiles.

There are expensive and complicated calcium reduction systems but simply buying Pristine Check Calcium Control and adding to your pool water. A professional pool maintenance service will keep calcium at by by keeping your water balanced within a saturation index that keeps your water from spitting out calcium, combined with a tile soap that consistently removes any small amounts of buildup that attaches to the tile. This is another reason to invest in a good pool service.

Should You Choose A Pool Service?

Many pool owners go through cycles of having a pool service and trying to manage the job themselves. The big question is should pool owners invest in a pool service or do the job themselves?

The answer in short is, yes,you really really should have a GOOD pool service.

What do I mean by GOOD?

The problem with the pool business is that anyone can grab a net and go door to door offering to clean your pool for you. This is definitely not a professional service. If you truly care about preserving your pool plaster and having your pool at its dynamic best and at its safest for swimming, a good service is absolutely necessary.

When you first interview a pool service, pay attention to how they present themselves. A pool business is a professional business just as anything else. The pool service professional is dealing with harsh chemicals and hard outdoor labor, so they will not be wearing a suit and tie, but if they are carrying ear buds and paying little attention to your pool and mechanics, chances are they will not be providing a very professional service.

A service should have someone writing in a binder or typing into a tablet your pools readings each week. This way if anything unusual happens, they have notes of what was added to your pool and how it responded. They also will know the temperature of your water, PH, Chlorine level, CYA, and TDS. All of these things equal a saturation index that a pro should have a handle on at all times. This way when the weather changes they will instantly know if your water is corrosive or scaling. This is something only a pro who uses the saturation index can know. You can look at the strips and see if your pool is short on chlorine but you will have no way of knowing that your water is corrosive and your PH needs to be allowed to drift up or you need to add soda ash. These minor details preserve your plaster and pool equipment, as well as your skin and eyes.

How to keep ducks out of the pool.

There are some chlorine dispensers that resemble geese. This has worked for many pool owners as has having an owl, around the pool or diving board.


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    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      Thank you alicialoyd.

      I love your profile pic!

    • alicialoyd profile image

      alicialoyd 5 years ago

      Having the professional people do the maintenance for your pool is definitely a must. It's great that you've point out the main reasons why it's necessary.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      We have a pool service do our pool as it is much easier and safe for us. There is so much maintenance to keeping it clean and pure. Professionals can do it much quicker and know how to maintain areas you don't notice as well. Good topic and well covered.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      I've always tried to do my own maintenance. Any tips on hiring a good woman who knows how to spritz?

      The Frog :)