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How To Take Care Of Your First Pool

Updated on October 13, 2012
Perfect Pool
Perfect Pool | Source

Taking Care of Your Own Pool

Maintaining a pool is not as easy as you may think. Pools and spas require frequent monitoring to maintain a crystal clear look, and comfortable sanitization level. Even those who have owned pools before probably do not know how to properly maintain a pool.

So you just purchased your dream house and It has everything, including the pool you always wanted. Now, you desperately need to figure out what to do before you end up with a green swamp in your yard. Here are the basics; consider it Pool Care 101, as I am intending for this page to be specifically for pool owners who have no clue. I will keep this as simple and basic as possible, assuming this is a chlorine, not a saltwater pool. If you do have a saltwater pool clickHow To Take Care of a Saltwater Pool.

First, you will need test strips.You may purchase these at pool supply stores, such as Leslies. (Aquachek is a common brand name.) These test strips are a basic guide to the water in your pool. You will put one of these strips in your pool and check the color that these small sponges turn against the color guide on the side of the test strip container. Liquid Chlorine and Muriatic Acid are the two chemicals that you will be using to balance out your water to an ideal sanitization level. Take a look at the chlorine and PH reading. Ideally your PH should be 7.2-7.8. This is a range that allows chlorine to do its job and is still comfortable to swim in. Eyes are less likely to become irritated when the PH closely resembles human skin. (typically being 7.4). The chlorine reading should read between 2 & 4. If you are getting a 1 or a 0, you should add chlorine to bring the reading up, If you have a PH reading of 8.4, you should add muriatic acid to lower the PH. That is how it works! Either of these being off will lead to algae outbreaks. The amount of chlorine and acid to add depends on the size of your pool, however, if you have an average size pool of approximately 20,000 thousand gallons and you are getting a 0 on chlorine and a high PH reading, you could try 1 1/2 gallons of chlorine and about 1/2 of acid. This is usually the way one adds chemicals, more chlorine than acid in approximately this ratio. Try another test strip the next day, or after the pump has been running for 6 hours.

You should own a net and brush. If you just purchased a home with a pool, chances are you are one the verge of an algae outbreak. Brush the walls of the pool, and the steps to see if there is a green cloud, if there is, its algae. You should brush it off the surface of the pool and check the chemicals every day to make sure that you have it under control. Try to keep the surface of the water free of debris, as this too can add the the possibility of algae. A robotic vaccum is a must. This will aid in the overall circulation of the water as well as keep the surface of the pool clean.

I hope this helps you understand the basics of caring for your pool. Keep in mind these are the very basics of pool care. Please keep in mind that this is information to provide you with general knowledge that is important to know about your property, and to get you by until you find a good pool service. There are many aspects and details to maintaining a healthy pool, such as, alkalinity, phosphates, chlorine stabilizer, and possible metals. A professional service is always recommended, although finding a true swimming pool professional is not easy. The pool business is unusual in that a teenager can grab a net and knock on your door asking if you want a "pool guy," this is not a real professional, a good service is not easy to come by because there are so many people throwing chlorine and nets around to make a little extra money. Some good advice to remember is, don't hire the cheapest! hire someone who knows what he is doing. It requires money for the service to take proper care of your pool, and if they come in with a low price, chances are they will cut corners when it comes to balancing out your water. If you have a plaster pool and the water is not balanced correctly, it will start to wear thin and become porous. Many people think that they are saving money by letting their kids take care of the pool or they do it themselves, but in the long run, the cost to replace tile, plaster, and corroded equipment is a lot more devastating than a monthly service. Your pool is part of your property value and you should have a professional who can be trusted. If you are in the state of California some reputable services are; in the Los Angeles area, Aqua Artists, who have been in business since 1964, Another Perfect Pool, Orange County, and The Pool Nanny in North County, San Diego.

Things you Will Need

CAUTION: Be very careful, wear sunglasses or goggles, this is powerful and will burn your skin, do not get ANY of this on skin, and be careful of the vapor when pouring in the pool.make absolutely sure you do not mix the chlorine and acid. Pour chlorine in shallow end and acid in deep end to be certain that they are not together.

1) Muriatic Acid

2) Liquid Chlorine (add chemicals while pump is running. Ideally pump should run 6 hours per day.)

3) Test strips

4) Pool Vaccum ( Polaris, Hayward, & Zodiac models are excellent)

5) Pole

6) Net

7) Brush

Do You Maintain Your Own Pool?

Are you taking care of your pool or do you have a pool service?

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Are You Satisfied With The Quality of Your Water?

Is your pool water alage free and sparkling clear?

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    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      What a terrible experience! Pools can be very frustrating, and expensive.

    • BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

      Jack Hazen 5 years ago from Blitzburgh area

      I didn't have a green swamp in my yard. I had brown muck in my pool. I have a well and I couldn't possibly fill up my new pool from the well. I should have called a reputable water delivery service and paid for the water. But no, I had the volunteer fire department fill it up for free. These are the same guys who put out a big brush fire on my land, and came back four hours later and put it out again. They sit in the bar at the fire hall until they get a 911 call.

      Anyway, they apparently filled up the fire truck from a muddy creek. It took me a couple weeks to get the water clean enough to swim in.