How do I maintain my swimming pool?

Pool maintenance: how do I get started?

Pool maintenance: how do I get started?

Pool maintenance is something you should ideally add to your list of chores. Just like watering the plants or taking out the rubbish, it's a good idea to include pool cleaning in your weekly routine. A few minutes of your time in exchange for a crystal clear eye-catcher in your garden: a fresh, clean pool.

 

But what does this chore involve? There are three basic aspects of pool maintenance that every pool owner should know: circulation, chemistry & cleaning. To make sure your pool maintenance skills are up to par, these are the 3 Cs you need to master.

1. Circulation, circulation & circulation

Why is circulation so important?

Stagnant water, i.e. water that doesn't flow, gets dirty quickly. Circulating the water makes sure the chemicals are evenly distributed and that dirt and impurities are constantly removed. You're much less likely to see grime deposits on the walls of a pool that has good circulation.

How do I get sufficient water circulation?

Your pool pump should ideally run for at least 12 hours a day. Running your pump mainly at night may be the cheapest option, but it should also be operating while you're adding chemicals to the water or doing other pool maintenance.

All the water in your pool has to go through the filter at least three times a day. How long this takes depends on the type and size of your pool. To find out how many hours a day your pool pump should be turned on, please check the user manual or ask your swimming pool builder for advice.

1. Circulation, circulation & circulation

2. Chemistry for dummies

Pool chemistry is surprisingly simple. Did you fail your chemistry class back in high school? Don't panic! All you need to know is how to test the water and what to look out for. You mainly test the chlorine content, the pH value, the alkalinity, the water hardness and the algae. The rule of thumb is that the value shouldn't be too high, but not too low either.

Chlorine

Adding chlorine is a very effective way to purify pool water. But UV rays remove chlorine from the water. That means you need to keep a close eye on the chlorine content in your pool and adjust it when necessary.

The chlorine level should be between 1 and 3 ppm, where ‘ppm’ stands for ‘parts per million’. If the chlorine level gets too high, your eyes will start to sting and the water will have a strong chlorine smell, which is of course no fun to swim in. If the level is too low, bacteria and algae have free rein in the water. Read here what you can do if your chlorine values do not change anymore.

pH level

Just about everything on and around the pool affects the pH value. That's why you have to check it regularly. When the pH is too high, the water is ‘alkaline’. And when it's too low, the water becomes ‘acidic’. Swimming pool water needs to have a neutral pH value of between 7.4 and 7.6.

Alkalinity

Testing the alkalinity and keeping it under control are equally important if you want to maintain your swimming pool's pH value. Remember us saying how quickly pH values get out of balance? Well, the alkalinity in the pool helps counteract those fluctuations.

Hardness

Another important characteristic of pool water is its hardness. When there's too much lime in the water, limescale starts building up. Getting rid of it can be a tough job, but you can quite easily prevent the problem by testing and maintaining the water before the hardness gets out of hand.

Algae

Algae as such are not harmful to us humans, but the bacteria that the algae attract can quickly make your pool a place to avoid. So, when it comes to algae, prevention is better than cure. As long as the chlorine level and pH are OK, you shouldn't really have any algae problems.

pH Aqua Plus 5 kg
Top seller
pH Plus 5kg
15,00 €
  • Raises the pH level
  • To be added when pH < 7.2 pH
  • Rapidly dissolving powder
  • Contents: 5 kg
pH Plus 5kg
pH Aqua Minus 5 kg
Top seller
pH Minus 5kg
16,00 €
  • To bring down the pH
  • To be added when pH > 7.6 pH
  • Rapidly dissolving powder
  • Contents: 5 kg
pH Minus 5 kg
Oxidan chlorine tablets 5 kg
Top seller
chlorine tablets
34,99 €
  • Continuous chloration
  • Contents 25 tablets of 200g
  • Only for private pools
chlorine tablets
Eur-o-Choc chlorine granules 5 kg
Top seller
Chlorine granules
34,99 €
  • To quickly correct the chlorine
  • Ideal for shock treatment
  • Contents 5kg
  • Only for private swimming pools
Chlorine granules
Anti-Algae 5L
Top seller
Anti Algae
29,50 €
  • To rid your pool of algae
  • Makes cloudy and milky water clear again
  • 500ml per 50m³ per week
  • Contents 5 liter
Anti Algae

3. Your own test lab

Now you know what you need to test and why, the question that still remains is how to do it.

Manual testers

When maintaining private swimming pools, test strips are probably the most accurate testing method. What's more, they are very easy to use. You can find test strips for just about anything that can be tested, but they all work pretty much the same way.

Take a sample of the pool water and dip the strip completely into it. Remove the strip, wait 15 to 20 seconds and compare the results on the strip with the test strip colour chart.

Digital testers

You also have the option of using a digital tester. These offer better readability, allowing you to read the correct value and make targeted adjustments to the water quality.

Oto & pH 3-way test kit
Willy's Choice
Oto & pH 3-way test kit
12,50 €
  • Test kit with vials
  • For measuring chlorine and pH levels
Test kit for water quality
Climazur test strips (50 pieces)
Test strips for water quality
12,00 €
  • Test strips to measure water quality
  • Analyses free chlorine, pH and total alkalinity
  • 50 pieces per package
  • Result in 30 seconds
Test strips to measure chlorine-, pH-value and total alcalinity
Blue Connect Plus - Salt
Willy's Choice
Blue by Riiot intelligent water tester
399,00 €
  • Intelligent analysis device
  • Gives step-by-step plan to improve the quality
  • Measures pH, chlorine, temperature and conductivity
  • Also for salt electrolysis
The ultimate intelligent analysis device
Scuba II Lovibond Electronic tester
Top seller
Scuba II Lovibond Electronic tester
115,00 €
  • Electronic tester for water quality
  • Measures chlorine, pH value, alkalinity and cyanuric acid
  • Contains test tablets en 2 AAA batteries
  • Best price / quality
Electronic tester for water quality
AquaChek TruTest digital water tester
Digital tester water quality
84,49 €
  • Digital tester to check the water quality
  • To analyse Chlorine, pH and Alkalinity
  • 25 test strips included
  • Power source: 2 x AA penlite battery (not included)
Digital tester for chlorine, pH and alkalinity

4. How do you remove the dirt from your pool?

There are different types of swimming pool filters, with sand filters and cartridge filters being the most common. They both have their pros and cons and require different maintenance, but they do what you expect them to do: keep your pool clean.

But a filter alone won't get rid of all the dirt in your swimming pool. The filter system does the heavy lifting, as it were, but to keep your pool really clean, you'll have to roll up your sleeves as well. For instance, you can scoop leaves and other debris out of the water using a net. And pool vacuums that clean the bottom of the pool are also very handy. For people who prefer not to spend too much time on this chore, there are pool robots that take over the work.

Ta-da! A clean pool for lots of fun in the sun!

Now you know what pool maintenance entails, it's time to get started. Would you still like some more information to be sure you're doing it right? Feel free to download our more detailed maintenance guide[A1] . A clear explanation for clear pool water.

Do you have any other questions about maintaining your swimming pool? You can always come to us with all your pool questions. Contact us.