An above-ground swimming pool requires maintenance to remain clean and safe over a period of year. Keep reading to the learn basics of maintaining an above-ground pool.
Acquiring the appropriate supplies the key to successful pool maintenance. Browse through your local pool store or explore the Internet to find out what kinds of pool supplies are available and what you will feel the most comfortable with. Although most people choose to utilize automatic pool equipment, it is important to still purchase a skimmer and a brush. Your automatic cleaning system will work well, but not perfectly. Offering some assistance by brushing dirt off the sides of the pool and skimming out leaves and other debris will help the cleaning system to continue functioning appropriately.
Choosing an automatic cleaning system is an important decision and should be researched thoroughly. Think about how much you are willing to spend and research what works best in that price range. The most common system is a vacuum system in which a small device travels around floor of the pool and cleans up the dirt. It sucks the debris into a tank, which you then empty. This is the most common, most successful system for above-ground pools. You will also need to purchase chlorine, shock, a water-testing kit and a pool cover for any harsh seasons of weather.
Testing the Water
A water-testing kit is necessary to know when to add different chemicals to your pool. If you do not maintain these chemical levels, bacteria can grow in your pool or the water can start irritating people’s eyes and skin. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test the alkalinity, the calcium hardness, and the pH levels of the water. If the alkalinity is low, add an alkalinity increaser; add a decreaser if it is high. If pH levels are high or low, add pH “plus” or “minus” accordingly. If calcium hardness is low, add a water hardener agent; if it is high, add a sequestering agent.
All of these items can be found online or in your local pool store. Test alkalinity monthly, calcium hardness bi-monthly, and pH levels twice a week. Keeping the readings within the desired ranges means your chemicals are fighting bacteria without causing corrosion to the pool or irritation to the skin and eyes of swimmers.
Chlorine is the most important thing you will use to keep your pool clean. With the correct levels of chlorine, you will be able to fight bacteria without causing irritation to your friends and family. Chlorine comes in multiple forms including tabs, sticks, granules and floaters; each has a slightly different distribution method and you should choose the one you feel most comfortable with. You will also need to purchase shock, a pool supply that will reduce chloramines (reduce chlorine smell) and will keep the chemicals in your pool functioning properly. Because a pool is an investment, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.