A regular cleaning schedule is a must to keep the load on your pool filter low and maintain your swimming pool in a clean and visually appealing state. These are the things that pool service companies will take of for you if you decide to hire one. If not, you should establish a regular routine that includes the following chores.
Test the water for pH and residual chlorine level, total alkalinity and calcium hardness. Note what adjustments are needed, but do not add any chemicals to the water until vacuuming and cleaning have been done.
Using a leaf skimmer, skim off all leaves and other debris from the water surface. If you do this every day, then the leaves don’t have a chance to sink to the pool bottom, where they are harder to clean up. A good leaf skimmer will have a stainless steel frame holding the mesh net for skimming, and can attach to telescoping aluminum handles, which reach up to 16 feet.
Tile and Walls
Tile and wall surfaces around the water line should be cleaned of any scum buildup, using a rag or sponge and a small amount of household scouring powder. Light buildup of calcium scale should be cleaned from walls using a soft block of pumice stone, but be careful not to scratch tile surfaces with it.
Steel wool should be avoided as it can cause staining in grout. Excess scaling is a sign of water chemistry imbalance, and should be corrected, as it can damage filtration equipment and piping.
Brush Down Walls
To clean away persistent dirt and algae from plaster pool walls, brush them with a stainless steel brush, starting at the waterline and working your way down to the pool bottom surface.
Begin brushing in the shallow end and move toward the deep end, so that the dirt can be moved toward the main drain; some of the dirt will be sucked into the filtration system and the remainder can be removed with the vacuum.
Clean debris from the skimmer box’s strainer basket as well as the leaf strainer in the pump.
If you don’t have an automatic vacuum or pool sweep built in, you will need to use a manual pool vacuum regularly. There are a few different types of vacuum, but the basic routine is the same.
Start at the shallow end of the pool and work toward the deep end. Pick up all the dirt particles in the water around the edges, moving the vacuum head along the direction of the pool walls, using slow steady sweeps, then start across the width of the pool cleaning the water in the middle.
If the filter gauge indicates it is needed, do a backwash operation on it to clean out the buildup of dirt and debris. Too frequent backwashing can cause your filter to operate inefficiently, so only do it when called for.
Now is the time to make adjustments to the chemical balance of the water, after performing all the above steps. Add whatever chemicals are needed to keep the water properly balanced and sanitized. Use caution when adding acids; wear gloves and eye protection and do not allow the acid to splash, pour it slowly.
Finally, hose down and brush the decking around the pool. Spray and sweep in a direction away from the pool or you risk washing dirt back into the pool you just cleaned it out of. During high usage times and summer months, you should occasionally wash down the decking with a mixture of 5 percent chlorine to water in order to prevent bacteria and infections like athlete’s foot from spreading.