Pool Care 101

I recently moved and in my new house I have a pool. As such I’ve needed to learn the basics of pool care so that I can make sure to maintain it well. I figured some of you may want to learn how to take care of pools SO i figured I’d share the basics.

To start there are 3 keys to pool maintenance known as the 3 C’s: Cleaning, Circulation, and Chemistry. If you can get all of these to healthy levels then you will have no problem maintaining a pool.

Lets get into cleaning. There are a few steps to properly cleaning your pool. The first is skimming where you use a net to skim the surface of the pool to get any debris off the top of the pool. After you skim the pool you will need to brush the sides, then you will need to vacuum, and finally skim again.

The main tools that you will need for this are: a net with a long pool pole, a brush metal brush head, and a vacuum. Using all these tools will help you keep your pool spotless as long as you follow the above steps.

Next up is pool circulation. Your pool has at least one jet that should be pushing your water either clockwise or counterclockwise. The main thing you need to know is whether or not the water in your pool is being circulated well. If this is not happening then you will likely have buildup occur. If you can adjust your jets I recommend tilting them downward to help get some circulation on your pool floor.

The final and most complicated part of pool care is pool chemistry. This part of pool care is also the most finicky as you need to understand how all the chemicals and elements react. There are 7 main things that you need to track in terms of chemistry. They are as follows: Total Hardness, Total Chlorine, Free Chlorine, Bromine, Total Alkalinity, Cyanuric Acid, and pH. These are all measured in PPM or Parts Per Million. (except pH it has its own scale and has to do with the acidity or lack there of in a substance like water).

The best way that I have found to track all of these with high reliability is with multi test pool test strips. These strips have little squares that all react to different chemicals that can tell you the amounts of certain elements in your pool. I test the pool daily and record these results in a spreadsheet.

For the final segment of this blog I’ll include the healthy values for all of these chemicals in your pool. To start the ideal total hardness is between 120-425 ppm, the ideal total chlorine is between 1-5 ppm, the ideal free chlorine level is between 1-3 ppm, the ideal amount of bromine is between 2-6 ppm, the ideal pool alkalinity is between 120-180, the ideal amount of cyanuric acid in your pool is 30-100, and finally the ideal pH levels are between 7.2-7.6.

That’s it for today’s post I hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you next time.