How Do You Maintain an Inground Pool?
Updated: Jan 3
Your inground pool is one of the best investments you've made in your property. Besides increasing the value of your home, having a pool has virtually countless perks. You get to cool off during the hot summer months and host pool parties. Even lounging poolside on a Saturday afternoon is a great way to unwind from the workweek. Your friends and family look forward to jumping into your pool's crystal clear, shimmering water.
But owning a pool is more than just good times and relaxation. Every pool owner is responsible for keeping their pool in excellent condition through proper pool care. Inground pool maintenance is essential if you want to keep yours looking sparkling and inviting all season long.
If you want to learn how to take care of an inground pool, then you've come to the right place. This article covers essential pool care activities and offers some tips to make sure you're caring for your pool the right way.
Clean out Debris
When it comes to understanding how to maintain an inground pool, you should know that you'll deal with different types of debris regularly. From twigs and leaves to dirt and even animals, nature has its way of finding its way into your pool water. It's up to you to stay on top of this debris to maintain your pool's components while also keeping your water clean.
Here are the steps you'll need to take to clean out all the debris that builds up in your inground pool.
1. Skim Debris From the Water's Surface
You'll have to do some tasks more frequently than others, and this is one of them. Skimming debris from your pool should be an everyday task, even if you can only see a few small fragments in your water. The longer unwanted material is in your pool, the greater its effect on your water's chemistry. Plus, debris that sinks to the bottom of the pool can be harder to clean up.
Use a long-handled leaf skimmer to remove any floating debris from the water's surface. Leaves are common here, but you may encounter other types of debris like litter or insects. If you have trees near your pool, consider trimming them to reduce the number of leaves that fall in.
Taking a few short minutes each day to skim your pool will do a lot to keep it looking great and free from stains. Cleaning the debris while it's still floating will also help protect your pool surfaces from staining and keep your filter from clogging.
2. Brush Sediment and Dirt From Pool Surfaces
Your pool water is always in contact with the pool walls, making them a common area for debris and algae to build up. Other problem areas include surfaces like slides, diving boards and pool ladders. Once a week, you should take the time to brush these surfaces to remove the dirt and prevent the algae from spreading.
Use a gentle pool brush to dislodge dirt stuck to your pool surfaces. Use a long-handled brush to get the dirt stuck to the bottom of your pool, too. Make sure to brush ladders and other pool accessories. Brush all this dirt toward the main drain to make it easier when it comes time to vacuum it all up.
3. Vacuum Your Pool
After removing the clinging dirt and sediment from your pool's surfaces, it's time to remove it from the water. You'll do this with either an automatic or a manual pool vacuum. Here's how to use both types of pool vacuums:
Automatic pool vacuum: All you have to do is plug in the vacuum, place it in the water and let it do its thing. Choose the type of automatic vacuum that works for you and follow the manufacturer's directions to hook it up. Many automatic vacuums connect to your pool's filtration system to move them around your pool and suck up debris.
Manual pool vacuum: A manual vacuum is like a regular household vacuum in that you'll have to control its every move. The head usually connects to your pool's skimmer. You'll control its movements using a long handle, moving it back and forth along the bottom of the pool. Be sure to move slowly and methodically to ensure you pick up all the dirt at the bottom of your pool.
4. Use Flocculant
If you want to remove even the smallest unwanted particles from your pool, add some flocculant to the water. Some particles are too small for your skimmer or vacuum to remove. They can build up in your water, hindering the chemical balance and giving your water a cloudy appearance. Flocculant is the answer to getting rid of these particles.
Flocculant causes these particles to cling together. As they join, they transform into visible clumps in your water that you can more easily scoop out with a skimmer or remove with your pool vacuum.
Remember, flocculant only causes existing particles to lump together. If your pool's water has a chemistry issue that's allowing cloudy water to develop, flocculant will only provide a temporary fix. This is good when you need to clean your pool's water quickly, but you'll want to address the root cause for lasting results.
5. Clean the Pool Skimmer
Your skimmer is essential to your pool's wellbeing. Taking care of it is a critical part of every pool care checklist. Aim to clean your pool skimmer once a week, but you may have to do it more often if needed.
To do this, remove the skimmer's lid and ensure it's empty of any large pieces of debris or anything else that could restrict the flow of water through it. You should also note the water level, as water that is past the halfway point of the skimmer will be less effective at capturing debris.
A clean skimmer operates more efficiently, helping your pool stay cleaner. That's why it's so important to clean out your pool skimmer at least once a week. You'll enjoy cleaner water as a result.
Check the Circulation
A truth to understand about pool care is that moving water is always safer, clearer and cleaner than still water. Still water can become stagnant if it goes an extended period without movement. Bodies of stagnant water have links to health concerns like Legionnaire's disease, insect breeding, pest attraction and other threats. You'll need to keep your water circulating to avoid these risks and enjoy a clean, swimmer-friendly pool.
When you ensure good circulation in your pool, you reduce your chances of dealing with pool algae, cloudy water and other factors associated with still or stagnant water. Here are some tips to help you achieve the desired results:
Keep the pool pump on: For the best results, keep your pool's pump running 24 hours per day, seven days per week. However, running the pump constantly demands a significant amount of energy, and you'll feel it when it comes time to pay your energy bill for the month. For this reason, you should strive to run your pool pump as much as your budget will allow. If you can keep your pump running for half the day, your water will be in good shape to stay clean, safe and healthy.
Backwash your pool filter: Another essential step of proper pool circulation is backwashing your pool's filter. Backwashing reverses the water's flow through your filter, helping carry any accumulated contaminants and dirty water to your pool's waste port. Without these contaminants in your pool's filter, your water pressure will be at the optimal level, ensuring optimal circulation. Consider backwashing your pool filter every month for the best results.
Clean your pool filter: Every pool filter needs a good cleaning every so often. However, some pools will experience more dirt and contaminants than others. Understand your pool's use to know when it might be time to clean your pool filter. And since different types of pool filters exist, it's important to understand the manufacturer's recommendations on how and when to clean your specific type. Incorporate cleaning your pool filter into your pool care routine since you can only achieve the best pool circulation with a good, clean filter.
By doing the above practices, you'll be well on your way toward cleaner, clearer pool water that will invite you and your guests to take a dip on those hot summer days.
Maintain Proper Pool Chemistry
When it comes to knowing how to care for a pool, proper pool chemistry may be the most important knowledge you can have as you begin the process. Pool chemistry is pretty straightforward, and if you have the right foundation, you can successfully balance your pool water.
Balanced pool water is safe to swim in. It also stays cleaner longer, which means the more effort you put into your pool's chemistry, the easier it will be to maintain throughout the swimming season. The opposite is true if you neglect proper pool chemistry. You'll find yourself fighting against the elements as your water makes sudden and drastic swings between looking clear and inviting and looking discolored and offputting.
Pick up a water testing kit from the local hardware or pool store, and test for the following chemical factors in your pool's water:
pH: This is the measure of the acidity or basicness of your pool's water. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with the number 7 being a neutral reading. Your pool's water is acidic if its pH is less than 7, while a measurement over 7 says that your water is basic. You should strive for a pH level of 7.2 to 7.8 for your pool water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Alkalinity: You want your pool water to be alkaline to avoid sudden spikes or drops in its acidity or basicness. In other words, achieving proper alkalinity will make maintaining your water's pH level easier. You can use various pool products to achieve proper alkalinity in your pool, but regular baking soda works, too. The CDC recommends achieving alkalinity of 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm) for residential pools.
Calcium hardness: Calcium hardness refers to the number of calcium ions in your pool's water. A high calcium hardness will cause your water to dump these particles onto your pool surfaces, leaving behind a white residue called scale. A low calcium hardness will result in your pool water leeching particles from your pool surfaces, leading to corrosion. According to the CDC, a good calcium hardness to achieve is 200 to 400 ppm.
Sanitizer levels: You'll need to sanitize your water to keep it safe to swim in. Two of the most popular sanitizers available are chlorine and bromine. The CDC recommends having a free chlorine concentration of at least 1 ppm and a free bromine concentration of at least 3 ppm.
The Importance of Weekly Pool Maintenance
Weekly pool maintenance is necessary if you want to enjoy your pool at your convenience all summer long. Imagine the perfect weekend weather comes, and your pool is cloudy, green and full of debris. Instead of being able to set up the lounge chairs and fire up the grill for a pool party, you'll be spending your perfect weekend cleaning your pool. You can always be ready to enjoy your inground pool by keeping up with your pool care routine.
But more than that, weekly pool maintenance is an investment in your property. A pool that is well cared for can increase the value of your home, which means more money in your pocket if it ever comes time to sell. A pool is an attractive feature, so you should do all you can to keep yours looking beautiful.
Another critical reason for weekly pool maintenance is the health of you and your family. As we noted, a dirty, stagnant pool can be a breeding ground for diseases and disease-spreading animals and insects. When you keep your pool water clean, circulating and balanced, you create a defense to keep those health risks far from your property.
Choose Quantus Pools for Your Pool Care Needs
At Quantus Pools, we know what it takes to achieve proper inground pool maintenance. Our services cover all your pool care needs so you can enjoy your pool, invest in your property and protect your family's health without putting in any of the work. Our friendly professionals make you feel like family and are willing to answer all your questions so you can enjoy peace of mind when it comes to your pool's wellbeing.