3 Tips for pool maintenance for beginners

Pool maintenance is important for many reasons. Not only does it save you from spending a fortune on bigger issues down the track, it also helps keep the pool safe for you and your family.

As a pool owner, keeping your pool swim-ready is something you can easily do yourself, as long as you’re equipped with the tools, the time and the know-how. Luckily, the experts at Poolwerx have complied a list of everything you need to know about DIY pool maintenance.

Why filtration is the foundation of your pool maintenance

Before we dive into our tips, it’s important to understand why proper pool filtration is vital for your pool’s health. Filtration keeps all the good chemicals circulating through the water while it removes any harmful bacteria that may be forming, making it an important part of pool maintenance.

Regardless of the time of year leaves, dirt and debris are going to end up in your pool. To stop contaminants building up in your pool’s filtration system, you’ll need to remove this debris from the water. The filtration system can’t work properly if it hasn’t been properly maintained, which is going to lead to problems with your pool water.

From there, you can look at your regular pool maintenance plan, as below.

Our top 3 pool maintenance tips

Along with keeping your filtration up to scratch, there are three key things you should do when it comes to caring for your pool. These are:

1. Regular pool water testing

Regular water testing is important because it provides an accurate picture of what chemicals the pool needs in order to sanitise and balance the water.

If you’re wondering how often you should test your pool water, the answer varies depending on the season and bather load. In the cooler months, every two weeks will do the trick, but at the height of summer twice a week is ideal for keeping your pool healthy.

Not sure how to get your pool water tested? Poolwerx can do it for free when you pay us a visit.

2. Using the right chemicals

Swimming pools are prone to a build-up of bacteria in the water. Adding the correct chemicals in the correct quantities to your pool is important for not only sanitising the water, but also to make sure your overall pool health is kept in check.

Combined with the proper water testing procedure, like Poolwerx’ free water testing instore, you can keep the chemical balance in your water perfect, meaning a clean, healthy, and swim-ready pool.

If you need help identifying which pool chemicals are best, our pool experts can lend a hand.

3. Regular cleaning

It’s important to clean your pool regularly because it ensures that leaves and debris are removed from the pool and the pool equipment. While filtration equipment and chemicals do a great job in making sure pool water is sanitised and free of debris, without targeted pool cleaning, it’s hard to know if every part of the pool is being cleaned and all the debris is being removed.

For thorough and effective pool cleaning, we recommend a combination of vacuuming and brushing. Alternatively, if you’re looking for an easier way check out our robotic pool cleaners. These are a great investment if you want to save time. Find out which robotic cleaner is best for you by talking to the Poolwerx team. Otherwise check out the products we have available.

Need help? Talk to the experts

There are many variables when maintaining a pool, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If your pool is looking cloudy or green, there’s always a solution. If you’re worried about the state of your pool, or want to know how much maintenance a pool requires, contact your local Poolwerx. We’d be happy to help.

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Pool chemistry for beginners Just because your pool water appears clean, doesn't always mean that it's healthy and safe for swimming. It could actually contain contaminants invisible to the naked eye, and if your pool chemistry is out of whack, harmful bacteria can risk the health of you or your family members. Making sure things are balanced is vital, and you don’t need to be a chemist to do it. We’re lending our expertise to any pool chemistry beginners, so you can understand exactly how to take charge of your DIY pool maintenance. It’s important to note that pool chemistry is just one part of the bigger picture when it comes to your pool health. In fact, sanitisation, pool chemistry and filtration are all linked, each element working together and relying on one another to keep your pool clean and safe. The role of sanitisation Before we get into the nitty gritty of balancing your pool chemicals, let’s talk about why your pool water needs to be balanced. When your water attributes (pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness) are out of alignment, no matter how many sanitisation products you add to your pool water, they simply won’t be effective. Think about all the things that make their way into your pool – the wind blows in twigs and dirt, birds might stop for a dip (or a toilet stop), and after a swim people leave behind body oils, dead skin, sweat, and whatever else our bodies produce. Sanitiser is the best way to stop these contaminants turning your beautiful pool into a swamp, keeping away bacteria and algae that can make your pool water unhealthy. There are a few different options you can use for your pool sanitiser, depending on the type of pool you have and your own personal preferences. Chlorine The most common type of sanitiser is, of course, pool chlorine, which is an effective and inexpensive way to sanitise your pool. It comes in three forms: liquid, granular, or tablets, and cleans your pool by entering contaminant molecules and destroying them from the inside out. The ideal chlorine level sits at 3-5 parts per million (ppm). Bromine If you want an alternative to chlorine, and are keen to avoid the strong chlorine smell, bromine is the way to go. It ionizes pollutants, breaking down chemical bonds. It’s not as effective as chlorine, but it remains active for longer. Keep it at 3-5ppm. Pool salt If you have a salt water pool, all you need is pool salt. The salt goes through a chlorinator which uses it to produce chlorine. So, for your salt water pools, instead of using a chlorine product, the sanitiser is actually continuously produced by the chlorinator. Learn more about salt water pools, what kind of salt to add and how to maintain them here. Minerals Pools with a mineral system, as the name suggests, contain extra minerals, commonly including magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride. These work together to not only help keep your pool clean, but also provide a range of health and skin benefits. It is worthwhile to use a little bit of chlorine to help the mineral system along. 0.5ppm is plenty. How to balance pool chemistry Now that we’ve covered the importance of pool sanitising, let’s walk through how to make it work effectively. If you want your pool to look beautiful AND be safe for swimming, balanced water that allows for your sanitising products to work their magic is important. This happens when your PH levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness are all sitting where they should be. To make this happen, it helps know a little bit about the role that these pool chemicals play in your pursuit of a healthy pool. Here’s what you need to know. PH levels PH levels refer to the acidity of your pool water. A lower pH reading means that your pool is acidic, which can cause etchings on the sides of your pool and even erode your metal fixtures. A high pH reading is basic (more hydroxide ions than hydrogen ions), and can cause scaling on your pool surface and plumbing. Anything that enters your pool (rain, dirt, people) can have an effect on the levels, so you have to be on top things to ensure they stay in the ideal range. The recommended pH is surprisingly the same as the human eye, which is pH 7.4, so, we would recommend keeping your pool levels between pH 7.2 and pH 7.6. We advise on using focus pH increase and focus pHIX tablets to achieve this. Alkalinity Alkalinity works as a buffer to help regulate the factors that can throw your pH levels off balance. Because of this, you should always play around with alkalinity levels first, and then adjust your PH. The recommended levels are between 80 and 120 parts per million, and depending on if your alkalinity is low or high, you should be using focus pH buffer or pool acid. Calcium hardness We all know calcium's important for our body, but what about calcium hardness in our pool? Calcium in our pools works to keep your pool water clean and keeps the surface of your pool in good shape. The starting calcium hardness levels can depend on where you get your water from, for example water from a spigot will have less minerals (and calcium) than well water. Low calcium hardness can make your pool water feel slimy, and can even corrode the surface of your pool. The recommended levels of calcium hardness are between 150 and 400 PPM, and if you'd like to raise your calcium hardness levels, give focus cal plus a try. Pool chemistry testing The key to identifying your pool chemistry levels is in pool water testing. This will let you know the best pool chemicals to use. While you can conduct your own water tests at home, if you have any concerns about the health of your pool water, or feel that your chemicals may be out of balance, it's best to get your water professionally tested – especially if it's cloudy or green. You can get your pool water tested for free at your local Poolwerx. Following the test, our experts can advise you on the best products to help you get your pool chemistry perfectly balanced. Remember – pool filtration is important To keep your pool chemicals effective, including whatever you’re using to get things balanced, you need proper water circulation. A proper filtration system will keep things moving, spreading chemicals and your sanitisation products to every corner of your pool. Plus, it will filter our debris and bacteria, and stop algae from forming, which helps to keep your water attributes at the right levels. Talk to Poolwerx We’re always happy to help, so if you’re seeking advice about your pool health or your pool chemistry, don’t hesitate to give us a call.