Ever wondered what the biggest pool maintenance mistakes are? Well we’re here to tell you what they are and how to fix them!
Owning a swimming pool brings plenty of chances to make pool care mistakes. Luckily mistakes are really just opportunities to learn. Educating yourself on the most common pool maintenance mistakes helps you keep your pool safer, cleaner, and running efficiently with less mess and frustration.
1. Adding Shock Directly Into the Pool Water
The chemical we call pool shock is basically concentrated chlorine. At high strength, chlorine can bleach anything that enters your pool. Don’t worry – you can’t over shock your pool. However, adding shock directly to the pool water if you have a vinyl liner can be a disaster. The shock granules will sink to the bottom and bleach out your liner making it brittle and frail, and prone to leaks.
Pre-dissolve the chemical in a bucket of water before you shock your pool. This will allow the shock to disperse more evenly in the water, protecting your liner, pool walls, and floor. An important rule to remember when you’re avoiding pool maintenance mistakes is “Always add chemicals to water, and never water to chemicals.” Fill the bucket with water first before adding the shock to avoid potentially dangerous splashback.
2. Not Brushing Your Pool
You already know how important it is to vacuum your pool regularly to keep scum and gunk from building up and ruining your swim. But just like your teeth, your pool needs a good brushing to look its best. Whether you vacuum your pool manually or automatically, follow up with a good brushing.
Grab yourself a pool brush and attack your pool’s hard-to- reach areas, including:
- Behind ladders
- Steps and stairs
- Corners and crevices
All this scrubbing keeps algae and other funky, gunky invaders at bay. Brush once a week, or more often if it needs it, for a healthy, pristine pool.
3. Using an Automatic Pool Cleaner When You Have An Algae Problem
Dealing with pool algae is hard enough. Add vacuuming to the list, and you might find yourself thinking it’s time to replace your pool with something less high-maintenance, like a rare orchid farm or a meerkat sanctuary. It’s tempting, but don’t fire up your robotic cleaner. Pressure-side automatic pool cleaners push algae and other debris up through a mesh bag. This gives the algae a nice little tour of your pool, but doesn’t remove it.
Solving this very common pool care mistake is easy, though a little more labour-intensive. You’ll need to break out the manual vacuum. Be sure to switch your filter to “waste” or remove the drain plug. Yes, you’ll lose a fair amount of water, but you’ll also lose the algae. They’ll be vacuumed right out of your pool and out of your life. Here’s our guide to how to vacuum a pool manually.
4. Ignoring Your pH and Alkalinity Levels
Waaaaaay back in your high school science classes, you probably learned about the importance of balanced pH to healthy, happy ecosystems—including your pool. A low pH indicates acidity, while a high one indicates alkalinity. Too much of either is bad news. But as we once found out after eating some really bad gas station sushi, appearances can be deceiving. Low pH can actually damage your pool equipment, including:
- Pool pump and filter
- Vinyl liner
- Automatic pool cleaner
- Chemical feeder
- Maintenance equipment
- Solar blanket
Our motto? Better living through chemistry. Balancing acidity and alkalinity keeps your pH stable. Because just about anything can skew water chemistry in no time flat, make sure you test your pool water regularly. Then adjust your levels with pH increaser, alkalinity increaser, and other essential chemicals until everything’s back in balance.
5. Shocking Your Swimming Pool During The Day
Chlorine in your pool water attaches itself to particles it wants to kill, leaving behind chemical compounds called chloramines. Since they irritate the eyes and skin and generally make life miserable, chloramines don’t belong in your pool. Shocking gets rid of chloramines and helps bring your pool’s chlorine levels to a well-balanced 3 parts per million (ppm). But while daytime is great for enjoying your pool, it’s the wrong time to shock.
Shock at night to give your pool shock the time it needs to do its job. Also, shock your pool once a week, using about 5 kg of shock for every 37,854 L of water, and test until you’re at or near the target of 3 ppm.
6. Running Your Pool Filter Fewer Than Eight Hours A Day
Your pool’s filter can’t do its job if it’s not running. The more you run your pool filter, the fewer contaminants and critters can create headaches. As pool care mistakes go, this one’s pretty minor, but it’s still worth your time to clock that filter.
Run your pool filter and pump at LEAST eight hours a day. Depending on the size of your pool, this should be plenty of time for all of the water to pass through the filter, keeping your water clearer.
7. Neglecting To Test Your Pool Water
Weekly Owning a pool comes with a whole list of chores to complete every day, week, month, and year. Your weekly water testing is one of the most important, since it can tip you off to small issues in your pool’s water chemistry before they blossom into major disasters.
Test your pool water at least once a week, either with test strips or a liquid test kit. Then take a sample of your pool water to your local pool supply store to get a detailed analysis at least once a month.
8. Wearing Street Clothes in Your Pool
Listen, we’re no strangers to fashion-forward trends. We can rock the majestic weirdness of a romphim with the best of ’em. We even thought about picking up one of those Lady Gaga swan dresses for casual Fridays a few years back. But we draw the line at street clothes in pools. Wearing your everyday clothes in the pool can introduce chemicals, fibres, and other contaminants to your water. Plus, the chemicals in your water can actually ruin your clothes. Your water will be compromised, and everyone in the neighbourhood will wonder why you’re suddenly so into the tie-dyed look.
Keep your clothes streetside and stick to swimsuits in the pool. Nobody’s perfect. From poor water chemistry to letting your Uncle Piet test his experimental beer-powered algae extractor, we all make pool maintenance mistakes. But every goof is a new lesson on improving your pool care game. And if you take the time to learn from the mistakes of others, you’ll find you’re spending less time maintaining your pool, and more time enjoying it.