Maintaining a sparkling and safe pool requires regular attention to both cleanliness and chemical balance.
Here are some tips to help you keep your pool clean, clear, and safe:
Regular Skimming and Cleaning:
Use a skimmer net to remove leaves, insects, and other debris from the surface of the pool regularly. Vacuum the pool floor and brush the walls weekly to prevent algae buildup and ensure proper circulation.
Maintain Proper Chemical Balance:
- Test the water chemistry regularly using a pool testing kit to monitor pH, chlorine levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
- Adjust chemical levels as needed to keep them within the recommended ranges:
- pH: 7.2-7.6
- Free chlorine: 0.5-1 ppm
- Total alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
- Shock the pool periodically, especially after heavy use, to oxidize organic contaminants and prevent algae growth.
Monitor and Maintain the Filtration System:
- Run the pool pump and filtration system for an adequate amount of time each day to ensure proper water circulation and filtration.
- Clean or backwash the filter regularly to remove trapped debris and maintain optimal filtration efficiency.
Prevent Algae Growth:
- Maintain proper water chemistry and circulation to prevent algae growth.
- Use algaecides as a preventive measure, especially during hot weather or periods of heavy rainfall.
- Regularly scrub and brush pool surfaces to remove algae spores and prevent them from taking hold.
Use Pool Sanitizers:
- Chlorine and bromine are commonly used pool sanitizers to kill bacteria and algae. Maintain appropriate sanitizer levels to keep the water safe and clean.
- Consider alternative sanitization methods such as saltwater chlorination or mineral systems for a gentler and more eco-friendly approach.
DESIGN YOUR DREAM POOL INTO REALITY
Design your dream pool into reality. Before you dive into comparing the costs of pool contractors, there’s much thought to be had when designing the pool of your dreams. Just as a pool will provide you with endless amounts of fun and enjoyment, so should design it. The internet is a choc-block of design ideas, so there’s no shortage of inspiration. We thought we’d get you started with the fundamentals of designing a pool: what’s essential, what’s not, what’s nice to have, and what to avoid. With so many choices out there, it can be daunting to start but follow the right principles, and you’ll be well on your way.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM YOUR POOL?
That’s the first and most important question to ask. Is it for family fun? Is it to whip yourself into shape? Will it be a personal sanctuary? Are you planning to entertain friends and family? How much shade and sun do you want? What you want to use your pool for, will determine much of its design.
Most pools in South Africa take advantage of our fabulous weather, so you’ll find the vast majority of them in the garden. And for good reason. Splashing around in cool water under a clear blue sky and a bright yellow sun is our idea of heaven. And a relaxing swim under the stars is magical. Pools outside are also great for entertaining, braais, parties, and any manner of fun. On the other hand, a pool indoors has its benefits. Year-round use, whatever the weather, a perfect exercise spot, and a touch of glamour are just some of the attractions to be had. However, the increase in costs may put you off, and there’s no denying that inside pools can be heavy on the wallet.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR POOL TO LOOK LIKE?
Consider the pool’s shape, size, and depth before building it. The design should be cohesive with your home and garden’s style.
CONSIDER THE PRACTICALITIES
So it looks amazing and is perfectly suited for its task. But how practical is it? How easy is it to move between your house and the pool? Where will people change? Is there a convenient area for serving refreshments? Where will the pool equipment, chemicals, pool toys, and other accessories go? Consider practical issues early, so you can be sure they are addressed in your pool’s design.
SET A BUDGET.
Choose how much you want to spend on building your pool and stick to it. Yes, those optional extras may sound amazing, and they probably are, but are they affordable? You want to be enjoying your pool in your old age, not still paying for it.
Make your pool safe from the get-go. It will have an impact on the design and the usage of space. While swimming pools are fun, they can also pose a risk if precautions aren’t built in, especially for kids, dogs, and the elderly or infirm. So, at the design stage, you should settle on safety measures, such as a pool cover, enclosure, or fencing.
GET A QUOTE FROM THE POOL XPERT
You want the right team for the job, Pool Xpert is your network of trusted pool professionals with years of experience and knowledge in the pool industry. Make sure to meet your chosen Pool Xpert in person, and insist on detailed quotes. Ask to see previous examples of our amazing work.
MAKE SURE YOUR CHOSEN POOL XPERT IS ALIGNED WITH YOUR DREAM
Insist on detailed drawings upfront. It’s a lot easier to erase a line and redraw it on paper than it is to change work mid-project. Ensure everything that you want from your pool is included from the start. It’s your pool. You’re the customer.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BUILD A POOL?
This one’s easy. You will be swimming in the summer, not building, so aim for winter construction. It’s a busy period for pool contractors though, so book your chosen one well in advance and that’s it. Well, not really. It’s just the start of it. There are so many other things to consider when designing your pool. Just be sure to tick them off, one by one. Embark on the task fully prepared and with your eyes wide open. It’ll make jumping into your dream pool for the very first time all that more rewarding!
Can you forget how to swim?
Can we forget how to swim? Many people have already asked themselves this question, whether after ten years or ten months. Fortunately, the quick answer is no. The lengthier answer requires some commitment and patience, but these top suggestions for coming back to swimming after a long break will help you on your way back to the pool.
STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE.
Although swimming works practically every muscle in the body, from the neck to the legs, it is primarily the core that is in charge of coordinating all of the parts. Working on core strength is essential before reintroducing the types of movements you’ll be doing when swimming. Even if your body is no longer accustomed to swimming freestyle or backstroke, a strong spine will give you the foundation you require to reintroduce your old strokes. Fortunately, there are a number of exercises you can do outside of the pool to begin strengthening your core before returning to the pool, such as volleyball or planks.
PRACTICE KEEPING YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER.
When you’re ready to go to the pool, it’s essential to take things as slowly as you need to. Can you lose your ability to swim with your head in or out of the water? You should not expect to perform at the same level the first time you return to the pool after a long vacation, regardless of whether you were on your water polo team when you were younger or used to swim in the sea every summer. Instead, warm up outside the pool before cautiously stepping in until your feet are no longer touching the ground. Try to keep your head above water while swimming left or right. This can assist to awaken your instincts as a swimmer and make you feel more confident in the water. If you don’t feel ready to jump right in, you can start in the shallow end and work your way down.
START WITH BREASTSTROKE
Although everyone has a preferred swimming technique, breaststroke is usually a decent place to start when tackling your first lap. Breaststroke not only allows you to maintain your head above the water and gaze ahead, but it is also less exhausting and will make you feel more at ease in the water, especially if you are apprehensive. Just keep in mind that swimming with your head above the water can cause neck strain in the long run.
CHOSE A QUIET LANE
The anxieties you may feel upon returning to swimming after a lengthy layoff will usually dissipate after a few laps back and forth to familiarise yourself with your technique. It may still be beneficial to choose a more calm and less crowded lane so that you can move as slowly as you like and stop anytime you need to without blocking other swimmers.
SET REALISTIC GOALS
Even if you’re most concerned about forgetting your freestyle, swimming isn’t all about technique. It is a sport that involves a particular level of physical ability and endurance, so instead of racing from one end of the pool to the other, consider swimming one lap at a time and resting in between. Increase it to two at a time as you become more comfortable, and so on.
It could take you one session or weeks to remember your prior technique; it all depends on your previous skill of swimming. This is why it’s critical to create realistic goals that are in line with your abilities and ambitions.
Regular pool maintenance is essential to keep a pool clean, safe, and enjoyable. Here’s a general guide to routine pool maintenance:
- Skimming and Cleaning Debris:
- Use a skimmer net to remove leaves, bugs, and other debris from the water’s surface.
- Empty skimmer baskets and pump baskets regularly to maintain proper water flow.
- Vacuum the pool at least once a week to remove dirt and debris that settle on the pool floor.
- Consider an automatic pool cleaner for more frequent and efficient cleaning.
- Brush the pool walls and floor to prevent algae growth and remove any built-up dirt or scale.
- Pay attention to corners, steps, and other areas that may accumulate debris.
- Water Circulation:
- Ensure proper water circulation by running the pool pump for an adequate amount of time each day.
- Check that the return jets are positioned to create a circular flow for optimal water distribution.
- Pool Filter Maintenance:
- Clean or backwash the pool filter regularly, depending on the type of filter (sand, cartridge, or diatomaceous earth).
- Replace filter media or cartridges as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Water Chemistry:
- Test the pool water regularly for pH, chlorine or bromine levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
- Adjust chemical levels as needed to keep the water balanced and within the recommended ranges.
- Shock Treatment:
- Perform regular shock treatments to oxidize contaminants, eliminate chloramines, and keep the water clear.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the type and amount of shock treatment to use.
- Algae Prevention:
- Use algaecides as a preventive measure, especially during the warmer months.
- Maintain proper water circulation and chemistry to discourage algae growth.
- Tile and Coping Cleaning:
- Clean pool tiles and coping regularly to remove any built-up scale or dirt.
- Use a pool-safe cleaner and a soft brush to avoid damaging the surfaces.
- Inspect Equipment:
- Regularly inspect and maintain pool equipment such as pumps, motors, and heaters.
- Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
- Winterizing (Seasonal):
- If applicable, follow proper winterization procedures before closing the pool for the offseason.
- Cover the pool to prevent debris accumulation and algae growth.
Please note that the maintenance tasks required for your pool may vary depending on its size, location, and climate. To get the best advice for your pool, we recommend speaking to a PoolXpert. Regular and proactive maintenance is crucial to keep your pool clean, clear, and ready for use.
HOW TO INSTALL A SUCTION CLEANER?
How to install a suction cleaner to your pool. Installing a suction pool cleaner involves connecting the cleaner to the pool’s circulation system. Start by reading the manufacturer’s manual that comes with your suction pool cleaner. This will provide specific instructions and any unique steps for your particular model.
Identify the skimmer or dedicated suction port in your pool where you will connect the cleaner. Most suction cleaners connect to the skimmer, but some pools have a dedicated suction port for cleaners.
If the suction cleaner didn’t come with pre-assembled hoses, connect the hose sections according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ideal hose length for the pool equals the greatest distance that the cleaner can cover in the pool from the connection point (skimmer) to the farthest corner of the pool, plus a 1 meter section. Connect one end of the hose to the suction cleaner. Ensure it is securely attached, and if there are any hose clamps, tighten them as specified in the manual.
Connect the other end of the hose to the skimmer or suction port. If your pool has a dedicated suction port, it might be located on the side of the pool.
Install flow regulator valve (if needed). Some suction cleaners require a flow regulator valve to control water flow. Install it in the hose according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For optimal installation, perform a flow test and adjust the flow rate using an adjusting valve.
Adjust the length of the hose to ensure the cleaner can reach all areas of the pool. If your cleaner comes with hose weights, attach them as needed to keep the hose submerged.
Turn on the pool pump to start the circulation system. This will provide the necessary suction for the cleaner to move around the pool. Watch the cleaner in action and make any necessary adjustments to the hose length, hose weights, or flow regulator valve to optimize its performance.