Keep your swimming pool crystal-clear by adding this weekly checklist to your swim routine
There’s nothing like taking a dip in your own pool on a hot day, but if your pool is looking a little green around the edges, you likely need to step up your weekly pool maintenance routine. Follow this easy checklist to avoid common pool maintenance mistakes and make sure your pool is swim-ready whenever you are.
What Should Be on Your Weekly Pool Maintenance Checklist?
The secret to a beautiful pool is routine maintenance. By following a weekly pool maintenance checklist, you can stay on top of keeping your pool clean.
From the skimming of debris to a routine shock treatment, find out what you need to do to keep those waters swim ready for your family.
1. Check the Skimmer Basket
Pull out your pool’s skimmer basket (or baskets) and be sure to empty it of any debris. You can take a minute to clean it with your garden hose to blast off anything that sticks.
2. Skim the Surface
Use your pool skimmer to remove floating debris like leaves and bugs before they sink to the bottom. Regular skimming makes cleaning up, including vacuuming, more manageable.
3. Scrub the Walls
Use a pool scrubber to brush off any sediment that builds up, especially on pool walls.
4. Vacuum Your Pool
Vacuum your pool to remove any dirt and debris that has settled at the bottom, especially after scrubbing.
5. Check the Water Level
Your pool will have a mark on either the tile line or a skimmer line to denote the optimal water level.
Here are some best practices:
For most inground pools, you want your water level to be halfway up your skimmer plate.
If you have too much water, due to heavy rainfall, for example, you’ll need to pump it out.
If you have too little, add water to meet the line.
6. Test Your Water
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Chemistry is the key to a healthy pool, but the good news is you don’t need a degree to keep your pool’s chemistry in check. Test your water to check the chemical balance every week using a test kit. (Some pool owners do this multiple times a week.)
You’ll want to maintain the PH balance, alkalinity, and calcium hardness of your pool as follows:
PH from 7.2 to 7.6
Alkalinity from 80 to 150 ppm
Calcium hardness between 175 to 275 ppm
7. Add Chlorine
The next step on your weekly pool maintenance checklist is to add chlorine. Your chlorine levels should be between 1 and 3 ppm.
Test your chlorine levels with a home test kit (available at any pool supply store or online)
Add chlorine tablets to your chlorinator
8. Shock Your Pool
Add a high dose of chemicals to destroy any bacteria—known as shocking—at least once a month.
Some pool owners prefer to do it weekly or every other week.
It’s always a good idea to shock your pool after a pool party or a period of heavy use to remove body oils, sweat, and urine from the water.
You’ll also want to shock your pool after heavy rainfall, as it will help filter out any contaminants that could have washed into the water.
9. Add an Algaecide
Depending on the size of your pool, the type of pool you have, and how much sunlight it gets, you may need to apply an algaecide on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
In addition, you should use an algaecide after shocking your pool.
After shocking your pool, wait until your pool’s chlorine levels have returned to the 1 to 3 ppm balance before applying any algaecide.
Higher chlorine levels can counteract the effects of the algaecide.
Be sure to run the pump for at least 24 hours following the algae treatment.
10. Add Additional Chemicals
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Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for the application of other pool chemicals, including rust and scale removers and water clarifiers, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
11. Check the Filter
Check your filter pressure and backwash it with a chemical filter cleaner and water as needed.
12. Swab the Deck
Scrub, sweep, and powerwash the area around your pool to keep swimmers from tracking in any mud or debris.
Enjoy Your Pool
While this weekly pool maintenance checklist should help simplify weekly maintenance for swimming pool owners, you may find that you’d rather spend your time swimming rather than scrubbing. If that’s the case, hire a professional local pool maintenance crew to get the job done.