During swim season, it’s important to keep up on routine pool maintenance tasks, so you can appreciate your swimming pool throughout the summer months. Failing to faithfully perform these tasks could lead to needed repairs and — possibly worse — reduced swim time. In Part 1, we looked at two daily tasks: Skimming and Scrubbing. This next set of pool maintenance tasks needs to be done less frequently, but that in no way means they’re any less important.
Cleaning Out the Filter Basket
The Task: Cleaning out your pool filter basket allows the filter to effectively remove impurities, allowing the filter to continue working properly. All you have to do is remove the filter cap and lift out the filter basket to remove debris from it. (Just be sure to turn off the filter first!)
The Timing: This task should be done on a weekly basis.
The Tools: You really don’t need any tools for this one — just the good old hands you already have.
Cleaning the Filter Pipes
The Task: In addition to cleaning out your pool filter basket, to keep the filter functioning optimally, you’ll also want to clean out its pipes. This task can be done by removing the leaf basket and setting your filter to “backwash,” allowing the pump to run until its waste pipe produces clean water.
To keep your filter doing its job, always be sure to let it run for 6 hours a day. By setting a timer, you can make sure you don’t neglect this important task.
The Timing: You should clean out your pool filter system’s pipes on a monthly basis.
The Tools: Again, no special tools are needed for this one.
Shocking Your Pool
The Task: This task involves raising chlorine levels temporarily in order to kill bacteria that makes your pool water appear cloudy. Simply pour approximately 5 times the usual amount of chlorine into the return line, and allow the chlorine to filter through the pool water.
The Timing: Unlike other routine maintenance tasks we’ve considered, this one is done on more of an as-needed basis. After a pool party or other event, you may notice cloudy pool water that requires shocking. Be careful not to overdo it, though; twice during any given summer should be plenty. By performing this task too often, you can damage your pool’s liner.
The Tools: Clearly, you will need extra chlorine to perform this task.
Eliminating Surface Oils
The Task: Due to body oils and various hygiene products, your pool water’s surface may take on an oily sheen. All you need to do is place a fibrous item on the surface of your swimming pool and let it absorb the oil.
The Timing: Not only does this task need to be performed only on an as-needed basis, but it can also be done regularly or even constantly; it really won’t hurt a thing and can’t be done “too often.”
The Tools: Really, all you need is a simple tennis ball. Its fibers will absorb the oils.
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