|Swimming Pool Covers - Yes or No?? explained our approach and reasons for not using a swimming pool cover during the winter.
To continue with our story of how we maintain our pool, we begin with a crystal clear pool in early Spring or late Winter.
As you read in the other article, our approach keeps the pool looking beautiful all year round. So, come Spring, all we have to do is get the chemistry balanced correctly and we are all set for another season.
We usually buy our chemicals in bulk. They are much cheaper this way. By having our chemicals on hand (there are four main chemicals that you can buy in bulk: chlorine sticks, chlorine shock, total alkalinity and calcium) we simply take a sample of the pool water to the local pool place and have it analyzed. Most places will analyze it for free – if you buy your pool chemicals from them. But if you have large quantities at home you will just want the results of the analysis. This analysis generally will cost less than $10. You can avoid the fee by purchasing the cheaper chemicals that you need, like pH plus or chlorine stabilizer.
Once you get the analysis results, you just follow the instructions for what needs to be added and your pool is ready for another season of fun.
In early Spring when the water is still a little on the cold side, we will cover the pool with a thermal blanket at night and even during the day while we aren’t swimming. These simple ‘bubble wrap’ kind of blankets do an excellent job of keeping the warmth in the water at night, and trapping in the heat of the sun during the day. The only hassle is having to take it off every morning and put it back on every night. (One of my next projects will be to make or purchase some kind of roller to facilitate the ease of taking this cover off and putting in on every day.)
As the weather warms up, we run the pool pump for longer times each day since algae and other bad stuff grow more easily in warmer weather. Actually, if I remember right, the kind of freshwater algae we struggle with here doesn’t even really grow in water that’s colder than 50 degrees. Sometime before the hectic summer season sets in, we will take the pool filtration system apart and thoroughly clean its filters.
Other things we routinely do to keep the pool running and looking good:
- We keep the chlorine reservoir full of chlorine sticks
We run the Polaris for at least 2 or 3 hours a day and keep the Polaris debris bag clean (if it gets too full, the bag will break and we’ll have to spend $30 on a new bag).
We try to keep any pool toy or raft which might have mold or algae on it out of the pool. The reasoning being, if you don’t put the dirty thing in the pool, you don’t have to worry about getting the mold in your pool or on you liner. Basically, if you take your swimsuits or floats to a pond, lake or ocean, thoroughly wash and clean them before you use them in your pool, or you will be introducing algae (albeit dried algae) directly into your pool.
We shock the pool every couple of weeks and sometimes more often depending on what’s gotten in there and how much it’s used.
We scrub down the steps, ladder and liner sides when needed with a brush.
We keep the water balanced, of course.
As was said in the beginning of the first article, we enjoy a pretty care-free pool by habitually doing a few things. In the few years we have owned the pool, we have not had a single major (or even minor) problem with the pool chemistry. And, to be honest, we rarely have to spend much money when we get the water tested (only every so often). We’re not in the least obsessive about our pool and it has yet to cause us any problems.