There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a dip in a nice cool swimming pool. And it's even better when you don't have to fight the crowds at a public gym but enjoy the luxury of having a swimming pool in your own back yard.


While the idea of the swimming pool is tempting and exciting, homeowners all too soon realize the importance of proper upkeep for their swimming pool. Keeping a pool in good working order requires proper upkeep not only to give you the fun and exercise you're seeking but also to protect your health.

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Most people look around the month of May to open their pool.  Hopefully the April showers have passed and the rain will not affect the chemical balance of the pool.  However, not that April is gone, the May flowers and trees are upon us and that brings in another concern.  What will we do with the leaves and such when they fall into the pool. 


While many people are mainly concerned with their fun in the sun they don't realize that their fun is actually causing more damage to the pool. The fact is that the more you use your pool the more you need to do to keep it in tiptop shape. Even when it is not in use it is accumulating things in the water that can cause damage to it or yourself. Keeping your pool clean and free of debris does not have to be a difficult task however, if not done correctly it can end up costing you even more in the end.


Tips for Keeping your Pool Clean and Healthy

The Chemicals:

1. Regular testing is necessary. It is hard to look at a pool at a glance and know the proper pH balance of the water. Of course murky water is a clear indicator that the pool's hygiene is far from optimal but even clear water may present a danger. Proper testing at regular intervals will tell you clearly the condition of the water. Use a reliable test kit designed to monitor the pH balance, chlorine levels, bromine, and alkaline and acid levels. When taking water for testing, make sure that you take water from at least 18 inches below the surface and far away from any inlets to get a more accurate measure. I take a small sample of my water to my local pool shop. They are professional about it and will take care of the water sample and let me know what the pH balance is.



2. Next you will want to stabilize the chlorine levels. This will help to kill off any bacteria or algae that may have begun to develop. Chlorine levels can be affected by many factors including sunlight on the water so it must be checked and adjusted through the season. Testing at the beginning of the season, during and even towards the end of the season. If levels are too low clean the filter and add pool conditioner. After the pool shop employees test the water that can tell me exactly what chemicals and how much I need to put in the pool to “level it out.”  This is pretty good since I usually add too much and send the pH balance the other way.


3. In maintaining the chemical balance one of the most important things to monitor and adjust carefully is the pH balance. If the water is too acidic or alkaline the chlorine cannot kill the bacteria and it will accumulate in the water causing corrosion to the pool and damage to the skin. I actually had too much of some chemical in my pool and the liner became stained and bleached from this.  I did not replace the liner and just had to look and deal with the bleach mark.


Another thing you need to check is the chlorine levels. Without chlorine the bacteria and algae will continue to grow and contaminate the pool. Your chlorine level should always be above 1.0 ppm at the very least. Chlorine can be bought in a stick, tablet or granular form, one for every 10,000 gallons.  I have problems with this when I do it myself.  I buy the stuff at the local pool shop now but I used to go to Wal-Mart and buy the chlorine and put it in the little float disc in the pool. 

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Free from Debris

Finally, you need to keep your pool free from debris. This could include anything that may have fallen into the water from leaves to dirt. To make sure that the pool is not inundated with excess debris you should skim the surface with either a vacuum pool or the long pole and net. Hose down the deck and clear the surrounding area of anything that could likely get into the water, clean out the leaf strainer, filters and skimmer. I have bought on of the pool rovers and I run it every Friday to be prepared for the swimming during the weekend. 



Maintaining the proper balance in pool care is extremely important in pool care. It requires a combination of proper chemical balance and environmental maintenance to make sure that your pool stays clean and safe. Too much chemical solution in your water and you cause skin irritation and even poison. Too little and harmful bacteria can begin to foster.


Keeping your pool in good working order is a very important step in keeping your property values up. The better you maintenance is the longer the lifespan of your pool will be. This will keep your property values up and your home more appealing if in the future you choose to sell it. If you have the above ground pool, it will keep it in good working order for you and the children to enjoy. 

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While all of that is important and beneficial, the main reason you want to maintain your pool in good working order is because you want to protect the overall health and well-being of your family and friends.


Have fun.  Use sunscreen.  Keep your pool in good working order.  Take care of yourself and each other.  Make today and everyday a great day. 

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