Monday, May 5, 2014

{Guest Post} How To Fix Up And Maintain A Pool

Hey all! Today I have a guest blogger, Carol Atkins, here to share with you all how to fix up and maintain a pool. With summer on it's way this is great information to have on hand! First a short bio about Carol:

When Carol Atkins has spare time on the weekends, she can usually be found out in the back yard – she likes to tinker with the plants in her garden. She also writes for Pool Center, and enjoys the research for each new assignment.

Now take it away Carol:

Owning a family swimming pool is one of the biggest joys of our world – having the kids splashing around while my husband Gene and I sit around – or join in – gives us many hours of enjoyment. Pool repair and maintenance – that is just a price we pay for the pleasure of owning a pool.
How much do you want to do? When we first bought a home with a swimming pool, we sat down and talked about how much we would be willing to take on. For major repairs – like concrete in the pool that needs repair, or a major fix on the pool pump – we decided to use professionals for that part. Some pool owners have a service do all the maintenance. We didn’t want that, so we decided we would do that ourselves. Maintenance was pretty straightforward, once we got set up. We set up a list of maintenance items, and do them on a regular basis.

Check the pool chemicals. Gene bought a testing kit from Pool Center, and he regularly tests the pH balance in the water, and adjusts the chemicals as needed. Testing doesn’t do any good unless you make the adjustments, so we are pretty meticulous when it comes to that part.

Take care of the pool pump. The pump is a key component – it makes sure water circulates, which allows the pool chemicals to work right and keep the pool clean. I go out and check the pump once a week, and if the pressure starts getting too high – say 8 to 10 psi above normal, we backwash the system. Gene is teaching me how to do that, so we can split up the work. It’s not very hard – you reverse a few valves. The point is to flush out debris that may be blocking the pump.

Scrubbing the pool and cleaning leaves. Gene does this as part of his Saturday morning routine. He uses a leaf basket to clear all the leaves out of the pool, and then uses a brush on a long pole to scrub the sides and bottom of the pool. It looks like tedious work to me, but Gene says it relaxes him. He’s trying to get the kids to help – I think he’s using the Tom Sawyer painting the fence enticement – but so far they haven’t bought it.
Check the drain. We have a Safety Vacuum Release system on our drain – it shuts off the pump if it detects a blockage. Gene swims to the bottom of the pool and pushes a towel against the drain to make sure it’s working properly.

Shock the pool. Periodically, we will shock the pool – this process involves adding an additional measured amount of chlorine, based on the size of the pool, which kills algae which may have built up. Doing this allows the regular pool chemicals to be more efficient in getting rid of bacteria which might be harmful to swimmers.
Inspect the area. A lot of pool maintenance is about watching things. We regularly check our pool fence, to make sure no holes or tears have developed. We look carefully at the decking around the pool, to make sure there are no chipped places that might cause a cut foot. We inspect the ladders to make sure they haven’t worked loose, and just look over the whole pool area carefully.
We had to first decide what pool fixup chores we wanted someone else to handle. That left us with a manageable list of items to take care of, to keep our pool in good working order. After we do maintenance – we get to sit back, smile, and enjoy our kids playing pool games.

Thanks for all that great information Carol!

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