If we would ask you what you enjoy the most about your swimming pool, there’s no way you would say: “I love maintaining it.”
Cleaning and maintaining your swimming pool can seem like an endless exercise sometimes. You might even have found a great routine that seemed to work very well – until something in your water balance is way off and it looks like you’ve missed something.
In our experience, maintaining and cleaning your swimming pool regularly will help you keep your water balance perfectly. And in the end having a clean, well maintained and balanced pool will enable you to enjoy your pool while actually saving you time and money. That is why we would like to share our step-by-step guide to a professionally maintained pool.
The first thing you would want to do is clean the surroundings of your pool, whether that is a deck, tiles, garden etc. A lot of leaves and dirt can accumulate in your pool surroundings and end up in the pool. Keeping your pool surroundings clean will help prevent getting dirt, debris and algae in your pool.
A lot of people that try to find what the problem is with their pool, solely focus on the water in their pool but forget to check the performance of their equipment and what happens to your water outside the pool.
There are a few signs that indicate your filtration system might not be performing optimally. If the pressure of your pool filtration system is lower than usual, it means that something has clogged up before the filter (skimmer baskets, air in system). If the pressure is higher than usual, something is clogged up after the filter. This is usually due to a dirty filter but could indicate a broken filter as well. Is this not the case? Check your return lines to see if (one of) these might be closed for a reason.
It is good practise to check your equipment regularly to make sure it is operating as it should. When you know what the pressure of your pool equipment should be, you can follow up when it is lower or higher than usual. Besides checking the pool equipment, also check the pipes for leaks etc.
For a Bionizer pool we recommend checking your anodes (and recalibrating the pH probe if you have a pH Boss) to make sure these are all still functioning and not worn.
If your pool needs filling up, we recommend placing the hose on the edge of the pool instead of throwing it in the water. This way you won’t forget that it is still on. Trust us, it happens quite often. You wouldn’t want to waste any water.
Full skimmer baskets have more impact on the performance of your pool equipment than you might think. An overfull basket reduces the circulation of the water flow through the filtration system due to the suction load on the pump.
Besides that even though your pool may seem to be rid of leaves and small particles, they are still in the water in the skimmer basket. In the skimmer basket the debris still forms a big biological load which promotes algae growth and cloudy water by using up copper ions that would otherwise stay free in the water. When you empty the skimmer basket, make sure to check that it is not broken or damaged.
Try a skimmer basket “sock” from time to time to remove fine surface particles which cloud the pool water. Wash and replace the skimmer sock every several days. Especially useful during windy spring/summer when plants are shedding fine particles and pollen.
Now that you have cleaned the debris in your skimmer basket, it is time to remove any big leaves or debris with a leaf rake. Just as in the skimmer basket, leaves in your pool can affect the pH level and contribute to algae growth.
The next step is to brush the walls and steps in your pool. Brushing the pool will kick up all the small particles that have settled on your walls and steps. Make sure the pool pump is running while you do this so the skimmer can catch the particles before they get a chance to settle down again. You could also combine this step with the next step: Vacuum your pool, especially if you have an automatic pool cleaner.
This is also a good time to add a clarifier (try Bionizer Blue) which will in trap the smallest particles of matter in the filter. Backwash the pool around 12 hours after using a clarifier. This will prevent the small particles from finding their way through the filter and back into the pool water.
To make sure you get rid of all the (smaller) particles in the water, it is time to vacuum the pool or put your automatic pool cleaner in the pool.
If your automatic/robotic pool cleaner has a bag, empty it after it has cleaned your pool so it will be clean and ready for the next session.
With the extra work that vacuuming has caused the filter, the pressure in the filter may have increased. When cleaning your pool, once the pressure gauge goes to 50kPa above the "clean filter" pressure, it's time to backwash or clean the filter. You might even have to do that during the cleaning process if your pool is quite dirty.
If there is no increase in pressure, there is no need to backwash the filter just yet.
It is good practise to check your filter medium regularly. A filter with old medium will require a lot more power and pumping to achieve the same results as a new/clean filter medium. Keep in mind: the harder your pool pump has to work to keep the water moving, the more noise it will make, the more power it will draw and the more it will increase the temperature in the filter.
One of the most important steps in keeping a perfectly balanced pool is regular pool water testing. You can use our Bionizer test kits to test your pool water.
For a Bionizer pool we recommend the following levels:
- pH: 7.0 – 7.4
- Total Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppM
- Phospates: < 0.5 ppM
- Calcium Hardness: 200 – 250 ppM
- Copper Ions: 0.5 – 0.6 ppM in summer, 0.3 – 0.4 ppM in winter
If your levels are not where they should be, balance your pool water according to the Snap Pool Balance Chart, see image below or page 35 of the Bionizer Instructions.
Is your copper level far below the required range? Start the Bionizer boost function and use copper levels from your recent test (see Bionizer Instructions). Otherwise, simply adjust the output settings of the Bionizer to get the right amount of copper ion output.
Are you having trouble getting your balance right? Check our troubleshooting page for suggestions and tips.
After following all the above steps your pool should be almost perfect. If you do any other regular treatments on your pool, now is the time to do so (algae treatments or clarifier).
Try Bionizer Ionlife+ for a new way to make your pool bulletproof to turning. Great if your maintenance regimen is a tad slack or if you are leaving the pool for a period and going away.
If you do go away for a while then make sure you clean and balance the pool before going. We also recommend adding some Ionlife+ and get a neighbour or friend to pop in once or twice to empty the skimmer box, check the water levels and give the pool a brush.
For our Bionizer customers: If you don’t have an Eco-Oxidizer that gets rid of the hazy appearance that sometimes appears due to body oils, sun tan lotions and swimmer waste, make sure you add an oxidiser to the pool. You could use liquid chlorine but if you are looking for chlorine free solutions we recommend using Potassium Monopersulphate or Hydrogen Peroxide. If you add around 300ml of liquid chlorine per 50,000 litres after sun down, follow up with several hours of filtering and the chlorine can do its job and stay in your pool overnight. It will be burned off by the sun by 9 am the next day leaving your pool water polished up and crystal clear again.
Now that you have checked your equipment, you have rid your pool of any debris and your water balance is perfect, it is time to put all the test kits, supplements and equipment away. Don’t forget to turn of the hose that you might still have in your pool.
We recommend cleaning your pool regularly, but we understand that sometimes you just simply don’t have enough time or energy to do it all. Our most important tip: Keep testing and balancing your pool water. Give the pool a thorough brushing every week or so as well: the old tricks work the best!
Keep this in mind:
It is usually easier and a lot less expensive to prevent issues from occurring in the first place than it is fixing them after they appear.