Pool-care is a topic that you must be aware of if you have a swimming pool at your place. Taking proper care of your pool is very important if you want to improve the longevity of your pool and justify the huge investment that you put in it.
Most pool owners spend hundreds of dollars on pool accessories to maintain the quality of their pool water. However, the good news is that the problem with your pools isn’t always as complicated as it seems to be.
In this article, we take you through to 7 simple tips that you may want to try in your pool to care for it the best day before you start thinking of professional help for pool maintenance. You could consider these tips as hacks or tricks, but the point is that it is quite surprising that not many people give these tips the attention they deserve.
Not every problem in your pool needs a pool expert to examine it. If you still find problems in your pool performance after following these seven tips, it is worth seeking professional help, though. Here is a disclaimer before you start reading this article – most of these home ingredients work only on chlorine-based pools. They are being recommended only for those people who are on a budget while caring for their pools.
Using bleach to shock the waters
If you were thinking of buying a chlorine shock agent to shock your pool waters, you would be surprised to hear this. You could use the common bleach that you use for household purposes to shock your pool water. Buy a bottle of unscented bleach (far cheaper than the traditional chlorine shock element that you normally use) and add ½ gallon of it into a pool of around 10000 gallons. Watch to see the chlorine content increase by around 5ppm, thanks to this sodium hypochlorite (household bleach).
Using baking soda to scrub-clean the tiles
The common baking soda, which is scientifically known as sodium bicarbonate is a very effective ingredient while caring for your pools. It provides you with the dual benefits of clean tiles and improved alkalinity. Mix some water to the baking soda, so that it forms a semi-solid consistency. Now apply this mixture on all the tiles in your pool. Allow the mixture to settle down for about 5 minutes before scrubbing it clean with a sponge or scrub.
You will be surprised to notice the hard stains and grime vanishing from your tiles in a minute! The added benefit of using baking soda is that it helps to improve the alkalinity of your pool water. Many users had noticed around 10ppm improvement in their pool alkalinity when they used around 1.5pounds of baking soda to their 10000-gallon pool.
Using tennis balls to keep the pool water clean
Most of the times our pool water gets filthy because of pet hairs, bath oils, lotions that we use on our bodies, makeup that we use and other elements. More often than not, the skimmer basket isn’t very effective in screening all these oily items. So, some of these run-offs are bound to enter your pool water as well, thereby making it contaminated.
A very surprising but easy way to tackle this problem is to use tennis balls. Place a few tennis balls in some areas – around the pool, inside the skimmer basket, and pool spa are great options! These oils and other pet hairs get absorbed by the tennis balls first; this way there is no chance of them clogging your skimmer basket. Once the contaminants are absorbed by these balls, you are left with a pool of clean and freshwater.
Using a chlorine alternative
When you have sensitive skin, or pets that get into the pool or kids or all of these, you might be averse to using chlorine in your pool. Chlorine is not a very pleasant chemical for people with sensitive skin as too much exposure to the chemical can result in rashes. This is why it makes perfect sense to use hydrogen peroxide.
This is an alternative to chemical, and it splits into hydrogen and oxygen when used in a pool. It does the work of chlorine but is not even half as toxic as chlorine. If you are looking for an eco-friendly way to care for your pool, this is the best way, because hydrogen peroxide evaporates easily, leaving no harmful traces in the environment.
Making sand filters to perform like DE filters
There are three common types of pool filters that you should be aware of – sand filters, cartridge filters, and DE filters. Sand filters are the most widely used of them all. They are affordable and do a more-than-reasonable job of screening filters. They filter particles up to 20 microns, which isn’t too bad, but when compared to DE filters that can filter particles up to 2 microns, they are found lacking in many departments.
If you thought you had to spend a huge sum to enjoy the performance of DE filters, you are mistaken. All you need to do is to invest in an affordable sand filter and then fill it up with one cup of ready-made DE powder that you get in any pool store for best results. While adding the DE powder to the sand filter, always ensure that you add the media to your skimmer and then let the powder circulate naturally through the filtration system. This way, you can enjoy the dual benefits of maximum filtration capacity and affordable costs.
Using a plastic broom for better cleaning
When you are cleaning your pool, don’t you find small twigs and leaves settled at the bottom, refusing to budge even a bit? We are sure you would have tried vacuuming your pool to get rid of these but in vain. So, how do you get rid of these stubborn contaminants that have cozily settled at the bottom of your pool? You would be surprised to know the solution for this – a plastic broom! Yes, you heard that right.
Invest in a plastic broom that is available at throwaway prices at supermarkets and use it to get to the farthest bottom of your pool. Give the contaminants a nudge with the broom and sweep them neatly to a corner. Now, use your vacuum cleaner to suck them out completely from the pool. All you need to do is to change the location of these contaminants with a broom and get the cleaning job done in a jiffy.
Using test strips to check the chemical balance of water
The pool accessories that you use (filter, pumps, heaters, etc.) are only good or as bad as the water balance in your pool. Have a bunch of water test-strips always handy with you to regularly check the chemical balance of your water. This would include the alkalinity check, pH balance, chlorine content, water quality, the presence of metals (if any) and the like.
Check with your manufacturer about the normal ranges for each of these tests so that you can understand how your pool is performing. When the chemical balance of your water goes haywire, even the top quality pump or filter cannot make your pool a high-performance model. If you want to care for your pool in the most professional way, testing its water quality and chemical balance should be a must-do for you.