Pool Care 101: How to Take Care of My Pool

Anyone who’s spent five minutes researching pool care can easily become overwhelmed at the wealth of information available. Pool filters, pH levels, total alkalinity tests strips, shocks and algaecide – the list of mandatory knowledge can seem endless.

The good news is that pool care doesn’t have to be complicated, or require a Ph.D. in Hydrology and Water Management. The vast majority of pool care can be divided into four categories: Basic equipment, cleaning, fixing problems that may arise, and closing the pool. We’ve laid out the basics of pool care in those categories and we’ve supplied links to our more specific resources.

Basic Pool Care Equipment

Circulation System: The circulation system is comprised of a pump and filters that are the cornerstone of pool maintenance. Circulation of the water in your pool allows you to filter out particles and disperse the chemicals. There are a wide variety of different brands on the market with various methods of filtering water, each with its own pros and cons.

Hi-rate sand, cartridge, and Diatomaceous Earth (DE) are the most common types of filters. Once you’ve determined which filter type and the size of your pool, you can learn the proper way to maintain it.

For example, sand filters are cleaned by backwashing water through the system, and are most effective when slightly dirty. Cartridge and DE filters, on the other hand, are cleaned by removing the filter cartridge and soaking it in a cleaning solution.

Underwater vacuum: This cleans grit and debris from the bottom of your pool. This is typically purchased along with the pump to ensure that both are compatible with each other. Both automated and manual vacuums are available.

Skimmer: Basically a large, fine-mesh butterfly net, this device will allow you to skim leaves, sticks, and other debris that have fallen into the pool. It also makes a handy retrieval device for pool toys and other objects.

Leaf net: Essential in the fall season if you have large, deciduous trees around your pool. You will be shocked at the thousands of leaves that will blow into your pool without protection and how heavy they are to remove with the skimmer basket. Save yourself the trouble and tie a leaf net over the pool as soon as leaves start dropping.

Brushes: Even with a functioning filter, pool vacuum, and proper chemical usage, the sides of your pool will still need to be scrubbed. Large, wide brushes from pool stores will make the job faster.

Our additional resources include:

3 Steps Often Overlooked in Pool and Hot Tub Maintenance

What Pool and Hot Tub Owners Must Know About Water Clarifiers

If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced no matter what time of year it is, consider a pHin smart monitor. This little device constantly monitors your water and automatically sends you exactly what you need to keep the water in your pool or hot tub healthy. If you’re looking for someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand instantly connects you to local, qualified pool techs.

How to Prepare a Hot Tub For a Major Storm

The post How to Prepare A Hot Tub for A Major Storm first appeared on Swim University.

Strong storms can be a nightmare for hot tub owners and especially new hot tub owners that aren’t sure what they should do to prepare for their new hot tub for the coming storm. The most common types of damage from storms you will see on your hot tub are:

  • Water Contamination
  • Falling Debris
  • Hot Tub Cover Damage
  • Frozen Plumbing (Winter Storms)

Preparing your hot tub for a storm, whether it’s a severe spring thunderstorm or a winter storm bring several inches of snow can be avoided if you simply take a little time before the storm arrives to prepare your hot tub. Knowing how to prepare a hot tub for a major storm can prevent damage and save you money on repairs.

Strong Thunderstorms

The spring and summer months are notorious for dishing out some of the strongest storms of the season, depending on where you live. These storms can bring high winds, heavy rainfall and even hail and in some areas you could even be in the path of hurricanes or potential tornadoes.

Turn Off the Power

Anything that is connected to your hot tub that uses electricity must be shut down completely. This includes any lighting in the area and of course your heater and pump. Consider switching the circuit breaker off that controls your hot tub and anything that surrounds it that could generate a surge of electricity that could damage the components of your hot tub.

Remove All Loose Items

Bring all loose items that are close to the hot tub inside and out of the way of the storm. These items can include any tables and chairs, hot tub accessories and even potted plants that could get blown into the sides of the hot tub.

Add Extra Chemicals

Before the storm hits, go ahead and add extra chemicals to the water such as chlorine or hot tub bromine to be sure your water stays clean even if storm water happens to enter the hot tub.

Protect Your Equipment

Any part of your hot tub that is exposed and could be damaged should be wrapped with waterproof plastic carefully to be sure they are padded from wind damage and protected from the onslaught of falling rain. If the parts can be easily removed, consider taking them off and bringing them inside during the storm.

Cover Your Hot Tub

This issue is debated among hot tub experts everywhere with some believing that you should leave your hot tub uncovered to prevent damage to your cover. However, falling and blowing debris could damage the inside of your hot tub if it hits hard enough. If that happens, wouldn’t you rather your hot tub be covered causing only damage to the cover itself?

If you do cover your hot tub, be sure to strap it down tightly. Hot tub covers can act as kites in high winds and could be blown off if they aren’t properly strapped down to your hot tub. If you want to minimize the damage to your hot tub cover, consider purchasing plywood and strapping it down on top of the cover to shield it from damage.

Winter Storms

The winter months can bring a whole different breed of storm to your doorstep depending on where you live. Large snowfalls and cold temperatures present a totally different type of problem that you must address.

Consider Draining Your Hot Tub

Most hot tub owners love using their hot tubs during the cold, dark winter months. However, if a major winter storm is heading your way you may need to prepare for the worst.

Consider Power Outages

If you believe you could lose power for more than a few hours during a major winter storm, you may want to consider draining your hot tub before the storm hits. When you drain your hot tub, be sure you take the time to completely dry out all of the parts of your hot tub so they do not freeze. If you don’t, the frozen water could cause cracks to form in the plumbing leading to leaks and expensive repairs come springtime.

Try a Thermal Blanket

If you choose not to drain the water from your hot tub, you may want to pick up a thermal blanket that floats at the surface of your water. These blankets prevent heat from escaping so your water stays warmer for longer and could be all you need to get through those short power outages during the worst winter storms.

Keep an Eye on Your Cover

Your cover should be on your hot tub at all times during the winter storm. However, you will want to keep an eye on your cover especially if you are getting several inches or more of snow. Even just a few inches can add a lot of weight to your hot tub cover and could cause it to tear. During the storm and after the storm take a few minutes to clean the heavy snow off your cover so it doesn’t have to support all that weight for long.

Major storms present their own unique set of problems for hot tub owners, but if you are properly prepared, you will be able to reduce the risk of damage to your hot tub saving you money on expensive repairs in the process. For more, check out pHin.