It takes a lot to maintain a clean, clear and safe swimming pool. We need to worry about our equipment, water chemistry and cleaning the swimming pool. If you have decided not to hire a pool cleaning company and tackle it yourself, here is a crucial list of pool goodies you will need.
- Pool operating equipment- Every pool has various pieces of equipment. Some people have heaters, salt cell systems, in-line chlorinators, automatic chemical feeders etc. All pools, however, have a swimming pool pump and filter. Since proper circulation is so crucial to clear, safe water, we need to make sure our filters are cleaned or backwashed regularly. We also need to make sure we run our swimming pool pumps long enough during the day. If you are skimping on your pump run time or running your pump at night to “save money”, you probably have an old fashioned single speed pool pump. We need our chemicals to mix and work during the hottest part of the day so if we aren’t doing this we are more prone to algae which can cause some serious cash to fix. I recommend upgrading to an energy efficient, variable speed swimming pool pump. We run these pumps at a slower speed, longer, saving money and helping maintain beautiful water. They don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg either. You can get a quality, name brand, American made pump here.
- A Telescopic Pole- These adjustable poles are what you will attach all of your accessories to. They are universal and typically come in 4’-8’, which would be for a spa or shallow pool or 8’-16’, which is most common for swimming pools. They will fit any attachment designed for telescopic poles.
- A Leaf Skimmer and/or Leaf Rake- A leaf skimmer is a flat net that scoops leaves and other debris off of the swimming pool’s surface. A leaf rake has a deeper basket and will do the surface and the floors. They come in fine mesh and standard weaves.
- A Universal Pool Brush- Gone are the days of having to buy a regular brush and a separate corner brush to clean your pool’s walls. They make a 360 technology brush that is safe for multiple surfaces and has rounded edges for those pesky corners. Brush your pool once a week to help prevent algae. Need a good universal brush? Check these bad boys out. https://poolpartstogo.com/collections/pool-brush
- A Test Kit- Testing the water is super important. How else will you know what, if any, chemicals to add? By having the proper sanitizer levels and balanced pH and alkalinity, we can help keep swimmers safe and help prevent potential damage to our pool’s surface, plumbing and equipment. Test kits come in strip form or in liquid reagents. It is really a preference. Test your water once a week to allow yourself to balance the chemistry. Actually, there is a cool kit that contains a couple of the things we were just chatting about. Check it out here.
- A Pool Thermometer- This will tell you the temperature of the pool and spa. It is not only good to know for comfort reasons, but if you will be using the Langelier Saturation Index to balance your water, you must know the water’s temperature as well as all other fields. One comes in the kit I mentioned above.
- Pool Chemicals- These will vary from swimming pool to swimming pool depending on your pool’s needs. Some common chemicals are chlorine,(Liquid, granular acid, soda ash, alkalinity up, calcium prevention and/or remover, stain and scale prevention and a phosphate control product. Never add chemicals without first testing the water. Always follow the product’s instructions and wear the proper personal protection equipment (PPE). Never mix chemicals and always add chemicals to water, never water to chemicals.
- An Automatic Pool Cleaner- While not a requirement for swimming pool care, you may want to invest in an automatic pool cleaner. They vacuum the dirt and debris out of your pool. They come in pressure side, which requires a special line and pump; they come in suction, which utilizes your pump and filter and connects to a designated suction line or connects to your skimmer; they also come in robotic, which is my favorite. Robotic pool cleaners plug into a standard 110v outlet and are completely self contained. They are the only cleaner that will also scrub the walls, floor and tile line. They can tend to cost a bit more, but check out these affordable ones.
- Alarms- These are important if you have little ones or an elderly person at home. They come as door alarms or ones that float in the water and alert you if someone were to fall in. Here is one option.
- A Solar Cover- This is also optional, but a must-have if you own a pool heater. They look like bubble wrap and float on the top of your swimming pool water. They keep heat in while absorbing heat from the sun. Expect about 7-10 degrees of added temperature.
So there you have it. These are the essentials of swimming pool care. Don’t forget the most important thing to add…FUN! See you poolside!