What Happens if I Don’t Clean My Pool?

There are many things we have to do if we maintain our own swimming pools and spas.  Cleaning is just one aspect.  Let’s chat a bit about what it takes to maintain your own swimming pool.

Water Chemistry

We need to check our water chemistry at least once a week.  You can test using test strips, a test kit with liquid reagents, or by bringing your water into a local swimming pool store that offers water testing.  This is free at many stores.  You should never add chemicals without testing first.  We cannot assume the test results will be the same every week.  Some things that attribute to changes in water chemistry are usage, rain, phosphates and aeration.  Aeration can come from any water features, which can drive your pH up.  Phosphates are anything organic such as leaves which become food for algae. 

Phosphates are only a problem when they are a problem.  What I mean by this is they are only an issue if you were to get an algae bloom.  We don’t want a Las Vegas Buffet laid out for the algae.

Pro Tip:  I tell all of my customers to use a phosphate maintenance product to keep low phosphates low.  This helps avoid having to do a phosphate treatment, which requires the pump to run for days and a filter clean.  I recommend Natural Chemistry’s Pool Perfect Total or Perfect Weekly as you phosphate coimbatore. 

Once we have tested the water, we then dose according to the swimming pool water’s current needs.  I recommend downloading the Orenda App.  It is free!  It uses the LSI (Langelier Saturation index, to make sure your water is as close to neutral as possible.  Using the LSI you will be able to see if your water is neutral, corrosive, or scale forming.  You will need to know the temperature of the water, so invest in a swimming pool thermometer.

Pro Tip:  Always read the back of any chemicals and follow the instructions.  Also, only add chemicals when your pool pump is running.


Moving water is happy water.  It sounds cheesy, but it is true.  Your chemicals only work when the pump is running.  When do we need our chemicals the most?  During the hottest part of the day.  If you still have an old-fashioned single speed pump, this could get expensive.  I recommend upgrading to an energy efficient, variable speed swimming pool pump.  Think you can’t afford a variable speed pump?  I am here to tell you that you can get a quality, name brand swimming pool pump made by the American company Black & Decker.  My favorite part, besides the price, it is the unprecedented FIVE-year warranty.  Check them out here.  


We need to make sure our filter is clean enough to pick up dirt and debris as well as ensure proper circulation.  

Pro Tip:  When your filter pressure hits 8-10 psi (pounds per square inch) above your swimming pool’s starting pressure, it is time for a filter clean.  A good rule of thumb is about every 6 months.  Feel free to backwash in between if you have a diatomaceous earth or sand filter.  (Sand filters do not get cleaned as often as cartridge or DE)

Some things that can cause filter pressure to rise are having dirt and debris, doing a phosphate treatment, or it has been 6 months.  Whenever you do a filter clean, check the cartridges or grids for holes, rips, broken pieces or broken bands.  Replace as needed.  If you put the filter back together with poor cartridges or grids, all the dirt and debris will just return to the pool, and you will have to do it again.  Yikes!

Pro Tip:  If you are unsure how to clean your filter, it may be a good investment to hire a professional to do it and watch them, so you can see how to do it yourself moving forward.

Dirt and Debris

This brings us back to our main topic of what happens if you don’t clean your swimming pool.  I can tell ya…not good things.  The dirt and debris needs to first be scooped out with a good quality net.  Then the swimming pool needs to be vacuumed.  This can be done manually or by an automatic pool cleaner.  I highly recommend a robotic automatic pool cleaner as they are completely self-contained and have a very short cleaning cycle.  They will also do the walls, tile line and floor.  Check these out here

You also need to brush your swimming pool every week.  This prevents algae spores from taking a foothold on your pool’s surface.  I recommend a 360 degree, universal brush so you can get into corners without having to buy a separate corner brush.  

Pro Tip:  Check out this groovy kit that includes the things a swimming pool owner will need to clean their swimming pool.  

You also need to empty the debris from the skimmer and pump baskets so your line won’t get clogged.  If we do not clean our pool, we run the risk of clogging our lines as just mentioned, having a lot of phosphates in the water and you will most likely get a green or yellow algae bloom.

Hire a Professional

If you are unable to clean your swimming pool weekly, taking all of this into consideration, you may want to hire a pool service company who will send someone out once a week to do everything we just talked about.  

Pro Tip:  The more a swimming pool is neglected, the more problems you will have which may include having to drain your entire pool!

Swimming pools are a luxury item, kind of like a boat.  We need to maintain it to avoid water and equipment problems.  The more the pool is neglected, the more work and money it will cost to restore the water.  See you poolside!