Cleaning your pool includes: vacuuming, skimming, and brushing. If you do these tasks every week, you will keep your pool clean. It also helps to keep algae, stains, and cloudy water from occurring. I like to compare it to brushing your teeth. If you didn’t brush your teeth everyday, you would have cavities, plaque, and the dreaded gingivitis. You wouldn’t neglect brushing your teeth, so don’t neglect your pool.
For all pool cleaning, you will need to own a telescopic pole that is long enough to reach every part of the pool no matter where you stand. I suggest buying a 8’ to 16’ pole. When it’s not extended, it’s only 8 foot in length, but you can extend it up to 16 feet for those hard-to-reach areas.
For skimming, you will need a skimmer net to attach to the pole. You can choose between a flat skimmer or a bag skimmer. I suggest going with the flat skimmer because it’s easier to shake off the debris you’ve collected from the pool. Also, buy a skimmer net that is heavy-duty – cheap skimmer nets tend to break a lot and you’ll be buying skimmer nets all season.
Skimming the surface of your pool water should be done daily. This prevents the debris from eventually sinking to the bottom of your pool, so it’s best to get rid of it before it starts. It will also leave you less debris to vacuum. Skimming only takes a few minutes and some find it relaxing, like raking a Japanese rock garden.
This is an important task that most pool owners neglect. Dirt not only lives on the surface and floor of your pool, but also on the walls, behind ladders, and in dark corners. In fact, algae LOVES growing on walls and in tight, dark spaces.
You should brush the walls, ladders, and corners of your pool at least twice a week.
If algae starts to grow in any of these places, brushing it will push the algae into the water making it easier for chlorine, or other types of sanitizer, to kill it.
Just like skimmer nets, it’s wise to purchase a heavy-duty pool brush since you’ll be using it frequently and cheaper brushes tend to break due to water pressure and pool chemicals.
Vacuuming your pool can be easy or hard. The easy way would be to buy an automatic pool cleaner. This allows you to install the unit and let it vacuum your entire pool without supervision.
Automatic cleaners come in three varieties: suction-side, pressure-side, and robotic.
Suction-side cleaners work just like a manual vacuum (which we talk about in a bit). They attach to your skimmer which draws in water, creating a siphon to your filter system. I don’t recommend this type of cleaner because it requires your filter to “filter” out debris. Worst case scenario is your vacuum sucks up a rock and hurts your filter system – this is no good.
Pressure-side cleaners work with the help of the water coming FROM your filters system. The unit attaches to your return jet and uses the clean, filtered water to drive the unit, creating a water vortex that pushes debris into a mesh bag. When your pool is cleaned, you just have to empty the bag. Both pressure-side and suction-side cleaners require your filter system, however, that’s not the case for my favorite type of cleaner: the robotic cleaner.
Robotic pool cleaners are self-contained units that uses electricity drive it around and suck debris into a bag. This is as easy as it gets folks – plug and play. The only downside to owning a robotic cleaner is the cost. Robotic cleaners cost more than the other cleaners (unless your pressure-side cleaner requires a booster pump) and it will cost more to repair.
Other Types of Pool Cleaning
Be sure the area around your pool is clean or else that debris will end up in your water. I recommending rinsing and brushing your pool deck once a week. It’s also wise to keep your filter area clean and free of debris so you have easy-access to your equipment without being grossed out by “slimey things.”
Remember, a clean pool is a happy pool, and clean pools are more enticing to swim in. If you get into the habit of having a dirty pool, you can bet your sorry ass that no one will want to swim in it, or you’ll be force to do some last minute spot-vacuuming. This causes stress and will lead you to developing these bad habits. So let’s recap:
- Skim your water surface daily
- Brush your pool twice a week
- Vacuum your pool every other day (if needed)
- Brush and rinse the pool deck weekly
- Keep the filter area free of debris
That’s it! With proper cleaning, circulation, and chemistry you won’t have any issues and you’ll enjoy using your pool a lot more.