Backyard Outfitters Blog
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Tips for Florida Pool Maintenance
Florida’s inclement weather can make it more difficult to keep your pool clean and maintained. Proper pool maintenance is vital to a long-lasting pool that your family can enjoy for years.
Pool Maintenance Tip #1
Check water quality
The quality and chemistry of your pool’s water is one of the most important aspects of pool maintenance. Here are some of the most important aspects to keep in mind:
The pH scale goes from 0-14 with 0-7 being acidic and 8-14 is basic. The sweet spot for your pool’s water is right in the neutral zone of 7.4-7.6.
pH levels can spike in either direction, throwing your pool’s chemistry off. Alkalinity is a buffer that prevents this and it should be in the range of 100-150 ppm.
SanitizerWhether chlorine, bromine, or something else, this is necessary to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. Levels vary depending on what you’re using.
Most Florida pools use chlorine as their sanitizer, but there are other options such as saltwater pools and bromine. All of these methods can kill bacteria and other microorganisms.
For chlorine-based pools, the recommended level is between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm.
Pool Maintenance Tip #2
Keep the filter clean
Keeping your pool filter clean is essential for having a safe, long-lasting pool system. The process is similar to other filters, such as HVAC units. Use these steps to clean the filter of your pool:
- Turn off your entire pool system
- Open the filter tank and remove the filter cartridge
- Inspect the cartridge for damage or cracks
- If you see damage to your filter, it’s best to replace it entirely. Most filters last 3-5 years before needing replacement.
Pool Maintenance Tip #3
Check the water level
Your pool’s water level relative to the pool skimmer box is important for ongoing maintenance. Rain and other factors can cause your water level to raise or lower, so you should check this often. The ideal water level is the halfway point of your skimmer hatch which is the opening on the side of your pool.
Tip: Having too little water in your pool is very dangerous for your skimmer. Without water, it will start to draw air into the filter system, causing major strain on your pool’s pump. This is a costly error, so always be on the lookout for it.
Pool Maintenance Tip #4
Shock your pool
Shocking your pool is simply the process of adding chlorine or other chemicals to your pool. Chlorine is important for destroying bacteria, but shocking your pool should be done under specific circumstances.
You should shock your pool if:
- You notice visible algae growing on your pool
- The free chlorine level measures at zero
Shocking your pool means raising the free chlorine level to roughly 10 times the combined chlorine level. This process should always be done at dusk because the sun will burn off chlorine if done during the day. This is especially important in Florida because of how sunny our state is.
Pool Maintenance Tip #5
Consistent skimming and scrubbing
Skimming your pool should be done whenever you see visible debris such as leaves, branches, or dead insects. This can be a common practice for anyone with trees near the pool.
Scrubbing the sides of your pool helps keep it looking brand new and prevents any serious algae or muck from building up.
Not interested in cleaning your pool yourself? Consider looking into a robotic pool cleaner or hiring a professional pool cleaning service to handle the job for you.
Pool Maintenance Tip #6
Use tennis balls to absorb oil
Cleaning such as skimming and scrubbing won’t get everything out of the pool. Swimmer, sunscreen, and other materials can cause oil to gather on the surface of the water. Dropping one or two tennis balls in the water will soak up the oil, removing it entirely from your pool.
Pool Maintenance Tip #7
Use a pool cover
Pool covers can make maintenance of your pool significantly easier, but it doesn’t mean you can neglect it entirely.
The cover will protect the pool from debris such as falling leaves, and it can help prevent the sun from destroying your chlorine. However, if you keep your pool cover on for extended periods of time, be sure to check the chemical balance of your water and the water level often to avoid costly repairs in the future.