We get a lot of compliments on our crystal-clear pool water. These compliments usually follow up with just as many questions about how to care for it. I will explain how we care for our pool, but I recommend talking with a pool professional if you are struggling to maintain your pool.
Pool Opening Day
We start each spring by removing the safety cover to our pool, re-connecting all of the hoses, and replacing the sand in our filter. Our pool is filled with fresh city water from the garden hose. Once it is full and the filter is running, we take a sample of our water to our local pool store to have it tested. This is a must for us because our city water quality varies each year. I’m not a big fan guessing, testing strips, and overspending on the wrong chemicals.
Each year, we add a bottle of Metal Majic into our pool. This, along with pool shock, is all we usually need to get going and clear up the water. There have been a few occasions that we had to add Muriatic Acid (WITH EXTREME CAUTION).
The most important thing we do when opening is vaccum, vaccum, vacccum.
We vacuum once to remove any visible debris, leaves, and algea. After 24 hours of filtration it gets vacuumed again. Vacuuming once more after two days does the trick. This will finally remove any metals that have settled from using the chemicals.
Seasonal Pool Maintenance
Before we get into the good stuff, I need to remind you that I’m not giving you advice about your pool. I’m only sharing with you how we care for ours. My husband and I are not pool professionals.
There. Pfew! Legalities out of the way.. Here we go.
Chlorine Tablets 24/7
We keep 2-3 chlorine tablets in our skimmer basket. I like to check every couple days to clear the basket of debris and replace the tablets if needed. As the water gets warmer, these will dissolve quick. We purchase one gigantic bucket of chlorine tablets at the beginning of the pool season and it will get us through the year (usually).
Vaccumm & Backwash
Our pool is vaccumed once per week on a regular schedule. I also vacuum and clean out the pool the day after a big storm. We purchased our first pool blaster vacuum at a garage sale for $15. It was so easy to use that even the kids started using it. One day my son didn’t have the valve turned all of the way and the electronics filled with water. We replaced it with this new pool vacuum on Amazon. It’s the same exact vacuum we had, with a drastic improvement of the design. The electric components are now protected and the kids can use it just fine. We haven’t used the vaccum that hooks to the filter in over two years. I think this saves our filter a lot of work.
Although we are not using our filter vacuum, we still backwash our sand filter once per week, this might be over-kill, but it’s now just part of our routine wether it needs it or not.
I shock our pool in the following fashion: After a big rain, After a big party, or once per week. We have always struggled with getting the powder and granule shock to dissolve, so I have started using liquid shock this year.
Usually around the end of July (In Iowa) we will start to see some algae growth around the bottom corners. Algae growth pops up for us if we have gotten relaxed and ignore our pool care routine (it happens) or if we have taken a break from the pool due to busy schedules. At this time, we usually start incorporating this HTC product into our routine to get it cleared up. I maybe use two bottles of this per year depending on the amount of growth.
The best care we can give our pool is to actually use it. We let the kids jump in and splash around as often as we can. I’m never too old for a good old-fashioned CANNONBALL! This keeps the PH balance in line.
Kids, Pool Care, and Hidden Chores
Our kids love a challenge, so after a storm I tell them to see who can get the most debris from the bottom of the pool. They are always up for seeing who can “out-do” each other, so they take on the challenge without realizing it’s a chore (mom win).
My Pool Schedule
Thursday Evening (10-15 minutes)
Check chlorine tablets
Remove debris from pool floor (if any) – This gets our pool ready to take on whatever the weekend brings.
Saturday Night (5 minutes)
Sunday Morning (1 hour)
Check Chlorine Tablets
Tuesday (2 Minutes)
Check Chlorine tablets
We have a huge deck surrounding our pool along with a rock path leading to the other outside activities. Because of this, we don’t deal with dirt getting into our pool from the kid’s and other guest’s feet. If we did not have this, I would be extremely strict about foot washing because dirty, grassy feet are the fastest way for a pool to get out of control dirty.
I’m going to say this louder for those in the back: When we are struggling with our pool, we take a bottle of our pool water to our closest pool store to have it tested. This may take several times of testing and treating if it is really out of control, but it’s worth it to just spend the money and do it right. I know that $30 for a bottle of chemicals is a hard pill to swallow, but it’s just something that comes with being a pool owner. One year we had to buy $100 in chemicals because we got lazy with our weekly maintenance and it was a bad year for algae.
I have included some links to the products I use for our pool. For more of my favorite products, visit my tool kit.