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3 pool maintenance tips: save money and swim easy this summer

5 min read
18 Dec 2020
pool tips

Pool maintenance can be a drag.

Your family and friends may see the pristine water, but they don’t see the cumulative hours of maintenance behind it.

To ensure you have the cleanest pool in the neighbourhood this summer, we’ve compiled three handy pool maintenance tips that’ll agree with your budget.

Let’s dive in!

Pool maintenance tips (for chlorine pools)

1.      Clean your pool filter regularly

The pump and filter system circulates water, and stops nasty bacteria from building up. In a perfect world, your pump should run 24/7; however, around 10-12 hours a day should get the job done for those on a budget.

When it comes to cleaning, it’ll depend on the filter type:

  • Sand filters. The easiest type of filter to maintain. Once-a-month cleaning is adequate.
  • Cartridge filters. More effective than sand filters, a hose down every two to three weeks should suffice.
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. The best filter for the cleanest water, but the most uncommon pool filter due to the maintenance requirements (fresh DE powder must be added every clean). Clean once a month.

2.      Maintain water chemical balance

When it comes to maintaining the chemical balance of your pool, consult your pool builder or the experts at your local pool shop. They can help you with measurements and such.

In addition to buying pool chemicals (e.g. chlorine), you’ll need to buy a chemical kit. The kit will come with several vials and charts so you can manually check your water levels. Alternatively, you can take a sample to your local pool shop and they’ll analyse your water for you.

Here’s a few key markers that’ll require regular checking:

  • pH levels. The Australian Standard for pool water is 7.0 to 7.8 (ideally 7.4).
  • Alkalinity. Total alkalinity (TA) levels should be 60 to 200 parts per million.
  • Chlorine. Use ‘pool shock’ and chlorine weekly or fortnightly to rid your pool of bacteria and algae. Amounts or dosages will depend on the size of your pool.

Check your water balance levels multiple times a week.

What chemicals do I need to maintain my pool?

Once again, consult your pool builder or local pool shop to gather information exactly what you’ll need for your pool. In general, you may need:

  • Pool shock. A high dose of chlorine that raises the chlorine level quickly.
  • Sanitisers. The most popular type is chlorine; however, there are other options, such as bromine.
  • Stain removal and prevention. You can get chemicals to strip away and protect the sides of the pool from stains and algae.
  • Pool stabiliser. Also known as cyanuric acid, pool stabilisers are used to reduce chlorine loss due to the sun’s rays.

pool skimmer

3.      Skim for the win

The final pool maintenance tip on our list, skimming the water’s surface with a ‘pool skimmer’ is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to keep your pool clean. It’ll also ease the load on your pump and filter.

If not caught, all the debris (leaves, insects, pollen etc.) on your pool’s surface may sink and become gunk – which is even harder to remove. With this in mind, skimming can be a great preventative measure to avoid this problem.

We recommend that you scoop and skim daily. Alternatively, consider buying a robot pool vacuum. It’s a little subaquatic machine (starting from around $600) that sucks up debris and dirt from the pool’s floor.

Bonus pool maintenance tips

  • Scrub the sides of the pool. Grab a scrub brush once every other week (or when needed) to prevent algae build-up around the sides of your pool.
  • Invest in a pool cover. A pool cover will reduce the need for chemicals and evaporation. An automatic pool cover is more expensive, however they’re more modern and function at the flick of a switch.
  • Maintain the water level. Your pool will lose water when you’re splashing about and through evaporation.
  • Throw in a few tennis balls. An old trick, the tennis ball hairs soak up surface oils from sunscreen, makeup and body oils.
  • Book an annual service. Get your machine parts checked annually. A yearly service from a pool technician can potentially diagnose problems before they eventuate.

How often does a pool need maintenance?

The short answer is continuously – especially if it’s in high use. As mentioned, you should skim your pool for debris daily and clean the pool’s filter every few weeks to a month. Furthermore, you also need to clean the sides of the pool where all types of gunk calcify and stain.

How to save money on pool maintenance costs

  1. Only run your pool filter 10-12 hours per day or less, instead of 24/7 to save on electricity bills.
  2. When it comes to tariffs, pool pumps and filters configured to a controlled load tariff (scheduled to run during off peak times) will reduce costs.
  3. Saltwater Pools are generally cheaper than chlorine pools because they require less maintenance.
  4. A pool cover can protect against debris, dirt and evaporation.
  5. If you plan on heating, get solar heating – it’s the cheapest option long-term.

Compare energy providers and switch today

Everybody loves to get more for less, whether it’s the boxing day sales, a bargain buffet dinner or finding a cheaper energy provider.

While we can’t help you with the first two, we can certainly give you the opportunity to explore the last one. Use our free online comparison service to compare a range of Australian energy providers. It’s a simple process that only requires a few details and takes minutes.

If you decide to switch, we’ll handle the paperwork and your supply won’t get interrupted.

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avatar of author: Matthew Keogh

Written by Matthew Keogh

When he's not writing, Matthew is usually found in the great outdoors, playing his guitar or cheering on the mighty bombers in the AFL. He has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and has previously written for various agencies and publications. Matthew loves writing about big ideas in clear and simple prose.

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