Basic Pool Care Checklist
The information stated within this document is for reference only, and is not intended to be used as a basis for exact pool and pool water maintenance. Please contact a pool water specialist in your area for exact maintenance requirements and to set up a schedule for your specific pool.
Opening Your Pool
- Remove, clean and store the pool cover
- Thoroughly clean and vacuum the pool
- Add water to the desired height at the prescribed rate of 1” (25mm) per hour
- Test water balance, pH, Calcium Hardness and Total Alkalinity levels
- Inspect electrical service, filters, skimmers, drains, ladders, diving boards, plugs, gauges, and other important components of the system
- Lubricate fittings, valves, o-rings, and plugs
- Inspect tile and grout installations, and clean tiles and skimmer with cleanser
- Take a sample of pool water to a pool water expert for analysis
- Clean and inspect pool deck
- Skim pool water surface and vacuum pool bottom
- Backwash filter if necessary
- Shock pool water to breakpoint levels
- Adopt a routine maintenance program for the season
- Add algaecide as required
- Pool Maintenance 2-3 times a week:
- Empty skimmer and pump basket (may require more frequent cleaning)
- Vacuum the pool two to three times a week. Brush the sides and bottom of your pool, even if you have an automatic pool cleaner as this will loosen dirt and other particles that may adhere to pool finish.
Weekly Pool Maintenance:
- Remove any large accumulation of debris on the bottom with a leaf scoop.
- Feed the pool with chlorine or other sanitizer to satisfy its requirements either manually or automatically.
- Check that the water level is high enough for the pump to operate correctly.
- Test and adjust sanitizer level (may require more frequent testing depending upon bather load and environmental conditions)
- Visually inspect pool water for clarity, color and visible contaminants
- Remove floating leaves
- Test and adjust pH (may require more frequent testing depending upon bather load and environmental conditions)
- The pH should be in the range 7.4 – 7.7 if the pool has a vinyl or tile finish. The range should be 7.3 -7.5 if the pool has a fiberglass finish. The range should be 7.4-7.6 for a gunite swimming pool. If the level is too high, then adjust it down using pH decreaser. The correct dosage is located on the label.
- If the pH is too low, then add pH increaser. Again see labels for dosage. If the pH has dropped possibly so has your total alkalinity.
- Don’t correct your pH more than once a week.
- Test chlorine levels in the pool water:
- Free chlorine levels should be between 1-3 ppm
- Free bromine levels should be between 3-5 ppm
- Test and adjust Alkalinity
- Test and adjust Oxidizer and Stabilizer levels
- Clean the tile at the water line
- Check filter pressure and backwash only if required
- Check water level and adjust as necessary at the prescribed rate of 1” (25mm) per hour
- Add a preventative dose of algaecide as necessary
- Shock the pool as per label instructions. This treatment restores the sparkle to the pool water and destroys germs and organic contaminants (can be done once every 2 weeks)
Monthly Pool Maintenance:
- Test and adjust Calcium Hardness
- Test and adjust for Total Dissolved Solids
- Test the total alkalinity, which should be in the range of 120-150 ppm.
- Chemically clean the filter
- Visually inspect tile, grout, sealant, and other exposed elements of pool
- Conduct Langelier Saturation Index evaluation and adjust as necessary
- Test your salt levels if you have a saltwater pool.
- If you have a vinyl liner – check for holes and tears and make any needed repairs as soon as possible.
- If you have a concrete, gunite pool or fiberglass pool, check for cracks.
- Check the seals in your motor and pump.
- Check all handrails, steps and other safety equipment to be sure that it’s in proper working order.
Closing a Pool:
- Balance the pool water chemistry, typically to the following levels:
- pH: 7.2 – 7.6
- Total Alkalinity: 80 – 120 parts per million (ppm)
- Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm
- Run the filter continuously for 24 – 48 hours
- Remove skimmer baskets, cleaners, ladders, wall fittings, and solar blankets from the pool
- Lower the water level in the pool to 6” (150mm) below the skimmer level at the prescribed rate of 1” (25mm) per hour
- Drain all pumping, filtering, heating, and sanitizing equipment to prevent damage caused by freezing
- Lubricate o-rings, valves and plugs to make opening the pool in the spring easier
- Thoroughly clean and vacuum the pool
- Winterize the plumbing by blowing out the lines and plug the lines with expansion plugs
- Add winterizing algaecide
- Cover the pool with a tight fitting cover
NOTE: Always follow label directions when adding any pool maintenance products to the pool. Never mix products together. If unsure how products are to be used, contact your local pool professional.
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