When you first dreamed of owning a swimming pool, it seemed easy to maintain - just throw some chlorine in and skim out any floating debris. Quickly though pool owners begin to realize that owning a swimming pool requires constant maintenance. While it can be hard work and sometimes sorta gross, there are some easy things you can do to make pool cleaning healthier and easier.
Consider Pool Automation Solutions
I'm a big fan of smart home technology and those same systems are now available for your pool too. The iAqualink system from Zodiac Pool Systems helps you keep track of all the parts of your pool. I've seen it used on everything from multi-million dollar resort-style pools to simple suburban neighborhood pools like you might have in your back yard and it works great. In the old days, you might have a floating thermometer in your spa and another in your pool to tell you the temperature but iAqualink monitors that for you all right through an app on your iOS or Android device. Plus, it connects to all the other compatible elements of your pool such as filter pump, heater, and now even the cleaner.
Earlier this year, Zodiac launched their Robotic Pool Cleaner - 9650iQ which connects to your home Wi-Fi network and allows for real-time scheduling as well as programming and troubleshooting all from the iAqualink app. You can even steer it remotely from within the app and tell it when to climb the edge of the pool so you can empty the canister.
Not only does investing in pool automation make things easier on you (no more pushing a pool vac around with a pole!), but it will keep things cleaner too. Since you can set the schedules automatically and you can monitor the efficiency it's less likely that you'll miss a cleaning and it even tells you when it's full and ready to be emptied.
UV Sterilizers vs Chlorine and Salt
Typically, most pools rely on chlorine to keep the water clear of bacteria and other invisible gunk that the pool cleaner can't pick up. Other pools use "salt" (which essentially turns into chlorine). However, another technology that is becoming more popular as well as affordable is to use Ultraviolet Light to sterilize your pool water. This is technique that is popular with pools designed for swimming competitions since it avoids harsh chemicals. Not only does that help keep your swimming guests safer and healthier - but it's also better and easier for you too since you won't be handling the concentrated chemicals or need to worry about measuring them properly to get the right balance.
Create a Checklist and Keep All Your Maintenance Gear Together
There are a lot of moving parts, but if you have a checklist of things that need to be done weekly and monthly then it makes things a lot easier. Likewise, if you keep all the right tools as well as gloves, lubricants, etc. all together you won't have to worry about running around the house looking for stuff. This means you can address any issues quickly and get back to sipping an ice cold drink and floating around the pool.
Swimming Pool Maintenance Things to Check:
Water Levels - if the water level is too high or too low then skimmers and pumps might not work properly and it could cause damage.
PH Levels - make sure to check these levels regularly to ensure that the water is at the proper PH so that it inhibits growth but isn't toxic to your guests.
Visually Inspect Your Plumbing - look for cracks, noises, strange odors, unexpected vibrations, and of course water where it shouldn't be. These could all be signs of potential issues that you will want to address immediately.
Clean Your Filters and Check the Water for Debris Before Swimming - depending on where you live, sometimes snakes, lizards, mice, frogs and other animals can get stuck in the filters so beware when you open them. Additionally, you'll always want to keep it clear of any other debris that might have fallen into the pool such as leaves and twigs. If you live in a desert climate, you might want to be extra diligent to check the water since you never know what you might find. For instance, my friend in San Diego found that scorpion in his pool this week while floating around!
Skim the Top of Your Pool Before Entering - While the Zodiac's Polaris Robotic Pool Cleaner does a great job of taking care of the underwater parts of your pool, you will still need to skim the top to get rid of leaves and flower petals that might have blown in.
Visually Inspect Your Decking and Pool Surfaces - You'll want to make sure to keep and eye open for any cracks or discolorations in the tile or concrete as these may require attention.
Keep Any Yard Chemicals including Gas and Fertilizers Away from the Pool
Spills happen - especially when emptying a bag of fertilizer or even grass seed into a spreader or refilling your mower. Make sure to keep these activities well away from your pool since even a small spill can have a big impact if it gets into the water.
Make Sure to Keep Bird Feeders and Bird Baths Away from the Pool Area
Birds are pretty and it's always great to hear them singing on a warm sunny day. However, nitrates from bird droppings can act as fertilizer and food for algae, so keep bird feeders and birdbaths away from the pool area. Otherwise, the droppings can wreck the balance of your pool and make it less healthy to swim in, especially since the solution to that is often to add more chemicals to neutralize the algae bloom.
For more information about the Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, make sure to check out their website as well as the Zodiac Pool Blog for more great tips on how to keep your pool cleaner and healthier this year!