How to Keep Above Ground Pools Clean
It can seem like an impossible job to keep an above ground pool clean, but with proper care and attention you shouldn’t have any difficulties with keeping your new purchase in the same condition as when you first picked it up! There are a number of different methods which you can use to keep your pool clean and hygienic, which can work alongside a water filtration unit. Some of the easiest and most efficient summertime solutions are listed below.
Sanitization Every pool, from those found in commercial swimming centers to your above ground unit, should be sanitized before use to ensure that the water is free from harmful bacteria. The most common water sanitizer is chlorine, added to the water at an incredibly low concentration. Chlorine works by targeting and destroying the cell walls of bacteria, before proceeding to break down the cell’s structure and the enzymes that keep it running. This oxidizes the bacteria and leaves them incapable of harming us. For chlorine to work, the pool’s pH must be monitored carefully to ensure it stays between pH7.0 and pH8.0, with pH7.4 being the ideal (this is the same level of alkalinity as tears). Chlorine is far from being a wonder-compound, however. The same properties that allow it to attack bacteria also mean that it can attack our skin cells, which can leave certain people feeling itchy and irritated after a dip in chlorinated water. The smell of chlorine can also be an aggravation, and it will make you ill if swallowed, so always keep a close eye on young children (but this should be the case in any pool). Some alternatives to chlorine have been developed however their efficacy is strongly debated among sanitation experts. Chlorine is also inexpensive and readily available in tablet, granule or stick form.
Shock Treatments A shock treatment is when you dose the pool water with a very high, sudden concentration of chlorine. This will break down harmful chloramines as well as preventing algae from growing in your pool.
Washing the Pool By Hand It is highly recommended that, during the hot summer months when your pool is in use most often, you scrub down the walls and floor at least once a week to prevent the buildup of grime. It is a simple but highly effective way to ensure that bacteria don’t stick around in your pool. An above ground pool skimmer is also an essential bit of kit for any pool owner, allowing you to easily remove any debris or dirt which may have settled on the top of the water in your pool before it can begin to cause a buildup of bacteria. Don’t dismiss the simple things!
Winter Cleaning When the pool is packed away for winter, you should not put off keeping it clean. If left to fester, your pool will be a cesspit of sickness the next time that you open it up.
- Remove all pool equipment, including the ladder, and store it somewhere dry.
- Check that the pH, calcium concentration and alkalinity are all correct (pH7.0 to pH8.0, 250-400ppm and 80-120ppm respectively)
- Add a winter chemical kit and run the filters for one hour
- Lower the volume of the pool and cover with a winterized cover or inlet
- Drain the pool hoses and filter tank and discard the old cartridge filter. Store the cartridge holder in the dry with your other equipment
- Cover the pool and ensure that it is fully sealed
By taking care of your above-ground pool to the best of your ability, you can enjoy it for years to come.