“ 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid in DIY Pool Maintenance"

Mark Larm Apr 03, 2023
1 People Read
Keeping your swimming pool clean made easy. 8 common mistakes to avoid.


8 Common Mistakes to Avoid in DIY Pool Maintenance"

DIY pool maintenance can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to pool ownership. It can be easy to make mistakes that can lead to bigger problems down the line. But fear not, my pool-loving friends! I'm here to help you avoid some common mistakes and keep your pool in tip-top shape, with a healthy dose of humor, of course.

  1. Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Let's start with the most common mistake: neglecting regular maintenance. It can be tempting to put off cleaning your pool or testing the chemicals, but trust me, it's not worth it. Neglecting your pool can lead to bigger problems like algae growth, clogged filters, and even damage to your pool equipment. If it helps you can go out twice a week to break it up into easy chunks. Say you go out on Wednesday and just check chemicals. Then on Saturday you go out and turn up your favorite music, allowing you to net and brush the pool with a little more vigor, creating a fun to work atmosphere.  So, set a regular maintenance schedule and stick to it. Your pool (and your wallet) will thank you.

  1. Not Testing Chemicals Regularly

Testing your pool's chemical levels is crucial for maintaining a healthy swimming environment. But many DIY pool owners make the mistake of not testing their chemicals regularly enough. This can lead to imbalances in your pool's pH, chlorine, and alkalinity levels, which can cause skin irritation, cloudy water, and even equipment damage. So, invest in a good test kit and test your chemicals at least once a week. And if you're not sure how to adjust your chemicals, sign up at www.happypools.org for a one month hands-on complete course. 

  1. Over-Chlorinating

On the topic of chemicals, let's talk about over-chlorinating. It can be tempting to add extra chlorine to your pool to keep it extra clean, but too much chlorine can be harmful to swimmers and can damage your pool's surfaces and equipment. You can help chlorine by getting rid of the organic waste by adding some enzymes and phosphate remover. Chlorine is a great sanitizer but not a great oxidizer so it depletes itself trying to kill the scum in the pool and little is left to kill the algae. If you really don’t want to have problems or go the extra mile cleaning your pool you can always add a PoolRX to it. PoolRX creates crystal clear water with less chemical demand and is ideal for all chlorine, UV, Ozone and Salt systems. So, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for adding chlorine and other chemicals to your pool, and test your levels regularly to ensure they're within a safe range. 

  1. Not Brushing Your Pool

Brushing your pool may not be the most glamorous task, but it's an important one. Brushing your pool's walls and floors helps prevent algae growth and keeps your pool looking clean and inviting. Brushing off the algae spores before you can see them allows the chlorine to go to work on them faster. Many DIY pool owners make the mistake of neglecting this task, which can lead to bigger problems down the line. So, add brushing to your regular maintenance routine and enjoy the satisfaction of a sparkling clean pool.

  1. Using the Wrong Tools

Using the wrong tools for pool maintenance can cause damage to your pool's surfaces and equipment. For example, using a metal brush to clean your pool's walls can scratch the surface.  Whenever I go to bid for a new job and I see the old metal brush I know the owner is not on a regular cleaning schedule and is often playing catchup by scrubbing down green walls.  Using a net with a broken handle can cause you to accidentally hit your pool's walls or floor. So, invest in high-quality tools specifically designed for pool maintenance, and replace them when they start to wear out.  Every Tradesman will tell you, “The right tool for the right job.”

  1. Adding Chemicals Directly to the Pool

Another common mistake DIY pool owners make is adding chemicals directly to the pool. This can cause the chemicals to settle on the pool's surfaces and cause damage. Instead, dilute chemicals in a bucket of water before adding them to your pool. This will help distribute the chemicals evenly and prevent damage. Acid is much heavier than water and will flow right to the bottom of the pool etching the surface of the pool releasing the calcium raising the PH that you thought you were lowering. Any dry chlorine also needs to be dissolved first due to the fact that some types (Trychlor) will just sit on the bottom of the pool bleaching it. Always pre mix chemicals if you have a vinyl liner or above ground pool, and never mix chemicals even two different chlorines can have a bad reaction.   

  1. Not Running Your Pool's Pump Enough

Your pool's pump is responsible for circulating water and keeping your pool clean. But many DIY pool owners make the mistake of not running their pool's pump enough. This can lead to stagnant water, which can cause algae growth and other problems. So, be sure to run your pool's pump long enough to flip the pool water (circulate all the water through the filter) once a day during swim season (6-8hr), and adjust the run time depending on factors like weather, pool usage, and chemical levels. Once the night time temperatures go below 50f you can turn them down to 2-3 hours a night, that is if you're not closing it for winter. 

  1. Not Keeping Your Filter Clean

Your pool's filter is responsible for removing dirt and debris from the water. But many DIY pool owners make the mistake of not cleaning their filters regularly enough. This can lead to clogged filters, which can cause your pool's pump not to work. I keep all my filters on a six month cleaning cycle. Once you start letting the pressure go up to high it starts costing you money in all the extra chlorine you will be using to stay ahead of the game. 

If you’re not very handy then I recommend finding a reliable pool pro to clean your filter regularly this will insure a clean pool and when something does go wrong with the equipment you have someone you can call for repairs. 

That’s that, I hope it helped. I pray that you have years of healthy, happy fun in the sun with your sparkling clean swimming pool. If you want to get the right tool the first time visit www.ElitePoolCare.com where I put links to only the pool cleaning equipment that I use and recommend.

 You can also see my training videos at   YouTube@HappyPools