The 10 Commandments: Your Ultimate Guide to Crystal-Clear Pool Care

Mark Larm Nov 24, 2023
6 People Read
Swimming pool cleaning and care


Having a sparkling, inviting pool requires diligent care and maintenance. This comprehensive guide presents the "10 Commandments of Pool Care," serving as your roadmap to maintaining a crystal-clear, algae-free pool that's safe for swimming and enjoyment.

1. Thou shalt maintain proper water circulation: 🔄💧

Efficient water circulation in your pool is akin to the cardiovascular system in the human body. It's the lifeblood that keeps everything moving and healthy. Your pool's pump plays a pivotal role in this process by pulling water through the skimmer and main drain, pushing it through the filter, and returning it to the pool via the return jets. A well-functioning pump ensures that debris is continuously removed and that chemicals are evenly distributed throughout the water. Here is a link to a YouTube video that I made showing you what happens when the filter gets clogged. 

To maintain proper water circulation, it's crucial to understand the components of your pool's circulation system. This includes the pump, filter, and the pipes connecting them. Regularly inspect these components for any signs of damage, leaks, or blockages. Clean or backwash the filter according to manufacturer recommendations to ensure optimal filtration.

Additionally, consider the pump's run time. Running the pump for an appropriate duration each day, usually around 6-12 hours during hot summer months and 3-5 hours during cold summer months (if you don’t close your pool), ensures that all the water in your pool passes through the filter, allowing it to effectively trap contaminants.

2. Thou shalt maintain the correct water chemistry: 📊🔬

Water chemistry is the backbone of pool maintenance. It comprises several key parameters, with pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels being the most critical.

pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of the water and should be maintained between 7.4 and 7.6. Proper pH levels ensure swimmer comfort, prevent corrosion of pool equipment, prevent calcium buildup on tiles and spa overflows, and optimize chlorine effectiveness. 

Alkalinity acts as a pH buffer, stabilizing fluctuations. Aim for alkalinity levels between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm). This stability helps prevent pH swings and ensures a comfortable swimming environment.

Chlorine is vital for sanitizing the pool and killing bacteria and algae. Regularly test and maintain chlorine levels between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm to keep your pool safe and clean. Consider using stabilizers to protect chlorine from the sun's UV rays, prolonging its effectiveness.   

Regular water testing is essential to monitor these levels accurately. Test kits or digital testers are readily available and provide quick and reliable results. Adjust chemical levels as needed to maintain a balanced and safe swimming environment. For a more detailed blog on adjusting chemical levels check out Adding Chemicals to Your Swimming Pool: 

Remember, maintaining proper water chemistry is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. Factors like weather, pool usage, and environmental conditions can affect water balance, so regular monitoring and adjustments are crucial for a healthy pool.

By prioritizing proper water circulation and maintaining the correct water chemistry, you'll set a solid foundation for a well-maintained pool. These fundamental practices ensure your pool water remains clean, clear, and inviting for everyone to enjoy.

3. Thou shalt clean and skim the surface daily: 🍃

Skimming and cleaning the pool's surface daily might seem like a simple task, but its impact on your pool's cleanliness is profound. Using a skimmer net, remove leaves, insects, debris, and any other floating contaminants. Not only does this prevent the debris from sinking and causing more significant issues, but it also eases the burden on your pool's filtration system. Regular skimming reduces the load on the filter, allowing it to work more efficiently, and helps maintain optimal water circulation.

4. Thou shalt vacuum and brush the pool weekly: 🧹🏊‍♂️

In addition to surface cleaning, it's crucial to tackle the pool's walls, floors, and hidden corners where debris can accumulate. Using a pool vacuum, thoroughly clean the pool bottom to remove dirt, leaves, and algae. Additionally, brushing the pool walls and tile line prevents the buildup of algae and other contaminants, enhancing the effectiveness of sanitation and filtration systems. Different types of brushes are available for different pool surfaces, ensuring a thorough and safe cleaning process but I recommend sticking to the vinyl brush. That’s all you will need if you keep to a regular maintenance routine. 

5. Thou shalt shock the pool when necessary: ⚡🧪

Shocking the pool involves adding a high dose of chlorine or non-chlorine shock to the water to eliminate organic contaminants, bacteria, and algae. Regular shocks break down chloramines and refresh chlorine levels, ensuring a clean and sanitary swimming environment. I also recommend a weekly dose of Enzymes to eliminate the organics and free up the chlorine to do its job better. Factors such as heavy rain, high temperatures, or heavy pool usage may necessitate more frequent shocking. Follow manufacturer guidelines and use shock treatments appropriately to maintain water clarity and hygiene.

6. Thou shalt clean and maintain the pool filter: 🌀

Your pool filter is essential for removing particles and debris from the water, ensuring it stays clean and clear. Filters come in various types: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE). Regularly inspect and clean or backwash the filter based on its type and manufacturer's recommendations. This maintenance prevents clogs and ensures the filter operates at maximum efficiency, contributing significantly to water clarity.

7. Thou shalt manage the pool's water level: 🌊📏

Maintaining the proper water level in your pool is crucial for effective skimming, filtration, and pump operation. Ensure the water level stays within the recommended range by using a garden hose to add water when it's too low or a submersible pump to remove excess water if it's too high. A balanced water level ensures optimal skimming and filtration, allowing the pump to function efficiently without causing damage. Want to see how easy it is to stop water flow from a pool that looks like the water level is good then check out this quick video, “How high to fill pool.” 

8. Thou shalt use a pool cover when not in use: 🛡️🍂

Pool covers serve as a shield, preventing debris, leaves, and other unwanted items from entering the pool when it's not in use. Besides keeping the pool clean, covers also minimize water evaporation and chemical loss, reducing the need for frequent refilling and chemical adjustments. There are various types of pool covers available, including solar covers, winter covers, and safety covers, each serving different purposes. Choose a cover that suits your needs and invest in its proper maintenance to extend its lifespan and effectiveness.

9. Thou shalt practice regular algaecide treatment: 🦠✨

Algae can quickly turn a pristine pool into a green mess. Regularly applying algaecide, especially during warmer months or after heavy rain, helps prevent algae growth. Algaecides come in different forms, including copper-based, quaternary ammonia, and polyquat, each with specific applications and effectiveness against different types of algae. Follow manufacturer instructions and use the appropriate algaecide for your pool to keep algae at bay. 

10. Thou shalt establish a consistent pool maintenance schedule: 📅🔧

Consistency is key in pool maintenance. Create a detailed schedule outlining tasks such as skimming, vacuuming, brushing, water testing, filter maintenance, and shock treatments. Factor in seasonal changes, heavy pool usage, and weather variations when planning your maintenance routine. Consistent care and adherence to this schedule will significantly contribute to a clean, clear, and enjoyable swimming pool throughout the year. 

This is where I get most of my calls. People trying to clean their own swimming pools that get sick and tired of fighting algae break down and call me. I can practically name my price and they will agree because they are so fed up with the fight. You lose the fight if you don’t show up. Keep that schedule and that makes you show up and win. That’s why I created my course and that’s why I’m giving 40% off for those of you who want to give it one more shot. 

By incorporating these practices into your pool maintenance routine, you'll create a harmonious environment that ensures your pool remains inviting and safe for everyone to enjoy.

For making it this far I have some free gifts for you. First, you can get 15% off my favorite Enzymes by clicking Enzymes and entering “15off” at checkout. 

Second, if you need more help with keeping your pool clean, clear, and safe to swim in I offer a complete, comprehensive, one-month course that you can get 40% off just by adding the word “Friend” at checkout just by clicking Master Class

Thank you and have a blessed day.

Mark