An above ground pool can be fun for the entire family, but it does require a bit of maintenance in order to keep the water crystal clear and attractive. Small bouts of daily maintenance are more effective than longer, less frequent cleanings. They are also easier.
The First Step is Prevention
One of the most important ways to keep an above ground pool clean is to pay attention to the chemical balance of the water. Since these pools are generally smaller than their in-ground cousins, it is easier for the water to get out of balance quickly. Regular tests and addition of the proper chemicals at the recommended intervals can go a long way toward cutting down cleaning time.
Purchase a good test kit or a box of test strips. Check the chlorine level, pH level and water hardness every day. Adding the appropriate amount of chemicals needed to keep the water within the recommended range will help prevent stagnant water that is full of algae. Shock the pool weekly or at the recommended interval to keep algae and bacteria from becoming a problem.
Check the Filter
One of the best tools for keeping the pool clean is the filtering system. Making sure that it is operating properly and hasn’t become clogged will allow the pool to clean itself as the water runs through the filter. Follow manufacturer’s directions to either change clogged cartridge-type filters or to backwash sand filters. Keeping the filtering system at peak efficiency will go a long way toward reducing cleaning time.
While using the pool can lead to the introduction of contaminants like hair, sand, grass or leaves, it is also one of the best ways to help the filtering system do its job. While sitting unused, dirt and other contaminants settle out to the bottom of the pool. Since most above ground pools don’t have floor drains, they sit where the filter can’t get to them. By using the pool and keeping the water stirred up, this causes these minute particles to stay suspended so that they will eventually run through the filter and be removed.
Clean Out Large Debris
Despite the best efforts to help automatic systems to function, eventually every pool will need some extra cleaning. Using a skimming net, clean out leaves and other debris every day. Also, don’t forget to check and empty out the skimmer. Removing these contaminants when they are still large and in one piece prevents them from breaking down into smaller pieces that are harder to remove later.
If the pool and filter system have a vacuum attachment, this can help to remove debris that has settled to the bottom of the pool. Simply attach the device and vacuum up the dirt. Afterward, check to make sure that there are no large pieces clogging the filter system and that the filter has not become clogged with small particles. Clean the filter as needed.
If there seems to be a lot of cloudiness due to small particles suspended in the water, there are chemicals to cause them to clump together and settle to the bottom of the pool. They can then be vacuumed like normal.
Despite the best efforts, algae will sometimes develop. Shocking, adjusting chemicals and adding an algaecide can kill algae, and then it can be filtered or vacuumed like any other debris.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By monitoring the pool every day and addressing problems before they are major, an above ground pool can be kept clean and attractive all season long.