Dos and Don’ts of Swimming Pool Maintenance

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swimming pool maintenance  An in-ground swimming pool can make your home a more fun, relaxing, and overall more attractive place to be. In fact, they can even raise your property value. Many of our customers find that their pool requires more maintenance than they ever imagined. From scooping out leaves to vacuuming and scrubbing the liner and everything in between, it can be a hassle. In fact, this is primarily why we offer pool maintenance services. But we can’t be at your home every few days to skim the leaves out, so you still have to do some maintenance on your own.

What’s Involved in Pool Maintenance?

First thing’s first: what do we mean by pool maintenance? Well, in order for your pool to run great and stay safe, you must perform maintenance on it. Here’s some of what your pool needs:
  • Skimming the debris – Debris such as leaves can clog filters when the water is recirculated and filtered. Also, who wants to swim in a pool with leaves and sticks floating in it?
  • Cleaning your filter – At just about all of our pool repair and maintenance visits, we clean our customer’s filter. Not cleaning your filter can lead to (for starters) a dirtier pool. But it can also significantly affect the performance of the motor.
  • Vacuum and scrubbingDirt can build up on the bottom and sides of your pool, so you’ll have to hop in with a pool vacuum (pool vac for short) and may even need to scrub off some stains that may have accumulated. Most pools don’t develop stains for quite a few years. Calcium and algae buildups are a nasty thing to deal with as they stay for longer periods of time, so it’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible.
  • Empty the basketYou can do this whenever it seems full or every day. The basket is yet another debris removal system.
  • Manage your water levelsSplashing, getting in and out of the pool, and evaporation are all natural ways we expect water will find its way up and out of your pool. When this happens, you’ll need to make sure you keep it full. If you find yourself constantly filling it, there is likely a leak somewhere.
  • Chemical balancingYour pool needs to have all of the chemicals balanced to the appropriate readings. This is where many pool owners call in a pool expert because it can be complicated, confusing, and many home pool chemistry kits don’t cover all of the necessary chemicals. These chemicals include: alkanlity, pH, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid/conditioner, and chlorine. Most home kits cover chlorine and pH, while others may cover alkalinity as well.

The Dos of Swimming Pool Maintenance

When performing some basic maintenance on your pool, make sure you are doing the following:
  • Do: check your pool regularly – Even if you’re just doing a quick glance, make sure you know when your pool has a problem. If you notice some debris, take it out. If you notice the water level has dropped, add some water.
  • Do: shut off your system for any hardware maintenanceIf you are cleaning your filter, backwashing, or anything related to the hardware of the pool, it’s best to shut the system off first. Vacuuming, chemical balancing, and adding water does not generally require a shut-off.
  • Do: vacuum regularlyWe recommend vacuuming about once a week, but if you can’t do this then at least do it every other week. Regularly skimming the top of debris lessens the need for vacuuming.
  • Do: shock your pool monthlyEvery month you should shock your pool to rejuvenate the chlorine. Regardless of the chlorine readings (they may even be “perfect”), you must shock your pool monthly.
  • Do: backwash your filterIf you have a sand filter, you have an option (generally a lever of sorts) to backwash your system. This is essentially a cleanse of your filter and can fix the cloudy water issue in many pools. When the pressure gauge reaches around 10psi it’s time to backwash. A few psi above or below 10 is fine as well.
  • Do: remove all leavesYou can just use a scooper to remove the leaves. Catch them before your basket or filter does!
  • Do: check and adjust all chemicals as neededThe chemical balance is the most important part of pool maintenance. Too much chlorine (during a shock for example) can be dangerous to human skin, so it’s always best to check your pool regularly jumping in.
  • Do: perform a walk-around of your poolLook for cracks and leaks inside and outside of your pool. If you have an in-ground vinyl pool, check the liner for bubbles and make sure it’s not out-of-line.
  • Do: have a professional look at your pool – A swimming pool expert will know exactly what your pool needs and can give you some personal advice to keep it in top-notch condition.

The Don’ts of Swimming Pool Maintenance

Make sure you don’t do the following when performing your swimming pool maintenance:
  • Don’t: perform any maintenance on the motor or heating equipment – This can be dangerous to you and your pool and is best left to the experts.
  • Don’t: jump into your pool soon after shockingShocking your pool is the large addition of chlorine, and chlorine (in very high doses) is dangerous to your skin and can burn. The same burning feeling you’ve had in your eyes before can happen all over your body if you jump into a recently-shocked pool. You should wait about a day in most cases for the levels to drop, but check them before jumping in.
  • Don’t: add chlorine to water all in one placeMany pool owners throw the chlorine tablets into the basket for easy breakdown, but the heavy amounts of chlorine are sucked through the pump immediately and can lower the life expectancy of the pump. You should always spread the chlorine as much as possible, generally by moving the tablet around with a skimmer. Chlorine buildups in one spot can also stain/bleach vinyl liners if left to sit on one spot.
  • Don’t: add water to chemicalsWhen mixing chemicals and water, you should never add water to the chemicals as this can cause unexpected reactions. If mixing in a bucket, the water should be in there first, then add the chemicals and mix them up.
  • Don’t: ignore water levelsLeaks are fairly common and many pool owners fill their pools up constantly without even questioning where the water went. Make sure you don’t ignore the water levels.


This summer make sure your pool is safe and healthy by performing basic maintenance. Following these dos and don’ts are a great way to make sure your pool receives the greatest care possible. If you need a quick check-up on your pool or any pool maintenance services, contact a pool professional. If you’re in Maryland, feel free to contact us at 410-242-2264 and we’ll come take a look at it for you. Have a friend or neighbor you want to share this with? Use our handy share buttons below.

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