Pool Looking More Green Than Clean
Pool maintenance can be a drag, but there’s no point having a great pool out the back if it’s full of sludge. Cleaning and maintenance are crucial to keeping the water safe for you and your family, and to make sure you actually get to use it!
From collecting leaves and debris to keeping the chlorine levels stable, there’s a huge range of tricks, tools and products to keep your pool in tip top shape.
Cleaning your pool
All pools require cleaning to remove the leaves, dirt and other grotty things that they collect. The kind of cleaner you need will depend on:
- The type of pool – in-ground or above-ground
- The size of your pool
- The amount and type of leaves it collects
- The filtration system and plumbing you have
- Your budget.
The cheapest option is to do it yourself by ‘hand vacuuming’. The ‘vacuum’ is attached to your skimmer box to create suction and then you manually push the vacuum around the surfaces of your pool with a pole. Typically, this will take between an hour and an hour and a half, and you’ll need to do it once a week.
Employ a pool cleaner
If you prefer to leave the gunk-scooping to someone else, there are plenty of pool-cleaning services around. They’ll also check everything’s operating correctly and do required maintenance. A regular visit may cost around $55 or more. One-off call-outs will be more expensive.
Buy a mechanical pool cleaner
A kreepy krauly is a brand of suction pool cleaner, but these days the name ‘creepy crawly’ is often used to describe products in this segment of the market. They’re the cheapest and one of the more popular automatic cleaners. A more expensive type is the pressure cleaner, and more expensive again are the robot cleaners.
Find out more about these in our pool cleaner buying guide.
Without regular sanitisation, all pools develop bacteria – which can pose serious health risks. Water top-ups, leaves, grass, dust, and even people all cause bacteria to grow; these factors, along with the size of your pool, will determine the level of sanitisation you need.
Most pool owners use chlorine. There are other options to keep pool water clean and in balance – such as using ozone gas, uv sterilisation, bromine or ionization – but these methods make up a very small part of the australian market. Health departments around australia generally recommend all domestic pool owners have a chlorine residual in their pool.
There are three main ways domestic users can keep their pool chlorinated:
By hand, which involves adding chlorine manually.
By installing a salt chlorinator, which produces chlorine and is the most common form of domestic pool chlorination in australia.
By installing a liquid chemical feeder, which automatically adds chlorine.
As well as sanitisation, you also need to chemically balance your pool water. The chemical balance of your pool is made up of:
- Ph (acidity/alkalinity level): 68%
- Total alkalinity (ta): 16%
- Calcium hardness: 16%
You should monitor your chlorine and ph levels at least once a week, or every day if your pool is in high use. Total alkalinity and calcium hardness levels can be monitored less frequently.
Maintaining the ph level of your pool is crucial to ensuring it’s safe to use. Incorrect ph levels can cause itchy skin and red eyes, and can also reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.
Ph ranges from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral, anything above 7.0 alkaline, and anything below 7.0 acidic. The australian standard for pool water is 7.0 to 7.8, with 7.4 being ideal.
Rain, water top-ups, people swimming and chlorine will all also alter your pool’s ph. You can raise ph levels by adding soda ash (which is alkaline) or lower them by adding pool acid.