4 tips for maintaining your pool

July 28, 2015

Your pool can provide you with welcome relief from the blazing summer sun, but it needs some maintenance in return. Here are some helpful tips about how to take care of your pool.

4 tips for maintaining your pool

1. Shock treatment

An overpowering chlorine odour is a sure sign that your pool is in need of shock treatment.

  • What you smell is actually chloramine, or combined chlorine, a compound that forms when chlorine combines with perspiration, rainwater, cosmetics, urine and other substances.
  • Despite its strong smell, combined chlorine is a weak sanitizer and can cause eye and skin irritations.
  • To restore the efficiency of the sanitizer, you'll need to add a large amount of granular chlorine (a process known as super-chlorination), or use a non-chlorine shock containing either potassium monopersulfate or lithium hypochlorite.
  • Pools should be shocked when they're first opened and once a week thereafter (more frequently if they're used by many bathers).

2. Re-plastering or repainting a concrete pool

Over time, pool chemicals and extreme fluctuations in water temperature will take their toll on a concrete pool.

  • On average, pools in temperate zones need to be re-plastered every 10 to 15 years or repainted every three to five years.
  • Your timing may vary, though. If you notice an excessive amount of flaking, it's probably a good time to call the contractor.

3. Finding if there is a leak

Think your pool may have a leak? Try this:

  1. Place a 19 litre (five gallon) bucket on the second step and fill it to the water level of the pool (place a brick inside to keep it in place).
  2. Mark the water level inside the bucket.
  3. Shut off any pumps, mark the pool's water level on the outside of the bucket, then restart the equipment.
  4. After one to two days, check the bucket; if the pool level is lower than the bucket's, there's a leak.

4. Pinpointing where the leak is

You may be able to pinpoint its exact location with a simple dye test:

  1. Fill an empty reagent bottle or a small squeeze bottle with food colouring.
  2. Squeeze out a bit of dye in suspected areas, especially behind ladders, near steps and lights, and around corners and tile fittings.
  3. If the dye gets sucked in, you've found your leak.

Your pool is something that gets a lot of use over the summer months. Make sure to keep it in tip-top shape so you can continue to enjoy it for years to come.

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