You asked, so we are answering. As a full-service pool designer/installer with certified technicians on staff who perform everything from routine maintenance to complex repairs, the Neave Pools team gets a lot of swimming pool maintenance questions from clients and people considering building a pool. We love it because we take pride in our work and believe that when you have accurate information about caring for a pool, it will be in optimum condition and provide years of recreational enjoyment. And, we also know that there is a lot of misleading or false information about pool maintenance service out there, and we’d rather you come straight to the source.
Here, we are answering your swimming pool maintenance questions—the questions you ask most often about taking care of a pool, from adding chemicals to changing filters and beyond. We hope you learn something new!
How often should I clean the skimmer and pump baskets?
Clogged skimmers and pump baskets prevent water from properly circulating and can result in issues like the pump overheating or damage to skimmer baskets. The best prevention is to simply check the skimmer and pump baskets every day and remove any debris you find.
What are the ideal pH and alkalinity levels for my pool?
Ideally, your swimming pool water pH level should be 7.4 to 7.6. Total alkalinity should be 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm). Maintaining proper pH is important because otherwise, you’re creating an environment for bacteria and algae—not the type of water that’s healthy (or pleasant) for swimming.
What does cloudy pool water mean?
If your pool water is cloudy, there could be contaminants in the pool—including suntan lotion or shampoos/conditioner residue from people who were swimming. Or, your filtration system might not be functioning properly, and the culprit is often a filter that needs changing. We like to use a cleaner on the cartridge and filter periodically that helps break down greasy oils from contaminants. We recommend running the filter system longer to be sure pool water is circulating completely to remove contaminants. Another reason for cloudy pool water can be improper pH levels. A pH test and chemical adjustment can fix the issue.
After shocking a pool, how long should I wait to swim in it? And, why shock a pool?
We recommend waiting eight to 12 hours before swimming after shocking a pool with chlorine. There are several reasons to shock a pool. If a pool is uncovered during heavy rains or storms, shocking it afterward will eliminate contaminants. It’s also a good idea to shock your pool after a heavy bathing load. So, if you host a pool party over the weekend and the water becomes a “high traffic zone,” shocking it afterward will help remove bacteria and contaminants.
Another reason to shock a pool that many homeowners don’t realize is to get rid of combined chlorine that is no longer effective. If combined chlorine exceeds 0.2, shocking it to turn that “tired chlorine” back to available chlorine that does its job will ensure proper chlorine levels for safe swimming.
Why is my pool green?
Algae growth from phosphates or metals in the water is a common reason for turning pool water green. Our pool technicians generally deal with green pool water by vacuuming to remove debris, and thoroughly cleaning the pool walls and floor. A pH test will reveal whether chemistry needs to be adjusted. Filtering the pool is necessary to turn over the pool water. Then, another pH test will tell whether those steps worked or if chemistry needs to be tinkered with again. Achieving the ideal pool chemistry is a science that is sometimes under-recognized by new pool owners, who think they can do it themselves. There’s no cookie-cutter formula because proper pH levels depend on the pool’s physical attributes, biological impacts, and environmental surroundings, not to mention who’s using the pool. That’s why we always recommend a professional test and adjust pool chemistry so you can be sure it’s safe to swim.
Do I need chlorine for a salt-water pool?
Salt water pools use the salt in the water to generate chlorine, therefore you should not need to use chlorine as you would in a traditional pool. However, there may be times your pool will need to be shocked. Maintaining proper levels for all other chemistry parameters such as pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness remain just as important.
Why is my pool losing water? Should I worry if water levels are low in my pool?
Depending on the time of year, pool water can evaporate up to ¾ inch in a day and this is completely normal. But if you notice excessive pool water loss, that’s the sign of a possible leak. You should call your pool professional immediately for service.
Have a Question about Pool Maintenance? Call Neave Group.
Neave Pools takes the maintenance burden away with certified, experienced technicians who make sure you get a return on investment.
Let’s talk more about how pool maintenance is a key preventive measure for making the most of your luxury swimming pool.
Contact us at 845-463-0592 in Hudson Valley, 914-271-7996 in Westchester, and 203-212-4800 in Connecticut. Or, fill out this contact form and one of our pros will get in touch with you so you can get the pool of your dreams this summer.