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Above Ground Pool Maintenance

2016/7/21 11:13:17

Above ground pools may take less time to install as compared to in-ground pools, however, they do require the same amount of care. Various cleaners, chemicals, brushes, etc., are available for their maintenance.

Above ground swimming pools are pools that are installed above ground level, and are cheaper than other swimming pool types. These pools are beneficial when one does not wish to dig up the backyard and install an in-ground swimming pool. Above-ground swimming pools require a flat and leveled surface, and also require access to electricity and water supply.

However, besides installing the above ground pool, one also needs to maintain the pool well, so as to ensure that it remains in good condition for years to come. Various safety covers, motors, filters, pumps, skimmers, etc., are specifically designed for above ground pools, so as to extend the life of the pool. Smaller gas heating systems are also available for these above ground pools.

Above Ground Pool Care
By proper maintenance, the life and appearance of the pool liner can be maximized. Improper maintenance can cause the swimming pool to be a breeding ground for infectious diseases. Swimming pools are open water systems, exposed to rain, snow, debris, insects, etc. Fallen leaves and other organic matter in the pool eventually decompose and attract bacteria. Waterborne illnesses, such as amoebic dysentery, typhoid, cholera, salmonellosis, and gastroenteritis, are commonly spread through pool water. Moreover, pool staining, cloudy water, pungent chlorine smell, algal build-up, and itchy eyes are some other commonly associated problems with pools. Such problems can be reduced by proper maintenance. Pool maintenance is something that has to be carried out throughout the year, whether it is being used or not.

pH Level
The pH level is the measure of acidity or alkalinity, and needs to be tested twice a week. Maintaining the right water balance is very important. The pH level in the pool water must be slightly alkaline, that is a pH of around 7.2 - 7.6 must be maintained. It is at this pH level that chlorine is most effective. Moreover, this level is similar to the pH of our skin. It can be controlled by adding either an acid, such as muriatic acid, or an alkali such as soda ash or baking soda. The addition of alkali or acid will depend on whether the water is too acidic or too alkaline. Incorrect pH levels can lead to damage of pool and pool equipment.

Skimming off Leaves and Debris
Once debris sinks to the bottom of the pool, it results in difficult-to-remove stain formation, thus, removing debris such as insects, leaves, etc., with a long-handled leaf skimmer is important. This should be done twice a week. Besides skimming, the skimmer baskets must also be checked and cleared off the various kinds of debris, to ensure fresh circulating pool water.

Chlorine Level
To sanitize the pool chlorination is required. The level of 'free' chlorine that has to be maintained in the pool is 1.0 - 3.0 ppm. Chlorine is available in the granular, tablet, or liquid form and all the types work in the same manner. Chemical compounds such as sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite, available in the market are efficient chlorine providers. It is advisable to add these compounds via a chemical feeder, after the filtration process is through. This will ensure the even distribution of chlorine in the water. Adding them directly into the skimmer boxes may lead to chlorine concentration in those areas.

Brushing and Vacuuming
The dirt collected onto the sides and bottom of the pool is to be removed with the help of a brush. The dirt should be pushed towards the main drain to increase convenience while vacuuming. The pool walls and floor should be brushed thoroughly the night before vacuuming. Allow the filter to run for two hours and then turn it off. Some debris will be picked by the filters, while the rest will settle at the bottom of the pool. The next morning the settled dirt can be vacuumed away. Vacuuming will require the submersion of the vacuum head and hose, prior to the hooking up of the vacuum to the filter.

Shock Treatment
In order to destroy the combined chlorine compounds (free chlorine is required, not combined), which cause an unpleasant smell and skin-eye irritation, shock treatments are essential. Shock treatment packages are available in local pool shops and the pool can be shocked as per the instructions on the package. The pool should be shocked preferably in the evenings. Pool shocking not only increases the level of free chlorine in the pool, but it also destroys germs, leaving the pool attractive and sparkling. Shocking needs to be done once a week.

Check Filter
There are three different types of filters available, which remove dirt and oil from the pool water. These filters get accumulated with dirt and have to be cleaned regularly. Depending on the instructions given by the manufacturer, one should clean the swimming pool filter.

Check Water Circulation
The swimming pool circulation system encompasses the above ground pump, pump strainers, skimmer, filter, and drains. This circulation system ensures proper water filtration and enable the chemicals to work properly. The pump should be turned on each day to ensure the water filters properly. The more the number of people using the pool, the more the water needs to be circulated.

There are various chemical treatment methods to help keep the pool clean and hygienic. Moreover, there are also automatic above ground pool cleaners which are perfect for people who are too busy to clean the pool. These automatic cleaners simplify maintenance work by taking care of the everyday mess. Have a great time with your pool!
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