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Pool maintenance requires less work than lawn care, Less time than kitchen chores and is more rewarding than any other homework. Household members of a pool-owning home celebrate opening day, enjoy months of at-home pleasure and grieve a little at the end of the season.

 

Spring Cleaning:

Although many pool owners employ a service to open their pools for the season, the do-it-yourself program promotes a better understanding of how your pool works and an opportunity to open the pool on your own schedule. Even if you do opt for the "maid" to do the spring cleaning, a review of the procedure will help you understand the mechanics of your pool. The more you know, the easier you'll fine routine maintenance.

Uncover:

  • Before you pull off your pool's winter blanket, remove the leaves, dirt or other debris (and water, if you have a solid cover). You are working to prevent debris from falling into the pool water when you remove the cover.
  • Since you will want to clean your pool cover before storing it for the summer season, removing debris while it is still in place gives you a head start.

    A submersible  pump can help you get rid of standing water on the cover. A plastic pail with a rope tied to the handle makes a handy bailing device.

    Add Water

  • Begin adding water while you are cleaning the cover. It will save time as well as raise the cover a bit, making it easier to clean and remove from the pool.
  • Clean Cover

    You will need to clean the cover more thoroughly after you remove it. Consider using your driveway to spread out the cover. A pool cover spread over your lawn for just a few hours of sunshine can build up heat enough to damage your grass. You can clean your cover with Bio Guard Stow Away.

    Inspect

  • Check your equipment. Inspect the system by checking and cleaning all plumbing and associated equipment and replace any parts that look suspect. Filter "O"-rings and gaskets should be replaced if they appear worn. If you have underwater lights, start the season with fresh bulbs.  Lubricate "O"-rings and gaskets with a Teflon or silicon based lubricant like Magic Lube or SBG spray.
  • Filter

  • Clean and backwash your pool's filter. Once the water has reached the proper level (mid-skimmer), restart the filter and check for leaks.
  • Double Shock

  • Over the winter the chlorine in your pool worked hard -- defending the water against algae and bacteria that developed when and dirt got under your pool cover.
  • Jump-start your swimming season with a double-shock of the water. Use twice the dose of a regular treatment with a swimming pool shock like Burn Out Extreme or Smart Shock by Bio Guard..

     

    Season-Long Pool keeping

    Regular maintenance and checking your pool's operation is a simple routine that also ensures safety and peak performance.

    Daily tasks take only a few minutes. Skipping them can result in problems that will eat into your leisure time.

    Daily

  • Test water chemistry. Keep chlorine between 1.0-3.0 PPM (parts per million)if the pool water temperature is below 80 keep chlorine between 3.0-5.0 PPM if the temperature is above 80 and pH in a range of 7.2-7.6. To raise the pH level, add Balance Pak 200 pH plus Adjuster; to lower the level, add     Lo n' Slo, pH Minus Adjuster to the pool's water.
  • Run the filter about 12 hours a day longer if the water temperatures rise above 80.   But if pool water appears cloudy, run the filter continuously until the water is clear and sparkling.

    Use a skimmer net to remove leaves or any other debris that may float on the pool surface.

    Weekly

  • Vacuum manually at least once a week; brush down the side walls every other week. If you have an automatic cleaner, run it for eight to twelve hours at least two or three times during the week. Cleaning helps lower then chance of an algae outbreak in the water. Make sure you use your pool the more use the pool gets the better the water is circulated and less chance of algae!
  • Shock your pool once a week following label directions on Bio Guard Burn out Extreme or Bio Guard Smart Shock..

    Clean the skimmer and pump baskets as often as you can, especially when nearby trees are shedding seed pods and leaves. Always check the skimmer and baskets following a windy day or a rainstorm.

    Monitor the pressure gauge. It's time to backwash whenever the pressure is 5 to 8 psi (pounds per square inch) about the normal level with a sand filter and 10 psi for a D. E. filters or cartridge filter.

    Backwash for one to two minutes or until the backwash water is clear in the sight glass if you have one, then switch to rinse for twenty seconds. This rinses the filter sand and eliminates any residue left on the media that would otherwise be carried back into the pool when the filter cycle is restarted.

    If you have a DE (diatomaceous earth) or cartridge filter, cleaning is also important. Watch the pressure gauge and clean by following the manufacturer's directions.

    Monthly

  • Clean pool walls regularly to remove any scum ring that may have formed at the waterline. To simplify this task, use Bio Guard Off The Wall every three to four weeks.
  • Time spent in regular maintenance is a good investment. It prevents problems, which could be costly in money and efforts as well as your time.

     

    Closing Time

    Pool owners everywhere say this is the saddest time. Sunbelt families with to off-season maintenance routines while northerners winterize.

    Mild Climate Closing

  • There's no ice and snow, but there's less interest in a dip in the pool in many sunbelt areas, as the days grow short.
  • These mild-climate pools really never stop operating and owners continue to maintain their pools. But with less use, there are fewer chores.

    When you swim less, filter less often and use your pool cover faithfully. Operating the filter for four to eight hours once a week generally will suffice.

    Shock the system. When filtration goes down, free available chlorine needs to go up. Shock-treat with Bio Guard Burn out Extreme or Bio Guard Smart Shock to increase the FAC level to 4-5 PPM, then continue treating about once a month to maintain that level.

    Monitor pH to keep within the range of 7.2-7.6. Correct it with Balance Pak 200 pH increaser or Lo n' Slo, pH Minus Adjuster as needed.

    Cover the pool. Your pool cover keeps your water cleaner and helps conserve chlorine (fewer shock treatments needed).

    No heat. Continue regular cleaning of skimmers and the strainer basket. If you don't use a pool cover, vacuum and brush as well.

    Snow Belt Closing

  • Where the snow flies, the pool must be protected. The better you prepare for its hibernation the happier you'll be when you wake up the pool next spring.
  • Don't drain. Although you will lower the water level, don't drain the pool. You will save the expense of replacing water and chemicals, and you'll also protect your pool from pressure on pool walls as the ground water freezes and expands during the winter months.

    Fall Cleaning. Your final cleaning of the season should be your best work. Leave the water crystal clear for a happy opening next spring.

    Check pH. Bring it to the 7.2-7.6 range.

    Add a winterizing dose of granular chlorine. This dose is usually around 6ozs per 1,000 gallons for 30ppm if the pool is uncovered. If your pool is covered, 15ppm will do. Allow chlorine to dissolve and circulate throughout the pool and filter system.  Add an On Guard Winter Kit.

    Lower water level 1 to 2 feet below the skimmers to prevent them from freezing when the temperature drops.

    Protect your equipment to prevent damage from freezing. The most effective way to protect pumps is to remove them and store them where they won't freeze. (This includes the pump on your automatic cleaner.) Any pump that remains outside must be drained completely (check manufacturer's directions).

    Drain the pool filter, valves and liners to gauges. Refer to manufacturers' instructions for help with each piece of equipment.

    Protect lines and skimmers. Use an air compressor (or vacuum cleaner with blow settings) to dry out the lines. Add environmentally friendly antifreeze approved for use in swimming pools. Do not use automotive antifreeze. The antifreeze solution you put in your lines this fall will circulate through your pool next spring. Use the right stuff!!

    Shut off. The valve on a gas heater at both ends of the lines unless your model requires leaving a pilot light on. Again check your owner's manual.

    Cover the pool. A tight-fitting cover keeps your pool free of damaging debris and also prevents algae from growing, which needs sunlight to thrive. Use a safety covers on your winter closed pool is an added security feature.

    The respite from pool keeping never can go too fast.

     

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