A swimming pool or a hot tub is the ultimate luxury. No longer will you need to get in the car and drive to a municipal pool of questionable cleanliness for your summer fun or hope you can score an invite to a pool party. Now, the swimming pool or hot tub are only a few steps away, and you are the ones doing the inviting. But with every blessing, there’s a penalty, and hot tubs and pools do require some work to be their best. Here are four tips for maintaining a pool or hot tub.
This really can’t be stressed enough. Even though one good reason to get a pool is for the kids to enjoy themselves, they must enjoy themselves safely. A grown-up should monitor children at all times while they are in and around the pool. It only takes a few moments of distraction for a tragedy to occur. This isn’t a job that should be left to your teenagers, even if you really don’t want to be outside. If a baby or a toddler is in the pool, an adult should be in the water with them within arm’s reach. It is also important to have rescue equipment near the pool in the case of an emergency. Children should be taught basic water safety and know what signs to look for, but ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure you watch your children carefully.
If an in-ground swimming pool needs to be drained, it should not be left empty for a long time. This is because the pressure exerted by the ground can actually heave it up and damage it. A pool that’s going to be empty for several months should have enough water in it to cancel out the upward pressure of the ground. Even if the pool isn’t completely drained, the water level shouldn’t fall below the level of the skimmer. A water level that’s too low can damage the pump, and it’s expensive to replace. If the water level is too low, just refill the pool or hot tub with a garden hose.
Keeping a pool and hot tub clean is probably the most labor-intensive part of having one. A clean pool or hot tub is not only attractive but healthy and puts less stress on the pool equipment. First, the filter should be cleaned regularly, but not overly much. Filters work better when they have a tiny bit of dirt in them because the dirt attracts other particles of dirt. A self-cleaning feature in spas has become a standard feature, but you should still check the filter once in a while. The pool and hot tub should be brushed and vacuumed regularly during the pool season. Brushing rids the shell of algae and that crust of minerals called limescale. A pool vacuum works just like a regular vacuum except it works underwater. After the pool is vacuumed, the filter needs to be checked to make sure it’s running well
Another way to keep the pool and hot tub clean is to keep the water a little alkaline. This means that the pH of the water is a bit above 7.0. An alkaline pool discourages algae, limescale, and cloudy water. Indeed, experts claim that the best range is between 7.2 and 7.8. Values that are way out of this range can damage the pool equipment and even eat away at the shell. The pool owner can buy a pH testing kit at pool equipment or a big box store. If the pH is shown to be out of range, the water can be acidified or sweetened.
If you live in an area where the winters are too cold to swim in, you’ll probably want to invest in covers for the pool and hot tub. Covers are made out of a variety of materials that resist deterioration from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. They keep the water warm, keep it from evaporating and keep debris from getting into the water. Make sure you keep up on repairs to your covers so they remain effective. Pool covers can also be a good way to keep animals and unwanted guests out of the pool, but don’t depend on just the cover to keep your family safe. A locked cover is a good safety measure, but there should also be a gate around your fence.
Having a swimming pool and a hot tub brings hours of fun and creates fond memories. These four tips should keep them healthy and sparkling clean for years to come. So watch your children, use the pool or it will slowly fall apart, learn to clean your pool, and take care of the pool or spa cover.