Ask the General: How to Avoid Common Pool Maintenance Mistakes
We’ve just placed our order for our new inground fiberglass pool, and it’s going to be installed in the spring! We can’t wait. However, since we’ve never had a pool before, we’d love to have your advice on how to take care of the newest member of our family. What should we be thinking about in terms of Pool Ownership 101? How can we avoid common pool maintenance mistakes?
Signed- Expecting a Pool in Elkhart
Congratulations! Getting a new inground fiberglass pool is incredibly exciting. Your family is getting the opportunity to have years of family togetherness, pool parties with friends and great exercise in your new backyard oasis. As far as general maintenance tips go, I’ve seen some common pool maintenance mistakes over the years that you can learn from to avoid problems in your new pool.
- Mind your pH. Failure to keep a regular eye on your inground pool’s water chemistry is probably the most common (and costly) mistake I’ve seen in my days. You need to check your levels on a regular basis. As the season goes on, if your water is looking okay, it’s easy to let it slip, but pretty soon your water will begin to look cloudy, and then it will turn green, and then you’ll need the help of a pool maintenance pro to get it right again.
- Don’t forget to backwash. For me, backwashing is like taking a shower. I do it once a week, whether I think I need it or not. Over time, we seem to forget to backwash. We start out the season with great intentions, but then start to let it slide. And then, all of a sudden, our heater isn’t working. Why? Because there isn’t enough water going through the system to let the heater operate properly. Why? Because you didn’t backwash your filter. Cloudy water? Same reason. I can’t say it enough–don’t forget to backwash. You’ll save yourself a ton of heartache and hard-earned cash.
- Watch your water. You need to keep your water at the proper level–not too high or too low–to allow your pool’s systems to operate correctly. This is a case of do as I say, not as I do, because I once put the garden hose in the pool to fill it, got distracted and came outside to find water pouring out of the pool. So, I started backwashing to get the water level back down but then got a phone call from a friend who needed a ride and left the house with the backwash setting on. I got about a mile from my house before remembering I was backwashing water out of the pool. Right…. so, to be clear– water is expensive and pools hold a lot of it. What’s more, running too much water through your sand filter can cause damage to your filter. So, watch your water when you’re filling or backwashing the pool.
- Clean your basket. What you don’t see CAN hurt your pool. Open up that little round cover and see what goodies have been collected by your skimmer basket on a regular basis. (And make sure you clean the lint filter on your dryer while you’re at it.) Skimmer baskets full of leaves, twigs, bugs, ponytail holders and whatever else your kids might have thrown in the pool can really slow down circulation and overwork the pump. Over time, neglecting your skimmer can cause costly damage to your pool’s systems.
- Don’t overheat. We all want to conserve energy and save money. Unless your family wants to swim in bath water, during the summer months you can usually shut the heater off. When fall rolls around and the kids are back in school, you might only turn on the heat near the weekend, when you know you’ll be using the pool. Most heaters have redundant thermostats that can be switched into high/low modes. That way, the heater will kick on when your water falls below a certain temperature and kick back off when your water hits the high end of your setting.
- Weather the winter. A pool that’s closed clean is a pool that opens clean. Having an automatic safety cover installed is the easiest way to make sure this will be true. Make sure you have a good pool maintenance pro near you who will open and close your pool for you every year. If you make a habit of having all your systems checked and close your pool up right, you’ll find yourself ready to swim as early as possible when the warm weather rolls around.
Well, that’s what I have for Pool Ownership 101 for now. I’ve got plenty more tips and tricks for you, so stay tuned. Enjoy your new pool–there’s really nothing like a pool to bring your family together. Speaking of which, it’s time for me to crank up the heat and get in my own pool.
Until next time,
Who is The General?
The man, the myth, the legend….we just call him The General. His organized, systematic approach to pool installations over the years had his crew members calling him “The General” and it stuck. The General has over 30 years’ experience in the pool and spa industry, working for one of Pool and Spa News’ “Top 50 Pool Builders.”
Over that time, he designed, sold, project-managed and installed over a thousand inground swimming pools. As a pool owner himself, he’s the perfect authority to give you the inside scoop, with amazing tips and tricks to make pool ownership a breeze!
About Thursday Pools
Thursday Pools designs and manufactures the world’s most durable and elegantly crafted fiberglass pools. We are ISO 9001 certified, which means that fiberglass pool shells are made with the highest standards and from the best quality material available. We are also ISO 14001 certified, which means we are committed to environmental stewardship.
Our one-piece, inground fiberglass swimming pool manufacturing facility is based out of Fortville, Indiana. At Thursday Pools, we aspire to be the world’s most respected fiberglass pool manufacturer and to help our customers create a lifetime of memories with their family and friends. Our innovations, commitment to quality and beautiful designs set us apart. Thursday Pools is the creator of the world’s first beach entry (or zero entry) fiberglass pool. View our exclusive designs for the Grace Beach Entry design and the Sandal Beach Entry Design.
Get a free estimate on the fiberglass pool of your dreams today. With Thursday Pools, your weekend starts early!