Keeping An Above Ground Pool Clean
An above ground swimming pool is much
more inviting to get into when the water is clear and the bottom is free of dirt. A good
filter and a good pool cleaner are the basics to keeping your pool in top
shape. You cannot enjoy your pool if you are a constant slave to it or
if it is always a dirty mess.
filter system is the starting
point for a clean pool. It should be a good quality system designed to handle the water capacity of your
pool. My preference in most cases is a 1 hp sand filter. Extremely large pools
may need a 1 1/2 hp. With that big of pump I would recommend two returns to allow proper
Running the filter enough hours a day
is also important. The hotter it gets the longer they should run.
8 hours a day would be alright in
spring and fall but 12-14 hours are much better in the hot months of summer. If you
have any problems with water clarity try running the filter longer each day.
Using a vinyl shock treatment once
every couple of weeks is another good way to keep your pool water crystal clear. Proper chlorine and
ph balance is important also.
When it comes to getting the dirt off
the bottom, be careful. Pool vacuums and automatic pool cleaners are the biggest causes of holes in
vinyl liners. Hand vacuums are the quickest way of cleaning a pool. They can
also leave hundreds of little pinholes around the outer edge of the pool if you use the pool
wall to guide the vacuum head. Always stay at least 6" away from the side of the pool
when cleaning. Automatic
are nice to have and will, for the most
part, do a good job. The biggest problem with all the models I've seen is that they
get lazy a lot. They spend way too much time cleaning one little section of the pool.
They either get their hose tangled or the filter current stalls them at the far end of the
pool. Spend some time working with the filter return to angle the water flow for the most
effective operation. It's also a good idea to fill some 1 gallon milk jugs with sand and put under the ladder
to keep the cleaner from getting stuck. The last suggestion would be to limit the
amount of time the cleaner runs. Running it just when the pool is dirty is better than running it
every time the filter runs. They do, over time, wear on the liner.
The more time they spend in one place the more wear that occurs on that area.
Leaf skimmers are a good idea to have
on hand for cleaning up after a storm or just removing that unwanted bee. They come in two
flavors. One that is attached to a short 5' pole and ready for use at
all times or the one that interchanges with your vacuum head on the long pole.
I think the short ready to use model is all you would ever need and it's
always handy for the kids to use.
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