Contrary to the belief of many outsiders looking in, or despite what your children might think, owning a pool requires a bit more effort than the amount of energy you put into your backstroke or deciding what kind of tropical drink to concoct for poolside relaxation. Pools of all types require at least some sort of regular maintenance work. Although the benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks, prospective pool owners always ask the question of “Are above ground pools a lot of work?” The definitive answer depends on what you consider “a lot of work.” For some people, “a lot of work” might entail writing a check to get a pool cleaner in once a week to take care of the necessities. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of pool maintenance which may help your decision on whether to do it yourself or hire someone else.
Getting your pool up and running is probably the biggest job of all. That said, wherever you bought your pool will very likely provide services to help you get started. Unless you’re already well-versed in above ground pool installation or just generally handy, you might want to employ your pool dealer’s services. Once your pool is set up and full of water, you’ll need to test the various components to make sure they work properly. Start up the pump and filtration system and make sure they’re running properly. If the mechanicals are all good, it’s time to prepare the water.
A good way to start off is by shocking the water. Shocking keeps your water clean and safe by adding chlorine or other chemicals so that contaminants such as bacteria and algae are neutralized. Not only should you shock your pool during startup, but it will also become a weekly procedure during the high season. Extra shocking might be required if you notice algae growing in the pool or your chlorine levels get out of balance.
Once you’ve shocked your pool you’ll need to test the water and get the right balance to prepare it for actual use. The four tests that you should perform are: measuring for pH, total alkalinity, chlorine, and calcium hardness. pH and chlorine levels should be checked at least once a week or two or three times a week during heavy usage periods. Total alkalinity should also be tested every week while calcium hardness can be done once a month. There are all types of testing kits available or you can also take water samples to your local pool dealer for testing. Once all your levels are correct you’ll be ready to take the plunge!
Make sure to regularly skim the water surface to remove leaves and other debris. Brushing and vacuuming should take place at least once a week. There are now robotic vacuums that can do that for you. Also, clear the skimmer and pump baskets weekly. You’ll want to clean the pool filter, lubricate all your O rings and inspect all your mechanical devices once a month as well.
Now that you know what you can expect for regular pool maintenance tasks, download a buyer’s guide to learn more about our models.