- essential money-saving advice
- Pool plant and equipment requires more in-depth maintenance on a periodic basis
- This preventative maintenance helps to extend the life of the equipment and thereby saves you money
- If you can learn how to do these seasonal jobs yourself you'll save a lot more money
- You should have a dedicated, secure area for storing the Pool Chemicals, Auto-cleaner, toys and the Pool Tools and every now and again it needs a a thorough cleaning
- Don’t clutter it up with empty chemicals containers, broken pool-toys, punctured inflatable rafts, that wrecked lawn-mower that we both know you're never going to repair and suchlike; clean them out and tidy the area
Tip: - The best time to clean up in this area is the winter when you're not using the pool. It's more comfortable to be crouched in what laughingly calls itself 'the pool room' in cooler weather, for one thing, but it also means that everything will be ready for the following season.
One Minute Rant: - Why are pool-rooms so small? Why build a pool that needs a 2.5 meter-long telescopic pole to clean it and then expect to get that pole into a 'room' that's a 1.5 meter cube with a door that opens into the room . . . full of pump, filter, control box, any other kit the builder could jemmy in, and sometimes a feral cat with 10 kittens. It's true about the kittens.
This is also a true story (as are they all). I went once to do some small works to a pool near to Gibraltar; 2 or 3 hours at the most. The property was a big old bungalow about 30 years old. As a part of the work I had to change the filter media so I asked where to find the pump-room. The householder pointed to a rusty metal gate about 80cm (30") high, shrouded in shrubbery, and said, 'I think it's in there, or so my husband says,' she replied..!'
Whatever; the door led to the foundations of the house,with a headroom of about a meter (39") and, right in the far corner, sure enough, was an old sand-filter. To get there I had to crawl from one corner of the house to the other, through he accumulated detritus of 30 years. In the dark, of course; no light bulb in the fitting.
To further complicate things, the pump on-off switch was just inside the gate, which I hadn't noticed on the way in, of course, and I was working alone. So, back and forth on my knees for several hours with old sand out, new media in, pump on, pump off, light bulb blown again, hot and sweaty, you name it. It was like being on the abandoned film set for 'Being John Malkovitch' (Horror Version).
OK, I feel a bit better for that but if you're planning to build a pool pool; think ahead a little about the size of the pool-room, where you're going to keep those tools and chemicals away from kids, pets and the sun. The off season is a great time to build some proper facilities around the pool like a bar, a bathroom, some seating and barbecue area (not too close with that, please), a shady terrace with cool tiled floors or warm timber decking. Just an idea!
- Clean the equipment in your pump room with a damp cloth to remove dust
- Clean the floor, wash out and safely dispose of any empty chemical containers
- Do not use solvents of any kind
- Change the filter media every 4 years
- For greatly improved filtration use Zeolite instead of sand; Zeolite also lasts much longer - around 7 years
Thoroughly clean the grids when operating pressure rises by 8-10psi above start-up pressure, i.e. the pressure that is indicated with new, or newly-cleaned, grids so the filter will not turn sour over the winter and it's fresh for when you open the pool
Thoroughly clean the cartridge so it will not turn sour over the winter and it's fresh for when you open the pool
Renew the pump strainer basket if it shows any signs of cracking or wear, or has lost its’ handle
- Ensure all Valves operate smoothly and easily
- Some valves can be taken apart and lubricated
- The newer PVC Valves do not require lubrication
- Clean leaves/insects from the air-intake and ensure the heater operates properly
- It's usually better to have the heater serviced by a professional the first time - then you can learn how to do it for yourself
Check for wear and worn parts of an Automatic Pool Cleaner - replace as needed
Remove the cell of the Saltwater Chlorinator and inspect for scale
Immerse the plates of the cell in 10% solution of Hydrochloric Acid to remove the scale if required
- Examine skimmer lids and renew if there are any signs of cracking – it’s much cheaper (and far less painful!) than suffering a broken ankle
- You might be surprised to learn that thousands of people injure themselves every year by falling through a cracked skimmer lid and it's all too easy to ruin your summer that way!
- Clean the insides of the skimmer bodies with a proprietary PVC cleaner
- Renew the skimmer basket if it shows any signs of cracking or wear
Pool Coping or Pool Surround
Jet-wash the surround, remove any tiny weeds that have invaded the surround and fill any cracks
If the coping is stained, lightly acid-wash to bring the surface back to a new-looking finish
Replace any missing or cracked tiles and repair the grouting
Clean tide-marks and any lime-scale with a 10% solution of Hydrochloric (Muriatic) Acid/water, which can be rinsed off into the pool
Always add acid to water: NEVER add water to acid
Pool plaster may require periodic cleaning but our advice is to call in a professional to carry out this work as it must be done quickly (the pool should not be empty for longer than 3 days to avoid severe flaking of the plaster), using Chlorine or acid
Main Drain Grille
Inspect the grille and replace if it is even slightly cracked; install a new one every 4 years
Jets, vacuum point, filler, etc.
Inspect all these fittings annually, check for lime-scale
They can often be cleaned with a 10% solution of Hydrochloric (Muriatic) Acid/water; if not - buy new ones
Always add acid to water: NEVER add water to acid
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For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon
Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: -
*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price
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Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©