A Beginner’s Guide to Swimming Pool Maintenance

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Pool Service

Remember when you had this pool installed. You may have been imagining all those hot days that your family and friends would spend splashing around. The BBQs and pool parties with neighbors. Or just a quiet dip with your spouse. In order to keep the good times rolling, a pool must be cared for. That includes weekly tasks to keep your pool in great shape. Let’s look at some basic pool maintenance.

Debris in the Pool

Leaves, dirt, bugs, and other elements of nature will end up in your pool. A skimmer is like a rake that’s used to fish out objects from the water. It only takes a few minutes a day to skim out floating debris from the pool water. Make sure you throw it away in a secure bin away from the pool so that it’s not blown back inside by wind. You might consider trimming back trees and bushes or replacing them with varieties that do not shed much.

Swimming Pool Cover

One of the best investments is a pool cover. A pool cover is useful because it shields the pool water from falling objects and other weather elements. You can use it to cover the pool during the cold months or when you leave on vacation.  It can also act as a barricade that prevents small children and pets from falling into the pool. However, it should not be the only barrier if you have young children and pets.  Setting up the pool cover requires lots of work, but it’s a basic pool maintenance task.


A pump is a vital part of maintaining a beautiful pool. It helps by moving water from the pool and sending it to the filter so that it can expel any dirt, debris, or dust before sending it back to the pool. If your pump isn’t running, the water from the pool in is not getting circulated. Running your pump is the most important way to prevent problems in your pool.

When thinking about how often to run the pump, you’ll want to consider the size of the pool, pipes, and the number of people using the pool. The rule of thumb is to keep your pump running for about 1 hour for every 10 degrees of temperature. We recommend consulting a pool professional.


A filter will help clean up the undissolved dirt and debris from the pool. There are basically three types of pool filters:  Sand Filter, Cartridge Filter and Diatomaceous Earth Filters (DE Filters for short).  Each of these have their pros and cons. They vary widely in cost and ease of use. Getting the right size and type of filter for your pool is the key to easier maintenance.

How do you choose your filter? Well, the choice is largely up to the homeowner. Any type of filter will work. You should always check with local building code enforcement for their recommendations for your area. Your swimming pool’s filtration system is a series of small sieves. As the water passes through, particles are trapped in the sieves and separated from your swimming pool water. This process is ongoing until the sieves, or filters, are too blocked with particles to be effective. When this happens, the filter should be cleaned and then the cycle repeat.

Once you’ve decided on what type of filter you will use, it very important to get the right size. It should be sized to match the pump’s power and should match the circulation needs of the pool. Generally, it’s better to get a larger/oversized filter. With an oversized filter, the water flows through the filter at a slower rate and that results in finer filtration and longer periods of time between cleaning or backwashing. If the filter is too small will be inadequate and then you’ll spend a lot more time cleaning it..

Pool Vacuum

The swimming pool vacuum cleaner works like a household vacuum. However, the pool vacuum will draw water instead of air. The first method of pool vacuuming is using a jet of water that’s supplied by a garden hose to power the suction. This will pull the dirt into the vacuums head and capture it in a cloth bag. The second method works by using the suction power that’s supplied by the filter and this pulls the sediment and dirt from the floor of the pool. Then it is removed via the filter. When there is a lot of sediment to be expelled through the filter, it should be adjusted so that the vacuumed water bypasses the filter and runs to waste. Then you will need to complete the job by brushing off any algae on the pool sides with a nylon brush on the vacuum pole. For a concrete pool, use a steel brush.

Test the Pool Water

A crucial part of maintaining a healthy, sparking pool is by testing the pool water. It’s a good idea to test your pool water two to three times a week during the summer when you use it the most. In winter, when the pool is sitting idle more often then you can drop these tests down to once a week. This can be easily accomplished by using a good testing kit is essential. Look for easy-to-use strips that allow you to test the following:

pH Levels

The pH level is a measurement of acid and base in your swimming pool water. It’s very important to reach and maintain the appropriate levels. An unbalanced pool can be dangerous and harmful to swimmers and equipment. For example, if the pH of pool water is too far on the acid side of the scale, then it can lead to the corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment. If the pH is too far the other way, then your swimming pool is at risk for scaling, deposits, and cloudy water. The goal is to maintain a pH balance around 7.5. You can accomplish this with the use of a chemical increaser or decreaser to adjust pool water pH levels as needed. Be sure to follow the label directions for the proper amount of the products to add based on test results and pool size.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness is quantity of dissolved calcium floating around in the swimming pool water. Low calcium hardness levels result in etchings in the pool’s plaster finish. It can also significantly shorten the life of vinyl pool liners. Whereas high calcium levels can lead to calcium deposits on the surfaces of the swimming pool and your pool equipment. The ideal range for calcium hardness in pool water is175-225 parts per million, or ppm, for vinyl swimming pools or 200- 250 ppm in concrete swimming pools.

Total Alkalinity

Your swimming pool’s alkalinity should be between 120 and 150 parts per million. If it falls outside of this range then it throws off the pool’s pH balance. If the alkalinity falls too low then it could cause pH variations. It can also speed up corrosion and staining. On the other end of the spectrum, high total alkalinity also can also cause the pH to fluctuate; leading to cloudy water and scaling.


The most common types of metals that appear in pool water are copper, iron, and manganese. The presence of these metals can stain your pool’s surfaces and discolor your swimming pool water.

Know When to Hire Pool Professionals

It is best to hire a pool professional when you experience issues with your pool’s water, liner and surfaces. You can also hire a pool company to take care of your weekly pool maintenance tasks. Hiring professionals takes the guesswork out of owning a pool. It also gives you more time to enjoy your oasis rather than just tending to it.

We are here to serve you and your pool maintenance needs. Contact us today at Lone Star Pool Services at (214) 995-3556.