By Glen Bains
- Check pool chemistry 2-3 times per week during the summer and once per week in the winter.
- Clean out skimmer basket(s) weekly, or as needed if conditions exist.
- Clean hair and lint pot in the pump every couple of weeks or as needed. Turn off pump to do this.
- Check and monitor water level at least once per week, adjust as needed. Water level should be at the center of the skimmer.
- Check Inline Chlorinator (if you have one) at least once per week for proper adjustment. Check flow as needed while you check chlorine readings. Make sure chlorine tablets are in the Inline Unit, adjust as necessary to maintain adequate chlorine levels.
- Clean your cartridge filters most have a gauge to tell you when they need to be cleaned. This may be necessary after a heavy storm or once every month depending on conditions in your pool. It would be best to clean them about every 1-2 months. If you have an extra set of elements it is a much easier and quicker job. Soak dirty filters in a 10% solution of muriatic acid. Use a rubber trash can. Wear gloves and eye protection. Be careful! Always add acid to water, NOT water to acid. Rinse until clean and let them dry. Put your supplies away until your next swap-out.
- As you are monitoring your pool, take note:
- Are your returns very weak?
- Is the water clarity starting to look bad?
If any of these conditions exist, it is likely time to clean the filters. There are exceptions though based on bather load (pool usage). If you have sand filter you should do a back wash 1 time per week. Take note of how clear the pool water is you may need to change the sand. Here in Costa Rica sand changes need to happen much more often than in the USA or other parts of the world that is not a jungle.
- If you have a Salt chlorine generator than you will need to check and clean the blades in the unit about every 30 days. If the red flow light or flow meter is on or reading less than normal, then the blades are likely calcified and producing little to zero chlorine. Turn the pump off, bleed off any pressure, undo the unions and clean the blades per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Always keep chemicals stored out of direct sunlight. Keep them in a cool dry place. Do NOT store acid and chlorine right next to each other.
- Your pool needs to be shocked on any regular basis about once per month.
- If you start seeing any cracks around the perimeter of your pool between your deck and your tile, caulk it with a small bead of clear silicon. Do not allow the water to migrate from inside the pool in and under the deck through cracks at this joint.
- Keep vegetation, animals, chemicals (like fertilizers and ironite) away from and out of the pool. Nitrates from bird droppings and waste from animals and people are food for algae. Don’t feed the algae!
Optimal Swimming Pool Chemical Ranges
Keep your pool’s chemical readings in these ranges:
- PH: 7.4 to 7.8
- Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 200-400 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid or Conditioner: 30-50 ppm
- Chorine residual: 1.0 to 4.0 ppm
- Adjust down PH with muriatic acid. Never add more than a pint at a time.
The temperature has a drastic effect on your swimming pool. In the Costa Rica heat, the extreme summer temperatures mean that you might have to pay more attention to your water chemistry and the clarity of your swimming pool water. It should be crystal clear all the time and swim ready.
Costa Rica Pools now offers a complete Pool MaintenanceGuide to maintain your swimming pool and how to adjust your pool water. The book is also a log book to keep record of all your test and chemicals you have added to the pool. This book is written in Spanish, stop in and pick one up today.