Bought a House With a Pool? First-Time Pool Owner: Here Are 5 Things You Should Do Next

big blue chlorine pool in a backyard
big blue chlorine pool in a backyard

Congratulations on your new home! You are about to make so many great memories throughout your new space, and some of those amazing memories are bound to happen in the backyard with your new pool. Pools require a lot of maintenance and in order to avoid creating “bad memories,” we have put together a list of the top 5 pool maintenance tips to start you off on the right foot.

1. Take Stock in What Your Pool Has and Needs 

Type of Pool: Chlorine vs Saltwater

The type of pool you have, chlorine or saltwater, should have been discussed during the home-buying process. It could simply be a matter of looking at your paperwork to confirm all the details. However, if for some reason this is not explicitly stated, there are a few distinct pool features you can use to identify what you have:

  • Is your pool installed with a generator? A generator indicates your pool is saltwater-based. You can find it plumbed inline with the pool water’s return. It’s made up of two components: the salt cell, which converts the salt; and the power generator, which generates the power needed to keep the entire process running. 
  • Did the last homeowners leave you with chlorine tablets? Then you probably have a chlorine pool. Chlorine pools rely on chlorine tablets that can be safely stored in a place that’s cool and dry. 

Type of Equipment

Did your pool come with specific equipment? It’s possible you will need to purchase items such as underwater lighting, heaters, fixtures, and liners. You may also need to have masonry work done. Depending on the type of pool you have, you might have to buy specific brands. 

When in doubt, a pool maintenance company can help you become familiar with each pool’s features and what that means for your pool.

2. Check the Pool’s Functions

This is typically done the best by a reliable pool maintenance company. A pool company will know exactly how to check for all the typical or a-typical scenarios that can unexpectedly pop-up. 

When you take ownership of your new home and pool, it’s a good idea to have a pool maintenance company come and perform a regular check-up to identify any maintenance or repairs that you will need to immediately work on. This is also a great way to start familiarizing yourself with the pool and begin learning what to look out for. Once you understand what to identify, you will feel more confident and empowered to maintain your pool and problem-solve smaller issues without the need for a maintenance company. 

When checking your pool, look for the following issues: 

Damaged Lining 

A crack on the surface of your pool doesn’t always mean leaking will occur. However, if there’s internal damage within the pool structure, that can certainly lead to water leaks. 

A pool company can help you spot the precise location of the leak. 

Broken Pumps

The pump is essentially the heart of your pool. It may either require a simple gasket fix or a total system replacement; which is tricky given the technicalities involved. Rather than dealing with the problem yourself at the risk of further damage, hire professionals to repair or replace your system when it is broken. 

Dirty Filter

Many things can cause a filter to go under. One notable example is when the filter is undersized, and the high pressure put on the pump adds more build-up than you know how to deal with. 

The pH Levels Of The Pool Are Unbalanced 

Depending on several factors, such as the type of pool and even the unpredictability of the weather, the pH levels will fluctuate. They become either too low or too high and it deviates from the acidity level of the pool (which should ideally range around 7.4 to 7.8 mark). 

You will need to regularly check the pH levels and make chemical adjustments based on their reading. If you aren’t familiar with how to do this, or how frequently it should be done, you can work with your local pool maintenance company to get a better understanding of what all needs to be done.

3. Fix Any Persisting Problems with Your Pool

There are some pool issues that can only be fixed by a professional, such as a ripped pool lining or a broken pump. There are others you can work to resolve on your own, such as pH levels and replacing the filter. 

However, when those updates are not completed, you could be looking at a few different issues. If you can start identifying these issues early on, you can begin resolving them yourself. 

Green Algae In The Water

If the pool isn’t maintained with sufficient or proper chemicals, it may turn green due to all the algae that multiply into green crops. You may have to shock the pool to kill algae before vacuuming and scrubbing the pool’s floor. 

If your pool is starting to “go green”, then you might have to shock and clean your pool a few times in order to get it back in functioning order. However, if you inherit a pool that looks more like an emerald lake, you might consider calling a pool cleaning company. They will come and work with you to get a cleaning schedule in place so you can get it back to pool-party-ready. 

Murky Water

If there’s a cloudy buildup in your water that looks unsafe, that’s because it is. Bacteria that cause murky water can form when you run low on sanitizers like chlorine and bromine. Testing the water once a week, with strips or liquid reagents, is good for understanding your pool level before applying the right amount of shock treatment.

4. Buy Chemicals and Equipment for Your Pool

When it comes to maintaining your pool, there is a lot involved. When you are first getting started, it can feel overwhelming to know what tools and chemicals to buy and how frequently to buy them. When in doubt, ask an employee at your local pool maintenance shop. They will be able to assist you in getting everything you need, including: 

Pool Chemicals

These chemicals are ultimately determined by the type of pool you have; saltwater or chlorine.

Chlorine pools require manufactured chlorine to be added to your pool in either tablet, stick, or liquid form. Saltwater pools will need chemicals since it mostly relies on salt to be converted into chlorine. 

Filters

As the pump circulates your water, you need a filter to prevent contaminants of all sizes from accumulating and muddying your pool. Filters come in three types:

  • Sand filters are the most basic and least expensive, but it requires the most maintenance. It’s best to backwash it every two weeks. It catches particles at 20 to 40 microns.
  • Cartridge filters only need to be cleaned two times per season. It catches particles down to 10-15 microns. 
  • DE (Diatomaceous Earth) filters need to be cleaned according to the pump’s pressure gauge indications. It filters particles as small as 2-5 microns. 

Pool Skimmers

There are a variety of pool skimmers you can purchase or have installed in your pool. 

You likely already have pool skimmers installed around the edges of your pool. These are small openings on the side of the pool that suck the water in to clean it before pushing it back out. The other most common pool skimmer is the manual skimmer, which looks a bit like an oversized butterfly net. These allow you to manually grab and remove floating debris from the pool, such as leaves and grass. 

Pool Vacuum

These come in different shapes and sizes. There are three types of pool cleaners that are most commonly known: pressure, suction, and robotic. 

  • Suction vacuums attach to your skimmer or suction line, and they propel themselves through the water by the suction of the hose it’s attached to. They are very affordable, but often rely on the pool filter to do the majority of the cleaning. This may require more frequent filter cleaning.
  • Pressure vacuums rely on a pool pump as the source of power as they circle around the pool for cleanup. However, its regular usage of extra booster pumps can result in additional installation costs. They are also good at catching particularly large debris. 
  • Robotic vacuums are a self-contained unit that works independently of any pool pump and filtration system. It’s more sophisticated than the other vacuums. It may require an upfront investment since its identification of various debris is more advanced.  

Pumice Stone

When the tiles in your pool become damaged from mineral buildup, you may need to scrape the visible grime with pumice. As you rub without damaging the pool tiles or plastic, it will help the pool regain its shine 

5. Schedule Regular Pool Maintenance with Your Local Pool Company

When you are working with such an important property asset, it is always good to have some type of regular maintenance plan in place. Whether you choose to have weekly pool cleanings and check-ins or just “opening” and “closing” services, having some kind of maintenance plan with a pool maintenance company can help you keep your pool in functioning order. Work with the professionals at Pool & Patio KC.

Our professionals at Pool & Patio KC, have serviced the pools in the greater Kansas City area for over 40 years. We pride ourselves on providing the best service at an affordable price. This summer, make sure your focus is on having fun and making memories out by your pool. Work with Pool & Patio KC for all your pool maintenance needs.

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