The Three C’s

The Three C’s of pool maintenance are circulation, cleaning and chemistry. It’s important that all pool owners understand the importance of these factors and how you can leverage them to get the most out of your swimming pool.

Circulation:
First off, it’s imperative to maintain good circulation in your pool because it helps to prevent the build-up of algae and your water won’t ever get murky.
Ideally, the best way to achieve this is to make sure that your filter and pool pump are working 24/7, but of course this is not always a realistic or economical solution. The next best thing is to keep your water filter running for 10 to 12 hours each day, as that’s roughly how long it takes for it to filter all the water in your pool.
If you were to keep them on the whole day, your pump and filter would go through the water at least twice or even three times in the span of 24 hours, which would make it impossible for algae and other impurities to grow. However, keeping them on for half the day is the more cost-effective option.
Here’s how the pump and filter work together to keep your pool clean: The pump moves the water towards the filter where all the dirt, dust and debris gets filtered out so that clean, clear water comes out on the other side of the pool. The most commonly used are sand and cartridge filters.

Cleaning:
If your pool already has good circulation, cleaning it shouldn’t be a challenge, but it still has to be done. Thankfully, you only have to clean your pool once a week, and the tasks involved include vacuuming, skimming and brushing. You’ll want to get a pool cleaning kit to help you along, with supplies like a telescopic pole, skimming net and a pool brush.
Skimming: Attach the net to the telescopic pole and skim the surface of the pool while making sure to go slowly around from one side to the other. This will help to get rid of any tree leaves or foliage that may have fallen into the water.
Brushing: Next, remove the skimming net from the telescoping pole so that you can attach it onto the cleaning brush. Then, use the brush to clean the sides of the pool and especially in areas that have poor water circulation like the stairs for example.
Vacuuming: There are three types of pool vacuums. First you have manual pool vacuum cleaners, which are available to purchase at any hardware store. They’re typically easy to use and come with clear instructions on how to assemble and use them effectively, but they do require some elbow grease on your part. Or, an automatic pool cleaner can help you out with the hard work. This works uniquely on suction connected to your skimmer box. They can do the floors and walls.
Alternatively, you can get robotic pool cleaners that drop to the bottom of your pool to automatically collect all the dust and debris that has accumulated. These are very efficient and usually catch everything, on the floors and walls.

Chemistry:
Contrary to popular belief, this aspect of pool maintenance is actually quite straightforward. All it takes to maintain good pool chemistry is to test it for alkalinity and pH balance using a test strip bottle, which you can purchase at your local pool store.
The process is also quite simple; All you have to do is take a sample of your pool water with a clean empty glass, dip one test strip into the sample water and after about 15 seconds of taking it out, compare the colours that appear with the ones featured at the back of the test strip bottle.
Alternatively, you can have your pool sample tested by a pool maintenance professional at your nearest pool store. Just fill a clean sample bottle with about 300mls or so of your pool water and take it to the pool store and find out if the alkaline and pH levels are still balanced. (Remember, do this soon after filling. Leaving it in a car in the hot sun will give you incorrect results). Your pool shop can further test for calcium hardness, stabiliser, salt levels and phosphates.
For best results, test your pool at least once a week during the cold winter months, and 2 to 3 times per week during the summer season as there will presumably be much more traffic going through the area.

Cleaning Filters:
The pool filter works really hard to keep your pool looking and performing at its best. That’s why you need to clean it out as well so that it doesn’t get backed up.
The best part is that you only need to clean your pool filter once per week, preferably on the same day that you do your overall pool cleaning routine. And while most pool filters work pretty well on their own, it doesn’t hurt to give them a little help with Flocculant liquid every now and then.
When added to pool water, Flocculants basically take all the little particles of debris inside your pool and gels them into larger pieces that are easier for your filter to catch. That way, you won’t have to worry about microscopic dirt particles potentially getting into the eyes while swimming, making your pool much safer for everybody.

Conclusion
Well, there you have it! A very simple guide on how to take care of your pool in a few easy steps. As you can see, there’s nothing to it but making a commitment to perform a few key tasks each week, and it’s quite inexpensive too.