Can You Maintain Your Own Pool?
A home swimming pool is a luxury that allows you and your family to swim, relax and bond with each other during the warm summer months. However, owning a swimming pool also comes with the less-than-luxurious necessity of routine maintenance.
Depending on your circumstances, you might wonder — how hard is it to take care of your own pool? Should you DIY pool maintenance or hire a professional to take on the responsibility of keeping your pool in shape?
In this guide, you’ll learn how to take care of a pool, how often you’ll need to perform maintenance and how to service your own pool. You’ll also learn whether your circumstances make it best to maintain your pool yourself or hire a professional.
Is It Hard to Maintain a Pool?
How hard it is to take care of your own pool will largely depend on your circumstances. Some of the factors you’ll want to consider include:
- Pool size: Larger pools are more time-consuming to maintain. Complex pool filtration systems or features like waterfalls and underground lighting fixtures will require more time and effort to keep clean and functional.
- Use frequency: Daily activity levels are one of the most significant factors when it comes to maintaining a pool. More activity will affect the water’s cloudiness and chemical balance, increasing the frequency of your required maintenance.
- Pool location: Your pool’s location also affects how often you’ll need to clean and maintain it. For example, pools located beneath trees will collect leaves and pollen more quickly. However, if your pool is unshaded and uncovered, the sun, rain and elements will alter your pool’s chemistry faster.
- Time available: How much time you have also affects how challenging it is to maintain a pool and will depend on all the factors above. Finding the necessary time can be challenging for those with busy work and family schedules.
- Energy levels: The amount of energy you have is another important consideration. After a long work week, most homeowners don’t want to spend an hour cleaning their pools. Instead, they’d rather swim or relax poolside and outsource the maintenance.
How to Maintain Your Pool
DIY pool maintenance involves many tasks, including keeping the water debris-free, chemically balanced and adequately filtered. You’ll need to perform them either weekly or monthly, depending on the task at hand. The steps below outline the basics of how to maintain a pool yourself.
1. Clean Debris and Buildup
Daily is best, but you’ll need to remove debris and buildup from your pool at least once a week. Use a leaf skimmer or pool vacuum to clean away debris and a wall brush to remove calcium deposits, unwanted growth and dirt from the pool’s surface areas.
If you want to save time and energy cleaning your pool’s surface areas, you can also invest in an automatic pool cleaner.
2. Test the Chemistry
Your pool requires regular chemical testing to keep the water safe to use. You should test your pool’s chemical balance weekly — invest in a water testing kit to test your pool’s pH, hardness, alkalinity and cyanuric acid levels.
3. Maintain the Circulation System
Your pool’s circulation system keeps the water moving, keeping it from becoming stagnant and distributing the chemicals evenly. You’ll need to ensure the system — including the strainer basket, pump, skimmers, drains and returns — is free of debris to maintain a healthy water flow.
The pump is the heart of your pool’s circulation system — the water will only circulate as long as the pump is running. While it’s best to run your pool pump as frequently as possible, try to run it for at least 10-12 hours daily to keep the water pure.
4. Keep the Filter Clean
You’ll need to clean your pool’s filter at least once a month. Keep an eye on your pool’s pressure gauge and clean your filter when the reading is 10 psi above your usual levels. It’s also best to deep-clean your pool filter at least once a year.
There are many types of pool filtration systems, including sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. Each kind of filter requires specific upkeep and maintenance, so be sure to read up on your system’s maintenance requirements.
Should You Maintain Your Own Pool?
Now that you know the basics of pool maintenance, you’ll need to assess whether you want to handle it yourself.
If you’ve previously owned a pool or have pool maintenance equipment, maintaining your own pool might make the most sense. Routine pool maintenance is non-negotiable, as pools catch debris, grow algae and become chemically imbalanced over time. Maintenance is a necessary expense in keeping a healthy, usable pool.
You’ll need to spend money on maintenance whether you handle it yourself or hire someone else but maintaining your own pool may be the most cost-efficient option. If you have the time and money to maintain your pool, purchasing the necessary tools and equipment is generally more affordable than hiring a service. While the initial costs may be higher, you can save a lot of money in the long term.
When to Hire a Pool Cleaning Service
Cleaning your own pool is doable if you have the knowledge, tools and time. However, there are some circumstances where homeowners might prefer hiring an expert. A pool service team will save you time while keeping your pool safe and in tip-top shape. A professional will also know how to repair any broken or failing pool equipment or accessories.
If you’ve never owned a pool, you might not know the ins and outs of maintaining one, making the process more time-consuming than necessary. For example, you may be experiencing frequent chemical imbalances without knowing the issue’s underlying cause. A repair technician will troubleshoot for you, saving you the time and money you would’ve spent trying to identify and repair the problem.
Contact SPQ Today to Make the Most of Your Pool
Whether you choose to handle your own maintenance or hire a professional service, there’s no shortage of improvements to make your pool the best it can be.
For over 20 years, SPQ Brands has helped families and homeowners maintain their pools with ease and confidence. We have the highest-quality pool accessories available, from heating and lighting to chemical products. We have the pool safety products you need, like our WaterWarden In Ground Swimming Pool Safety Covers, to protect your pool from debris and provide a layer of safety for your loved ones.
Contact us today to learn more about how our products can help you save time, money and hassle maintaining your pool.