Rob's Home and Garden Blog

Common Pool Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid at Home

by Martha Reed

Cleaning your home's pool on a regular basis is needed to keep the water healthy for swimming and also to protect the pool's pump and filter from excessive wear and tear. The dirtier the water, the harder the pump needs to work to move that water through the filter and the more likely the filter is to get clogged and then worn down over time.

While regular pool cleaning is good, it's also important to have this job done right so that you don't cause damage to the pool and its components. Note what is meant by this and a few common mistakes you'll want to avoid when it comes to cleaning your home's pool.

Shocking the pool during the day

To shock your pool means to add a concentrated amount of an oxidizing product, which helps break down any contaminants in the pool as well as any residual chlorine. This shock might be added every week, or as often as necessary for your pool's overall condition. However, bright, direct sunlight can burn off this oxidizing material and the chlorine to which it attaches, causing it to be ineffective. Always shock your pool at night or at dusk so that the oxidizer won't burn away before it has time to work.

Not brushing the pool

Vacuuming a pool will remove debris and solid materials from the pool floor and the water's surface, but you also need to actually brush the pool to get it cleaned properly. Algae, oil and other residue will often cling to the pool walls, especially along the water's edge where it can't be reached and removed by a vacuum. This residue can build up and stain the pool tiles, as well as any ladders or other accessories you have in the pool. Brush the walls, the pool corners and other such areas around the pool to get it thoroughly clean.

Ignoring pH levels

You may not think to test the pH levels in your pool, or you may assume that a low pH is good, since this means the pool water is somewhat acidic, and algae can't grow in acidic water. However, too much acid in the pool can damage the pool tiles or vinyl liner, as well as the filter, heater and other such equipment. Test the pH levels every week or as often as needed to adjust the chemicals in the pool water, keeping the pH levels moderate so that the pool itself is not damaged.