Whether you just got a pool installed or have had one for years, maintenance is the most important aspect. Having the right tools and equipment is necessary for keeping your pool clean and safe for swimming. You don’t need to buy every tool in the store, just be sure you have the essentials below and you can take care of your pool like a pro.
What Do You Need For Your Swimming Pool?
1. Water Test Strips
Regularly testing your water is essential. Ideally, you want to do this once a week and you can get water test strips from every pool store. With regular testing, you can stay on top of adding chemicals when needed and prevent bacteria and algae from moving in. You do have the option to take a water sample to a pool store for testing, but it is more practical to test on your own. Stock up on test strips for quick and easy checks of chlorine, alkalinity, and water hardness.
2. Pool Shock
Every time the pool is used, hair, skin cells, lotions, and oils are released into the water. Pool shock is your best defense against these and an efficient way to keep your water clean and clear. When your pool starts to smell like a hotel pool, it’s time to shock your water. A balanced pool will not smell like anything, so if you smell chemicals, it is time for a deep clean. The best product is a calcium hypochlorite shock and you should plan to do this every other week, unless you detect a smell sooner.
3. Algae Brush
Even with a regular cleaning schedule, algae can still show up. You will need to have special tools when dealing with algae. The first step is to get algae removed using an algae brush. This brush is made of stainless steel bristles that can easily detach algae from the walls. If you have a vinyl pool liner, then you want to use a nylon bristle brush as the stainless steel version will damage the lining.
Like an algae brush, a manual vacuum can be a lifesaver in the event of algae overgrowth. A brush will remove the algae from the walls, and then a vacuum makes sure it is removed from the water for good. Many vacuum cleaner heads are compact so you get better control when cleaning and can get into hard-to-reach spaces. Just be sure to set the cleaner to “waste” so the algae are not passed through the filter.
5. Telescoping Pole
This is a must-have for larger pools with a deep end. The pole extends so you can reach the deeper areas of the pool without having to bend. Most of the poles today come with interchangeable heads so you can use the same pole for your vacuum, skimmer, and pool brush. Having a telescoping pole also means you don’t have to constantly walk around the pool to get every side clean, so your tasks become a little easier.
A pool skimmer is a handy tool that you can use daily, especially if you have a lot of trees or shrubs in the yard. Flowers, leaves, and other debris can fall into the pool as can wayward bugs. Grab a skimmer to quickly remove these from the surface, to leave your pool clear and inviting. Nobody wants to go swimming through an obstacle course of debris.
7. Filter Cleaner
The health of the pool water is directly related to the filter system. Dirt, debris, and grime easily get built up in the filter and this can prevent it from properly cleaning your water. There will be times when the filter will need to be cleaned to remove any residue so your water does not turn cloudy. Filter cleaners help with this and improve the efficiency of your filter. Pay attention to the pressure gauge and water clarity so you know when the filter needs to be cleaned.
8. Pool Cover
A pool cover is essential for pool cleaning and pool safety. Covers can help prevent accidents and they keep debris out of the pool. Having a cover during seasons when the pool is not in use is especially beneficial. During this time you will add a significant amount of chemicals to maintain your water clarity and to prevent the growth of algae. Having a pool cover will help reduce the risk of water contamination and keep your pool in good shape for when it is reopened.
When you have the right preventive pool supplies the stress of pool maintenance is reduced. Pool stores will insist there are a ton of supplies you need, but starting with these essentials is a great way to make pool care easy and you can always add to your stock of pool supplies later. With these 8 essentials and a regular schedule, you’ll keep your pool clean, and you’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of your investment.