Having a swimming pool at home can be a sweet deal, especially during those hot summer periods where you get to invite your friends and neighbors for those coveted pool parties. You will probably end up being nicknamed “the cool neighbor” where stay. However, awesome as it may sound, having a pool also comes with its own share of responsibility in terms of maintenance and attention. Maintaining that clear water is not an easy job, and if left unattended you may just come back and find it cloudy or filled with slimy greening algae. Nobody wants that!
While many people would rather enlist the help of cleaners to work on cleaning and maintaining their pools, it not a bad idea to know how to clean it yourself in case you do not have that extra dollar to hire a pool cleaner. So, if you are the do it yourself kind of person, you can follow this pool cleaning guide that shows you how to clean a green pool.
Before we get into the How to Clean your Pool part, it is also important to understand some of the reasons why your pool can get dirty and green with algae.
Algae growth in your pool can be caused by the following factors:
1. Weather changes
Algae tend to flourish in warm and humid environments which makes the periods of summer and during monsoons perfect for their breeding. It is therefore important to monitor weather changes.
2. Poor pH levels
pH is the acidity or basicity of the water. Too high or too low pH can lead to the spreading of the algae. It is thus important to maintain pH between 7.4 – 7.6.
3. Clogging of the Water Filter
The filter is important for keeping the water free of debris and various dirt materials. If it clogs then it will not be able to perform this function and thus lead to the growth of algae.
The people who use your pool, including yourself, bring in a lot of debris with them, which eventually are trapped in the water.
The following are some of the steps you can take to clean a green pool:
Lower the pH Level
As complex as it may sound, this procedure does not require a chemistry expert to pull it off. There are numerous water chemistry testing kits available in the market and they all come with simple instruction guides to help you understand the process. Taking instructions from pool cleaning experts can also be helpful.
It is important to understand your pool’s pH (how acidic or basic your pool is) and chlorine levels to avoid cloudiness. It is advised to check the levels twice a week to ensure that the pH lies between the recommended 7.4 -7.6 parts per meter. Too high or too low pH level can lead to an increase in algae levels and can corrode some of your cleaning equipment.
Chlorine is available in granules and tablets and is good for sanitizing your water by killing any harmful bacteria.
Shock the Pool
Once you have maintained the perfect pH level and added chlorine, it is now time to shock the water. This means getting rid of the irritating effects and odor from the chlorine used and it also helps to keep the water clear. Some chlorine products have built-in shockers and thus do not need another shocking process.
Pumping and Filtering
Once you have gone through and completed all the chemical procedures, it is now time to pump and filter the water for balance. The filter is important for keeping the water free of debris and various dirt materials.
If it clogs then it will not be able to perform this function and thus lead to the growth of algae. You should therefore ensure that the filter is clean. You can do this by first shutting down the pump and checking the backwash pumps to ensure that there are no blocked valves. Once this is done, you can turn the pump back on and allow the water to pass through until it is clear.
For those who can afford it, it is recommended to run your filter pump 24hrs a day, every day to ensure the pool’s cleanliness. However, not everyone can afford such and therefore it is advised to run the pump for at least 10 hours a day to keep the water turning and help avoid the collection of bacteria and algae.
Flocking the Pool
If the pool remains cloudy after the chemical process is complete, you can use flocculants that help by clumping the remaining debris (microscopic chemical particles) together and sinking them to the bottom of the pool. Once this happens, the pool floor can now be vacuumed. This is also a good time to brush the pool.
Some algae can be very persistent, and if you do not wish to keep on repeating the cleaning process every now and then, you can employ the use of algaecides to kill them instead. The algaecide destroys the algae and sinks them to the bottom of the floor after which they can be scrubbed off. Continued treatment will, however, be necessary to keep them from returning.
Draining the Pool
This process is used in the most extreme cases where one has no other choice but to drain the water. However, once you have drained the water it is important to clean and disinfect the pool floor first before filling it up with water again.
Therefore, before you host your next pool party it will be important for you to first take a stroll around your pool and assess its cleanliness. Is the water still as clear as you last saw it? Does it have any odor that your friends would not like? Does the water irritate your eyes and skin when you swim in it? Rather than go through that embarrassment, you can easily follow the step-by-step guide on how to clean your pool on your own and be ready for the next awesome pool party.