A pool is more than a luxurious amenity that adds to the beauty and value of your home; your pool is also the scene for family fun and friendly gatherings. But no matter how tempting it may be to let loose and enjoy the refreshing waters, be sure to keep your pool safe and clean this swimming season.
Child Safety First
You want your pool to be a place where your children and their friends can enjoy themselves—safely! Kids are seriously hurt and many even drown in pool-related accidents every year, so it’s critical that you take the necessary measures to make sure children on your property stay safe. Make sure your kids and anyone else using your pool knows how to swim. For homes that open out into the pool area, put an alarm on the door so you’ll know whenever a child opens it.
Consider installing a fence around your pool to keep the kids out; make sure it’s at least 5 feet tall and that there are no more than 4 inches between the pickets. Most importantly, whenever children are anywhere near your pool, stay alert and pay attention! And while styrofoam noodles and water wings may help your kids float, be aware that these are toys, not safety devices. Never leave children unattended when they are in or near your pool.
Water Levels and Testing
Your pool’s water level should be roughly 4 inches below the pool’s edge, which will help keep your pool safe and clean by keeping the water in the pool even if someone starts splashing around. Be careful not to let the water level drop too low, though. If it’s under the skimmer’s intakes, the pump may be running dry, which can cause damage to your equipment.
During the summer or after rainfall, test the water twice a week. The pH needs to be under 8.0, and the alkalinity should fall between 80-120 parts per million. Purchase a water hardness testing kit and check for total dissolved solids at least once a month.
Clean Your Filter to Keep your Pool Safe and Clean
Does your water have a strange odor, or is it less clear than it should be? It may be time to clean your filter. Make sure you’re using the right kind for your pool (there are a variety of types), and when it gets hot out, turn on your pump for about 60 minutes per every 10 degrees above average that the thermometer has been inching up. Be sure you’re cleaning the skimmer basket at least 1x per week to keep your pool safe and clean and to keep any debris from settling.
Power down your pump every few weeks and let off some of the pressure to clear the trap in the glass compartment at your pump’s front end. If your pool pump has a leaf/debris trap, clean that out as well.
If you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to call the professionals to keep your pool clean and balanced. And if structural or other related problems are ever suspected, you’ll want to be sure to schedule a pool inspection to make certain that you, your family, and your guests can safely enjoy your pool without worry.