5 great tips to make your pool sparkle

Here are our favorite pool maintenance tips to make your backyard oasis even better

For some of us, our pool is the centerpiece of our backyard. However, a pool needs regular maintenance and care to prevent it from becoming an embarrassing bog. Here are some of our favorite tips to help keep your pool looking fantastic.

Regularly check the chemical levels

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: I want to swim, not be a chemist! However, testing is a simple process — all you need to do is buy a few testers from your local hardware store. Dip the tester in your pool water, add the solution provided into the beaker, cap it all off and watch the color of your water change. The kits provide a comparison chart to tell you important readings, such as the free chlorine and total alkalinity levels.

poolmaster water chemistry case
Photo (c) Amazon
  • Tests 5 chemical levels, including chlorine and pH
  • Levels based on accurate color matching

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Monitor your water level

Generally, people don't notice their pool's water level until it's too low or overflowing. Always make sure your water level is roughly even with your pool skimmer. If your water level is too low, your skimmer will eventually burn out. If it's too high, the skimmer may cease to function correctly. Fixing this problem is another simple task — add water with a garden hose or remove excess water with a submersible pump. However, if you add water, remember to check the chemical levels after you're done.

deko sump pump
Photo (c) Amazon
  • 400-watt, 0.5-HP motor
  • Automatic start/stop functionality

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Routinely clean your skimmer basket

Although it varies by usage, you should clean your skimmer basket roughly once a week. Make sure to monitor for odd odors, an obstructed drain and a sluggish hose cleaner. Performing a basket cleaning is relatively simple: Turn off your filter, remove the filter cap, pull up the filter basket, remove any waste, replace all the components and turn it back on.

impresa filter socks
Photo (c) Amazon
  • Durable elastic and ultrafine nylon mesh
  • Fits almost all filter baskets

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Skim and scrub regularly

Skimming the surface and scrubbing the walls of your pool to clean algae may seem like a terrible chore, but they’re essential tasks to keep your pool looking perfect. Skimming should be done as often as possible, and you need to scrub your pool’s walls every other week. By following a strict schedule, you can avoid stubborn buildups that make your job more difficult. If you want to save a little time, invest in a robotic pool cleaner — these devices take care of most scrubbing duties.

aiper robotic pool cleaner
Photo (c) Amazon
  • Automatically climbs walls
  • Schedule automatic cleanings

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Watch your chlorine dispenser

The chlorine dispenser is often overlooked, and that’s a bad thing. The chlorine dispenser sanitizes the water, so there’s no way for the chlorine to work its way into your pool if it’s empty. You should check the dispenser for the appropriate amount of tablets three to four times a week and remember to remove the device when anyone is swimming.

vbestlife pool chemical dispenser
Photo (c) Amazon
  • Use with chlorine or bromine tablets
  • Adjustable control for disinfectant levels

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contractor fixing pool
Photo (c) Bledger - Getty

With summer's end inching closer, our swimming days may be coming to a close for the year. Take some time, read our tips and seize as many swimming days as possible during the warm season. If you want to cover your pool's components, a home warranty with pool and spa pump coverage may help. To get more information, check out our home warranty guide.

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