Tips for First Time Pool Owners
Beautiful, sparkling water beside you. Chilled drink in hand. Warm sun on your skin. Sounds like a perfect way to spend an afternoon. That’s probably what you were thinking when you decided to become a pool owner. But it doesn’t take long for the honeymoon to be over and the real work of having a pool sets in.
Here are some tips from experienced pool owners at Daltile to all you newcomers to the poolside.
- Collect as much info about the pool as you can. Talk to the previous owners. Talk to the pool service the previous owners used. Do your own research. You will be effectively dead in the water if you don’t first educate yourself about your own pool.
- Know what kind of pool do you have. Plaster? Liner?
- Find out the manufactures of all your equipment: pump, filter, timing mechanisms, valves, etc.
- Know how big your pool is. Most home pools are around 16,000 gallons.
- Find out your filter type (DE, Sand, or Cartridge)
- If you’ve a mind to DIY, look in your area for a pool school. An industry pro will teach you things like
- How to maintain your specific pool
- Caring for the filtration system (cleaning, backwashing, repair, maintenance, operation)
- Use of mechanical timers
- How to use pool vacuums, leaf baggers, and brushes
- Pool chemistry
- Pool safety
- Pool chemistry takes time to master, but once you’ve got the hang of what your pool needs you’ll be able to read the year on a dime on the bottom of the deep end.
- The basic premise of pool chemistry is this: keep chlorine levels nominal and the pH and alkalinity balanced. Sounds simple, but it’s trickier than it seems.
- Use test strips to gauge the chemical levels in your pool. You can use a kit too, but the strips are super easy.
- Unbalanced pool water doesn’t just look bad it can damage your plaster or tile over time.
- Do not use chlorine shock treatments as your primary means of balancing. They may solve your immediate problem, but in the long run they also shorten the life-span of your pool.
- Be prepared to commit time each week to maintaining your pool or if you end up with a green algae-filled pool with a swamp thing living in the skimmer, call a pro.
- Having the right tools makes a big difference. Taking care of a pool is already hard enough. Make sure you have these tools:
- Telescoping pole that accepts multiple heads and several attachments
- Vacuums are indispensable for making work go quick
- Get a leaf bagger if you have a lot of trees and shrubs
- Leaf skimmer net
- Brush (get a stiff brush for plaster pools and a softer brush for liners—you wouldn’t want to scratch your tile!)
- Get a vacuum tube that is 35’ or longer so you don’t have to move the vacuum too much while working.
- It’s ok to go for the bargains when purchasing tools. They all do a good job so there’s no need to spend extra.
- Research pool professionals and know enough about your pool to know that you’re being treated fairly.
- Find a service that will give you a realistic assessment of your pool. Once damage starts it’s hard to stop so if it looks like your pool service person isn’t doing much, be suspicious.
- On the other hand, some pool services will sell you the kitchen sink if given the chance. Bottom line, know pool care and your pool well enough to be able to make a judgment call.
- Check out customer reviews and talk to all your neighbors with pools. Chances are you’ll find a fair and trustworthy service that gets the job done well.
Take a look at new, trendy pool tile at Daltile.com to give your pool a much needed update.