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5 Pool Care Mistakes You May Be Making

Here are five maintenance mishaps that you may be doing and that, unfortunately, can actually reduce the lifespan of your swimming pool.

PH kit to keep pool clear

Sure, you may think you know how to keep pool water clear, and that your regular summertime pool maintenance is going to keep your pool in tip-top shape for years to come. However, your good intentions may be causing more harm than benefits. Here are five maintenance mishaps that you may be doing and that, unfortunately, can actually reduce the lifespan of your swimming pool.

1. You’re not shocking your pool correctly.

To avoid — at a minimum— that overwhelming pool smell or — at most — eye or skin irritations or difficulty breathing, you shock your pool. But when and how exactly do you do it? It may come as a surprise that the best time to shock your water is at night. Otherwise, the sun burns off the chemicals and doesn’t give them enough time to work. What’s more, you should never add the shock directly to your skimmer (it could blow up!) or directly to the water (it will bleach out your liner and cause it to become brittle). Rather, dissolve the shock in a bucket of water before adding it to your pool water.

2. You’re relying too much on the automatic “pool boy.”

Knowing how to keep pool water clear and inviting starts with knowing how to keep the pool clean. So it makes sense that your automatic vacuum is your lifesaver. When it comes to algae, though, your “pool boy” may make the situation worse. The algae will clog up the vacuum’s bag and cause it to just blow around in the pool. Likewise, your vacuum doesn’t get to those hard-to-reach places, like behind ladders, on the steps and in the corners. It’s imperative that you give it a good brushing at least weekly.

3. You’re not running your pump long enough.

It may seem like a no-brainer. Knowing how to run pool pumps, that is. But the real trick is knowing how long to keep them running in pools. Many people attempt to cut down on pool care costs by running their pumps for short periods of time, but that’s not effective. Instead, you should run it at least eight hours a day. How long can a pool go without a pump? It depends. Do you want glistening water or murky, pond-like water?

4. You’re not cleaning up after man’s best friend.

Nothing says “clogged impeller” like dog hair in pool water. If your pool is canine-friendly, be sure to net your water promptly after their swim sessions. Also, clean your skimmer basket and filter the following day, to ensure the hair doesn’t get back into the pool.

5. You’re not monitoring your pool’s levels consistently.

Even if you know how to turn your pool from green to blue, that doesn’t mean you stay on top of your pool’s pH and alkaline levels like you should. Water with a low pH level can literally ruin anything it touches. In fact, because the levels change so frequently, it’s recommended that you check them weekly. Want to really stay on top of them? Consider purchasing a system that will automatically monitor and adjust your pool’s chemical levels for you.

If you’ve been unknowingly making these common pool care blunders, don’t fret. It’s never too late to start changing your habits. Want to really help your pool to live a long and healthy life, though? Consider adding pool coverage — and, in turn, additional peace of mind — to your American Home Shield home warranty.

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