Swimming pools are major purchases. So, you’d want to protect your investment for as long as possible. However, a lot of homeowners make mistakes that could’ve been avoided, which shortens the lifespan of their swimming pool. The following are steps you can take to protect your investment and prolong the life of your pool.
How to Extend the Life of Your Swimming Pool
Test your water supply regularly
This is a hot tub or pool maintenance 101. Maintaining the proper water/chlorine ratio is paramount to ensuring the longevity of your pool or jacuzzi. To assist you in maintaining the proper water/ ratio, follow the suggestions below:
- A ratio of 1-3ppm for chlorine or 3-5ppm of bromine
- A ph level of 7.4 to 7.6
- An alkalinity level of 90-110
To help you understand why you should maintain these levels, there are two things you consider:
Clear water doesn’t necessarily mean clean water
You could be forgiven for looking at your pool, full of clear, sparkling water, and assume that it was clean. But looks can be deceiving. In some cases, that clear water can be an indication of an imbalance in your pool’s water. Including:
- Too much chlorine
- Water that is too acidic
Chlorine is necessary to keep algae out of your pool and make it safe to swim in. But too much chlorine can damage your pool’s equipment–ladders, pumps, heater, etc.–of your hot tub or pool. On the other hand, acidic water is never desirable. Acid is characteristically an abrasive chemical, and will eventually eat through your pool (Liners) and all of its components (pumps, rubber o-rings, ladders, and hot tub jets). No material is safe from acid’s scourage. So, if clear water can be both bad and good, how can you tell which is which? The answer is, test your water regularly. Use a test kit or strips to perform a periodic test (Every 2 to 3 weeks or so). Pay special attention to the chlorine (or bromine) and ph levels to make sure they don’t get out of balance. It is also a good idea to take a sample of the water to your pool supply store to be tested by professionals at least once a month. Your pool service professional will be more thorough and also test for things like calcium hardness and stabilizer levels.
Cloudy water is never a good sign
Cloudy water is usually an indication of low chlorine or bromine levels, but it could also signal other water-balance issues. Untreated water (water with high ph or alkalinity content) can’t particulate matter suspended as well as acidic water, thus minerals like calcium sink to the bottom of the pool, giving the water a cloudy appearance. The residue then coagulates and clings to everything it comes in contact with, causing it to peel and scale over time. These scales can clog-up plumbing, hot tub jets, heater coils, and salt cells. Even small amounts of this scaly material can wreak havoc on your heater coils and salt systems by reducing their efficiency. To compensate, they must work harder, dramatically reducing their lifespan. It is a good practice to clean your salt cells at least once a year, to promote efficiency and extend their longevity. Again, saltwater is particularly troublesome for pools. The two main reasons for this are:
- The additional salt increases the salt levels in your pool’s water, adding more particulate matter to the water, and causing minerals like calcium to fall out of suspension, and damaging your pool’s systems.
- When salt is converted into chlorine it increases ph levels in the water.
Consequently, salt-water pools and hot tub owners should pay particular attention to ph levels. If necessary, add a ph reducer to help prevent scaling. Also, remove salt cells at the end of the season and clean them thoroughly to remove and prevent any scale buildup.
What causes water to fall out of balance?
People, chemicals, weather, fill-water, and even dirt and debris blown in by the wind. All of these elements carry their ph levels, which affects the ph and alkalinity level of your pool’s water. Each of these elements hs its ph and alkalinity level. This, in turn, affects the ph and alkalinity level of your pool’s water. For example, chlorine and bromine have low ph and alkalinity levels, which can turn water acidic as time passes. Rainwater is also highly acidic. Therefore, pool owners should check the acid levels in their pools after a heavy downpour. These elements also affect how quickly the chlorine is depleted. Chlorine and bromine deplete quicker as water temperature and use increases. Conversely, a lack of water use can cause chlorine and bromine levels to increase. On colder days when the pool is not in use, chlorine levels can also increase.
How to fix a loud pump?
As your pump gets older, it is not unusual for them to start making a lot of noise. This could be the result of water getting into the motor. As it ages, the rubber seal rots, allowing water to get in, and the shaft begins to rust. As the rusting shaft spins, it grinds against the housing, causing an abrasive noise. To prevent or correct this from happening, be sure to have your pool pump serviced regularly. Buying a new shaft and rubber o-rings will cost you around $200. This is a bargain considering that a new pump could cost twice that much.
Cleaning your filters
A dirty filter impedes the smooth flow of water, causing the pump to work harder, shortening its lifespan. Regular cleaning of the filters will help prolong the life of your pump. Filters should be taken out and cleaned every two weeks or so. Pool filters should be back-washed whenever the pressure gauge rises above 10 lbs. For best results, use a chemical solution to clean the filters.
How to protect your hot tub cover
UV rays from the sun are deadly on covers. Therefore, you should clean it at least once a month. This helps protect the outer skin and prevent the buildup of mold and mildew. If you’re away for part of the year, use a tarp to provide extra protection for your cover while you’re gone. The cover does not provide perfect protection, and if it is covered during freezing temperatures, the pipes could burst and cause major damage. And with repairs costing $500, and new covers costing around $1000, exhibiting a little care could save you a lot of cash.
Wrapping up your hot tub and pool
Properly maintaining your pool or jacuzzi can prolong its lifespan. Not doing so can have the opposite effect. Just like your vehicle requires regular maintenance, so does your pool. While nobody is thrilled spending money for maintenance, to not do so will cost you more in the long run. But, if you follow the suggestions outlined above, you can enjoy your swimming pool for years to come.