POOL SCHOOL: BACK TO BASICS
SIMPLE THINGS THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN POOL ENJOYMENT
Pool care can be a tough job, with lots of choices. Everyone is always looking for a new way to keep the pool cleaner or use fewer chemicals. Whether you are a homeowner or a Pool Pro trying to help someone understand it, where do you start?
It is easy to get focused on the “big” pool questions. Is chlorine the answer? Should you add ozone or AOP? Those decisions are definitely important. But there are also very simple steps anyone can take that will actually reduce chemical use and keep the pool cleaner. In fact, these small steps can make massive differences in the quality and health of the pool.
1. SHOWER BEFORE SWIMMING (THE POOL IS NOT A BATH)
You may ask, “I thought I was supposed to rinse off after swimming? You know, because of all the chemicals.” That may be the case, but you also need to ask: what is everyone bringing into the pool?
The sanitizers in the water, usually chlorine, have a big job. We may not think of it this way, but the water is just open to the environment—if it is in the air it will be in the water. The “natural” way for water to look is like a green lake. Not a crystal clear pool.
All of that “stuff” puts a huge demand on the water. But there is a great solution. Just don’t put it in the water if you don’t have to! When you shower before you swim, so much less “stuff” is introduced to the water it can make a huge difference. No pool shower? Break out the hose and get a quick rinse off.
The pre-swim shower is standard practice in parts of Europe. This habit, along with other methods, allows them to use much less chlorine than pools in the USA. So let’s do it for the old red, white and blue—shower before you swim!
2. TAKE CARE OF YOUR FILTER (AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU)
A filter is a hugely overlooked part of the system. The pump is noisy and powerful, and chemicals are easy to notice. But the filter kinda just sits there. But inside it is still very powerful.
To keep the theme going from the shower, anything you don’t put in the water makes the sanitizer’s job that much easier. A filter literally pulls stuff right out of the water. And we are talking a lot of “stuff.” Let’s talk about how much a filter can remove.
Even a sand filter, generally considered the least efficient filter, removes particles down to 20-100 microns. A human skin cell is 20 or so microns in size, for reference. Even with sand, we are already talking about lots of filtration. Once you move on to a cartridge filter or DE filter, you can remove particles as small as 10 or 5 microns, respectively.
Any pool filter is removing a ton of matter from the pool. This is all “stuff” that chemicals will no longer need to address. Not to mention good filtration helps to keep the water clear.
The key is to keep the filter working its best. Here is the very dirty secret: all those numbers above? That is the best-case scenario for a clean and functioning filter. Performance will drop without some simple maintenance. But it’s easy!
– Watch the pressure. Keep in the recommended range, since this is how the filter is designed to operate best. High pressure can indicate the need for a filter cleaning.
– Clean the filter following the instructions for the type and manufacturer. Sometimes you can just rinse, but you may need a chemical cleaner to remove oils that build up.
– Change out the sand, cartridge or DE as needed. Eventually everything wears out and the filter will not perform.
The filter may be quiet and easily forgotten, but don’t neglect it! A great filter can be the difference between easy pool care and a constant battle with dirty water.
3. JUST SCRUB IT (YOU HAVE A POOL BRUSH FOR A REASON)
Really, in case you don’t see a theme here, most of us underestimate the value of physical cleaning when it comes to the pool. It’s tempting to just rely on the chemicals. More Chlorine! More Ozone! Do you just pour soapy water on your floors and let it dry? Do you just drop shampoo on your head and leave it there? That’s your personal business maybe, but most likely you do some SCRUBBING!
The same is true for your pool. Sometimes you need to grab a brush and scrub the walls, steps and floor. Dirt, oils and algae can all build up on the wall in ways that chemicals can barely touch them. There’s this thing called “biofilm”—basically a funky mix of bacteria, dirt and oils—that can grime up the walls. Chlorine can break some of this down, but if you scrub at it, break it up and get it off the walls it will go away much more easily.
Let’s push the metaphor even further. Most likely you don’t only take a shower when you’ve covered in dirt. You don’t just brush your teeth right after you eat OREOs. You clean even when you’re not *that* dirty as a way to stay clean and healthy. Your pool is the same!
As part of regular care, just give it a scrub. Even if it doesn’t look so dirty. And don’t only scrub the grimey parts—hit the whole thing with a pool brush. Weekly brushing helps loosen surface dirt so the filter can pick it up during filtration cycles.
The simple act of physically cleaning a pool will do wonders for the pool. Like the other steps, this little bit of physical work will allow you to use fewer chemicals and yes, even save you money.
IT’S NOT MAGIC, IT’S JUST MAINTENANCE
Our team gets asked daily: How can I use fewer chemicals? How do I save on chlorine? How should I keep the water clean and healthy?
If you are a homeowner, these steps above are all easy ways to have a better pool experience. If you are a pool pro, teaching your customers these simple steps will make them enjoy their pool more. Maybe the service team is taking care of the filter and scrubbing. That’s great—don’t forget the shower for homeowners!
There isn’t a magic “pool pill” (yet). But there are a few things you can do that will feel magical when you see the difference it makes in the pool.
Need More Info?
Take a look at our resource page or check out some of our other content below.
More Posts & Related Content
Still have questions? Contact our team below and get more answers. Click here to check out all the CMP Pool Products that help make your job easier.
CONTACT CMP FOR MORE INFO