Tips for First Time Pool Owners
So you've decided to pull the trigger and buy your first pool. This is an exciting time, but it can also be a little scary. Learning all of the ins and outs of a pool from safety, to chemistry to proper maintenance can take some time and you'd prefer to keep things running smoothly. Well, if you're having some doubts, you've come to the right place with the School of Pool. Below are some tips from some very wise folks in the world of swimming pools, so take heed of their advice to avoid missteps with your first pool.
Find a Pool Mentor
If you're a new pool owner, the hardest thing to do is find
good advice. There are plenty of stores that sell pool chemicals, including
Home Depot and Wal-Mart, but not all stores have a knowledgeable pool
professional that you can trust. Ask your friends or neighbors with pools (or
me) if they can walk you through the process of taking care of your pool. Once
you find a source of good information, don't stray. Stick with them and follow
their advice. More than likely it will be consistent.
The reason this is so important is because, like most
things, there is more than one way to skin a cat. If you start curating pool
knowledge from a bunch of different experts, chances are you will end up
feeling overwhelmed and your pool water may suffer.
Learn as much as you can. Make a list of things you need to
do every week. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be the expert other new pool
owners will come to for help.
Being aware of pool drain suction entrapment is a must for every pool owner. Drain suction entrapment occurs when a body part, hair, or clothing becomes stuck to a drain due to the powerful suction force and can cause injury or death. New pool owners should (1) work with the builder and pool professional to include layers of protection in their pool to help prevent drain suction entrapment, such as dual drains, anti-entrapment drain covers, a safety vacuum release system, and an emergency shut-off switch near the pool; and (2) teach children how to identify a broken or loose pool drain cover, and what to do if they see something wrong – which is to get out of the water, have the owner shut down the pool immediately, and contact the pool's maintenance company.
Co-Founder, The ZAC Foundation
Don't Cut Corners!
The greatest advice is the hardest to swallow--don't look to cut corners (read: money) on the workings of the pool. We put in a gunite pool with an ozone system 10 years ago. Even though some of the equipment has had to be replaced due to normal wear and tear (and lightning strikes in CT!!), the pool itself is in perfect position--no cracks, no staining. We shopped around not for the cheapest price but for the fairest price and a company with happy clients. Every summer, we remark how totally worth it our investment was.
Keep An Eye On Your Calcium Levels
Depending on where you live it's extremely important to keep
an eye on the calcium levels in your swimming pool. It's recommended that you
have 200-400 parts per million (ppm) in the swimming pool but in some areas it
can fall below the minimum whereas in other areas it can skyrocket above it. If
you're in the South or Southwest U.S. it's very common to have hard water
issues. High calcium levels in the pool stain the tile, liner and ruin pool
equipment. When calcium levels are above 600ppm it's definitely time to
change out the water. Keep in mind there are some companies that can recycle
this water rather than a typical drain and refill. This process will leave you
with great quality of water that is within the recommended range not to mention
helps conserve natures most precious resource, water!
Ken Scheer (@PSTPools)