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A Beginner’s Guide to Swimming Pool Maintenance

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Did you just move into a new home with an existing pool or have one installed in your backyard? Either way, I’m glad you found Swim University.

A Beginner's Guide To Pool Ownership

I created this page to highlight must-see articles and videos for new pool owners. If you’re a pool care novice, I recommend you read through every article before moving on.

The best thing you can do for your pool is to be well-educated. A knowledgeable pool owner rarely has problems, and if they do, they know how to solve them.

Getting To Know Your Pool

Before we dive in (pun intended), you need to know what you’re dealing with. You need to understand some basic terms. For instance, the word “skimmer” in used to describe two different things, and it’s vital that you understand the difference.

When you go to your car mechanic they ask you, “what’s the make and model of your vehicle?” You probably know the answer – it’s expected of you. So why do few people know what kind of pool they have and when it was built?

Mainly because they’re not asked it enough, but if you knew it, getting the right parts and solving issues with your pool would be a lot easier. Just take the time to know your pool.

Learn more about The Anatomy of a Swimming Pool.

1. Circulation

There are three fundamentals of pool care: circulation, cleaning, and chemistry – in that order! Circulation is often overlooked, but it’s the most important area of pool maintenance. A pool that has good circulation will rarely have issues like algae and cloudy water.

One of the biggest questions I’m asked is how long a pump and filter should run. My answer: 24/7. However, that’s not going to work for everyone’s budget. So here’s a guide I put together to help you figure out how long you should keep your pump and filter running for the best circulation.

Learn more about how long you should run your pool pump.

2. Cleaning

Technically speaking, circulation is cleaning. It’s the automatic part of keeping a pool clean. However, your pool needs some good old-fashioned elbow grease from you. A pool with good circulation will need it less often, but you should do your part to vacuum, skim, and brush your pool on a weekly basis – just like you do in your home (I hope).

Learn more about clean your pool the right way.

3. Chemistry

Last but not least is chemistry. This is the area of pool care that most people are confused by, but you shouldn’t be. It’s actually very easy. There are a few key chemicals you need to worry about, and the rest is just fluff.

Before you go adding an assortment of chemicals that the pool store told you to, you need to test your water first. Testing your water is something you should do before adding any chemicals at all. It’s very easy and you can even do it at home. Check out the following guide and video.

Learn how to test your pool water properly.

Once you know what your pH, alkalinity, and chlorine readings are, you can start to add chemicals. Be sure to know what each chemical does and how it affects the water and the people who are swimming.

This guide is the ultimate resource when it comes to understanding basic pool chemistry.

How to Create a Pool Maintenance Schedule

After reading and watching all those guides, you should have the confidence to take care of your pool without worry. I know that throughout your time with the pool you’ll have some questions, and that’s why I built this site. I want to make pool care easy and sometimes fun.

I created a handy and colorful pool care cheat sheet that highlights the key areas of pool care. Feel free to print or bookmark on your web browser.

If you want to make your life even easier, I cannot recommend an automatic cleaner enough. I grew up without one and I believe it was the reason my dad tore our family pool down with the bare hands in anger. If we didn’t have to wake up every morning and vacuum the pool on humid summer days, I think we would have enjoyed the pool much more. No one likes swimming in a dirty pool, and automatic cleaners can help.

Happy Swimming!

Recommended Reading

How to Create a Pool Maintenance Schedule
More treatments means using LESS CHEMICALS. It all makes sense if you understand a few key components to creating the perfect pool maintenance schedule.
10 DIY Swimming Pool Maintenance Hacks
I've put together this list of pool maintenance hacks that you can employ to keep your swimming pool water clean and clear (and warm).
10 Pool Care Tips From Swimming Pool Experts
I asked 10 pool care experts to share pool care tips and compiled them all in one post. Check out what each expert has to say.
How to Vacuum a Pool Manually
Automatic cleaners are nice, but manual vacuuming can still come in handy. Learn how to vacuum a pool manually with this easy-to-follow video tutorial.
The Art of Pool Care

Spend Less Time Cleaning and More Time Swimming

We cut out all the fluff and confusion of pool maintenance and stripped it down to the bare bones in this easy-to-read illustrated digital guide.

Click here to learn more
Last Updated: Thursday, January 4th, 2018