There is nothing better than a beautiful pool in the summer time – but what about all that pool maintenance? Jessica Jane Sammut looks at some simple tricks to keep your pool sparkling this season, freeing up important relaxation time and making life easier for families.
A hot Aussie summer is on its way, which can only mean one thing. Yep, the backyard and the pool are about to come into their own as the centre attraction of the season.
Let’s face it, kids love nothing better than to spend their days dive bombing into the pool, whilst us girls love nothing more than lazing beside it, cocktail in hand, right ladies?
But with pool use means pool maintenance, and it would be safe to say that our poor men do not enjoy the many hours often spent making sure the pool is clean and sparkling. Wouldn’t it be good to have the pool looking great all the time without the work? Nothing ruins a summer’s moment quite like a dirty pool, after all.
So how can we (or our men) cut a few corners this season to ensure the pool looks its best?
1. TEST YOUR WATER REGULARLY
Testing your pool water two to three times a week during the summer can cut down on a lot on recovery maintenance time, ensuring adequate water balance and sanitiser levels are maintained. Test strips are a quick way to assess the pool for adequate sanitiser levels as well as pH and total alkalinity, and can be purchased from any good pool outlet. The kits come with full instructions and an explanation of how to read the results. Alternatively, many pool shops will also test your water without charge if you give them a sample, including a free water testing service at Bunnings.
2. DON’T RELY ON A SUCTION CLEANER
Many pool cleaners are suction cleaners. However, there are various drawbacks of suction cleaners, including the fact that they are fitted into a pool’s skimmer, reducing the pool’s skimming ability and restricting the pool’s circulation. In fact, they can sometimes cause more stress than assistance, getting stuck in corners or failing to pick up pool debris, meaning an additional manual clean (with a net) of the pool is necessary.
“To operate a suction cleaner effectively, the pool pump needs to operate at higher speeds,” Bryan Goh, group marketing director with Waterco, explains. “Plus after heavy rainfall or storms, there can be quite a lot of debris in the pool. Therefore, if a suction cleaner is operated, any debris that is collected goes straight to the filtration system, which then requires backwashing or maintenance.”
3. GET A POOL COVER
Invest in a pool cover. These can be simply ordered online and delivered to your door. Pool covers make life easier as they help to maintain heat built up in the water, reduce the length of time a pump needs to be on (thereby reducing the costs of running a pool), lower the amount of evaporation from a pool, and reduce the amount of chemical loss from a pool (saving on chemical costs).
4. CONSIDER A ROBOTIC POOL CLEANER
The next best thing to a full-time pool man is one of the latest robotic cleaners – serious life-changers for those who love a clean pool. Operating independently of a pool’s filter and pump, they are specifically designed to keep a pool ultra clean.
“Robotic cleaners have evolved significantly over the past five years,” says Bryan. “Robotic cleaners not only keep the pool floor and walls clean, they also improve water circulation. This helps maintain correct water chemistry, while also reducing the likelihood of algae growth.”
Some robotic cleaners are better than others so it pays to do some research, with the Zodiac V4 4WD and Admiral Ultra NAV touted as being two of the most efficient. I know families with both, and they are truly as great as they seem.
The Zodiac V4 4WD is extremely user friendly with an amazing ability to collect large debris from the pool – even eucalyptus leaves, gum nuts and twigs, which is a huge time-saver. It also includes a ‘lift’ system which makes it very easy to pick up and remove from the pool. With a kinetic remote control that lets you operate the cleaner from the comfort of your sun lounger for spot cleaning, plus the option of a set cleaning program for up to seven days, it certainly makes life easy. With awesome manoeuvrability, it also NEVER gets stuck (hooray!), getting to every area of the pool without issue, including the floors, walls, steps and waterline.
The Admiral Ultra NAV is also an excellent reliable cleaner which moves, turns, climbs and cleans without fuss, self-driven by three internal motors no less, which apparently gives it its zing. Simple to use and with a remote, it possesses a great scrubbing action, and an ‘intelligent’ navigation centre which sends the cleaner in a different direction each time, making sure every inch of the pool is covered.
5. KEEP UP WITH REGULAR POOL MAINTENANCE
It’s a boring fact, but a true one, that if a pool is maintained regularly, less work overall will need to be done over the summer season to make sure it is looking great. Cleaning out the skimmer basket, checking the chlorinator, cleaning the filters, checking the ozone unit, checking and cleaning the salt water chlorine generator, keeping a stash of chemicals in a cool and dry storage place for when you need, and keeping vegetation and animals away from the pool, are all a must over summer.