If you’ve purchased a home with a swimming pool, congratulations! A swimming pool can add so much to your home each summer – encouraging your family to socialize, exercise, and spend more time together. But before you dive in and enjoy your new pool, you’ll need to be sure you understand each of its components and how to operate the pool correctly. We’ve put together a homebuyer’s guide to pool maintenance so you can learn tips and tricks on how to properly and cost-effectively maintain your pool and familiarize yourself with your pool equipment.
With a little work when you first take over the pool, you can ensure your swimming pool operation is easier and more cost-effective for many summers to come.
Communicate with the previous owner
Ideally, you will have had your swimming pool inspected and certified by a professional before you purchase your home. Even if this is the case, you should try to learn what you can from the previous owners.
All pools have similar setups and systems, but every swimming pool also has its own unique quirks and intricacies. Speaking to the previous owner can help you to learn the age of all of your equipment, which pieces of equipment are still under warranty, the best process for opening and closing the pool, and any tips or tricks that are unique to your specific pool.
If you’re lucky, the previous owner will be organized and will be handing you a pool that is well-maintained and in good condition. Sometimes, you’ll be purchasing your pool from someone who knows very little about it – and you may do better researching on your own.
Make any necessary repairs to your new pool
If you’re new to owning or operating a swimming pool, there is an important rule of thumb to remember: Small problems with swimming pools tend to become bigger and more expensive quickly if they are ignored.
When you’ve purchased a home with a swimming pool, you were likely required to have a pool professional assess your swimming pool and equipment. If not, it might be a good idea to have a swimming pool service technician in to take a look at your swimming pool. This can help to assure you that your pool is in good shape for your first season of swimming, and repair any minor issues before they become much more serious (and expensive).
Make sure your pool is safe (and legal)
Every municipality has specific laws governing swimming pools. These laws can cover many different aspects of your swimming pool, including the depth, distance from other properties, and fencing requirements to ensure your pool is safe. Be sure your pool professional inspects your swimming pool for compliance with local laws to be sure you can operate your pool legally.
You will also need to check your insurance requirements to be sure your swimming pool is set up safely and correctly in compliance with your policy.
Take stock of what you have and what you need
If you are opening and operating an unfamiliar swimming pool for the first time, it is likely that you’ll discover something you’re missing throughout the season. But, taking the time to do inventory can help to ensure that you’re not missing something crucial.
Take a quick look at your essential chemicals, including chlorine, shock, stabilizer, algaecide, and salt (if you have a saltwater system). Speaking with the previous owner can help you to understand exactly what you’ll need for a successful swimming season.
Familiarize yourself with your pool equipment
Before you get obsessed with your new poo, it is a good idea to find out the specific make, model, and brand of every piece of your swimming pool equipment. This preparation will make it easier and faster for you to troubleshoot any problems down the road. We recommend that you read up briefly on each component of your pool, and take the time to gather the manuals and parts manifest for each piece of equipment.
Spending a bit of time gathering some information can save you time in the long run, and help you narrow down issues with your equipment when you call in a service technician. This diligence can help to save you money on repairs, and help you get your pool running again quickly when problems develop.
Even if your swimming pool appears to be clean, it is a good idea to thoroughly clean a new swimming pool before you dive in. Cleaning the pool means thoroughly shocking, vacuuming, scrubbing, and backwashing your swimming pool.
When you’re sure your swimming pool is sparkling clean, you can balance the water and get started on the right foot. A pool that is clean and in great shape is easier to maintain throughout the summer than one that you are consistently working with to get in balance.
Create a maintenance schedule for your swimming pool
Staying on top of the swimming pool is something you’ll need to get in the habit of doing. The best way to ensure your swimming pool is in good shape is to create a regular maintenance schedule that includes time to clean, vacuum, shock, and generally maintain your pool.
If you’ve purchased a home with a swimming pool, it is a good idea to find out what worked for the previous owner. Chances are, they’ve had the time to learn what works for their pool. Teaching each member of your family how and when to maintain your swimming pool can help to lighten the load when it comes to maintenance chores.
Budget for repairs, service, and updates to your swimming pool
Every summer season, you’ll have costs associated with your swimming pool that include your opening and closing expenses, chemicals, pool toys, and more. It is very important that you also factor in expenses related to repairs, services, and updates to your swimming pool.
For example, if you have a vinyl-lined swimming pool, you’ll eventually need to pay to replace the liner. Over time, you’ll also need to replace other equipment in your pool, such as your pump or heater. If you consider these costs and set aside cash each summer to contribute to your eventual repairs and updates, your pool expenses will be much more manageable. As a bonus, you’ll be much more aware of the actual costs of owning and operating your swimming pool.
Operating a swimming pool that’s new-to-you
Operating a swimming pool that is used, but new to you can be even trickier than operating a brand new pool. Without the reliability of warranties and your builders, you’ll need to be extra vigilant in keeping your pool operating correctly and cost-effectively.
Taking some time to get to know your pool and conduct any service and repairs will save you time, money, and frustration in the future. By learning about your specific swimming pool and equipment, you’ll find it easy to create a cleaning and maintenance schedule that works for your family.