How Much Time Does It Take to Maintain a Swimming Pool?
When we think of swimming pools we think of relaxation, fun backyard parties, and time well spent with the family. One thing most people never think about is how much time will I have to dedicate to maintaining my pool. This question inevitably varies on the type of system used, location of the pool, time of year, and daily usage but here is a quick guide on what to expect.
First we will review the type of sanitation and filter system on the pool. The two most widely used filtering systems are the cartridge filter and sand filter. Maintenance on a cartridge filter needs to be done typically once every 2-4 weeks. To clean the cartridges you need to turn off your pump, dismantle the filter tank to remove the cartridges, then use your garden hose with a spray nozzle to spray off all of the built up debris from the filters. This will typically take you about 15-20 minutes to do.
A sand filter also must be cleaned typically every 2-4 weeks just like a cartridge filter. A sand filter is a much easier system to clean though. On all sand filters there is a valve located on top of the filter that says backwash. In order to clean the filter you simply turn off your pump turn your filter to backwash then turn your pump back on and watch the filter clean itself. A discharge hose from the side of the filter will pump out dirty water and once the water turns back to clear your filter is clean. It's that simple. This will typically take you about 5 minutes or less.
Now for your sanitation there are three main types chlorine, baquacil, and salt. Chlorine is the oldest type of the three and is a bleach based, baquacil is a peroxide based sanitizer, and salt is still actually chlorine but it uses a chlorine generator to convert the salt into chlorine. I won't get into the specifics here on the differences but between the three salt is probably the easiest for most people. To sanitize your pool you just need to purchase either test strips or drops to check your waters ph, sanitation levels and alkalinity levels. Then adjust these levels in your pool by adding chemicals to what the tests recommend. This should take you no longer than about five to ten minutes.
Now the part that dramatically varies is cleaning your pool. This is where the location of the pool, time of year, and daily usage will radically affect how often you must clean your pool. The most important is the location of the pool. You want your pool out away from under any trees for the least amount of maintenance. Most people do not realize how much debris falls off of trees and will end up in your pool if you place them near or under a tree. This not only makes cleaning your pool more of a hassle but you will also be cleaning your filters much more often. The spring and fall season when trees and plants are either blooming or losing their leaves is when you will be cleaning your pool the most. Don't worry though as long as your pool is at least twenty feet or more away from any trees the amount of debris will not be much more. If you do not have an automatic pool cleaner the typical time cleaning and vacuuming your pool is about 10-15 minutes every week depending on the size of the pool.
Daily usage can affect the amount of debris in your pool and your sanitation levels. These are issues that you can easily remedy if you just set some clear pool rules. Make sure everyone washes off any dirt, grass, or debris before getting into the pool. To help make sure the sanitation levels stay stable anyone who is a little dirty from working or sweating outside you may suggest that they take a quick shower or at least spray themselves off with the hose before getting into the pool. Sweat will effect on your sanitation levels much more if you have a smaller pool with quite a few swimmers.
So to recap on how long it takes to clean your pool it should typically take about 2-3 hours per month. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing as many people enjoy spending the time outside with their pool and as you become more seasoned in maintaining your pool these times can drop dramatically.