Not having the proper tools for any project can result in working twice as hard and costing twice as much to accomplish something. The following tools are a necessity for keeping your pool as clean as can be:
The brush will allow you to sweep the walls and bottom of the pool for algae, scale, and dirt and debris. Make sure when purchasing a brush you use one that is designed for a vinyl lining. If you have any questions on the proper kind, please ask an American Sale associate.
A wide and deep netted skimmer net that attaches to the end of a telescopic pole. This net scoops out unwanted dirt and debris from the bottom of your pool. This product is excellent when opening your pool.
This net is shallow and removes leaves and debris from the surface of the water.
A test kit is one of the most important parts of pool care. A test kit determines where you stand on water balancing. A test kit should at least determine chlorine, pH, and total alkalinity levels.
Test strips perform the same task as a test kit, just offering you a simpler form. Test strips come in either 3, 5, or 6 part tests. On a five part test the additional items you are testing for are total chlorine and hardness. A six part test will also include a test for Cyanuric Acid. Take a sample of your water from somewhere in the middle of your pool water to get the most accurate reading. Dip the strip in by keeping it parallel to the container the water sample is in. The strips are color coded, so when the water hits the strip, it will change color. Keep the strip horizontal for 15 seconds, and then compare it to the color chart on the back of the bottle.
Vacuum heads will differ depending on weight and number of bristles on its brush. The heavier the head and the more brushes on it, the better it will perform. Vacuum heads come in half moon or triangular shape. There are two attachment locations on the vacuum head. A white adapter on the top that moves back and forth where the telescopic pole attaches. The other location is an opening where the vacuum hose fastens on.
This piece of equipment is a lightweight hose that attaches to your vacuum head. Sometimes, the hose may have a swivel cuff at one of its ends. This cuff is the end that attaches to the vacuum head, and allows you to maneuver more freely and prevent the hose from coiling up. The vacuum hose should be about 5 to 6 feet longer than the longest dimension of your pool. This keeps it from stretching while trying to vacuum. When not in use, keep your hose out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause your hose to deteriorate when exposed for long periods of time. Store your hose coiled up.
Telescopic poles extend out so that every inch of your pool can be reached. Their sizes can range from 6 feet to 16 feet long. The telescopic pole snaps into the white adapter on your vacuum head.
A vacuum plate is a rounded piece that inserts into the skimmer basket and attaches to one end of your vacuum hose. This plate provides a suction so you can vacuum.
Your skimmer comes equipped with a large basket to catch large pieces of debris, leaves, bugs, and potentially anything else that could clog your filter. Next to your pump there is also another basket, called a strainer basket. This basket collects anything that the first basket has missed. In order to keep proper circulation and filtration, you must make sure that the skimmer and strainer basket is emptied at all times. Accumulation in either basket can cause your water flow to become sluggish, which can lead to icky green water.
Maintaining your filter is another part of your pool care. Sand, DE, and Element filters are all handled differently. When using a DE filter, you replace the DE after every backwash. With a sand or element filter, you want to replace the media every season. Make sure to check the pressure gauge on your filter. It should never exceed 20 psi. On a DE or sand filter, when it reaches this reading, you must backwash. You also want to make sure that twice during the season you give your DE and element filter a muriatic acid bath (4 part water, 1 part muriatic acid). By giving it a deep cleaning, it will be more effective.
Vacuuming is the most tedious part of taking care of your pool. The biggest problem you find with vacuuming are air pockets in the hose. If you don't correctly prime the hose, you will not get proper suction for vacuuming. Priming is the procedure of pushing all of the air out of the line. By sinking the hose beneath the water, you force any air to bubble out. Another way of priming is by placing the vacuum hose in front of the return. This forces water through the vacuum hose, and pushes any air pockets out of the line. A good indication that your hose is primed is that you will see the vacuum head bubble and rise up close to the surface, then submerge back down. First, what you want to do is to connect all the pieces of your vacuuming equipment together. Connect the swivel end of the vacuum hose and the telescopic pole to the vacuum head. Submerge the vacuum head under water by pushing it down using the telescopic pole. Sink the hose, then place the unattached end of the hose directly in front of the return fitting. Slide the hose through the skimmer opening. Remember to keep the hose under water, otherwise you will lose your prime. Attach the vacuum plate to the hose while keeping it under water. Shut the filter off. Hold the vacuum plate over the skimmer basket. Turn the filter back on. You will feel the vacuum plate suck down onto the skimmer basket. If you do not feel that suction or the vacuum plate floats up once the filter is on, you do not have the hose primed. After you establish priming, you may begin vacuuming. Push the vacuum around slowly not to stir up any dirt. Keep checking your filter to make sure the pressure does not exceed 20 psi. Backwash when needed.
With all of this equipment, you may be wondering, how do I keep everything neat? The following are some suggestions on how to keep your pool equipment organized and also in a safe place.
With all of this equipment, you may be wondering, how do I keep everything neat? The following are some suggestions on how to keep your pool equipment organized and also in a safe place. Hooks can be used for just about any pool equipment. You can lay your telescopic pole across to keep it out of the way. You can also hang up your vacuum head, skimmer net, and leaf grabber. A great idea is to purchase additional hooks to hang your vacuum hose up with. When hanging your vacuum hose, make sure to hang it in a place that is away from the sun. This keeps it out of the way and more organized, and ready for immediate use.
Where you store your chemicals is very important because if not stored in the proper place, they can become less effective, and also dangerous. You want to store your chemicals away from any sunlight. Ideally, you want them stored in a place that is dry and cool. You should also be aware of what chemicals you store together. You don't want any two chemicals that do NOT mix stored next to each other on the same shelf. If the chemicals fell, they could mix together, and you would have a very dangerous situation.
Also remember to keep chemicals out of reach of children and pets. These chemicals are very harmful if swallowed. In case of being swallowed, contact a physician or poison control immediately to seek medical attention.