On a hot and beautiful sunny day, the best place to cool down and enjoy the day is in the water. Though it would be fabulous to live on or near the water, some of us do not have that luxury. A lucky few of us do have a pool though and when you don’t have a river or lake to play in, lounging poolside is the next best thing – maybe even be the best thing for some people! Pools are a fantastic way to cool off, they also add great curb appeal to your home. The unfortunate thing about owning a pool is that it can be a lot of work as well as an expensive possession. With these super simple tips below, you can maintain your pool in a more cost-effective way.
Low on Chemicals? Try Using Baking Soda Instead
If you own a pool then you know that you need to maintain it with the proper chemicals. Basically your pool is like a giant chemical science project. I bet you didn’t realize that regular baking soda does the same job as sodium bicarbonate for only a fraction of the price of regular chemicals. Baking soda also has the same concentration of sodium bicarbonate as the solutions, so the amount you would need to add to your water would be identical. Pretty handy!
Use A Tennis Ball To Absorb Oils
No, we aren’t talking about playing pool tennis. We as humans like to keep ourselves looking good. We will rub suntan or body lotion onto our skin, we will put product into our hair and our bodies will put oils into our pools. Our skin and hair have natural oils in them. Though it is not a nice thing to think about – these oils get washed into our swimming pools. A quick and easy way to absorb some of those oils is by tossing a tennis ball into the water. The fibers used to make tennis balls will absorb the oils and keep them from leaving a yucky film on top of your pool water. Apparently, you can also throw a tennis ball in with your laundry to collect dust and hair. Who knew!
Cover Your Pool With a Solar Cover
Though a solar pool cover can be a little more costly than a tennis ball, the use of a solar cover could save you tons of money on a pool heater. Solar pool covers can raise the temperature of your pool by as much as 10 degrees in a few (sunny) days. Solar covers collect heat from the sun and then trap that heat in your pool. These covers will keep your pool warm throughout the day and protect your pool from heat loss during cooler evenings. Generally speaking, no one wants to jump into a cold swimming pool and pool heaters can cost upwards of $2,000. You can pick up a solar cover for a few hundred dollars.
Keep an Eye On The Water Level
Ottawa weather can be unpredictable! Sunny skies may evaporate the water, and torrential downpours may overflow the pool. Pool parties with kids jumping in and out may also bring water levels down. The level that pool skimmers operate best is between one third and one half the way up the opening of the pool skimmer. When water levels are higher, the water is going so slow that debris may pass by the opening without being pulled in. If the water is so high that it covers the skimmer opening, floating pieces of dirt and plants can’t get in and you may end up with a dirty pool. When the water levels are lower, the skimmer may suck air into the system which can result in possibly resulting in burning up your filter pump motor which would be an expensive fix, yikes!
Don’t Forget to Winterize!
If you live in Ottawa, you know what comes in the winter! Cold, frost, snow, and more snow! When the fall comes around and the warm weather starts to diminish, it is time to start closing your pool for the season. Be sure to shock your pool several days before closing and make sure that your chlorine levels return to 1-3 ppm before adding any winter algaecide and your pool cover. Make sure you remove all of your pool equipment including your skimmer basket, wall fittings, cleaners, solar cover, ladder, etc. Thoroughly clean your pool and lower the levels as much as you can. Be sure to winterize the pipes coming to and from your pool so that you don’t end up with a freezing pipe that bursts. Hire a specialist if you do not feel comfortable doing so. There are all kinds of pool maintenance companies in the Ottawa area that offer great services to help you winterize and maintain your pool.
Pools can be an expensive part of your home, but the enjoyment that you and your family will get from a pool is priceless. Susan and Moe own a pool at their home and if you have any other questions about maintaining your pool or if you would like to buy a home with a pool, give us a call at 613-457-5000 and we can provide tips and tricks for current or future pool-owners!