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Pool Maintenance

Above Ground Pool

Upgrading Your Above Ground Pool to a Saltwater System

Chlorine has been a part of pool owners’ maintenance routines for more than a century, but it does have its share of setbacks. You don’t have to settle for toxic chlorine tablets as saltwater systems are a safer alternative to keeping your pool clean and sanitary.

As the name suggests, saltwater systems use dissolved salt to create chlorine to sanitize the water in your pool. The chlorine generated in saltwater pools is similar to that found in chlorine pool tablets but without the compounds that cause the adverse effects commonly associated with chlorinated pools.

Why convert to a saltwater system?

The biggest reason people switch to saltwater pools is that it’s gentler to use. The chlorine from saltwater systems does not contain chloramines that cause the usual side effects like faded clothing, itchy eyes, and that distinct smell from chlorinated pools. The chlorine levels in saltwater pools are also more stable and have the same salinity of natural tear ducts, which is why it doesn’t hurt to open your eyes in a saltwater pool or let your skin and hair dry afterward.

Another benefit of saltwater systems is that they require less maintenance. Unlike chlorinated pools that need to be replenished with chlorine tablets every week, the chlorine in saltwater pools is self-regenerating. Pour some pool-grade salt in your pool, and it will generate enough chlorine for a month or more. And since you will only do periodic maintenance every couple of weeks, you’ll also spend less on test strips and cleaning materials.

Preparing your pool for saltwater conversion

Once you’ve decided to switch to a saltwater system, the first step you need to take is to prepare your pool. Preparation may involve draining water out of your pool, especially if it contains antibacterial agents that may counteract with the chlorine from saltwater. You also need to test the pool water for free chlorine, pH, alkalinity, heavy metals, calcium hardness, and other substances to ensure an optimum chemical balance once you add the chlorine. There are test kits available specifically for this purpose, although we recommend having the testing done professionally by your local pool dealer.

If your pool has galvanized walls or metal frames and parts, you will also have to switch them out for resin or vinyl material. Saltwater will gradually corrode the metal and cause the pool structure to weaken over time.

Converting your pool

There are now saltwater systems available that streamline the conversion process from start to finish. The process varies from one kit to another. Still, it usually involves dissolving pool-grade salt into the water, installing a chlorinator and chlorinator cell, and connecting it to the water pump. There are also advanced saltwater chlorine generators you can use to monitor the water’s salinity and temperature and adjust the chlorine output automatically.

However, because of the complicated process of keeping the water’s chemical composition balanced and installing the saltwater system, we highly recommended you have it done by professionals. Pool dealers like Smith Pools can expertly test and optimize your pool’s chemical balance and install the saltwater system at a reasonable rate.

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Our Fall Pool Care Tips

As temperatures drop in fall, you need to make some changes in how you maintain your pool. By properly preparing it for winter, you’ll not only ensure it’s ready to go in spring but prolong its useful life in the process.

Here are some general tips to consider for maintaining your pool in the fall.

Track the Weather

Naturally, seasons will change, and during this time, you need to be alert to these changes. Fall is accompanied by increased rainfall, so chemicals in the pool water will be diluted. You’ll need to monitor your pool’s water balance carefully to keep algae at bay.

Remove Leaves and Debris

In fall, debris and leaves can be disastrous for your pool filter and water quality. Make sure you skim all these leaves and other debris daily. Otherwise, you will have a green and murky pool. Additionally, the build-up of leaves at the bottom will attract the growth of algae.

Skimming the pool’s surface only takes about 10 minutes if you make it a routine.

Adjust the Pump

Decreased temperatures will affect the frequency and duration of your pool pump’s run time. You should run your pool for approximately one hour when the outside temperature is 10 degrees. If you work with this rule, your pool will be in perfect shape.

Repair Damages

When a pool is always in use, it is hard to get repairs, let alone track any damages, but you need to routinely get the repairs done to avoid shutting down the pool or rendering it useless. Winter season is an excellent time to get a replacement on all the damages that arose over the summer.

Consider a Shock

Your pool will need a shock owing to all the variables that affect your pool during summer. Shocking occurs when high concentrations of chemicals speed up the cleaning process. This will ensure that you start with a clean slate.

Shocking is especially vital to swimming pools that are prone to low levels of cloudy water, chlorine, or algae.

Chuck in a Tennis Ball

A hot tip to keep your pool sparkling clean is throwing in a tennis ball. When swimmers exit the pool, oils get left behind like hair products, suntan lotion, or the oils produced by the skin. The fibrous covering on a tennis ball will catch any surface oils or gunk like sunscreen residue.

Keep an Eye on the Water Level

Ideally, your pool should stay at an optimum water level. As important as it is to ensure the chemical composition is right, the physical water level is equally important. After a heavy rainstorm or an afternoon of doing cannonballs, you might have to add or remove a little.

Ensure that the water level is halfway up the skimmer’s opening and use the garden hose to add more water if it is too low. Remember that the water level and chemical composition go together.

Keeping your pool in good shape does not have to be tiresome if you are aware of what needs to be done at what time. By incorporating these tips, your pool will always be ready all year round. If you don’t have time for any of the above—no worries, Smith Pools is here to help. We offer pool maintenance and winterizing services at affordable prices.

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Pool Closings

Our Top Fall Above Ground Pool Tips

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean there is any less pool maintenance work. Pool maintenance is a year-round chore and particularly important in the fall because that’s when leaves fall. With extra care, you can keep your above ground pool in the best condition.

Check out our handy above ground pool tips for fall.

Swimming pool filter

There is no better time to clean the pool filter, especially if the summer was a busy and your pool got a lot of use. The best cleaning method depends on the type of filter you have, whether it be sand, diatomaceous earth (DE), or cartridge. If using a cartridge filter, remove and replace it or backwash it. Cleaning a sand filter is more involving. You can backwash it when the pool water starts turning cloudy. With a DE filter, you can either backwash or chemically clean it.

Leaves and debris

Cleaning in the fall involves removal of leaves and debris. Left to accumulate, they can encourage algae growth. Leaves that make it to the pool floor may end up staining it. Be sure to clean the skimmer baskets regularly. Use a leaf net to skim the floating leaves, and if not using the pool, covering it will save you a good deal of time.

Swimming pool heater

If you have a heater in your pool, get in touch with our team, and have it serviced. Months’ worth of calcium buildup can make pool heaters less efficient. With temperatures dropping in fall and harsh winter coming up, a fully functional heater is crucial. Make sure your heater is up to the challenge. Servicing it ensures it remains operational.

Water chemistry

Water chemistry is one of the most significant aspects of pool maintenance. Sanitizers ought to be at constant levels to maintain the ideal water chemistry. It is best if you also shock the pool every two weeks. Combined with adding algaecide, it helps combat algae growth.

Remember to monitor and maintain the PH balance. Otherwise, the sanitizer won’t be as effective as it should be. The ideal water chemistry should be 80-120 ppm alkalinity, 2.0-4.0 chlorine, 7.2-7.6 PH, and 250-400 ppm calcium. Test these levels once a week to ensure a stable environment.

Shock treatments

If you want to prevent the buildup of debris, kill stubborn algae, oxidize organic contaminants, or prevent chloramine contamination, you must perform shock treatments. They can also help eliminate contaminants like body fluids, sunscreen, and hair products. Depending on the nature of your pool, you can go for chlorinated or non-chlorinated shock treatments.

Winterize

Do you live in a freezing area? Winterizing your pool is something you need to do as soon as the summer ends. Store the ladder, cleaning supplies, and chemicals in a warm place. Run the filter for an hour before draining the pool. Clean and dry the pool, hoses, and filters. Remove and store all loose items in a dry place then cover the pool with a year-round cover for added protection. 

Pool walls

A bump or dent on the walls of an above ground pool can cause severe damage. Observe kids when they play with bicycles or tricycles in the pool area. Repeated hitting of the pool walls—by toys and balls— could cause damage. Additionally, you should avoid sitting or standing on the top rail. Keep the trees in your yard trimmed and monitor any loose branches.

If you need some help with fall maintenance or winterization, give us a call. Smith Pools can help.

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Commercial Pool Maintenance

Why You Should Use a Professional Pool Maintenance Company


Chances are if you have a swimming pool, you enjoy it. It’s where you unwind on weekends or spend sunny afternoons with friends or family. Although they’re good for fun, they also require hard work.  The care they need can be a problem area for new and unaccustomed pool owners.

Without a doubt, from cleaning to maintenance, the demands can be stressful and exhausting. Our professional pool service can save the day. With our help, you can enjoy your swimming sessions and cast all the maintenance work on us, but beyond not having to take care of it yourself, why should you use a professional pool maintenance company?

Weekly maintenance

You may not have time to perform maintenance every single week–a professional service ensures your pool is taken care of regularly. Our technicians can water clean, vacuum, wash skimmer baskets, and more.

Keeping things in balance

If pool chemistry is a gray area for you or feel overwhelmed by the idea of testing and balancing water chemistry, our pool professionals can step in and help you with this critical task.

Catch repairs early

You may have to carry out repairs on your pool from time to time, and not everyone has the tools or skill to handle the necessary repairs. A pool professional can make a difference. Since we have the experience and proper tools, we can detect leaks and fix them quickly. We can also clean, repair, or replace faulty filters, valves, and pumps, saving you precious time and money.

Upgrade your pool with ease

Instead of risking a new installation or upgrade of worn-out equipment yourself, hire our professionals to handle all the hard work. We can install new and energy-efficient equipment in your swimming pool quickly and safely.

Quick pool resurfacing

Given that there are many options for pool resurfacing, you want to be sure that you’re getting the best material on the market. Only a seasoned pool professional can help you with the selection. So, you will get a fantastic resurfacing option at a price that fits your budget.

Help with winterization and opening in spring

The seasons keep changing. Whether you’re opening up your pool in summer or closing it for the winter, a professional swimming pool technician will help you with the transition and ensure your pool remains clean, safe, and well-protected.

Get your vinyl liner replaced

When the time comes to replace your old vinyl liner, you can also count on our pool professionals to do a satisfactory job.  You want to ensure that installation is right so it can protect your swimming pool. A skilled technician can carry out a swift replacement. The result is a new line that fits your pool perfectly.

Get in Touch with Smith Pools Today

As you can see, you stand to gain a lot from working with a real pool professional rather than going the DIY route. From undertaking timely repairs to installing new parts and cleaning filters and pumps, a pro ensures your swimming pool remains in good shape so you and your loved ones can enjoy every moment spent at the pool. You will save time and money that would have otherwise gone down the drain by doing improper repairs or buying and installing the wrong parts.  Contact Smith Pools today to learn more!

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Pool Products

Why You Should Use A Professional Pool Service for Your Pool Maintenance

Having a place to swim in the comfort of your backyard is a luxury. Owning a swimming pool can be exciting for the family, but it is imperative that you maintain the pool properly throughout the year. You want to ensure that your family is safe and that your swimming pool has a long lifespan.

You can maintain your pool yourself, but it is advisable to leave the work to experts for the following reasons:

Regular, Timely Cleanings

A professional pool service provider will help you set a regular cleaning schedule for your pool. The schedule can be weekly or biweekly. It will help you stay up to date with the cleaning and maintenance of your pool.

By keeping a routine cleaning schedule, you ensure that your pool will always be swimmable. Moreover, professionals are thorough in their work. They will accomplish multiple tasks at every visit, including:

  • Vacuuming the pool
  • Cleaning the skimmers
  • Backwashing the filter
  • Blowing the deck area

Balanced Pool Water Chemistry

It is essential that you test your pool water regularly and add chemicals as need. A professional pool service provider will check and balance the chemical levels in your water. These include pH, alkaline, and chlorine levels.

Some service providers will even let you use their salt chlorine generator at no additional cost. A salt chlorine generator helps minimize the amount of chlorine you use in your pool while maintaining the soft feel of your water. Doing this prevents chemical accumulation, which can end up damaging your pool.

Saves Money and Time

You can choose to maintain your pool yourself. However, you may not have the time needed for proper maintenance. And if done incorrectly, you could end up with costly damages.

For professional pool service providers, maintaining your pool is their job. They’ll take the time to ensure everything is correct. Hiring professionals helps to prevent damages that could cost you a fortune to fix. It also leaves you with time to handle other day-to-day tasks.

Early Detection of Problems

This is perhaps the most significant benefit of hiring a professional pool service company. Pool technicians can detect any damage to your swimming pool before it can progress to a more severe problem. Some of these problems can be so subtle that they easily elude an untrained eye.

Pool technicians have the expertise and experience to notice the slightest damage to your pool. They can fix the damage accordingly, saving you from costly repairs in the future or the need to buy a new swimming pool.

These are just a few ways that professional pool services, such as those offered by Smith Pools, can improve the longevity of your swimming pool. Moreover, these professional services allow you to enjoy your pool without having to worry about various maintenance tasks. Above all, these professional pool services are competitively priced and can help you save money over time by minimizing your pool repair costs.

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Frog Leap Mineral System

General Above Ground Pool Care Tips

Getting a brand new pool is exciting for any family, but there are some general tips that will help your pool last much longer.

General Above Ground Pool Care Tips

  • Spray for termites and other insects around the pool area annually, especially in wooded areas. Termites and other insects have been known to eat through pool liners. This is not covered under the liner warranty.
  • Keep grass from growing within 1’ of the pool wall. Nutgrass will grow through the liner if allowed to grow next to the pool wall.
  • Store hoses in shaded areas to make the hoses last longer.
  • Add chlorine in the evening to minimize chlorine loss due to sunlight.
  • Direct the eyeball in an upward position to get surface water circulating.
  • Use a chlorine stabilizer each season to reduce chlorine loss.
  • When there is excess debris or algae in the bottom of your pool, vacuum with the filter valve in the “waste” position.
  • Mount ladder to top ledge per instructions to stabilize ladder. The installer will not do this at the time of installation.
  • To extend your pool season, cover your pool at night with a solar cover or use a liquid solar blanket to keep the water warmer.
  • To cool off your pool water in the middle of the summer, use a pool fountain.
  • Read all warranty papers, manuals, and safety information.
  • The more you run the pump and filter, the cleaner and clearer your pool will stay.
  • Proper filtration and chemical maintenance can prevent many problems.
  • A pool is just like a lawn. If you keep it up on a regular basis, it’s not hard to manage. But if you let it go without tending to it, it is a lot of work to get it back into shape.

For more tips, or help with above ground pool maintenance, contact Smith Pools & Spas today!

 

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Above Ground Pool Products

General Pool Care for Above Ground Chlorine Pools

Taking care of your pool should be easy. The four basic concepts in routine chlorine maintenance are:

  • Sanitize continuously to kill bacteria
  • Remove wastes to make the water sparkling clear
  • Prevent algae growth
  • Keep the water balanced

How do I start my above ground chlorine pool?

1. To start up your chlorine pool you need to shock your pool, add tablets, and adjust your pH and alkalinity if needed.

2. Shocking your pool means adding a large dose of chlorine at once. Shocking the pool typically brings your chlorine level to 8.0 to 10.0 ppm. You should shock the pool at the beginning to fully sanitize your fill water. Follow the dosage chart on the shock that you choose to use.

3. Start chlorine tablet usage the next day.

How do I keep my above ground pool sanitized?

1. Check the level of chlorine at least a couple of times per week.

2. When the chlorine level is below 1.5 ppm, you need to add chlorine.

3. There are three ways to keep chlorine in the pool: Chlorine Tablets. Granular Chlorine. Liquid Chlorine.

How do I use Chlorine Tablets In My Above Ground Pool?

Check all instructions and warnings on container labels. Tablets should be used in a floating chlorinator or an automatic chlorinator connected to your filtration system. A floating chlorinator is inexpensive and should be removed from the pool when people are swimming. Automatic chlorinators run off of your filtration system. The drawback is that your pump has to be running to chlorinate the pool. Always use trichlor tablets. Do not use calcium hypochlorite tablets. Check the label. Never put anything other than trichlor tablets in a chlorinator. Not following this rule can be very dangerous. 7. Remember, when using tablets, the pH and Alkalinity will drift lower. So keep Alkalinity Increaser on hand. (Alkalinity Increaser will increase both the Alkalinity and pH) Never put tablets in the skimmer because they will corrode pump and filter parts. Shocking your pool will be necessary every week or so to remove wastes from pool water and keep your water clear. An algaecide may be used in conjunction with tablets to prevent algae growth.

How do I use Granular Chlorine In My Above Ground Pool?

Check all instructions and warnings on container labels. Make sure you know what chemical you are dealing with. Some granular chlorine will need to be dissolved in a bucket of warm water before adding it to your above ground pool because it will bleach your liner. Add granular chlorine according to product labels when chlorine tests low. This is an easy method, but must be monitored daily, especially in hot weather. Some powders raise your pH when chlorine level is high. As the chlorine level comes down, the pH will come down also. Never put granular chlorine in an automatic chlorinator. Shocking your pool will still be necessary every week or so to remove wastes from pool water and keep your water clear. An algaecide may be used in conjunction with granular chlorine to prevent algae growth. Some pool owners have trouble keeping their pool clear when using granular chlorine because of the residue in most powder chlorines. Dichlor is a good substitute for calcium hypochlorite shock. It is a little more expensive, but does not have to be pre-dissolved and will not cloud the water.

How do I use Liquid Chlorine In My Above Ground Pool?

Check all instructions and warnings on container labels. Liquid chlorine is very easy to use since it is already dissolved, it will not cloud your water, and it works quickly. Liquid chlorine will raise your pH when chlorine level is high. As the chlorine level comes down, the pH will come down also. Like granular chlorine, liquid chlorine usage requires checking the chlorine level in the pool often and adding small amounts of chlorine often. Liquid chlorine is great for shocking your pool. Shocking your pool will still be necessary every week or so to remove wastes from pool water and keep your water clear. An algaecide may be used in conjunction with liquid chlorine to prevent algae growth.

Smith’s Pools Above Ground Pool Hints

  • A good and easy combination for chlorine maintenance is to use tablets for your constant source of chlorine and use liquid chlorine for shocking. If you begin to have algae problems, supplement the tablets with a weekly dosage of preventative algaecide.
  • Keep up with pH and Alkalinity to boost chlorine efficiency and prevent corrosion of equipment, pool, and liner, especially when using chlorine tablets.
  • Use chlorine stabilizer at the beginning of every pool season to cut down on chlorine consumption. Stabilizer protects the chlorine from the sun’s UV rays.

 

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pool vacuum

How To Properly Vacuum Your Pool

Pool season is here and one of the most common mistakes we hear involve pool maintenance.  Neglecting pool maintenance can mean time and money spent trying to make the pool usable again.  Many people hire a professional pool care service, like Smith Pool, to take care of their ongoing pool care needs.  However, you can handle the process yourself.  Here are some quick tips on how to properly vacuum your pool.

  1. Backwash your filter and clean your pump basket.
  2.  Connect the vacuum head to the telepole. Connect one end of the long white vacuum hose to the vacuum head. Place this in the pool opposite the skimmer.
  3. With the filter running, take the other end of the vacuum hose and hold it over the eyeball to fill the entire vacuum hose with water. You will notice the air bubbles coming out of the other end of the hose.
  4. Once all the air is out of the hose, turn your pump off.
  5. Place the vacuum plate (the round flat piece with a nozzle on top) inside the skimmer on top of the skimmer basket. Bring the end of the vacuum hose through the front of the skimmer and put the hose on the nozzle on the vacuum plate in the skimmer.
  6. Turn the pump on and the suction will start. If you do not have suction after a minute or so, go back through the steps making sure that all of the air is out of the vacuum hose.
  7. As you vacuum, your filter will become dirty, and you will begin to lose suction. To regain suction you may need to backwash your filter and clean your pump basket. Do not vacuum while the filter is in the backwash position. Normally, you will vacuum in the filter position.
  8. If you pool is really dirty or algae is growing, vacuum to waste. This will expel the debris out to the yard instead of going into your filter. Then refill pool as needed.

If you’d prefer to let the professionals handle it for you, contact Smith Pools today!

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Pool Products

Pool Services Offered by Smith Pools

A pool is a worthwhile investment… Let us help you keep your investment in tip-top shape!

In-Ground Liner Replacement and Safety Covers

We’ve been offering replacement of in-ground vinyl liners for many years. Our prices are competitive and we ensure the process is easy for each customer. Our Kafco liners are available in many patterns, colors, and thicknesses to suit the varied needs of each customer, and their “Ultra Seam Technology” is changing the pool industry.Unlike seams from other suppliers’ liners, Kafco’s are stronger, and virtually invisible.

When you call, make sure you have the dimensions of your pool, so we can give you a free quote right away. You can also reach us through email.

Safety covers are also our specialty. Imagine a trampoline stretched over your swimming pool; a safety cover works in the same way. Springs are hooked onto anchors mounted into the deck of your pool.They give your backyard a clean look in winter, while ensuring your pool is safely covered.

Top 3 Smith Pool Services

Pool Opening Services

Pool opening is always celebratory, but can be difficult to do alone. We can help ease that process! We remove the safety cover and get your pool equipment ready in a short time.

We offer pool opening services for both above-ground and in-ground pools, for traditional poly-weave or safety covers.

Pool Closing Services

Closing the pool at the end of summer can be bittersweet. Let us help to make it less bitter. We handle everything so you can focus on other important things. Whether you need a new cover or not, we can close your swimming pool appropriately to ensure it’s clear next spring. This service is also available for both in-ground and above-ground pools. We pull the safety cover across the pool, secure it in place, and winterize it.We also blow out the lines on in-ground pools to protect the pipes from freezing. Seasonal weather changes determine when you should close your pool each year.

Clean Up and Repairs

Smith Pool also offers equipment repair services such as replacing pool motors and changing your sand filters. Our services are reliable, and offered by professional pool technicians. We’re also always available to help with pool-related issues you might be experiencing throughout the course of the swim season.

Call us–we can transform your pool from green to clean in far less time than it would take you alone. We also offer vacuuming, leaf removal, or liner brushing services; these helpful services are just a phone call away. With our expert swimming pool services, we can help you take care of your pool with ease. Our pool water treatments, cleaning equipment, and service technicians are top-notch.

Contact us to find out more information about our pool services near you.

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swimming pool maintenance

How to Maintain Your Swimming Pool All Year Long

A swimming pool comes in handy when there’s need to cool your body on a hot summer afternoon or exercise to burn some calories. For those in swimming sports, having a swimming pool at their homes presents a good opportunity to practice regularly. All this will not possible if one has a swimming pool that is neglected. There are professionals out there giving Swimming Pool Maintenance services at a fee. Pool professionals come to help as the pool needs detailed maintenance and attention which the owner can fail to provide. Those that are hands-on persons and would love to do the maintenance on their own, the following tips will be of help.

Check on the Pool’s Water Needs

Your swimming pool water PH levels should be maintained in a way that the water is able to neutralize the acidity. Water has a neutral PH of 7 and your water pool should not be far way below or high the neutral level.
Chlorine and calcium levels should be maintained to ensure the water is disinfected and not corrosive. Cyanuric acid is also important as it prevents damaging of chlorine by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The timings of the tests should also be checked for the pool water to remain clean, safe and healthy.

Test the Swimming Pools Water

There are strips that can be bought to help in checking the condition of the swimming pools water. Alkaline, chlorine, pH, and cyanuric acid levels can all be checked by dipping the specific strips in the water.
The strips should be dipped at the area segmented from the skimmer area and it should sit 46cm into the water for approximately 10 seconds. Color readings should be checked against the sample on the packaging and in case there is a mismatch, the water should be adjusted with the necessary components to match the sample.

Pool Chemical Application

Your swimming pool will need chlorine, shocking products, and algaecide to remain safe for the swimmer. Chlorine disinfects the water while shocking products keep the pool water clear and free from eye irritation.
Algaecide gets rid of all algae and plants that can make your swimming pool their habitation. There are rules to be followed when applying the chemicals as one need to be sure of their safety.

Maintain the Filters

The pool should be clean at all the times and picking of debris manually is one way of maintaining a clean water surface. The pools water level should always be maintained ½ way or 1/3 way up. The water level should neither be too high or too low to maintain the skimmer. The swimming pool water should be refilled before vacuuming or backwashing to retain the water levels. The filters should be maintained clean as they are necessary tools in Swimming Pool Maintenance

Conclusion

Your pool should be well maintained to keep it attractive and welcoming to swimmers.  If you are interested in professional pool maintenance service, give Smith Pools a call today!

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