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Cooling off in your very own swimming pool is a delightful way to fight the intense summer heat. Proper maintenance of a swimming pool is simple and will keep water a safe, clear, inviting aqua blue all summer. You can also simplify the beginning of each swimming season by using the correct actions when you close you pool each fall. If your swimming pool is new you should begin by having a pool dealer analyze a quart water that has been taken about 18 inches below the surface when you fill your pool for the first time. Then he can recommend the initial stabilizing treatment, as well as the long term stabilizing treatment that is needed to keep your pool water chemically balanced and stabilized. This should be done, even if your pool is not new, at the beginning of each swimming season or at any time when water problems are occurring.

To sanitize the pool water you should use a stabilized organic chlorine. Solid pellets that are continuously fed into the water from a dispenser is the most effective type of chlorine. If you have decided to use powdered chlorine it will need to be added by hand every day or two to keep the pool water balanced. You should always keep a chlorine and pH test kit on hand and test the water daily for the first two weeks after filling your pool. These can be purchased from any local pool dealer. After the first two weeks the pool will need to be tested no less than twice a week. You will want to maintain a chlorinated residual level of 1 to 2 parts per per million and a pH of 7.4 to 7.6. The pH balance of your pool is very important since an incorrect pH will reduce the chlorine's efficiency and damage the liner or sides of your pool. Every two weeks you should super chlorinate your pool to neutralize the organic waste. This should be done in the evening when possible. To do this you will need to add a commercial oxidizer or you can add 5 to 10 times the normal daily dose of powdered chlorine and then run the pump on your pool overnight. The parts per million level should be 10. Do not allow anyone in the pool for 12 hours and then add an algae inhibitor to the pool every two weeks during the morning after the oxidizing treatment. Filter out sand, dirt and other solids from your pool by running your pump for as long as it takes to clarify the water. Be sure to check your pressure gauge daily and if the pressure exceeds the recommended level back flush your filter using the instructions provided by your pool manufacturer.

To keep your pool clean have everyone shower before going in and do not allow food or drinks near or in the pool. Use a leaf net to keep the surface clean and brush down the liner or sides once a week. Clean the skimmer basket once a week if you have a lot of pool traffic and every two weeks if your pool traffic is light. When you do this have the pump off then remove and clean both the hair and lint filters. When the swimming season ends you should treat the water in your pool with a winterizing kit and then clean the pool thoroughly. Back flush the filter and drain the pool to around four inches below the skimmer. Next drain all the water from the filter and pump. Then cover the pool with a pool cover. If your filter and pump are removable, as in the case of a vinyl above ground pool, you should bring them inside for the winter months. If your pool has nicks or scratches in the liner or sides these should be repaired prior to covering the pool.