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10 Common Pool Maintenance Mistakes

Guy On Pink Pool Floats

Maintaining a pool is a daunting but rewarding task. We will be listing below 10 common mistakes that pool owners make (sometimes unknowingly) along with solutions for each problem.

1. Not Brushing Your Pool

It is important to vacuum your pool, but it is equally just as important to brush your pool. Your pool needs a good brushing every now and again to prevent scum and algae from building up and ruining your pool. Just like brushing and flossing your teeth, you will need to follow vacuuming your pool with a good brushing.


Focus on hard-to-reach areas with a wide, heavy-duty pool brush. These problem areas include ladders, the waterline, steps and stairs, and lastly any corners or crevices.

2. Ignoring Your pH and Alkalinity Levels

Having a balanced pH is critical for your pool’s health. If you have a low pH then your water will become overly acidic, while too high of a pH will affect your alkalinity. Water with low pH can corrode or dissolve metals and other substances which can be harmful not only for your pool but for your equipment as well. A high pH will cause skin rashes, cloudy water, and scaling on pool equipment.


Balancing your pool’s chemistry is key. To keep your pH stable you must balance acidity and alkalinity. Testing your pool water regularly will help you catch any issues early on. You can adjust your pool’s pH level with different chemicals such as an alkalinity increaser and a pH increaser.

3. Backwashing Your Pool Filter Too Often

Backwashing is the act of cleaning your filter and carrying dirty water out of the waste line. This is an important part of caring for your pool but if you overdo it. Of course, you want your pool’s surface to be clean but you don’t want to do more harm than good.


The average baseline for optimal performance of a filter tank should read between 10-15 psi. If it is any higher then it’s time to get rid of the debris. The filter will actually function better with a bit of gunk in it since it can grab smaller particles. However, going over your baseline will continue to raise the pressure which makes any of the positives of the filter disappear.

4. Neglecting To Test Pool Water

Testing your pool comes hand in hand with owning a pool. To prevent any issues from arising testing your pool’s water weekly should become a core piece of your ritual. Skipping it once won’t harm your pool too much but if you go on a long vacation don’t be surprised if you come back to a not-so-clear pool.


If you are a new pool owner you may want to test your pool more than once per week. You can use a liquid test kit or test strips. Keep your guests and pool safe by checking the primary levels of the following: alkalinity, pH, chlorine, calcium hardness, salt levels, iron, and copper.

5. Running the Pool Filter Fewer Than Eight Hours a Day

If you do not run your pool filter then it becomes pretty much useless. The more you run your filter the less you will have to try to scoop out of your pool later on. Leaving your pool’s filter off for prolonged periods of time will cause more gunk and debris to infiltrate your pool.


Be sure to turn on your pool filter and pump for at least eight hours a day for the most optimal progress. The larger the pool however the longer you may have to run your filtering system. Your filter needs ample time for all the water to pass through the filter to keep your pool clear and eight hours is the minimum amount of time it should be pumping.

6. Adding Shock Directly into Your Pool

Pool shock is mainly concentrated chlorine, if you pour this directly into your pool it could cause extreme bleaching to your liner or any object that enters the water. Adding it directly into the water does not allow the proper amount of time to dissolve. It may sink to the bottom of your pool eroding your liner since the granules of chlorine will seep into it. High chlorine concentration has the ability to change the color of your clothing, such as turning white clothes yellow or black clothes pink.


The best way to avoid this is to pre dissolve your pool shock in a separate container creating a slurry. There are many precautions that you should take when creating this slurry. Always fill the container with water before adding chemicals, if you do this step in the opposite order it could result in splashback, toxic gas, or even a possible explosion. Wear protective eyewear, chemical-resistant gloves, and a chemical mask.

7. Wearing Non-Swimsuits in the Pool

We all have forgotten our swimsuits at one time or another and still wanted to take a dip in the pool with your friends. Making this decision once won’t ruin your pool but we recommend not rocking your streetwear in the pool for long or multiple periods. Wearing your outfits for the day in the pool can flood it with all sorts of contaminants, plus the chemicals in your water could ruin your clothes.


Wear swimsuits while you’re swimming to avoid compromising your water and the color of your clothes.

8. Not Winterizing Your Pool Before Closing for the Season

Maintaining your pool for the winter season is just as important as during the summer. It’s critical to balance your water’s chemistry all year round, while the pool is closed algae threatens to accumulate in your water. Not covering your pool or adding the proper chemicals will cause you to invest more time and money in your pool when the spring rolls around.


During the closing process add algaecide to control algae growth throughout the winter season. You can also add a metal sequestrant to prevent metal staining and enzymes to protect your pool from scum and organic staining.

9. Not Cleaning Your Pool’s Filter

As we’ve mentioned cleaning and maintaining your pool are two important aspects of being a pool owner. If you don’t clean your pool filter it could cause your equipment to break down faster. The filter will clog with debris and other contaminants and in turn increases the PSI, which puts more pressure on the pump and causes it to become less effective.


Sand filters catch more when they are slightly dirty, however, they should be replaced every three to six months. The filter cartridge should be changed between six and twenty-four months.

10. Shocking Your Pool in the Daytime

We warned you against adding shock directly into your pool but there are still mistakes that can be made when it comes to shock. Your pool’s chlorine levels should maintain a balance of 1-3 parts per million (ppm). The sun’s radiation can decrease the ppm every hour, making it nearly ineffective as the day passes.


Shocking your pool after all your guests have left for the day is the best course of action. This way you give the shock enough time to do its magic without any friends or family entering the pool until the next day.

Greg The Pool Guy General Maintenance