Cleaning your pool every day can seem like too much of a chore to keep up with, but there are several very good reasons for doing so.
Here are 5 reasons why swimming pools should be cleaned daily:
- Your drains can become clogged.
- Algae can grow in your pool.
- Bacteria can build up in the water.
- The water’s pH can get out of balance.
- Debris can block your filter.
This article will detail the reasons why cleaning your pool every day is so important and explain all of the negative consequences that can develop if you leave your pool dirty or unmaintained.
Why Do Swimming Pools Need To Be Cleaned Daily?
Swimming pools need to be cleaned daily because they can quickly become too dirty to swim in safely. Doing so will remove algae or harmful bacteria, keeping the swimming pools clean enough for swimming.
- Removing debris that can clog your filter or drains.
- Removing or killing algae.
- Balancing the pH.
- Ensuring that you have enough biocide in the water to stop the growth of harmful bacteria.
These steps are important to take before you take a dive into your pool, or else you could end up with serious health problems or a short-lived pool with a broken motor. Now let’s discuss further why swimming pools should be cleaned every day.
1. Your Drains Can Become Clogged
Drains are susceptible to clogging because they typically sit at the bottom center of the pool, right where debris sinks to if it is not removed. Skimming your pool before the debris has a chance to sink to the bottom is the best way to make sure this doesn’t happen.
If you don’t clean the debris from your pool every day, the drains can easily become clogged, hence putting stress on your motor. If your motor becomes too stressed and breaks, it can take a lot of money to get it back into working order. It’s much better to prevent stress in the first place.
If your drain does become clogged, you have a few options for fixing the problem, and you’ll likely want to employ more than one.
These are the steps you can take to unclog your drain, ranked from the easiest to the most intensive:
- Remove the drain plugs and allow the pool to drain until the water pressure clears the clogged debris.
- Use a pool plunger like the Drain King 186 Unclogs Bathroom Sinks. This plunger is a small investment that effectively removes most clogs.
- Use a pool drain cleaner that you can pour right into the drain, breaking up debris or particles. Just make sure you use the right cleaner for your drains, as one that’s too acidic can do damage.
Know that what appears to be a clogged drain could also be a clogged filter. And because filters are generally easier to clean or replace than a drain, you’ll likely want to check to make sure the filter is clean before you worry about the drain.
2. Algae Can Grow in Your Pool
Algae can quickly take over a pool that’s left untreated and unskimmed, so make sure you take care of your pool every day and watch for signs of green growth on the surface of the water. Water that’s rich with algae will appear cloudy.
While algae is harmless at first, it quickly paves the way for bacterial growth by decreasing the pool’s chlorine levels. Any time you introduce new contaminants into the pool, it decreases the chlorine levels available for cleaning and makes it more likely to develop other contaminants. Your pool can only handle so much.
So, when you have pool parties that involve large numbers of people in the pool, know that the increase in contaminants like dirt and sunscreen entering the water may overwhelm the chlorine. This will increase the buildup of algae and other unwanted particles in the water.
Algae thrive on nitrogen, so be wary when summer storms blow in or when you’re using plant fertilizers near the pool. Summer storms bring in higher temperatures and more nitrogen, which is brought into the pool through the rain.
And, nitrogen-based fertilizers can make their way into the pool if you’re not careful about where you apply them, especially if you have an in-ground pool.
How To Prevent Algae Growth
To prevent algae growth, make sure that your pool filters and circulates effectively, dispersing the water and preventing the stagnance that algae require for growth. Ideally, your water should be filtered for a minimum of 6–8 hours each day.
You can also purchase an algicide or sanitizer like the Pool RX Algaecide Treats from Amazon.com. These are effective for up to 6 months, although they should still be paired with daily cleaning attempts.
If your pool has been taken over by severe algae growth and you’re unsure if it’s safe to swim in, consider calling experts to clean your pool and guarantee that the pool is safe for swimming.
3. Bacteria Can Build Up in the Water
If you don’t clean your pool regularly, bacteria can grow in the water and cause serious health problems for swimmers. Rashes, wound infections, respiratory problems, and eye infections are common problems for people who swim in backyard pools that are not well-maintained.
Common bacteria found in backyard pools include Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus. One study showed that 32% of chlorine-treated private swimming pools have significant growth of E. coli present and 36% have a significant presence of Staphylococcus aureus, largely due to low levels of biocides.
E. coli can cause severe stomach cramping, diarrhea, bloody stool, and vomiting, as well as kidney failure in vulnerable populations like older adults and children. Symptoms often develop 3 to 4 days after exposure but can show themselves as soon as one day or as long as one week after exposure.
If you have persistent or bloody diarrhea, you should contact a doctor immediately.
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that naturally exists on the skin and nose of healthy individuals. But staph infections happen when concentrations of the bacteria become too high.
Often staph infections affect the skin, resulting in boils, a rash, redness, and scaling. It can look like a burn when blisters break, revealing the underlayer of skin.
When staph infections spread through the bloodstream to the joints, lungs, or heart, they can become life-threatening. Usually, you can treat staph infections with antibiotics, but not always.
Early symptoms of an internal staph infection include nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and low blood pressure, as well as high fever, confusion, and muscle aches. Sometimes septic arthritis comes along with a staph infection, causing joint pain and swelling.
If you develop painful, red, irritated skin, pus-filled blisters, or a fever, you should contact a doctor immediately.
4. The Water’s pH Can Get Out of Balance
You need to keep your pool water at a consistent pH to ensure that it’s safe to swim in. When it rains, this can change the pool’s pH and make your added chemicals less effective at cleaning the pool. Make sure that you test the pH regularly so that your pool remains balanced and so you avoid the growth of dangerous bacteria.
You can use an at-home pH testing kit like Vivosun pH and TDS Meter from Amazon.com to quickly and effectively determine if your pool’s pH is in a safe range. This meter gives you an accurate digital reading, which is very helpful for calculating the right amount of additive to put in your pool as a correction.
You’ll also notice physical signs if your pool pH is out of balance for too long. If the pH is too high, you’ll notice calcium carbonate or chalk buildup, which causes scaling and residue buildup. If your pH is too low, you’ll notice corrosion of metal and plastic pool materials. Ideally, you should measure your pH every day to prevent either of these things from happening.
5. Debris Can Block Your Filter
If your filter becomes blocked or clogged, it will no longer be able to function, and your pool will begin accumulating debris. Often, debris sinks and sits at the bottom of the pool, making it difficult to remove.
This includes large debris like sticks and leaves and small debris like sand, sediment, and dust. Where you can skim large debris from the top of the pool, you’ll have a more difficult time removing small debris before it has a chance to reach the filter. Either way, debris will sink to the bottom of the pool if you don’t skim it away within a day or so.
Thankfully, you can use a specialized pool vacuum like the battery-powered, easy-to-use Rechargeable Pool Blaster Catfish from Amazon.com to clean debris that’s sunk to the bottom of the pool. This includes very small debris. This is one of the only ways to remove small debris from your pool before it hits your filter.
You’ll also need to change your filter about every 3–5 years because even when you vacuum and skim your pool, there will inevitably be debris left that’s caught by your filter and can’t be cleaned away. Usually, this job is best left to professionals, but you can change your filter yourself if you’re comfortable with how it works and willing to put in the time.