Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content

Matt Gohlke: Maintenance key to pools

School is out for the summer. That means kids get to enjoy the breathtaking feeling of freedom unlike any other. There is nothing in adulthood that can compare with the feeling of freedom that kids have when walking (or running) out of school on the last day.

Some consider the beginning of summer as Memorial Day weekend, while others realize that season does not officially start until the summer solstice (June 21). But as for me, I have always considered summer to begin when the kids get out of school.

There are so many things that kids look forward to as summer begins — spending time with family and friends, camps, Six Flags, Texas Rangers baseball, vacations, not having to wake up as early … the list goes on and on.

Another thing that many kids and adults look forward to in the summer is the enjoyment of spending time in a swimming pool. One of the keys of having the time to enjoy a pool is having a preventive maintenance plan in place that allows you to swim in clean, clear, safe water.

Although many pool companies offer a pool cleaning service, some of us opt to care for our own pool. As with any type of maintenance, regularity is the key to success in pool care. Following is a checklist of recommended weekly tasks to ensure that your pool stays in excellent shape this summer.

Check the water level of the pool and add water as necessary.

Test the water for chlorine, pH and total alkalinity. Other tests (such as calcium hardness, cyanuric acid and salt levels) are also done as needed and can be provided by pool supply companies.

Skim leaves and debris with a leaf skimmer or leaf rake.

Clean out the skimmer baskets.

Clean the tile.

Brush the walls, steps and benches.

Clean the pool using a vacuum or leaf bagger.

Clean out the pump basket.

Backwash or clean the filter.

Add chemicals as necessary.

Rinse off the coping and the deck.

Visually inspect the pool equipment area for leaks.

In addition to these cleaning procedures, be sure to visually inspect and tighten bolts on the pool equipment — including diving boards, pool ladders and filtration equipment. It will also be necessary to lube O-rings occasionally. This will eliminate any problems before they become too serious.

Following a checklist like this on a regular basis will ensure that your pool will be a source of relaxation and enjoyment this summer and not a burden. Enjoy your summer!

MATT GOHLKE owns Gohlke Pools, which has earned national awards, certifications and recognition in the pool industry. He can be reached at 940-387-7521 or .