The cleanliness of your swimming pool should be at the top of every operator’s list of priorities. After all, a facility’s reputation depends on it. So what are the essential steps to keep a pool in perfect condition all year round? What are the essentials of swimming pool cleaning and how can pool maintenance be optimized?
This concise guide covers:
- Key aspects of swimming pool cleaning;
- The various pool areas and solutions for keeping them clean;
- How to clean and maintain stainless steel.
Whether a swimming pool is in a leisure center, a sports facility, or a hotel or resort, the routine maintenance, and cleaning of the pool will be a priority. Keeping the pool in spotless condition provides a comfortable and safe environment for potential users to relax or practice aquatic activities, while also contributing to the facility’s reputation. So, pool maintenance and cleaning it’s a key element for any public pool business performance, as it will keep the facility open and always ready.
Regardless of the type of pool, what constitutes cleanliness is determined by the same set of factors: the hygiene of the components, the accessories, and of course, the water. As far as the water is concerned, a range of water quality parameters also needs to be evaluated, including elements such as the pH, which should be maintained between 7.2 and 7.6.
Beyond the obvious benefits of maintaining a clean swimming pool, this prevents cloudy water and can help extend the life of components and pool accessories. This includes, but is not limited to, filtration pumps, disinfection systems, heat pumps, dehumidifiers, etc. Pool cleaning it’s directly connected to water treatment systems performance, as one affects the other.
Finally, keeping a pool clean will have a positive impact on sustainability, energy use, costs and profit. If all component parts of the pool are kept clean and the water is in perfect condition, operators can reduce their spending on disinfection products. They can also avoid peak energy consumption associated with doing shock treatments on neglected pools.
Swimming pool cleaning needs to be split up into different stages, isolating parts to address their individual cleaning requirements. These are the pool vessel, accessories, and the hydraulic system and equipment. Please note that this does not include the actual water, of course, which is treated separately.
Pool vessel cleaning
The pool vessel refers to the entirety of the basin, including the walls and floor. It is one of the most important parts of swimming pool cleaning and maintenance.
Automatic robot cleaners are an excellent solution for daily cleaning, sweeping the swimming pool basin without any additional effort. However, there might be small areas beyond their reach, especially between the end of the wall and the pool’s coping and corners in the case of some concrete pools. For these smaller, harder-to-reach sections, special disinfection products are more efficient. They can be applied with brushes and high-pressure descalers, at least twice weekly.
Panel pools with PVC liners are even easier and faster to clean, as there are no joints or small areas that can be difficult to access. They need a lot less manual cleaning and maintenance. If you encounter organic stains on these surfaces, the best products for cleaning PVC liners are so-called “magic erasers” (lightly rubbed on the surface of the liner) and white clay stones (in the form of a paste powder that is applied with a sponge or damp cloth).
International, national and regional regulations require that larger swimming pools with lots of users need to be completely emptied once a year to ensure the cleanliness of the water. This also allows the basin to be cleaned carefully. Special attention should be paid to the joints between pool panels during this process, although it’s easier to clean than tile pools as there are fewer of them.
There are many elements of a pool that also need to be cleaned carefully: ladders, handrails, the overflow channel, podiums and movable platforms, water jets and waterfalls, showers, lights, ornamental pieces, etc. All these need to be cleaned manually approximately two times per week. The best tools are sponges and disinfecting products adapted to the materials each accessory is made of. The cleaning of stainless steel elements is explained later, since many of these elements can be made of this material. Surfaces that are frequently touched by hands, such as railings, should be cleaned daily.
Pool hydraulic systems and equipment
To optimize water quality, volume and temperature, each pool has hydraulic systems and their associated equipment. They also need to be cleaned and maintained periodically for best performance and efficiency.
Whether you maintain all your water parameters manually (with a photometer for example) or use smart devices such as automated chlorinators, each of these pieces of equipment needs to be checked and cleaned as per its specific instructions. Maintenance and cleaning of each hydraulic system will help not only hygiene but also will provide savings and reduce wear and tear of the installations. One excellent option is electrolysis-based systems such as Neolysis.
Another method is the flocculant dosification system, which facilitates the filter’s performance by expanding the size of debris particles. In this way, they are easily trapped by the pool’s water filters. These filters must be set in a backwashing mode in order to clean the possible remaining particles placed at the bottom of the filter tank, this must be done approximately once a week or when the pump pressure indicator alerts us. With a nozzle plate collector filter this process uses more air and reduces water consumption.
Thanks to its lightweight and sustainable characteristics, stainless steel pools are an excellent option for many construction projects. Stainless steel is a much more hygienic material than most, requiring less maintenance and chemical products overall. It can be easily cleaned with high-pressure sprays containing specific disinfectant products.
As it seals water better than other materials, the pool will have a longer usable life. Then, at the end of its life, stainless steel is 100% recyclable. Therefore, stainless steel is a sustainable choice for swimming pool operators.
To ensure that stainless steel pools or accessories do not corrode or rust, here are some top cleaning tips. Please note that it is a myth that stainless steel doesn’t rust. To care for it properly you should ensure water pH balance is maintained throughout the operating season.
- Use specially designed brushes that don’t scratch the steel;
- Avoid sandpaper, scourers, or harsh chemicals;
- Use a special polish followed by brightener to remove rust stains and calcium buildup;
- Always wipe off and remove accumulated dirt first, then wash with a neutral soap solution with tap water; rinse with clean water and dry with a cloth.
Stainless steel pools and accessories (stairs, railings, cascades, skimmers, water jets, filters, grills, lighting elements, etc) need to be cleaned once a week at first. Operators can then assess how long should be left between cleans, optimizing the intervals between maintenance work. When not in use, it’s best to remove those accessories that can degrade, clean them, and store them until the next bathing season.
Swimming pool cleaning isn’t just important for the comfort and safety of your end-users. It is also an essential contributing factor to reducing costs, optimizing energy use, and better sustainability credentials overall. Using the right products in the right quantities and ensuring that each part of the pool is treated according to its specific requirements will ensure that your pool can function at its best for longer periods of time.