Apart from the routine of cleaning, checking water quality and adding chemicals there are long term jobs that need to be done to maintain that desirable water sparkle in your pool.
The grouting in our pool has become stained, especially in the curves between the walls and the floor. Along with that, the grouting has also come loose in places - possibly because I allowed the ph to drop to 6.8 for a period a year or so ago. The answer is to drain the pool, acid wash the grouting and have it re-grouted. That is a job for late autumn – not now!
What we have had done though is a sand change in the filter.
Each time you backwash the filter, you lose sand. After time, you have to top the filter up with more but eventually it all has to be replaced. That is because the sand wears against itself and becomes rounded instead of sharp. At that stage it will not trap dirt passing through the filter. As you clean the bottom of the pool you can see the dirt coming back in through the jets. Instead of giving you a nice clean pool, your cleaning sessions simply turn the water grey.
Changing the sand is a bit of a job because you need to clean out all of it and the only way is to scoop it out from the top. Then you need to take the filter out of the pump housing and give it a thorough clean with a hose pipe. Finally you re-install it and fill it up with new sand – course stuff at the bottom and finer sand at the top. In our case 100kgs of the stuff.
In order to try and avoid this job in years to come, we’ve had our filter filled with glass instead of sand – coarse grade at the bottom and finer stuff at the top. They say that glass should last for the life of the pool because it won’t break down like sand. The truth is that it is too soon for anyone to say for sure but the theory sounds convincing. The filter will need a top up in a few years because the fine glass will be removed by backwashing.