Pool maintenance can be a tedious task without having some cool pool tools. Having the right tool for the job, as my Grandpa used to say, “makes work almost enjoyable!”
And, having a cleaner pool not only makes swimming more enjoyable, it also reduces the amount of pool chemicals needed because organic material makes the water balance fluctuate and uses up a lot of sanitizer. Here are some basic pool tools that will help you have the cleanest, most sparkling pool in town!
Telescopic Pool Pole
The most basic item needed to maintain a clean pool is a telescoping pole. A tele-pole, as they are sometimes called – enables the use of many different products such as vacuum heads, leaf gulpers, and skimmer nets and brushes. A small clip on the attachments, called a Butterfly Clip, snaps into two small holes at the bottom of a pool pole. Most pool poles are aluminum, and the best telescopic pool poles are extendable to make for a longer reach. If you have a large pool, you’ll want to get our 21 ft long, 3 piece tele-pole. For most pools however, our 15 ft tele-pole gets the job done.
A leaf skimmer is the easiest way to remove floating debris – like leaves and dead bugs – off of your pool surface. It is best to skim your pool surface at least once a day, to prevent any debris from falling to the bottom of the pool where it’s harder to remove and could stain your pool surfaces. The Flat Dip-N-Flip type of skim net is my favorite type, but for heavy leaf removal, you will find it easier to use a Leaf Rake, the bag-type skim net. Leaf Rakes are useful for cleaning pool covers, or scooping leaves from the pool floor.
It is especially important that pools be vacuumed on a regular basis to remove debris that stains our pools, consumes our chlorine, and provides food for algae. A functioning pool vacuum set-up consists of three parts – the tele-pole, a vacuum head, and a vacuum hose. The vacuum hose is first filled with water and then attached to either the suction hole inside of the skimmer or to a dedicated vacuum line. The other end of the hose is inserted into the vacuum head.
There are two different types of heads – one for a concrete pool and the other for a vinyl pool. The vacuum head that is used in a concrete pool is weighted and has wheels. The vinyl liner vacuum head utilizes brushes instead of wheels, which may create wheel marks or snag a vinyl liner. All the dirt and debris that is picked up by the vacuum will go directly through your vacuum hose, and into your pump basket and filter.
There are two sizes of vacuum hoses that you will generally see, 1.25″ vac-hose and 1.5″ vac-hose. Commercial pools will often use 2″ vacuum hose. 1.25 inch hose is generally used for small aboveground pools, the 1.5″ diameter may be too large to fit such a small skimmer, but works well for most inground and large aboveground pools.
If you have 2″ skimmer ports and a lot of suction, you can make use of our 2″ commercial grade vac hose, and 2″ vac-heads – when you have a lot of square footage to cover!
Brushing is a very important step in the cleaning process, as it is an excellent way to prevent algae blooms. Brushing the walls and the floor of the pool removes film and dirt that is missed by vacuuming and should be done at least once a week. Small dust and film on your pool may lead to an algae breakout.These pool brushes are versatile and can be used on concrete, fiberglass, or liner pools and easily snaps into a telescoping pole. As a general rule of thumb, brushes with plastic bristles can be used on any type of pool, but stainless brushes should only be used on concrete pools. Brushing the walls and floor of your pool not only improves your pool’s appearance, but it can be a nice workout for the shoulders, arms and chest!
To help clean up leaf litter from nearby trees, try a Leaf Gulper. The Leaf Gulper attaches to a garden hose, and the resulting venturi effect that occurs from the water pressure sucks leaves and debris off the bottom of your pool and into an oversized, reusable bag.
Because the Leaf Gulper functions independently with its own bag, your filter system won’t get clogged up and you’ll be able to dispose of pesky leaves more easily. This product is a must-have when opening the pool if you live if a heavily wooded area because it makes leaf pick up a breeze. Attach the Leaf Gulper to your pool pole for easy maneuverability around the pool floor.
Pool Stain Eraser
A great way to remove stains and scum lines from your pool is to use the Stain Eraser. Similar to a pumice stone but MUCH less abrasive, the stain eraser works in concrete and vinyl pools. It hooks up to a telescopic pole, which makes it easier to get to hard-to-reach places. It can clean such stains as calcium, rust, algae, metal, paint and more.
Once you’ve finished with the elbow grease and your pool is extra sparkly, remember to wash all your cleaning tools with fresh water and store them out of the sun. Chlorine in the pool and the sun’s rays can cause your tools to deteriorate at a much quicker rate, and nobody likes to have to replace their equipment on a constant basis.
The very last step in the cleaning process is to empty your skimmer and pump baskets and either backwash or clean your filter to keep your system from overworking itself. A clean pool is key to preventing many issues that can arise, and a little TLC can even help lower the need to rely on corrective chemicals.
Now that you’ve cleaned your pool, with some cool pool tools, you can kick back and relax in the pool that you’ve just tidied up!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger