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A pool test kit being used to measure the pH level, chlorine level, alkalinity and stabiliser

Overview

Over winter, a lot of people don't regularly maintain their pool. This can mean it gets filled with leaves and the water isn't sparkling clean. The good news is that you can get your pool back in shape, so that it's ready to swim in. Our easy cleaning instructions tell you what equipment and chemicals you need, how to test your pool water, and how to make sure your sand filter and salt cell are working well.

Steps

1Add chemicals to the pool

The amount of chemicals you need to add to your pool will depend on how clean it is and how regular you have been with maintenance. If the pool isn't very clear, it might need Super Shock to give it a heavy dose of chlorine. After that, it might also need algaecide and stabiliser.

The tools and materials for maintaining a pool, including pool vacuum and hose, algaecide, pool broom, stabiliser, shock chlorine, a pool scoop, testing kit and broom handle

2Clean the pool

After adding the chemicals, use the scoop to remove all the leaves you can from the pool. Use the brush to scrub the sides and the bottom of the pool. Regular brushing prevents algae, removes dirt and keeps the pool surface smooth. Have the pump running when you brush, so that the debris will be pulled into the filter, and removed from the water. As a final step, vacuum the pool to remove any remaining leaves and debris.
The head of a pool vacuum on white pavers

3Check the pool pump

Your pool pump, sand filter and salt water chlorinator need to be working well, so the rest of your pool can run properly. Check the pump is in good working order and water is flowing through the filter. Check the pressure on the sand filter. If it's high and the water flow coming out of the pool jets is low, it might need backwashing. If the salt chlorinator is covered in white scale, clean it in a hydrochloric acid mix.

A pool pump sitting in a purpose built enclosure

4Empty out your skimmer box

Your skimmer box is designed to collect floating debris as well as connect to your pool hose. Make sure you empty it out regularly so the water flows freely through to the filter.

A cleaned out pool skimmer box

5Test your pool water

There are several different kinds of pool test kits you can use to test the level of chemicals in your pool. Always test your pool chemical levels after backwashing the filter. Follow the instructions on the kits to conduct the tests and add the recommended amount of acid or chlorine.

A pool test kit being used to measure the pH level, chlorine level, alkalinity and stabiliser

6Test your salt level

Standard pool test kits won't tell you how much salt is in your pool. After winter and heavy rain, you want to make sure it's at the right level before you go swimming. Use the salt test strip kit to check your salt levels. Follow the instructions on the kit and if needed, add as many bags of salt recommended for your size of pool.

Testing the salt content of a pool using a salt test strip kit

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.