Looking for a pool maintenance checklist?
Below is our recommended maintenance schedule for staying on top of your pool care routine, including everything from cleaning to chemistry on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis.
Tasks marked with an asterisk (*) are conditional. Check the descriptions for details on when to apply these tasks to your pool care schedule.
Daily Pool Maintenance Tasks
The following tasks should be performed every day:
- Skim the pool. Use a skimmer to collect leaves, insects, and other debris on the surface of the water. This prevents it from sinking to the bottom of the pool or clogging up your filtration system.
- Run the pump. Ensure your pump is running long enough for a full turnover, which is typically 4-8 hours depending on your pump type and size. This will help circulate the pool chemicals and filter the water of any debris.
- Inspect the water. Give your water a glance over to ensure there are no abnormalities. This might include large amounts of debris, a high number of insects, cloudy or murky water, or even visible algae formations.
- Cover the pool. Cover your pool every night to prevent leaves and other debris from getting into the water. This helps to reduce chemical consumption and evaporation, as well as keeping heated pools warmer for longer.
Twice-Weekly Pool Maintenance Tasks
The following tasks should be performed twice per week:
- Brush the pool. Brush your pool’s walls, floor, corners, and ladders to dislodge algae and debris and allow your filter system to deal with it. This will also prevent scale, stains, and etching on your pool surfaces.
- Vacuum the pool. Vacuum the floor of the pool after brushing to assist the filter system in picking up loose algae and other debris. You can either do this with a manual pool vacuum or use an automatic pool vacuum.
- Empty the skimmer baskets. Empty your skimmer basket regularly to keep the skimmer working effectively. This will also prevent the lines from clogging up and reduce pressure on your pump/filtration system.
- Check the water level. Check the water level to make sure it sits roughly halfway up the skimmer, as this allows for optimal filtration. Add or drain water from the pool if the water level is too high or too low.
- Test your water chemistry. Use a pool test kit to measure the basic chemistry markers, which include your pH, total alkalinity, and sanitizer levels. If you’re using chlorine or bromine, measure free chlorine or free bromine, respectively.
- Add the required chemicals*. Add chemicals to rebalance (see reference below). Aim for a pH of 7.4-7.6 and a total alkalinity level of 80-120 ppm. Aim for free chlorine or free bromine levels of 2-4 ppm or 3-5ppm, depending on your sanitizer.
- Use soda ash to raise pH and alkalinity together
- Use muriatic acid to lower pH and alkalinity together
- Use aeration to raise pH without raising alkalinity
- Use baking soda to raise alkalinity while minimally raising pH
Weekly Pool Maintenance Tasks
The following tasks should be performed every week:
- Empty the pump basket. Check and empty the pump strainer basket located in the housing assembly. If this fills up too much, it will restrict the flow of water and force the pump to work harder for a full cycle.
- Check the filter gauge. Check the psi reading on your filter gauge to ensure it has a normal reading of 8-15 psi. If it increases by more than 10 psi from your baseline pressure, it means some cleaning is in order (see next point).
- Clean the filter. If your psi is too high (see above point), your sand or D.E filter needs to be backwashed to flush out trapped debris and restore pressure. If you have a cartridge filter, it needs to be hosed down instead.
- Check the pool jets. Check the pool return jets are working at full pressure and angled down at 45 degrees to ensure optimal circulation. Weak pressure from the jets may also indicate an issue in the plumbing lines.
- Clean the pool deck. Hose down and brush your pool deck to keep debris, insects, and stagnant water away from your pool. This should also include your pool coping and the sealant (caulking) that connects the two.
- Shock the pool *. Add shock treatment to the water at night. This will kill algae and bacteria, and will also oxidize combined chlorine (chloramines). You can stretch this task to every two weeks if your pool doesn’t get much use.
Monthly Pool Maintenance Tasks
The following tasks should be performed every month:
- Inspect the pump. Check the pool pump for any irregularities such as leaking or strange humming noises. This can point to debris in the motor or impeller, loose or damaged fittings, or even cracks in the unit itself.
- Inspect the surfaces *. If you have a concrete pool with a plaster, aggregate, or tile finish, carefully inspect the pool surfaces for cracks and immediately repair any compromised areas.
- Inspect the liner *. If you have a vinyl pool, carefully inspect the liner for damage such as holes or tears, and patch them immediately to avoid further damage. While you’re at it, check for any wrinkles that may have developed.
- Test for high metals. Have your local pool store test for high copper and iron levels, in which case you may need to drain and refill. High metal content can disrupt your pool chemistry, stain your vinyl liner, and even discolor your water.
- Test and adjust salinity *. If you have a saltwater pool, test and adjust the salinity in your water using a suitable test kit. Aim for 2700-3400 ppm (ideally 3200 ppm) to ensure your saltwater generator has enough to work with.
- Test and adjust calcium hardness. Test your calcium hardness level to ensure it sits within a safe range for your pool surface. This should be between 200-400 ppm for most pools with around 300 ppm being the sweet spot. Adjust if needed.
- Test and adjust stabilizer *. If you’re using chlorine to sanitize your outdoor pool, test your cyanuric acid (stabilizer) level. It should ideally be within 30-50 ppm, and never above 100 ppm. Add more cyanuric acid or drain as needed.
Annual Pool Maintenance Tasks
The following tasks should be performed every year:
- Deep clean the filter *. Soak your filter in an appropriate cleaning solution to break down stubborn debris. This process varies slightly depending on the type of filter you have, and cartridge filters may even need replacing.
- Check the fittings. Clean the o-rings and connections in your pump, filter, and any other components, and ensure everything is tightened securely. Replace parts as needed and always apply suitable lubricant to new o-rings.
- Check bolts and screws. Test the stability of all handrails, slides, and diving boards by pushing and pulling on them while standing in or out of the pool. Any loose fixtures should have their bolts and screws tightened.
- Clean all fixtures and accessories. Clean all pool accessories and fixtures such as ladders, handrails, floats, slides, and diving boards using suitable cleaning chemicals, ensuring no cleaning chemicals find their way into the pool water.
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