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Your Go-To Pool Checkup Checklist

Take it from us; if your swimming pool care isn't complicated and unending, then you're not doing it right. As all the best swimming pool service providers will tell you, there are many facets to a safe and secure pool. Even the most comprehensive routine will go right back to square one with some rain.

Fortunately for residents of California (at least the pool owners), we have a below-average amount of rainfall. But that doesn't mean that pool companies in Merced have it easy. With so much that can go wrong, there's always plenty to fix or prevent.

Best Pool Pro highly recommends hiring a professional pool cleaner, as explained in this infographic, but if you'd like to take a crack at it, here's what you need to know:

Get Your Pool Test Kits

Pool test kits are the first step to swimming pool services. Once you have the kits and know trustworthy pool companies approve them, make sure to test every week. You'll need tests for the pH and chlorine.


Too little chlorine in the pool means that bacteria may not be killed if it enters the water, which it's guaranteed to in a residential or commercial pool. Your purchased kit should show you the level of "free chlorine" in the water. There may also be tests available that show "total chlorine". However, the former is chlorine that is still reactive to bacteria, while the latter is a combination of active and deactivated (residue from the chlorination process) chlorine.

Since the point of this test is to check if the water is bacteria-proof, only the free chlorine shows that. A good range for free chlorine is 1 to 3 PPM (parts per million). If your results are below, add some chemicals and retest, but if they're higher, reach out to a professional.


A pH test kit will measure the acidity or alkalinity of the water. Ideally, an acidity test will show a neutral result, showing that the water is in between the two. This would be close to pH 7. If your results are below, that means your water is acidic, and if it's above, alkaline.

An imbalanced pH can be damaging to swimmers, but it can also take a toll on the materials it meets. To avoid needing new pool equipment, keep the pH balanced and check on it weekly.

Scrub The Scum

Pool service may seem like it's largely based on making the water safe to swim in, but that's only effective if the walls and floors of the pool are clean too. Over time, you may notice lines on the tiles, or perhaps you'll even feel a build-up on them when you touch them. That's scum.

It collects on the surfaces and is made of any organic waste that may have made it into the water. That includes lotion, oils from our bodies, makeup, and fallen leaves. Since most people tend to swim at surface level, that's where most of the above coming from you will collect— unless you have a penchant for underwater laps.

It's then washed onto the pool walls at surface level. The more frequently you scrub, the easier it'll be to remove, as scum hardens with time.

Shock When Necessary

This one may be best left to a pool maintenance service, but the good news is, it's not an every-week thing. You can shock your pool once a year or if something happens that you think may have dirtied the water—extreme weather, for example.

In pool service and repair, shocking acts as a reboot for the pool water. Draining and refilling a pool is an arduous and expensive (not to mention wasteful) task. Especially considering California's ongoing signature drought.

Opinions vary on the best chemicals to use, but swimming pool services should be able to recommend a recipe that works best for your pool type and your area. Once you've got a recipe, you just need to mix a shocking solution, pour it into the pool, and let the pump run. You should see the water clear, and all sediment drop to the bottom. You might need a pool vacuuming afterward, but your water will be clear as day.

Troubleshoot the Equipment

Check the filters, pumps, and valves once a year. Clean them out and disassemble them, looking for anything that might indicate a problem. If your filter takes cartridges, make sure to install fresh ones. This might be the only way to know if you need pool equipment repair.

Also, tighten all the bolts, especially on a pool ladder or steps, and inspect the tiles closely for any damage. Pool repairing includes the pool's infrastructure, and a cracked tile could lead to some very costly visits from your local swimming pool contractors.

Why Is This Important?

All of the above might seem overkill, especially when combined, but that's because there's no glaring red flag for a hazardous pool. Even if your pool isn't used often, stagnant water has its threats, so you're not excused from your outdoor pool maintenance.

Another reason is to ensure you get full use out of your pool.

Best Pro Pool has a team of pool cleaners who go out of their way to know your routine and work around it to ensure you get the best value for your money and your pool. Our affordable monthly pool service packages will push equipment repair as far into the future as possible.

However, if you need a hand from our team, we provide some of the best pool equipment repairs, and our pool services in Merced, CA, come highly recommended by clients. Call us at 209-358-7665, and we'll keep your poolscape swimmer-safe.

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