18 Aug 2012

Brushing Up On Brushing

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Dentists will tell you there are right and wrong techniques when brushing your teeth. You’ll be glad to hear you don’t need to brush your pool after each meal. Pools only need brushing once a week. You’ll get maximum benefit when you brush down your pool if you follow these simple techniques:

Before you start–and this is important–set your drain to pull the maximum amount of flow. You do this by adjusting the diverter valve, located under the skimmer basket. Remove the skimmer basket (now is a good time to clean it) and turn the diverter valve to maximum suction. If you’ve never done this before, wave you hand in the water over the valve. You can tell when it’s maximum. Replace the skimmer basket and skimmer lid.

Most older pools connect their automatic pool cleaners to the diverter valve. If that’s the case, you won’t see a skimmer basket. Instead, disconnect your automatic pool cleaner. You don’t have to remove it from the pool, but if you let its hose connection fall in, it can be hard to get it out from the bottom of the pool. I suggest you carefully loop it up topside or through the skimmer hole on the deck and through the hole in the side of the pool. After disconnecting your automatic cleaner, temporarily install your diverter valve to maximum flow.

The Pool People’s slogan for our brushing technique is “shallow to deep.” But start at the love seat, if your pool has one. Stand behind it brushing  the sides first, then the seat. Gently push the dust over the edge. Take your time as it’s awkward to do with a long pole. Some people buy a short pole and brush, or you can use the same brush on a long or short pole. Switching one brush on two poles feels inconvenient to me. You don’t really need a short pole, but if you buy one you may as well pay the little bit extra for a brush.

Like the love seat, the steps can be awkward to brush with a long pole, so take your time. The corners of the steps are hard to get into with the end of the brush. Do your best and move on. In the summer, when your pool feels refreshing instead of freezing, you can wade on the steps as you brush. Or when it’s hot out, get in with a small hand brush for a more thorough cleaning of the corners.

Now you can start on the sides and bottom of the pool. You can do both at the same time. Use long, steady strokes, shallow to deep. Gathering momentum helps pull the dirt in front of itself. You can watch this action as you brush. Most pool professionals use a 3” bristle brush for maximum effect. We like it because it looks impressive. A 2” brush gets the job done too.

From the steps brush either clock-wise or counter-clockwise around the pool. Go the direction that feels most comfortable to you. When you get back to the love seat you don’t need to brush it a second time.

As you brush, most of the time you’ll see that your pool gets a cloudy. That’s from the fine particles of dust you stirred up. 25% to 40% of these particles will be sucked up through the diverter valve which you set before you started brushing. Reconnect your automatic cleaner after you brush, or the next day is fine. Keep your filter on while brushing. If you don’t have an automatic cleaner, leave it on for the next 24 hours. Then you can return to your regular on-and-off times.


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