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Keeping Your Pool Clean

Even with all of the automatic-cleaning equipment available today, there is still no substitute for manual-cleaning equipment and some elbow grease. It permits you to get into nooks and crannies that are off limits to automatic cleaning equipment. Bagging leaves and brushing the surface will prevent staining, keep the surface smooth, and give your pool or spa that extra bit of sparkle.

Basic manual-cleaning equipment consists of a wall and floor brush with short nylon bristles and a net for scooping leaves or other debris from the water.

If your pool or spa is made of fiberglass or has a vinyl liner, and it isn't surrounded by lots of trees, these are the only tools that you will likely need. If, on the other hand, your pool or spa has a plaster finish, you may find it useful to have a stainless steel brush for removing algae, rust stains, and scale. A large leaf net is especially useful for gathering leaves on the surface of the water or at the bottom of the pool or spa. Brushes and nets easily attach to lightweight aluminum telescopic handles that can make getting to the most remote locations a breeze. Manual-cleaning equipment can be purchased from a pool and spa supply store.

The other bit of manual-cleaning equipment is really semi-automatic -- a vacuum cleaner. Like a household vacuum cleaner, the pool vacuum consists of a suction head, hose, wheels, and sometimes a brush. One end of the hose connects to the suction head while the other typically connects to the suction port at the surface skimmer. Like the cleaning brushes and nets, the suction head attaches to an aluminum handle for easy maneuverability. The vacuum is slowly and methodically guided along a pool's walls and bottom. The material that is gathered by the vacuum cleaner is sent directly to the filter. Some models have their own on-board filter bag. A vacuum isn't really needed if you keep your pool covered, regularly bag leaves, sweep the surface and have an automatic pool cleaner. Brushing debris to the floor drain will perform essentially the same function as a vacuum.