How to Keep Your Pool Clean Without a Pump

how to keep your pool clean

Pool pumps, filters, and automated pool vacuums make cleaning your pool easier and more effortless than ever before. Even if you are monitoring your pool’s chemical levels daily and deep-cleaning it weekly, sometimes things go awry. Pipes burst, power does out, storms barrel through—instances like this can leave you without an operational pool pump.

There are many reasons why your pool pump may be out of commission. If this happens, you need to find a way to keep your pool from becoming a cesspool and mosquito trap without the assistance of an automatic pool cleaner. Just because your pool is temporarily unable to maintain itself doesn’t mean you can stop maintaining or enjoying it. In fact, you should continue to maintain your pool so your automated equipment won’t burn out or be ineffective after it’s up and running again. 

With the following tips, your pool will remain a sparkling retreat even when you don’t have a working pump.

Top Four Ways to Keep Your Pool Clean Without a Pump

While you wait for an expert mechanic to repair your pump, you must stay on top of cleaning your pool manually. When you’re imagining a refreshing dip in the pool, you probably aren’t thinking about the possible bacteria that can populate and fester in your water. The fact is that dirty pools can result in recreational water illnesses (RWIs), such as ear infections, diarrhea, rashes, inflammation in the eyes and lungs, and more. 

Here are four ways to stay on top of your pool maintenance while you wait for your pump to be repaired:

Clear Out Diatomaceous Earth

Clearing out obvious debris and dirt is the first step in pool maintenance. Diatomaceous earth (also known as DE) includes dirt, sand, and other debris that can fall into your pool. The build-up of organic materials in your pool can result in algae growth, slimy water texture, and bacteria.

Luckily, there are several ways to stay on top of dirt removal. Pool vacuums are the easiest way to do this. How do pool vacuums work without the assistance of a pool pump? Robotic pool vacuums rely on their own filter and pump. Simply plug the vacuum into an outlet and place the vacuum in the water. It will intuitively track down debris that has settled at the bottom of the pool and filter it out.

You can also use your skimmer and raker to manually collect debris floating on the surface of the water and use a brush to scrub any debris off the side or walls of your pool.

Sanitize Pool Water

When your pool’s pump is down, focus on maintaining safe and sanitary chlorine levels. Typically, you want your chlorine level to be between one and three parts per million (ppm) when the pump is fully operational. When your pump is nonfunctional, you want to keep this level higher, between three and four ppm. This higher level prevents algae and bacteria from developing.

We recommend using fast-dissolving chlorine when your pump is down. Without the pump, it’s difficult for chlorine to spread and dissolve evenly in your pool. Fast-dissolving chlorine assures a more even distribution when you’re in a pinch.

Be Proactive With Algae

If you live in a hot and humid climate, you know algae is a valid concern. You’re probably used to fighting off algae already, but without your pump, you need to get creative to prevent green water and slime. 

How can you remove algae from your pool without your pump? Anti-algae agents are the perfect solution. We recommend using an anti-algae agent that isn’t metal-based (some contain copper agents) to prevent that greenish tint in your water.

Avoid Standing Water

Standing water results in scum, algae, and other unseemly growths. This is why survivalists recommend drinking flowing water sources rather than standing ones. Standing water becomes a magnet for bacteria, making it unsafe to swim in and perfect for RWIs to flourish.

Circulate your water to prevent standing water. If you have electricity, your robotic pool vacuum naturally moves the water. You can also use a submersible pump as a stand-in option while your pool pump gets repaired. 

No power? No problem. Scrubbing with your pool brush against the sides and bottom of your pool will reduce algae and prevent further growth.

Moving Forward

While the methods listed above can help you maintain a sanitary pool in a pinch, they aren’t long-term solutions. Repair or replace your automatic pumps and systems as needed, and manually stay on top of your pool maintenance in the meantime. Allowing too much dirt to collect and algae to form can result in the shorting out of your automatic systems once they’re up and running again.

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