When the warm weather arrives, it is time to start spending time outdoors. If you have a swimming pool, you want to make sure that it is ready as soon as possible. There are several ways to prepare your pool so that you can enjoy it all summer long.
Perform Heater Maintenance
Even on cooler summer days, there is no reason that you cannot dive in and enjoy a swim. If you do not have a heater yet, check out this list of best pool heat pumps.
If you already have the best electric pool heater for your needs, read the owner’s manual to see the type of pre-summer maintenance you need to perform before opening your pool. This will ensure that your heater is working efficiently all throughout the summer.
The Pool Cover
If there is any water on the pool cover, the first step is to drain it. You can use a drain hose if you have one. If not, a large squeegee on a long handle works to pull the water from the cover.
After removing excess water, remove the cover. You should clean it using the products that are recommended in the owner’s guide. Once it is dry (you can let it air dry out in the sun), fold it up neatly and store it somewhere safe.
You should store the cover in a place that is not overly moist or humid. It should also be a place where damage will not affect the cover.
Clean the Pool
Start this process by consulting your owner’s manual to see which cleaning products are recommended for your pool. Some pools have a vacuum feature that let you remove debris.
It is imperative that the pool is as clean as possible. If it is full of water, you might consider draining at least half of it to make the cleaning process easier.
This process typically involves scrubbing the pool walls and floor. Make sure that you use a brush that is not too abrasive.
Fill the Pool
Most pools require that you empty them at least partially before closing them for the fall and winter seasons. Once you complete the cleaning process, you want to fill your pool to the fill line.
How long this takes will depend on the size of your pool and the force of the water going into it. If you have to add a lot of water, you might consider starting the filling process early in the morning so that it is completed by the end of the day.
Never fill your pool past the fill line. If you have an above ground pool, too much water could cause damage to the pool’s structure.
Test Pool Chemistry
If the balance of chemicals is not right, this can cause issues for your pool and the health of the people who swim in it. This is where testing your pool’s chemistry comes in.
There are kits that you can use to test the chemistry of your pool water. These come with instructions so that you know what the different colors mean.
It is imperative that you use the testing kits exactly per the directions or else you can get an inaccurate result. You must test the pool water chemistry before anyone gets in to make sure that the water is safe.
Add the Proper Chemicals
After you complete your pool water chemistry test, you will know which chemicals you need to add to your water to ensure that the water is balanced. The following are common chemicals that people use in pool water:
• pH Increaser
• Alkalinity Increaser
• Metal sequestrant
• pH Decreaser
• Calcium hardness increaser
• Water clarifier
You typically do not have to use all of these chemicals at once. The ones you need to add and the amounts of each are dependent on the results of your water chemistry test.
Prepare the Chutes and Ladders
Make sure that you clean these chutes and ladders before you put them into your pool. Only use cleaners that are approved in the owner’s manual.
After you clean these items, make sure that you rinse and dry them thoroughly. You do not want to introduce any cleaning chemicals from these items into your pool water.
Look at the bolts, nuts, and screws that you will use to secure the chutes and ladders to your pool. If any of them are rusty, you should replace them before using them. You can also grease any hinges and lubricate bolts at this time.
Get Your Pump and Filter Going
Check out your owner’s manual to see the exact steps that you need to take to get your pool pump and filter up and running. It is important to follow the manual exactly to prevent accidentally damaging these components.
In general, the following tasks are common:
• Use thread seal tape to reinstall the pump’s drain plugs
• Use pool gasket lubricant on the o-rings
• Replace the o-rings if there are any cracks
• Check the return side valves to ensure that they are operating properly
• Turn on your pump and make sure that you prime it
• Replace or clean the filter if this is necessary
Once your pump and filter are ready, let it run for 24 hours before getting in your pool to ensure that the water is clean.
Ensure Your Safety Elements Are in Place
Check the fencing and other safety elements of your pool to make sure that they are structurally sound. Before you open your pool officially for the season, make any necessary repairs to these. You should also make sure that there are floating devices and life jackets available for swimmers to use in your pool.
It is best to start preparing your pool about a week before you plan to start using it. This gives you a little time just in case you need to make a repair that will take a little longer than you initially anticipated.