The days are gradually getting longer, sunnier and warmer. The dark, cold, snowy days of winter are gradually turning into spring. Before you know it, it will be summer and time to enjoy your pool.
If you think you can just peel off the winter pool cover and plunge right into your pool, think again. pH levels and alkalinity levels are not correct, equipment has been shut off and not used, and debris has likely gotten into the pool.
While the advent of springs ushers in the excitement of summer, it is also the time to prep your pool for swimming so you can enjoy it as soon as the swimming season comes.
How do you “spring clean” your pool and get it ready for those dog days of summer?
Here are some tips to help you get your pool ready:
Spring Time Pool Cleaning Tips
Remove and clean the pool cover. Use a leaf blower to clear off any water or debris that has gotten onto the pool cover. Lay the pool cover flat on a large area and use a hose, broom and detergent to thoroughly clean the pool cover. Tightly bind it up and store it a covered, dry place for the summer.
Skim the water surface for any debris. Even with a solid pool cover on, leaves and other debris could still get into the pool water. Clean out any debris you see floating on the surface of the water. Later, when you reconnect and turn on all the pumps and filters, and turn on your pool vacuums, you’ll need to clean the debris that has fallen to the bottom of the pool.
Check the status of pool equipment and machinery. Before checking any pool equipment and components, thoroughly clean them.
If you’ve disconnected pumps and filters, connect them and turn them on to see if they work properly. The pump should spike up to 30 psi when it is turned on. If it doesn’t spike in pressure, something may be wrong with the pump. You’ll have to check the filters to clear them of any debris. Look at all the fittings and pipelines to make sure they are free of leaks and blockages. You should also inspect the circuits and fuses and look for exposed wires.
Pools that have electrical components such as lights and heater, should also be checked to see if they are in proper working order.
Scrub the walls. After you clean the pool components, don’t forget to clean the walls, skimmers and surrounding area of the pool. Use a phosphate-free cleanser so as to avoid mixing with the pool water chemicals.
Test the water balance. After not being checked over the winter months, chances are, the pH, calcium and alkalinity levels of the pool water are not balanced. Adjust them accordingly to bring them up to proper levels using a pool water test kit. The alkalinity should be between 80 - 120 ppm, calcium between 180 - 220 ppm, and pH between 7.4 and 7.6.
The pool should only be shocked with chlorine (1 pound per 10,000 gallons) after the pool pump has gone through a filtration cycle of treated pool water (8 hours). If your pool is cloudy after 24 hours, it may be an indication that the water balance is off or that either the pump or filters don’t work correctly.
The chlorine shock usually destroys most algae that would have accumulated along the walls of the pool. If not, you’ll have to use algaecide.
Your pool will be ready for use when the chlorine level drops to 3 ppm.
Don’t wait until summer arrives to prepare your pool for use. Summarizing your pool is quite a process that takes time.