Follow these tips to ensure your pool is prepped for swim season!
As we head into summer, homeowners across the country are working through their spring-cleaning checklists to ensure their homes and outdoor spaces are ready for the warm weather months. For pool owners, this means taking extra steps to prepare your swimming pools for a summer of fun and enjoyment.
Before diving into your pool, there are necessary steps every pool owner must take to have a clean and safe pool that is ready to handle an extended swim season.
Identify and repair any leaks
Before refilling your pool, take advantage of the lower water level by inspecting your pool for any cracks or leaks that need repairs. Some leaks can be identified by visual inspection of the surface or tiling, while more minor leaks may require a dye test.
Water Wise Tip: Repairing cracks or leaks will ensure your pool can stand the test of time and prevent water loss. In addition, cracks that go unnoticed can lead to more serious issues that require draining your pool to repair. Because pools rarely need be drained except in the cases of severe structural issues, they can be great water-conscious investments.
Despite using a pool cover, there may still be a fair amount of dirt and debris in your pool at opening time. A simple way to resolve this issue is by giving your pool a thorough scrub down and vacuuming out the debris directly to reduce the strain on the pool filter. Once you have removed any debris from the pool, you should run your filtration system overnight.
Water Wise Tip: You can use the water collected on the pool cover to refill your pool as an additional water saving method. Once filtered, there is no difference between this water and using water from your garden hose to refill.
Remove winterizing plugs and replace drain plugs
If you winterize your pool, you will need to remove the rubber and skimmer plugs used to prevent plumbing damage due to leaks or ice during winter. Once you have removed all winter equipment, put the pool inlets and outlets back in place and reinstall the drain plugs in your pool equipment. If the water level is below the skimmer line, you can add water if necessary to refill the pool.
Water Wise Tip: It is vital to return the water level halfway up your skimmer, but do not fill the pool too high. This can lead to splash out and overflow and is a wasteful water practice.
Test and balance your water to ensure it is healthy and safe
Once your water level is appropriate, it is crucial to test your water chemistry before adding any chemicals. First, you will want to balance the total alkalinity to help bring the other aspects of water chemistry closer to their normal range. Next, you should test pH, chlorine, calcium hardness, and stabilizer levels. This step is a vital component to achieving a safe and clean pool.
Water Wise Tip: Appropriate chemical levels not only provide a safe environment to swim, but also prevent damage to your pool structure and equipment. Unbalanced water can lead to many issues that affect your water conservation efforts.
Check your pool equipment for proper operation
Conduct a maintenance check on your existing pool equipment to identify what tools are working correctly and what needs to be replaced. Replacing aging sand or DE filtering system with a cartridge filter that does not require backwashing helps save water.
Water Wise Tip: Proper maintenance of your pool is one of the most significant ways you can practice water conservation. It’s always good practice to check with a pro and inquire about new technology that conserves water and runs efficiently.
By taking proactive steps now, you are guaranteed to make a seamless transition into pool season. Pool opening and maintenance can be handled easily at home, but when in doubt, call a pool professional and ensure that your pool is prepared for National Pool Opening Day on April 30.