Photo: Remy Saglier
One of the sure signs that summer is right around the corner is the preparation of your pool for the warm weather. As such, there are some issues you must consider when beginning the process of opening your pool, some of which are dictated by the condition the pool was in when it was closed from the previous season.
Following prescribed steps for your pool maintenance is a great way to enjoy your outdoor living activities with friends and family this summer. It will also help preserve your pool, its covers and supplies, and all the materials involved in keeping it in good condition. Here is a suggested plan of attack in preparing your pool this spring and summer:
Most pool owners use a cover to keep debris out during the off-season. However, the winter will often lead to a great deal of water, leaves, sticks and other types of material piling up on the pool cover. Removing the cover is easier when someone lends a hand, as it will often times be weighed down quite a bit by seasonal detritus.
Pools must be kept with an adequate amount of water in it during the off-season, primarily to relieve stress on the walls from outside pressure. However, leaving this stagnant water all winter often leads to a mess waiting for you when you remove the cover. So, draining the pool is essential. To get this done, rent a submersible sump pump from your local home improvement retailer, consulting with them on the size of your pool and the flow rate of the pump settings. Read all instructions of any equipment you buy carefully, and set to work.
With the cover removed, and the water drained, it’s a great time to get into your pool and clean the walls and bottom. This allows for a very surface when it comes time to add fresh water for a new season. A thorough cleaning will help you get off to a great start in making your outdoor living space an attractive and enjoyable location for your most anticipated events this summer.
The standard way to fill a pool is to simply use a hose (or two or three!). However, depending on factors such as water pressure, size of your pool, size of the hose and the amount of time you have to fill, this can take all day, or even multiple days. Also, check with your local water district before you start filling. Some municipalities have a limit on how much water you can use, and may even require a permit for refilling.
Another means of helping you fill your pool quickly may be your local fire department. In some communities, firefighters will come out and open a fire hydrant, and use it with their hoses to fill your pool in exchange for a donation. This will expedite the filling process tremendously, in some cases only taking an hour or so to fill. Of course in other communities, this option isn’t available due to metering restrictions and other concerns. Do some research on what the rules are in your specific area.
The last step before starting up your pool is to prepare your filtration system. You need to make sure it is in good working condition, cleaned properly and ready to go. This means testing your pumps, making sure all the products are added to the recommended levels, such as salt, diatomaceous earth, or chlorine depending on your specific filtering and pumping system.
Water testing requires a kit that tests for pH and acidity balance. Once your have your results, add the recommended and necessary chemicals to your pool to keep it in pristine condition. Achieving a chemical balance in your pool is an important step in making your swimming experience, and maintenance experience, a successful one.
As you can see, there are many issues to consider when preparing your pool for use. Once it’s done properly, it allows for a much more enjoyable swimming experience. Follow the steps above to help you get your pool in great shape for the new season. Taking your time on this project will allow for fun times with friends and family with a beautiful pool setting.
Having fun in your pool this year is more than just having water in it. Taking care of it will ensure safe condition for all who jump in for a swim.