Spring is just about over and summer is already breathing hot air down our backs. If you’re like me, you’re already dreaming of jumping into cool, refreshing waters. But there’s one problem…the pool’s not as ready as I am for that dream to come true.
To get a swimming pool ready to use for the summer you can always hire a pool service specialist or save some money and take more pride in your pool by doing it yourself. This article is for the do-it-yourself-ers. Follow the steps below to prepare your pool for splashing good times.
- Clean the pool deck area: Don’t even think about removing the pool cover until debris left on the pool deck is swept clean. Not only will this vital step help to keep debris from falling into your swimming pool or puncturing your pool cover, but it also prepares clean areas to work around the pool for the following steps. Use a hose and broom to remove debris.
- Remove and clean the pool cover: Remove the pool cover from the pool and lay it out as much as possible on the pool deck. Use a mild detergent to scrub off any stuck-on dirt, then simply hose off the pool cover till clean. If you are planning on storing your pool cover throughout summer be sure your cover is completely dry before rolling it up for storing. Also be sure the storage area is clean and dry. Damage to pool covers ofter occurs when it is left in a dark damp condition where mildew and rot have free ran to ruin your pool cover before winter.
- Inspect the pool shell: Look for crack in the pool plaster and around the waterline. You can choose to repair minor cracks yourself, but for more severe cracks, call a professional like Adams Pool Specialties to assist you. Also look for cracks, chips, and depressions in the pool deck and pool coping. You may want to get all repairs done simultaneously.
- Reinstall pool equipment: Some people choose to remove pool equipment through the winter seasons. If pool deck equipment, such as ladders, diving boards, and slides, were removed, reinstall them, making sure you reconnect any grounding wires that were attached to metal parts and spray a nut and bolt lubriant on all bolts to prevent them from rusting. If other pool equipment such as skimmer baskets and fittings were removed for the winter, hook up the hoses that run from teh skimmer and return jets that lead to th epump filter. Then, reinsert the skimmer basket.
- Reconnect the pool filter, pump, and heater: If you removed the pool pump, filter and heater (if you have them) for the winter, make sure all the fittings are clean and tight. Replace any parts that may have become damaged.
- Fill up with water: (You’re swimming pool is nearly ready for summer!) Usually some water evaporates into the air while the pool is closed or, in some locations, water is completely drained from the pool before winter to protect the pool shell and pipes from freezing. When it comes to filling the swimming pool back up, allow the water level to reach the middle of the pool tile.
- Pool tile cleaning: A good time to take a closer look at the waterline pool tile is while you’re waiting for the water to fill the pool. Use this opportunity to remove any stains or scale from the pool tile with a household tile cleaner. You’ll be glad you did this step as your pool get back its “like new look”.
- Prepare pool water: If the swimming pool is relatively clear, test for sanitizer residual, pH and alkalinity using convenient all-in-one test strips or test kits. To ensure accurate readings, make sure you are using fresh test strips and reagents by checking the expiration date; avoid using strips and reagents that are more than a year old. Most professionals recommend shocking the pool water upon reopening the swimming pool to kill any bacteria and algae and to burn any organic waste in the water. Use the label instructions on the pool shock you use to determine how much to add. You’ll want to add enough to raise the chlorine level to 3.0 parts per million. If your pool is green with algae, the shock will help, but you may also need to add an algicide, following the package directions.
- Let the pool filter run: Run the pool filter for a good 24 hours or more to clean the water. Vacuum any debris from the bottom of the pool and retest the water. It may take several days of running the pool filter to get the pool clean. Cleaning the filters several times may speed up the sanitation process.
- The most fun step: Jump in and enjoy!