6 Tips to Get Your Pool Ready for Summer
If you’ve been waiting all year to make a big splash in your swimming pool, it’s important to make sure that it’s ready for you. Put the hard work in now, and you’ll be able to enjoy lazy and playful summer days in your pool. But what jobs need to be done?
In this quick guide, we’ll take you through the steps you should take when preparing your pool for the summer to keep your swimmers healthy and your pool working efficiently.
1. Don’t empty your pool
The temptation might be to start the season afresh by emptying your swimming pool to give it a good clean. However, unless you need to do structural work to the pool, this is not the best choice. Draining a pool completely can potentially cause serious problems.
Unless there is a specific reason you need to empty your pool entirely, there is no need to empty your pool. Not only does it take a lot of time to empty it, but also it can cause your water bill to skyrocket and can even cause your pool to come unhinged from the ground due to the weight of the water not being present. For these reasons, unless you have to empty the pool for some other reason, then it’s not worth the risk.
2. Give it a good clean
With the water still in your pool, it’s now time to give it a good clean. With many months without use, neither the pool itself nor the water will be in a great state, but thankfully, that’s easily remedied.
- Use a scoop net or telescopic rod to remove leaves and any large floating debris
- Smaller dirt particles can be taken care of with a manual or automatic pool vacuum cleaner
- Clean the edges of the pool, the cover, and the pool roller shutter to remove all dirt and limescale
- Brush all steps and ladders
3. Make sure your pool is technically ready to go
By now, your pool will be looking a lot more inviting, but you still need to check all of its systems. The best place to start is by backwashing the swimming pool filter to remove any debris. This should be done with the swimming pool pump off. Then, rinse the filter and switch the pump back on to check that it’s working properly.
The next step is to filter the water, which you can do for up to 12 hours a day until it’s completely clean. You should also check the inlets for clogs and clean the collection filters. Finally, turn the heater back on in preparation for your inaugural dip.
4. Check the water quality
Your swimming pool water might look perfectly clean and clear but you need to conduct a much more thorough test than that. The easiest way is to take a sample of your pool water to your local swimming pool store. They’ll usually test it for free and tell you everything you need to know, from total alkalinity and mineral content to chlorine levels and more.
If you’re going to test the water quality yourself, then check the PH value using a test strip. The reading you’re looking for is between 7.2 and 7.6. Any higher or lower than that and you’ll have to add pH Plus and pH Minus as required.
Your chlorine levels should be around 1ppm and 3ppm to prevent bacterial growth. Before you reach for the chlorine tablets, salt pools have very quickly become the cost-effective and easy-to-maintain alternative. They use a process called electrolysis to produce the chlorine that’s needed to keep your pool water crystal clear and bacteria-free. All you need to do is buy a salt chlorinator and add a single teaspoon of salt per gallon of pool water. There’s no salty taste to the water and it removes the harsh smell and the risk of irritation to the skin and eyes that you get with conventionally chlorinated pools.
5. Shock the pool
The final step in preparing your pool is to do something known as shocking the pool, which will remove any remaining contaminants from the water. This process also applies to salt pools. To shock the pool, you need to spatter a chemical such as calcium hypochlorite, dichlorine, or lithium hypochlorite across the pool water. Follow the instructions carefully and always wait for as long as necessary before you start swimming.
Read more about how to shock your pool.
6. Wait for the water to become crystal clear
Once you’ve followed all of these instructions, you’re still not necessarily ready to dive straight in. You should give the chemicals and the filter the time they need to act and achieve the desired balance. Only when the pool water looks beautifully clean and you can see the bottom of the pool clearly should you put your swimsuit on.