Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. As the weather warms up, it’s time to start thinking about your swimming pool. If you’ve closed your pool for the winter, you can’t know what shape it’s in until you pull back the cover.
Do you know how to get your pool ready for the summer? If you’ve kept it open, you may think it’s ready to go. However, unless you’ve been keeping up with chemicals and running the pump for eight hours a day, there’s still plenty to do in terms of getting your pool ready for summer. Before you plan a pool party, follow these steps to make sure your pool is up to the task.
If Your Pool is Covered, It’s Time to Liberate It
Make sure that any standing water on your pool cover is drained away without allowing it to flow back into the pool. Sweep the cover before storing it away so that it will be clean and won’t stick or develop an odor over the summer. Store it somewhere away from the elements to prolong its lifespan.
Top Off the Water in the Pool
Hopefully, you know better than to ever empty your swimming pool. Even if you live somewhere very cold, draining your pool is a bad idea unless you need to do structural work, or the pool is in disastrous condition. Draining the pool can cause problems — an empty pool in a high-water table can even lift out of the ground! When you’re getting a swimming pool ready for summer, the most you should have to do to the water is use a hose to add back any water that has been lost over the winter.
Get Your Pump, Filter, and Skimmer Basket Ready
Inspect all of these components to make sure everything is clean and working properly. Skim anything out of the pool that could potentially clog the filter, then begin circulating water through the pool’s filtration system, to remove debris.
Test the Water
Testing your pool water can be done a couple of different ways. You can have your water professionally tested by our Blue Haven service department or test it yourself with an at-home kit. You’ll need to test the pH and sanitizer levels, as well as alkalinity and calcium levels. It’s recommended that you have a professional conduct this analysis the first time you test it each year, and pick up some at-home test strips so that you can maintain it on your own throughout the season.
The reason for the initial appointment with our service department is that they conduct a more complete test and help set your pool up for success and regular maintenance the rest of the year. It’s recommended that you conduct water tests on your pool at least weekly, preferably more often, aiming for these numbers:
- pH: Between 7.2 and 7.6.
- Total alkalinity: Between 80 to 120
- Calcium hardness: 200-400 ppm
- Chlorine levels: Between 1 and 3 ppm (low end if you have an ozonator)
Give it a Shock
Once your pool pump and filter have been running for about 24 hours, shock your pool using one pound of chlorine shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. If the water is green, double that dose. If the water is brown or you can’t see the bottom, triple it. Shocking your pool will get rid of bacteria and help the normal chlorine levels in your pool to function more effectively. Once you open your pool, add chlorine tablets to your auto feeder and refill them weekly.
Note: Pools with a strong chlorine smell need to be shocked. Chlorine produces that smell when combined with ammonia, so the strong smell means the chlorine is not sanitizing the water. Shocking the pool will resolve most pool water issues, such as algae and bacteria, and it will get rid of that chlorine smell.
Start the Season Right with a Thorough Cleaning
Scrub, vacuum, and skim the pool to get it ready for your friends and family to enjoy. Pick up any pool accessories you may need and have them in place before the season starts. Once your water is crystal clear and your pool chemicals are balanced, you’re ready to jump in!
Keep Up With the Maintenance
If you stay on top of your pool cleaning and chemicals all year, you won’t have as much to do when the time comes to get your pool ready for summer. During the warm season, consider a solar pool cover to warm the water and keep leaves and debris from falling in the pool overnight.
When you’re getting your pool ready for the summer, Blue Haven Pools and Spas has got you covered, no matter what kind of pool you have. In addition to essential pool cleaning supplies, we also offer general pool services and repairs on Blue Haven constructed pools. With over 30 years of experience, we’ve got the knowledge and experience necessary to help you pick the best products and equipment to meet your needs. Send us a message, give us a call at 405-817-1946, or drop by and see us at our Blue Haven location in Edmond!