In the United States, there are over 10 million residential swimming pools. This means people love to swim in the warmer months and use their pools for cooling off and summer entertainment.
If you’re one of the lucky ones with a pool, you need to know a few crucial maintenance steps to get it ready for safe swimming. With spring and summer just around the corner, you want to start early so you can open the pool just in time for some summer fun.
Keep reading to learn all you need to know about pool maintenance and how to prepare your pool for the summer season.
Clean the Debris in and Around the Pool
After a long winter, your pool has probably collected a lot of fallen leaves, branches, and other debris, even if it was covered. The first step is to open your pool by removing the cover. Then, use a pool net to catch the debris and remove it from the water.
While you’re at it, clean the area around the pool as well to prevent debris from falling in the pool again. If needed, cover the pool again until the next step.
Don’t Empty Your Pool
One of the most important things to remember is to keep your swimming pool full. If you empty it completely, it can lift off the ground and destroy its foundation, which for you means a brand new pool installation.
Don’t empty the pool – instead, you’ll filtrate the water with filters and chemicals and top it off some more to make sure it’s clean and safe.
Top Off the Water
During the winter months, your water level in the pool may have gone down a few inches. If needed, top off the water so you have enough for the cleaning and filtrating process.
If you’re not sure you need more water, check the skimmer opening. The water should be somewhere around the middle of the skimmer opening. Then, change the filter so you can run it later on.
Start the Filtration System
The first step to proper pool care is turning on the filtration system. Make sure to remove any plugs before starting. Filtrating the water can take several days until it’s crystal clear and transparent. You need to clean the filters every day until the water is clear. If it’s not clear yet, you can’t swim in the pool.
If your pool has an air valve, open it as well to let all the extra air out before the filtration process. Then, turn on the pumps and let the filters do their thing for at least 6-8 hours. During that time, don’t do anything else with the pool.
Not sure you can handle all of this on your own? Then you should consider hiring a professional pool company to take care of your pool for you.
Make Sure the Water Is Safe To Swim In
One of the most important pool maintenance tips is checking if the water is safe to swim in. The best way to make sure of this is to have it tested. You can either do it yourself by using pool chemistry testing strips or hire a professional to do it for you. You need to check for the pH level, the chlorine level, and its total alkalinity.
The water pH level should be around 7.4 to 7.6 at all times. Anywhere lower or higher is not safe and can lead to contamination. Test the pH level before adding chlorine and then test it again afterward to make sure it stays the same.
Chlorine is a must for cleaning and disinfecting the pool water. Aim for 2.0 to 4.0 ppm. Remember that if the chlorine level is lower you can always add a little more to even it out. But if it’s higher, it’s hard to bring it down. The best solution is to leave the pool uncovered in the sun so the sun rays can lower the chlorine levels.
Total alkalinity in your pool should be 80-120 ppm. This will help you adjust the pH and chlorine levels and make the pool water even safer to use.
All these three factors combined are essential for making sure your pool is safe to use for adults, kids, and pets.
If you live in an area with hard water, you’ll also need to measure the calcium levels, as hard water can eat away the grout from the pool tiles and damage the pool construction. If you have this problem, use calcium chloride to adjust the calcium hardness in the pool.
Shock the Pool
The last step before opening the pool for use is to shock it to remove any remaining dirt, bacteria, or harmful chemicals. Wait until the filtration process has finished and choose the right chemicals for the shocking process.
Shocking a pool has nothing to do with electricity but rather with chemicals that’ll make the water even safer for the swimmers. You can do this with free chlorine, dichlor, calcium hypochlorite, and lithium hypochlorite. After opening the pool, you should shock it at least once a week, depending on the frequency of use and the number of swimmers.
To make sure there’s no remaining debris or bacteria, run the filtration system overnight before officially opening the pool for swimming.
Do Weekly Pool Maintenance
After you start using the pool, you should still do weekly maintenance tasks to make sure the water is clean and safe. Check the pH and chlorine levels daily and clean any debris as soon as you notice it.
Check Off These Pool Maintenance Tasks Before Summer Rolls Around
Whether you have a big or small pool, before you open it for the season, you need to do some maintenance. From cleaning and disinfecting to making sure it’s safe for everyone, keeping up with these tasks can be time-consuming and arduous.
If you’d rather spend more time with your family enjoying the pool together, hand over the pool maintenance to the professionals. Reach out to us today to learn more about the pool services we offer and someone from our team will get back to you soon.