Winter will soon release the countryside from bondage and hand it over to warm and gentle spring. Birds will no longer fear to chirp. Flowers will erupt from the soil. Taking a deep breath will no longer sting your internal organs. And best of all, you can resume enjoying your pool!
But don’t begin inflating the unicorn-shaped inner tubes just yet. You’ve got to prepare your pool for the upcoming days of summer fun, but the process is simple enough if you follow this handy guide. You’ll be granting your kids’ requests to watch them do cannonballs in no time!
Maintain the Area Surrounding Your Pool
Before you uncover your pool, take a couple hours to do some much-needed upkeep on the area surrounding it. Sweep away leaves and other debris, and trim any overgrown vegetation while paying extra attention to overhanging branches. Also check to make sure the rails, ladder and safety equipment are all in perfect working order.
Take Stock of Your Pool Chemicals
Pool chemicals keep the water free of dangerous microbes and control its pH and hardness. You don’t want to open your pool before you have all the chemicals you need to keep its water safe and comfortable, so make sure you already have all of the following:
- Stain treatment
- Shock treatment
- Calcium, pH and alkalinity adjusters
You’ll also want to have a good test kit to make sure all your pool water has the correct concentrations of these chemicals. Whichever products you use, make certain they haven’t expired before adding them to your water!
Remove Your Pool Cover
It’s easy to appreciate the job your pool cover does once the snow has subsided. Keep all that debris from sinking into your pool water by vacuuming or brooming it off before removing the cover. Thoroughly clean your pool cover after you have removed it, air it out to dry, and tuck it away somewhere safe from insects and rodents until you need it again in the fall.
Inspect Your Pool
Now that it is uncovered, it’s time to give your pool a proper inspection. Begin by reassembling the filtration system, replacing the directional fittings and lights, emptying and cleaning out the skimmer baskets, and removing any plugs you installed before last winter began. Check the pump, filter, and return lines – if any of their parts have weathered or broken, replacing them will be much easier before you have reopened your pool.
Next inspect your pool’s deck and lining for any chips, dents or other types of damage they may have incurred over the previous year. Large cracks and holes should be professionally mended before you proceed. Finally, give any tile surfaces surrounding your pool a good scrub to remove any scaling that has taken hold.
Restore Your Pool’s Water Level
If your pool’s water line has dropped over the winter, restore it with the aid of your trusty garden hose. Once you have returned your pool to optimal fullness, use your skimmer net to remove any leaves, twigs and other debris that managed to sneak past the cover. This is also a good time to use your algae brush and return your pool vacuum to its rightful place! Once the water is high and clean enough, turn on your pool’s filter and let it run for 24 hours so it can evenly mix the old water with the fresh water you just added.
Test and Adjust Your Pool Water
Now it’s time to analyze your pool water’s pH, alkalinity, chlorine level and calcium hardness. Home test kits provide all the information you need to tend to this step on your own, although you may prefer to leave so important a task to a professional service like Paradise Patio, Pool & Spa. But if you do decide to go it alone, here are the steps you should take to adjust your pool water.
- Balance the alkalinity within a range of 80 to 120 parts per million (ppm). You can raise it with baking soda, or lower it with muriatic acid.
- Balance the pH until it’s as close to 7.4 as possible using the same products you applied to adjust alkalinity.
- Balance the calcium hardness within a range of 150 to 250 ppm. You can raise it with calcium chloride, or lower it by adding more tap water. If your tap water is too hard, you may alternatively reduce your pool water’s calcium hardness with flocculant.
- Finally, shock your pool. If you are using chlorine, then you want to shock your pool water until it has a concentration of 1 to 3 ppm. If your pool water is still cloudy following shock treatment, then you may subsequently add clarifier.
Wait for It
Don’t dive in right away! Even if you add clarifier, it may take up to a week for your pool water to become clear again. You’ll want to use this time to test your pool water daily, as making any necessary adjustments to its chemical concentrations until they adhere to the levels listed above. But all that waiting is going to pay off in the form of big time summer fun!
Do you need pool chemicals, pool equipment, or professional pool maintenance in the greater Sioux Falls, SD area? Contact Paradise Patio, Pool & Spa today! We can even help you if you don’t currently own a pool by installing one in your backyard quickly and for a price you can afford!