Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to get your swimming pool back up and running. Whether you shut your pool down for the winter or enjoyed an unusually warm “cold season” with an occasional dip in the water, now is the time to prepare for around-the-clock use.
1. Get the Water Moving
If you’ve had a pool for a few years, you know that all-too familiar slimy green algae that starts to form at the bottom when the water hasn’t been circulated in months. Well, don’t wait until you want to take a dip in the pool to start cleaning things up. The best thing you can do is get the pool circulating a few weeks before you’re ready to use it.
You don’t have to circulate the water for 12 hours a day like you would during the peak of the summer, but go ahead and turn on the circulating equipment for two or three hours each day. This will get the chemicals moving around, help stabilize the whacked out pH level, and encourage things to return to normal.
You’ll obviously still have to make adjustments when it’s time to actually start using your pool again, but this little head start can accelerate the process once the weather fully cooperates for comfortable swimming.
2. Start Cleaning
Once you’re ready to start using the pool, you’ll need to participate in a little spring cleaning. While everyone has their own routine, here’s one good strategy:
- Clean off the top of your pool cover and then remove it from the pool. Make sure you clean the cover well (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) so that you can maximize use. The last thing you want is to grab your cover at the end of the season and realize that it’s moldy and nasty.
- Grab a nylon brush and start scrubbing the sides and floor of your pool. While you may not see all of the sediment and scum on these surfaces, it’ll become pretty apparent once you start scrubbing. Your water will begin to look less and less enticing – but don’t worry, you’ll take care of that.
- Next, take your pool skimmer and start fishing out any leaves, trash, sticks, and bugs that are floating on the surface.
- Start running your vacuum and put it on the “waste” setting if you have one. This will keep any left over debris from clogging your filters.
If you lost some water as a result of running your vacuum on the “waste” setting, now is a good time to get it back to the proper level. And at this point, the water should be looking pretty clear and inviting. However, it’s not time to dive in quite yet.
3. Balance Chemical Levels
While the water may look great, you have to ensure that the chemical levels are in their appropriate ranges if you want to enjoy safe swimming. And when preparing your pool for warm weather, you’ll want to pay careful attention to pH levels. Over the winter, these pH levels have probably moved well out of the ideal range and you need to rebalance them.
While pH may not sound serious, it’s actually very important. It’s the measure of acidity in the water and scales from 0-14. If the pH is above seven, it’s considered basic. If it’s below seven, it’s known as acid. Low pH can damage the mechanical components of the pool, irritate the eyes, and damage the pool liner. High pH can irritate skin, lead to cloudiness, and cause poorer chlorine disinfection. You ideally want your pool in the 7.2-7.6 range.
Other chemicals to measure and balance include alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine. Once you stabilize these levels for a few days and have clear water, you’re just about ready to open your pool for spring.
4. Perform a Manual Check of Hardware
Since your pool hasn’t been used for a few months, now is a good time to check on all of the various features to ensure they’re in tip-top shape. Inspect handrails, ladders, and the diving board. Are there any cracks, loose screws, or warning signs? If anything needs to be replaced or fixed, now is the time to do so. You don’t want any cuts or skinned knees happening on your watch.
5. Sort Through Toys and Furniture
Now that the pool is ready to go, you should take a little time to sort through pool toys, furniture, and equipment that’s no-doubt crammed in a closet or shed. Clean everything, toss stuff you no longer need, and get organized.
This is also a prime opportunity to organize pool chemicals. Are there any expired chemicals that need to be thrown away? Are you running low on something you’ll need? All chemicals should be clearly labeled and safely stored.
6. Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy
There you have it! It may sound like a lot, but remember that you should start this process a few weeks before opening up your pool. This will allow you to break everything down into steps.
And now that you’ve got everything ready, it’s time to throw on your bathing suit, lather on the sunscreen, grab a cold drink, and enjoy your backyard. You only get to appreciate your pool for a few months out of the year, so make the most of it!
Contact Gunite Pools of Tulsa
At Gunite Pools of Tulsa, we are considered the premier pool construction company in northeast Oklahoma. We’ve been a part of the local community for 16 years and counting and are both locally owned and operated.
Whether you’re looking for pool construction, renovations, or installation, we can help you create the backyard of your dreams. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to discuss your project in further detail. And as a thank you for trusting us with your needs, we’d love to give you a free quote.