With millions of pools across the U.S. and summer here, pools everywhere need to be prepared for swimming. If you cleaned and covered your pool at the end of the previous swimming season, the task of getting it ready for the upcoming summer shouldn’t be too difficult. A properly prepared pool will be safer, cleaner and more of a joy for your family and friends to use. A pool cleaning service can do this on a regular schedule for you. Once you have readied your pool for summer, you’ll have to do ongoing maintenance to keep it safe and clean and the equipment in good running order.
Clean up the yard area surrounding the pool before you remove the cover. Trim landscaping, rake or sweep up dead leaves and twigs, and cut back overhanging tree branches. The tidier you keep your yard, the less debris will fall into your pool.
Remove the pool cover and vacuum out the sand and particles that have collected over the winter. Skim the surface of the water until it’s clear of floating debris.
Remove the filter baskets and pump basket and empty them. Even covered pools can accumulate fall leaves and dirt. If you don’t empty these out, the debris will recirculate and foul the water when you turn on the pump.
Backwash your pump and clean the pump filters. Instructions for backwashing should be on the side of your pump. Typically you’ll flip the backwash or cleaning switch to the “on” position and let the pump run for several minutes until the water running out of the attached hose is clear.
Test the water pH with a tester kit. It should ideally be between 7.4 and 7.6.
Balance the pool chemicals using the test kit and add chlorine and algaecide as indicated. The Centers for Disease Control states that proper chemical balance in your swimming pool water kills germs, protects against algae and prevents corrosion and damage to your pump and vacuum system.
Make sure the surrounding area is safe in accordance with the law. If you’re required to have a pool fence and gate, make sure they are in good repair. Call your local governmental offices and ask what local safety requirements are. Most municipalities have laws about fence height and type of gates, and some require alarms or automatically closing gates.
Tips & Warnings
- Purchasing an automatic vacuum pool cleaner for your pool will save you hours of work over the course of the swimming season. There are several types to choose from, depending on your budget and how much you want it to do. Some travel back and forth across the pool floor, picking up debris. Others will also climb the pool walls and scrub off algae, and some models are remote-controlled so you can maneuver and direct them to clean missed areas.
- Use a solar blanket to save water from evaporating, keep the water warm and to reduce the amount of chemicals you need in the pool.
- The Center for Disease Control warns that pool chemicals can be hazardous if improperly used or stored. Keep them in a secure, dry area safe from children and pets and follow the instruction and warning labels.
- A local pool and hot tub service can do the work professionally on a regular schedule.