Summer will be here soon. For pool owners, this is when you start thinking about taking your pool out of hibernation. It’s worth it to start before the season really begins. You'll have a clean pool that looks – and feels – good for the summer.
Here's how to get your pool ready for summer in 10 simple steps.
1: Start Early
Start early in the year – and in the day. Cleaning your pool is the first step to enjoying it, so try to do it as soon as possible. You can even ask a friend to help. After all, they'll want to use the pool once it's ready.
2: Get Everything You Need
How many times have you started a task only to realize that you don’t have the tools? Start with a list of all the things you need to prep your pool.
You will need:
- Shock kit
- Chlorine (you won't need this if you have a saline chlorination generator)
- Chemicals to stabilize your pH and alkalinity
- Chlorine stabilizer
- Vacuum head and hose
- Skimmer head
- Telescopic pole
- Pool brush
Remember – make sure everything works!
3: Clean and Store the Pool Cover
This is best done right away, before the cover dries. You don't want to let the crud dry on!
- Take your cover off and lay it aside
- Clean it with regular soap and a brush (Or, use a special cover cleaner – some will allow you to store the cover while wet)
- Put it away in a plastic container for protection
4: Clean Out All Debris
It’s tempting to get the filter up and running first thing, since you need to let it run for a long time. But first, make sure that the pool and all lines are clean.
- Check your baskets and skimmer
- Clean out all debris and dead leaves in the pool, since it will have an impact when you chlorinate your pool later
- Consider using an automatic or robotic cleaner to make this step even easier
5: Fill Your Pool with Clean Water
Never empty or drain your pool. It may seem like an easier way to clean it. But if you empty your pool, the concrete shell may pop out of the ground slightly, doing damage.
- First, remove all plugs and guards
- Add fresh water up to the skimmer opening
- Inspect your skimmer for cracks or damage
6: Get the Filter Up and Running
Now that you're done cleaning and filling the pool, you're ready for the filter.
- After making sure its lines are clean, start it up
- Keep the filter running until your pool is clear
- Run it daily throughout pool season
Step 7: Shock Your Pool
After your pool is clear, shock your pool (yes, even salt water pools need shocking) with the correct chlorine solution. (Don’t know which to use? Ask us – we’ll be happy to help!)
- Add twice the normal amount
- Let the water circulate overnight
Step 8: Test The Water
Now that the water is clear and has been chlorinated, it's time to test it. And adjust it, if you need to.
The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8
pH refers to the activity degree of an acid or base (alkali) in the water.
- The pH is perfect at 7.4 – the same pH as the human eye
- Use soda ash to increase the water's pH level
- Use muriatic acid to decrease it
Alkalinity should be between 90-120 The alkalinity of your water helps to keep your pH levels stable.
- Use sodium bicarbonate to increase the water's alkalinity
- Use muriatic acid to decrease it
Calcium hardness should be between 225-275 ppm (parts per million)
Water will seek to draw calcium from its surrounding environment if levels are not high enough. It can take it from the grout in your tiles, degrading them.
- Add calcium if needed
Step 9: An Ounce of Prevention
You're almost done! Next, you'll add stabilizer and an algaecide. Stabilizer acts as a conditioner and helps to prevent the sun from burning away the chlorine in your pool. And algaecide kills … you guessed it: algae.
- Add cyanuric acid tablets – a popular stabilizer (feel free to ask our pool pros what dosage to use for your pool size, and you'll need less if you have a saline pool)
- Add a good quality algaecide to keep that slimy green stuff from growing
Step 10: Jump In and Enjoy Your Work
But first, take a good look. Nothing is more satisfying than a clean pool that’s ready for the season.
It makes your lawn look beautiful and complements your home, so enjoy the result of your work.
Remember to regularly maintain and clean your pool through the summer. And you're welcome to get in touch with us here at The Great Backyard for all of your pool needs!