With Spring and Summer just around the corner, now is the time to look towards preparing your backyard for entertaining. Besides the barbeque, nothing is more important for an entertaining backyard than a sparkling swimming pool. Don’t let your pool be a backyard eyesore, here are the steps we recommend you take to prepare your pool for a Spring and Summer full of festivities.
Clean off the pool cover
Before you take the cover off your pool, be sure to blow any fallen debris and dirt off the top. Removing the debris off the cover will save you valuable time later because you won’t have to fish it out of the pool later down the line. If you have any nasty standing water on top of the cover, be sure to pump it off (not allowing it to reach the pool). Again, doing so will save you time later because you won’t have to spend nearly as much time trying to balance the chemicals to remove any germs or bacteria that was growing in the standing water.
Remove the pool cover
Removing the pool cover should seem obvious, but there is a particular method to doing it properly. Any time you take now to clean and safely store the cover through the summer will help you with winterizing your pool next year. If you have a yard/driveway large enough, we recommend you lay the cover out and spray any remaining dirt or other objects off the cover. Let it dry completely, then fold it up. Make sure to try and place it somewhere that it will stay relatively cool, as this prevents any mold or mildew build up in the next 6-8 months.
Don’t Empty Your Pool
If you read our Winterizing your Fibreglass Pool blog post, you’re familiar with our recommendation that you never empty your pool of water unless you have no choice, especially if you live in an area with a high water table. This is because of ‘hydrostatic relief’, which is the force that the surrounding water exerts on buildings in the Earth. The end result of this is that your pool can collapse or even be forced out of the ground! Unless you have received the advice of professionals, we strongly recommend that you keep your pool filled with water.
Remove all debris from the pool
Before you begin checking your chemicals or open up any filters or plugs, be sure to remove any debris in the pool water. Luckily in Sydney we don’t get as much debris as other areas vis a vis fallen leaves and pine cones, but it is still important to remove all objects from the pool. Don’t neglect the area surrounding the pool either! The last thing you want is to spend 30 minutes cleaning your pool water only to have more debris fall in from the wind.
Add more water (If Necessary)
Take a look at your water level to make sure it is still at the recommended height. Some pumps can suffer damage if the amount of water in the pool is too low, so be sure to double check how much water you are supposed to have in your pool. Refilling the pool is as simple as throwing a hose into it and adding water. We recommend you check the stability of all your ladders and diving boards in the time it takes to top up your pool, as erosion could have loosened the bolts on the objects attached to the pool.
Clean the pump and filter
Check your pump, filter, jets, and hoses for any debris or objects that could have gotten stuck in them during the winter. Pay special attention to the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for maintenance. If all seems well, turn on the circulation system and give it time to run for 7-12 hours.
Balance your chemical levels
The first thing to do is to balance your pH levels to between 7.2 and 7.4. The pH level will tell you how much of your chlorine will turn into hypochlorous acid once in the water. A low pH level will damage the mechanical components of your filter and pump, in addition to possibly damaging the pool liner. Too high of a pH level will cause skin irritation and cloud your pool water.
After balancing the pH level, make sure your alkalinity level is between 80 to 120. Alkaline acts as a pH stabilizer, and will keep your pH consistent throughout pool usage.
Clean the filter daily
After all this work you may be ready to go for a dip, but your pool definitely isn’t! Run the pool and clean your filter every day until the water in the pool comes out clean and clear. If you use the pool too early, you risk suffering skin irritation or other health effects from unbalanced chemicals in the water.
After you have completed all of the above steps, you should be good to enjoy your pool for the next 6-8 months. Make sure you keep an eye on the cleanliness of your filter, and check your chemical levels every day before usage. Do all this, and your backyard pool will be the talk of the neighborhood!