Get Your Pool Ready For Spring
1. Check For Cracks or Leaks
This is a biggy. During the winter months the ground can freeze and expand causing your pool to be pushed in. Your pool probably isn't made out of rubber (is it?) and could have taken quite the beating. Take the time to look around the edges of your pool for cracks or chips. Anything that looks like extra-wear on the pool. If your pool was drained for the winter look throughout the pool. Especially around the drains, lights and intakes. If your pool was filled with water all off-season you can look for bubble or spots that may have darker water. It is SOOOOOOOO important to have these things fixed right away before they escalate and add extra costs to repair.
2. Check Your Pump
The pump is a little like the heart to your pool. If it dies, your pool fades away. It can get very weathered during the winter months. Also the lack of usage can dry out seals or rubber/plastic components. Clean and inspect the electrical connections to the pump (With the power off). Turn on and test filters and pumps. Clean filters and pumps and lubricate O-rings (check with the manufacturer as which lubricant you should use). Replace any filters that need replacing. Check the cement pad beneath the pump for leakage. Fix a filter leak early, before it's a big and expense repair.
3. Properly Treat The Water
You're adding chemicals to a giant tub of water that your friends and family will be soaking in for days on end. Make sure you're doing it right. Before treating your pool, read the instructions... then read them again. Then read them again. It's so important to get these right, not only to protect those in the pool but to guarantee the pool will be properly balanced. Allow the water to circulate for a day before adding a shock treatment to raise the chlorine level above 5 parts per million. Follow the directions on the shock treatment. Test water balance; adjust calcium, alkalinity and pH level to between 7.4 and 7.6.
4. Brush and Re-test
Your pool as been sitting stagnant. Chemicals and Robotic Pool Cleaners are great for daily maintenance but you have several months of muck to get rid of. After you chemically treat your pool, scrub every section (stairs, bottom, sides, etc) thoroughly. Wait 24 hours and retest your pool. You have set loose new elements into the pool, plus you've exposed the muck covered walls to the chemicals. Plus no one wants to get into a slimy pool.
5. Inspect Your Robotic Pool Cleaner
Unless you're a billionaire you probably don't have a pool guy coming daily to clean your pool. Robotic Pool Cleaners are a cost effective and efficient way to keep your pool clean on a daily basis. Before placing your pool cleaning machine in your pool take the time it inspect tubes, wires, etc. to see how it survived the winter months. If you don't have a Robotic Pool cleaner than take the time to find out which pool cleaner is right for you. They are a great way to add life to your pool and free you up for what you really want... swimming in your pool.
6. Give The Pool Toys Some Love
You have a box full of pool toys waiting to take a dip in the pool. But if you look at those suckers with a microscope after a whole winter of vegging you wouldn't like what you see. Take the time to give them a good scrubbing dish washing soap should be enough to get all that stuck-on junk and make them safe again for your friends and family. It's also a good time to inspect water toys and see if they will survive another season. Sharp edges, torn pieces, etc. These toys may have served their purpose and it's time to send them to pool toy heaven.
7. Don't Forget About Your Pool Heater
Generally Pool heaters require the least maintenance of all pool equipment. Gas heaters can work fine without being serviced for a couple years, and electric ones can last even longer. Consult your manufacturer's manual for specific care instructions. Sometimes, calcium scales build up inside the tubes of a heater and restrict flow, preventing the water from heating adequately. If this happens, recruit the help of a professional because the heater may need to be disassembled and have its tubes cleaned out with a wire brush or acid. Hiring someone to service your pool can cost $100 or more per month, depending on the maintenance your pool requires.
8. Water Level, Water Level, Water Level
This might seem like a no brainer but your pool is designed to work off a specific water level. Your pool is often robbed from that bad guy named evaporation. Make sure you've probably filled your pool to the required level. It's also good to remember to use clean water. Not that we'd really have to tell you that.
9. Check The Fencing Around Your Pool
Here is one people seldom think about. How safe is your pool? Is your gate secure? Are their holes in the fence? Part of the responsibility of having a pool is making sure it's safe from children and animals. Kids and pets wander, don't let them wander into your pool. Go through each portion of your fencing and make sure little things can't get through it.
10. Start Swimming!
Is it just me or do the Summers get shorter every year. Don't waste time, jump in. Have a bbq, invite friends, throw in a neighbor (make sure his cell phone is out first). Make some drinks. Have a great time in your pool. You deserve it.