Water temps are in the mid 70’s, it’s almost Memorial Day which is the industries checkpoint for the beginning of the swim season. Are you ready? Is your swimming pool ready? Here are some tips to guide you and your swimming pool into tip-top condition to last you thru the summer swim season.
Walk around your pool, look for potential problems or hazards, Make sure all of the suction outlets on your pool and spa have a secured drain cover over them. Trim back trees and bushes. A clean back yard promotes a clean pool. Hose down the deck, away from the pool ! Use your skimmer / leaf rake / net and pole as well as your manual vacuum to remove any leaves, dirt and debris from the pool. Remember as it gets warmer your pool will see a higher level of evaporation than it did in the winter and spring, be prepared to add water more frequently if you don’t have an automatic water leveler.
Check all of your pool equipment, turn on everything! Heater, lights, air blower, salt system, pumps, if you have a pool and spa combination exercise the valves to check for leaks, check all of the equipment for leaks and for equipment that’s not coming on or running properly, if something seems wrong turn it off and call a professional to come evaluate it and or repair it. Don’t wait until the day before you want to use it as it’s a very busy time of year for swimming pool professionals and you might have to wait several days before they can get to you to repair your heater, your lights or pump. If you have an automatic pool vacuum make sure its working properly, your local pool retail shop stocks parts for all major brands and if your vacuum needs a tune up, they will be glad to help you get it tuned up.
Clean your filter and empty your skimmer and pump strainer baskets. If you are not comfortable taking apart your pool filter, call your local pool professional and have them do it, typical cost is under $100 for a thorough cleaning and change filter tank seals, it saves you the homeowner from getting dirty and wet.
Balance your swimming pool water chemistry, use a quality test kit, I recommend the Taylor Technologies Troubleshooter test kit K-1004, Test strips although convenient are not very accurate and not recommended if you have them left over from last season. You can also take a water sample to your local pool retailer to check for hidden problems such as phosphates, cyanuric acid levels, alkalinity level and if you have a salt system check the salt level to make sure it’s in the 3000-3500 operational range. They will also give you recommended dosages of chemicals that are out of balance on your pool.
Shock your pool prior to swim season, preferably at night when the sun is setting because pool shock is a non- stabilized oxidizer and the suns UV rays will deplete it quickly in the middle of the day. Turn on your filtration system add the appropriate amount of shock ( typically calcium-hypochlorite), then brush your swimming pool and run your filter for 10-12 hours typically overnight.
Last but not least adjusting your swimming pools filtration and circulation time. As the temperature outside rises your filtration time needs to rise also, those swimming pools that were running 4-6 hour filtration cycles in the winter and spring, will need 10-12 hours in the summers hot weather. As bather load increases chemical demand will also increase so be prepared by having the chemicals you need ready and waiting. Be sure to store them in a safe secure location well ventilated and away from children.
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