When you are a swimming pool owner, you likely look forward to summer with great anticipation as this is the time that you can use your swimming pool again. However, if this is your first time getting your swimming pool ready for use after the off-season, you may wonder what you can or should do to get your swimming pool up and running.
Here are some of the steps that you should take so that your swimming pool is up and running sooner rather than later.
Uncover and Inspect Your Pool
The first step that you will want to take when you are getting your pool ready for use in the summer is to uncover and inspect your pool. You want to be sure that storms or the winter cold did not damage the overall structure of your pool.
Any cracks or other damage to your pool should be your first priority when getting ready for the summer season. Inspect the pool yourself and consider having a pool repairman come and inspect your swimming pool as well just to make sure everything is in good shape.
Get All the Supplies You Need
Before you are ready to even test the waters of your pool, you will want to make sure that you have all of the supplies you need on-hand. This means you need to be sure that you have a pool skimmer, a pool vacuum system, a pool brush, pool chemicals, and more.
By gathering these supplies ahead of time, you will be prepared to set up your pool.
Check Your Pool Equipment
Your next step in getting your swimming pool ready for the summer is to check all of your pool equipment to ensure that it is functioning and operational. If you winterized your pump or filtration system, for example, you will want to de-winterize these systems by removing plugs and reopening the hoses.
You want to be sure that the components of your pool are in good shape before you start using it. Inspect your system thoroughly and have anything questionable checked out or repaired by a professional right away.
Start Up the Filter and Pump
Once you know you pool equipment is in good shape, check the water level of the pool to verify that it is at least halfway up the skimmer. If the water level is at least halfway up the skimmer, your next step is to start up your filter and pump systems. Otherwise, you will want to fill your pool with fresh water first.
Filtering your pool is as equally important as chemically treating and balancing your pool.
Check the Water Levels
After your filter and pump systems are up and running, periodically check the water levels in your pool. It is important to have enough water in your pool but it is also important to avoid overfilling your pool. This way, you can avoid costly leaks or water bills before they occur.
It is important to note, evaporation of water from direct sunlight or heat difference between hot pool water and cool air at night, splash out from use, and backwashing of sand filters can appear as though your pool may be leaking. Topping your pool off daily is normal. Check your water bills through months you use your pool.
If you suspect the pool may be leaking, fill the pool, mark the fill line, run your pool overnight, measure again the next day, and repeat the process with your filter and pump systems off. Consult a pool professional with your results.
Test Your Water
The next step in the process of getting your swimming pool up and running is to test the chemical balance of your water. Proper chemical balance is important to not only the safety of you and your swimmers but to your pool and its equipment as well.
The following levels are important to your pool chemical balance: sanitizer, pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and CYA (stabilizer.) Most commonly, pool test strips and residential test kits test for three of the mentioned levels: sanitizer, pH, and total alkalinity.
Sanitizer, typically chlorine, is responsible with keeping the pool clean of algae, bacteria, and viruses. pH has a broad impact on comfort of the water and longevity of the equipment. Total Alkalinity determines the impact to pH from the addition of other chemicals. Calcium Hardness is a naturally occurring mineral in water that has some impact to pH but is most important to plaster pools. CYA or stabilizer is a chemical found in chlorinating tablets, some granular chlorines, granular stabilizer, and liquid stabilizer that helps protect chlorine from degrading due to sunlight.
After your pool has been properly chemically balanced, testing for sanitizer, pH, and total alkalinity is normally fine. However, there could be complications with your pool that would otherwise be missed if only sanitizer, pH, and total alkalinity are corrected.
If the pH of your pool was dangerously low, your pool heater can leach copper from the exchanger inside into the water. Once corrected without checking for the presence of copper, you or your swimmers could end up with green hair. Normally associated with chlorine, green hair is caused by copper that attaches to your hair and oxidized by chlorine in your pool. Additionally, copper that is plated out by chlorine attaches itself to the surface of your pool. This stains your pool a greenish color that requires more effort to remove than to prevent.
All surface types are damaged by consistently low pH. In addition to copper in the water, pH can pit plaster, roughen fiberglass, and embrittle vinyl. Whereas if pH was low but calcium is high when your pool chemical balance is corrected, it can lead to rough, lime depositing all over your tile, surface, and heater.
Balancing your pool before closing and after opening by bringing your sample in to reputable pool dealer that tests water is the best option to prevent any kind of damage to your equipment over the off season and any kind of problematic situation after opening.