Getting your pool ready for summer early is a good idea as there are often some hot days in early spring when everyone would enjoy a cool dip. If you have one of the automatic pool cleaners that are available these days, preparing your pool for the swimming season will be much easier. It will also help if you’ve winterised your pool with a cover to keep out debris.
Here are some tips to getting your pool ready for the fun and games of summer
- If your pool was covered with a pool blanket for the winter, you’ll notice there is quite a lot of debris on top of it. Remove this before disturbing the blanket so it doesn’t all fall into the water. Use a soft-bristle, long handled broom and sweep from the middle to the side on both long sides. You’ll then be able to sweep the debris into a pile close to the side so it can be gathered up with a dustpan and brush.
- If water has evaporated, bring it to normal operating level, which is about the middle of the skimmer mouth.
- Add some algaecide or clarifier
- If the pump and filter system is above the water level of your pool, be sure to prime the pump with water before starting it. Starting it up dry will cause a great deal of damage. This is usually not necessary with an above ground pool where the pump is below the water level.
- Don’t worry if lots of bubbles come out of the pool return fittings. This is normal for a first time start up.
- If there is a cartridge filter, open the air bleeder valve on the filter tank until water gushes out, then close it again.
- Clean the tile line of the pool liner around the waterline where you’ll see scum. It is soft and easy to remove now, but later will harden in the sun and be more difficult to get off. Only use special pool cleaners as many home detergents contain phosphates that encourage algae growth.
- Clean and vacuum the pool so there is no dirt or debris left in it.
- If your cleaner doesn’t climb walls, it will be necessary to scrub them down with a stiff brush.
- Add the necessary start-up chemicals to shock the pool including algaecide, but don’t test the water for 24-36 hours because the above chemicals will alter the balance. Once it has filtered for 24 hours, then go ahead and test the pH levels, adjusting as needed.
- Chemically clean the filter, don’t just backwash it as this doesn’t remove grease or oils such as that from sunscreen.
A pool should never be completely emptied as this can cause damage to it and may void the warranty.