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After the pool has been sitting idle and covered all winter long, it’s important to make sure that everything is working fine before you dive in.
The water will also be dirty, with algae and leaves that can make the water unhealthy to swim in.
Getting your pool ready for summer mostly involves re-balancing the chemicals and cleaning out the dirt that has accumulated in the water.
No, don’t be in a rush to re-open the pool. Take at least a week to inspect everything and make sure the water is clean before you let anyone swim in it.
You also don’t need to drain the pool unless it’s really dirty (which it shouldn’t be if you’d covered it). Emptying the pool can cause it to lift out of the ground because there is no water to hold it down.
This requires an expensive pool replacement.
If you have to drain the pool, have a professional do it.
Here are some quick tips on how to get your pool ready for summer.
1. Uncover the Pool
Remove the winter cover, clean it, and store it.
You’ll probably need to drain rainwater and clean debris that has accumulated on the cover. Be careful not to get any of the debris into the water.
Start by removing the leaves and dirt on the cover using a pool brush. Collect them in trash bags.
Then you can remove the cover and any accessories such as water tubes, anchors and winch, and cable. For some pools, you need to lower the anchors into the deck to prevent anyone from tripping over them.
You can then remove the cover and prepare it for storage.
2. Top of the Pool
Your pool’s water level may have gone down by a bit during winter. If it has, refills it to the right level before you begin any pool cleaning.
This ensures that when you begin cleaning the pool and re-balancing the chemicals, you treat all the water.
3. Test Pool Equipment
Switch on the pool pump and other equipment to make sure everything is working correctly. Look for leaks or any weird noises.
This is also the time to check things like the ladder, handrails, diving board, and slide. Make sure everything is sturdy.
Also check the pool fence, if you have one, to ensure it’s in good shape.
If you spot any problems, whether it’s a leak or a wobbly piece of equipment, get it repaired immediately before you fully open the pool.
4. Brush and Vacuum the Pool
Before you add any chemicals, first get rid of all the bits of dirt, leaves, and algae that have accumulated in the water and stuck onto the pool floor and walls.
You can call a pool cleaning service to do this or do it yourself using a pool brush and vacuum.
A better and much easier way to clean the pool is using a robotic pool cleaner like the Polaris 9550 (one of our favorites).
A capable robotic pool cleaner can remove everything from leaves to sand and algae. You drop it in the water, and it does everything on its own.
Brushes on the underside scrub algae and stubborn dirt off the floor and walls while a strong vacuum pulls the dirt into filter canisters or bags.
Note that you may need to run two or more 1-3 hour cleaning cycles to get the pool sparkling clean.
Check if your robotic pool cleaner comes with a specific filter for large debris – ideal when you first open the pool – and another for fine debris that’s ideal for subsequent cleanings.
5. Test the Water and Balance the Chemicals
Before you get into the pool, it’s important to make sure the water has the right chemical balance.
Start by testing the water.
You can take a water sample to a pool store for testing (most do it free) or buy a pool testing kit.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you test for chlorine, alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid, and total dissolved acids (TDS).
There are many other tests you can do for phosphates and bacteria, but the above are the most important.
Then depending on the results of each test, add the right amount of chemicals to the water.
Your pool chemical kit should have detailed guidelines on the recommended levels for different chemicals.
Once you balance the chemicals, your swimming pool is ready for summer.
To get your pool ready for summer, clean it regularly, and test the water 2-3 times a week.
If you have a robotic pool cleaner, you can put it on an auto-cleaning schedule. Set it to clean daily, every other day or twice a week depending on how dirty your pool gets.
Then leave it in the water to clean at the set time. Only remove them when you are adding chemicals or swimming.