Your Pre-Summer Swimming Pool Checklist

If the winter months have seen you let pool maintenance fall by the wayside, it’s likely the water isn’t as clean and healthy as it should be for summer swimming season. Over winter, sunlight and rain can dilute pool chemicals, particularly chlorine and salt, which helps algae get a hold and grow. This can turn your pool water green and create patches of yellow, pink or black on the surface. 

Aside from making your pool look uninviting, algae can damage pool equipment and make you ill as it often harbours bacteria such as E. coli – which is the last thing you want swimmers exposed to over the summer months!

Here’s how to get your pool back to its sparkling best.

Your pre-summer swimming pool checklist

1. Check and clear your equipment and run the filter and pump: Before you add any products to your pool, turn the pump on and run it for a few hours to help clear debris and dirt from the water. Also check the filter, skimmer box and pump to ensure they are all working efficiently, and clear any blockages or calcium build-ups. And if your filter cartridge needs a clean, give it a good wash with the hose.

2. Check your pool’s pH level:­ The recommended pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6 so either use a test kit to determine the current level or take a sample of pool water (ideally from elbow deep) to your local pool professional for a computerised test. The results will indicate whether your pool needs its pH, calcium and total alkaline levels adjusted. 

3. Re-balance the pool water: Treat pool water with the products and dosages recommended by your pool technician. Depending on your pool’s current water quality, you may need to add chlorine, algaecide and acid to adjust the pH level. Getting your pool water’s pH level right is important as it dictates how much chlorine turns into hypochlorous acid (HOCI), an active ingredient needed to kill germs, algae and bacteria.

4. Add sanitiser: Using a shock treatment, dose your pool according to instructions, then keep your pump running and don’t let anyone in the pool for a day or so. After shocking, sanitise your pool as normal.

5. Clean the pool walls and surfaces: Brush your pool’s walls, steps and benches – not forgetting those tricky-to-reach corners – to help remove algae and loosen dirt, then follow with a vacuum. 

6. Check the pool for signs of wear and tear: Years of use, temperature fluctuations, pressurised water and cleaning chemicals can take its toll on your pool. The four tell-tale signs that your pool’s interior needs immediate attention include: unstable pH levels, stains, an uneven surface and water leaks.

7. Test safety equipment: Make sure your fence meets the prescribed height and latching requirements and remove any furniture and pot plants outside the fence that could help a child climb over it. Also, check that your child-proof gate and latch are in good working order and position a resuscitation chart nearby. Remember to supervise children when they are in the pool area – especially if they haven’t swum in the pool since last summer.

Reduce time and costs with regular care
The key to reducing the amount of time it will take to get your pool swimming-ready – and potentially huge chemical costs – is to do short bursts of regular pool care over the cooler months. Even simply cleaning your pool’s surface every week or fortnight can significantly reduce your workload and chemical costs come summer.

Article thanks to Houzz

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