Spring is here, which can mean only one thing; that swimming time is near. Even though the weather in Phoenix has been nearing 90 degrees most days, and the water is beckoning swimmers forward, the pool isn’t quite ready for those swimmers. At least not just yet.
There are some necessary steps every pool owner must first take in order to ensure the pool is both clean and safe for swimming. We at Platinum Pools and Spas, are here to help you through the process of opening your pool, by providing you with the following “Spring Pool Opening Tips”.
#1. Prune trees and hedges: The biggest enemy to keep your pool free of debris: nearby trees and hedges. It can be frustrating to skim debris from your pool, and then an hour later, encounter more debris which is why we recommend pruning back any trees and/or hedges that are in vicinity to the pool.
#2. Clean Up Surrounding Plant Debris: Before removing your cover (see: tip #4), you should clean up plant debris from the pool’s surrounding areas – pool deck, patio, nearby planting beds, etc. – to avoid it all winding up in your pool thus making your job at cleaning the water that more difficult.
#3. Check Your Supplies: There’s no easy way to say this: pool chemicals and cleaning supplies do expire and dry out. This is why you should always check expiration dates! If something is past its recommended expiration date, it should be properly disposed of, and replaced with new chemicals. The same rule applies for dried-out chemicals.
#4. Remove Cover: Now that you’ve spruced up your pool’s surrounding area, and checked your supplies, it’s time for the unveiling (if applicable). After removing your cover, it is important to clean, fold and store the cover properly to avoid having to purchase a new one after the swimming season has come to an end.
#5. Adjust Water Level: If you have an automatic water leveler, then you can skip this step. If your water’s level is low, use any garden-variety hose to fill the water level in your pool back to its normal level: typically, about the middle of the skimmer opening or halfway up the waterline tile.
#6. Test the Water: Once the pool is up and running (give it 24 hours), it’s time to test the chemical levels, using a test kit. You can also take a sample of your pool water to your nearest pool supply store. Whether home testing or having a professional test your water, here are the safe and proper levels for your standard, chlorinated pool:
- Total Alkalinity – 80 to 120 ppm
- pH Level – 7.4 to 7.6
- Free Available Chlorine – 2.0 to 4.0 ppm
- Calcium Hardness – 200 to 400 ppm
- Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) – 30 to 50 ppm
*PPM – part per million
#7. Thoroughly Brush and Vacuum Your Pool: Clean leaves, twigs, and other debris from both the pool’s surface and bottom by thoroughly brushes it with a wall and floor brush. This is also the time that you should dust off your algae brush and pool vacuum. Be sure to remove any debris from the leaf basket as well.
#8. Clean Pool and Deck Furniture: To ensure your outdoor oasis is ready come warm water (for me it’s personally still too cold) you should take care to ensure that all pool and deck future is clean and in good shape. Replace any furnishings that are unstable or rotted. Also check all rails, slides, and ladders to ensure their bolts are secure.