Getting your pool ready for the summer is a common chore for many Floridians—even if it isn’t as much of a chore as it can be for our northern neighbors who have to worry about freezing. If you haven’t gotten your pool summer-ready, perhaps postponing this task because of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to get this task off of your to do list.
Here are 4 simple steps to getting your home swimming pool summer-ready:
- Inspect the Pool Equipment. Locate and inspect O-rings to see if they have dry-rotted or torn and replace as needed. You can also lubricate the O-rings with a pool gasket lubricant to prolng their life over the summer. Turn on your pump and clear out the filter. Listen for any unusual sounds and call a professional repair company if needed.
- Clean and Vacuum. Depending on whether you have a screened in area around your pool or if it is open to the elements, this part of pool preparation may be a breeze. Using your pool skimmer, scoop out leaves, twig, and other floating debris. Then scrub the walls with a nylon brush, paying special attention where the water level is at—its usually a prime area for algae. Finish up by vacuuming the floor of your pool. If you haven’t done this before, follow the instructions provided with your pool vacuum. Be sure to go slowly and overlap where you have already vacuumed as sediment may move and resettle as the vacuum pushes its way through the water. Once you are done, check the pool filter—if the pool was very dirty, you may have to clean the pool filter out as you vacuum.
- Test the Water
The following applies to a chlorinated pool. Saltwater pools have a different water chemistry and requirements for safe swimming.
- Purchase a water testing kit from your local pool store—some may even test the water for you if you bring a sample to them. The testing kit should check for total dissolved solids (TDS)—according to the CDC, your level should be below 2500 parts per million (ppm). If the levels are high, you’ll likely notice that your pool water looks cloudy. The TDS level should be addressed before altering the pool’s pH levels as high TDS levels can make alter the effectiveness of balancing chemicals. If you have high TDS levels, you may need to drain (in part or in full) your pool water and have it refilled.
- According to the CDC, pool pH levels should be between 7.2 and 7.8. If your water pH is higher, then it is considered too alkaline and requires an acid to lower the pH. If the pH is lower, the water is too acidic and will need a base to be added. Your local pool store should have the appropriate types of acids and bases to add for modifying your pool’s pH. DO NOT ADD JUST ANY CHEMICAL!
- Chlorine Level. Chlorine levels for home swimming pools should be between 1 and 3ppm per the CDC. If the chlorine level is too low, you “shock” it by dissolving a lithium-base chlorine tablet. Too high of a chlorine level can be resolved through a variety of methods, including adding a chlorine neutralizer or draining some of the water and refilling to dilute the chlorine level.
- Safety Check. Review the pool deck and surround areas for any safety issues. Is there a fence around the pool? Is the ladder secure? Fix any necessary safety issues and review safety procedures with your family and guests.
In addition to the above, it can also be beneficial to review your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure liability coverage extends to pool or swimming accidents. You can discuss your pool and insurance concerns with your independent insurance agent at Marguder Agency to ensure you have the coverage you feel is right.
Now that your pool is summer ready, hop in and have some fun!