Here’s how to get your pool ready for summer
Here are 10 tips for getting your pool ready for summertime use:
1. Check out your pool equipment to ensure that it is running quietly and is leak free. Check the concrete pad under the pump for wet spots. If you find a leak, call a repair service for help. It’s easier to make repairs while leaks are small.
2. During the late fall and winter is when many homeowners have their pool water tested for total dissolved solids (TDS) such as calcium and minerals, according to Barbara Postorino of Postorino Pool Service in Scottsdale. Then homeowners drain their pools and refill them with clean water so the pool will respond better to chemicals during the next swimming season. If you haven’t done that, you might need it now. The test and draining can be done by a pool technician. Replacing the water can cost from $50 to $100. (There are now services that use reverse osmosis to clean the water without removing it.)
3. Clean up. While the pool is empty, a pool service can acid wash and polish the pool surface and tile to remove the white, hard-water ring at the water line. A light cleaning might start at about $400 or more, depending on the size and complexity of the pool. This is also a good time to replace and maintain pool lights. Eventually, of course, your pool may need resurfacing every seven years, though sometimes the surface will last much longer.
4. Inspect handrails, diving boards, ladders and slides. Secure anything that’s damaged or needs replacing.
5. Add salt if your pool is salt-chlorinated. Also check salt levels and clean cells regularly.
6. “Shock” your pool by raising the chlorine level if your pool is chlorinated. You can do this yourself with an oxidizer from your pool dealer. Choose a product compatible with your filter system. The shock will oxidize “dead” material killed by chlorine, such as bacteria, algae and skin cells. This should be done regularly during swim season or you can invest $600 or more in an ozone generator to do the job.
7. Call an electrician. To be safe, call a licensed electrician to install ground fault circuit interrupters on all outlets that power outdoor electric equipment outdoors if you haven’t already done so. You should also check to be sure your pool wiring and installation are up to code.
8. Check your fences and safety features, including the self-closing, self-latching gate, and the rescue and first-aid equipment near the pool. Update your list of emergency numbers. If you haven’t done so already, install anti-entrapment covers in your pool to meet federal requirements.
9. Once everything is up and running, do weekly upkeep. Devote time every week to thorough cleaning including removing debris, vacuuming, brushing the pool down, emptying skimmer and pump baskets and chemically treating the water. Cleaning the filter is very, very important in summer, particularly during monsoon season when dust storms and heavy winds hit the area.
10. An automated pool cleaner can help you by vacuuming your pool daily. But maybe you really want to hire a pool service to visit regularly cleanups and monitoring of chemicals. That way you can spend more time this summer enjoying the cool, refreshing beauty of your pool. Cost of pool service can range greatly due to the size and complexity of a pool, according to Barbara Postorino. A tiny backyard spa would require minimal attention. A negative edge pool or a pool with slides and special water features can be more costly, for example.