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If only getting your pool ready for summer was as easy as pulling back the cover and jumping in. While you wait for summer to arrive, there are some things you can do now to prepare, so you’re ready to dive in as soon as swim seasons begins. Start with a trip to your local swim supply store or go online and stock up on the pool-prep essentials. Then get to work! With hard work comes great reward--soon enough you’ll be drifting on a pool float, cold drink in hand, and enjoying the summer sun.
What do you need?
- Water test kit
- Pool opening chemicals
- Telescopic pole
- Pool brush
- Pool vacuum (head+hose)
5 Steps to Prepping Your Pool for the Summer
- Give it a good cleaning. Once you remove the cover, set it aside to be hosed down and air dried. Then use the skimmer attached to the telescopic pole to clear debris on and near the surface of the water. Brush all the walls and corners of your pool thoroughly and use the vacuum to clean the floor of the pool. Clean your filter and keep the area around it free of debris. If your filter has an air relief valve, open it and air out the system.
- Turn on all your equipment. Make sure everything is working properly. Check that your pool pump motor isn’t burned out and that your heater and filtration system are functioning. Addressing these issues early on means less stress when it comes to getting your pool running at maximum efficiency come swim season.
- Test and balance your water. Follow the directions of the store-bought water test kit. Once you’ve tested your water and noted the results, use the pool opening chemicals as needed to adjust the chemistry to these optimal ranges:
- pH between 7.2 and 7.6
- Total alkalinity between 80-120 ppm for concrete pools and 125-170 ppm for painted, vinyl, or fiberglass pools
- Calcium hardness between 200-400 ppm
- Shock your pool. Shocking your pool is an important step to solving the majority of water-related problems. From algae infestations to cloudy water, pool shock is the super-powered dose of sanitizer you need to keep your water clean and safe. Follow the directions on the shock product to make sure you don’t use too much.
- Do a final safety check. Not only does the water in your pool need to be safe for swimmers, so should the area around it. Make sure that your pool safety equipment (e.g., rescue hook, life saver, first-aid kit) is easily accessible. If your pool has a gate around it, check that all locks and latches are working properly.